ESOLEN: How to kill vocations – Feminize everything!

Ultra Fr. Z kudos to Anthony Esolen at Crisis who has a must-read, do-not-miss, go-there-to-read-it-now piece about making the Church effeminate and, thereby, killing vocations to the priesthood.

How to Kill Vocations in Your Diocese

Cardinal Raymond Burke has recently laid some of the blame for the precipitous decline in priestly vocations upon the feminization of the liturgy. His assertion prompts two questions. What would qualify as “feminization”? Have we in fact done that to the liturgy? The question that the assertion should not prompt is, “Would a feminized liturgy actually cause young men to turn away from the idea of the priesthood, in indifference, perplexity, or bemused contempt?” For example, would a sight of two priests twirling a-tippytoe like big-bellied ballerinas at an Easter Vigil service, along with a troop of girls waving scarves and sashes, for six minutes and more, to Aaron Copland’s arrangement of The Lord of the Dance, [I posted a video involving that on 8 Jan HERE] have any natural appeal whatsoever to the overwhelming majority of boys and young men who know to what sex they belong?

[… I am cutting out a big chunk here.  Esolen eventually suggests, with great irony, some things to do to destroy vocations. Here are a few…… ]

Dilute the faith. Fighters want something to fight for. Make sure there is nothing to fight for. Do not preach the full doctrine of the Church. Never speak about the terrible sins of our age. Be more sensitive about offending a couple of the people who still show up for Mass, than about offending God. Cut the sixth commandment out of the ten. While you are at it, cut out the second, the third, and the ninth too.


Turn the Sacrament into snack time. [Remember my description of Communion time in the context of the debate about Communion for the civilly remarried?  “They put the white thing in our hands and then we sing the song.”] Get rid of any remaining altar rails. Make sure that everybody takes the Sacrament into his hands, like a fortune cookie. Tell the people to stand afterwards. Go as far as you can to prevent people from kneeling during Mass. Make it as difficult as possible for people to receive the sacrament of confession. Treat it as insignificant. If somebody does want the sacrament, roll your eyes and make sure that the penitent knows how much it annoys you. Don’t take the penitent’s sin seriously. In fact, give the penitent the impression that he can go on and commit the same sin with impunity. In this way you will make it likelier that a moose will amble down Main Street than that a sin-burdened soul will seek you out, or that a healthy line of them will be making their way to the confessional. And, while you are at it, make sure there are no confessionals. Turn them into closets for brooms, mops, and bleach.


Be effeminate. Get rid of every single hymn that has anything to do with Christian soldiership. Castrate the rest of the hymns. Or, better, favor hymns that make Jesus into a kind of safe sweet Boyfriend, with whom you can make out on the couch now and in heaven later. Let the music be led by women, especially women who like to be seen and heard performing it. Put the hand-raising cantor up front, to upstage the priest and Christ. Let girls do silly dance routines up and down the aisles. If you can, have five or six girls do that, in the company of one boy whose mother has obviously compelled his attendance, and who stands there gritting his teeth and fuming. Favor any musical instrument except the organ. Let the piano player tickle the keys like a hired performer at a bar, so that the communicants can, as they return to their pews, slip a fiver into the hat, right next to the long-stemmed champagne glass. Use as many altar girls as possible. Discourage the boys from joining. Give them nothing important to do. Use as many women lectors as possible. In fact, once Mass has become too bland for girls themselves, use the old ladies as acolytes, busying about the altar as if they were laying out the tablecloth and silverware for a party.

Never suggest that the Church needs men for anything. Make “man” into an obscenity. Never suggest that fathers and mothers play complementary roles in the family. Never suggest that Jesus had something important in mind when He chose twelve men as his brothers. Suggest instead that to be a genuine Christian, a man has to stop being a man. Buy the silly feminist notion that Christian women have been “oppressed” for nearly two thousand years.

Then pray for vocations, after you have done your level best to make sure that you will never have any.

Be sure to read the whole thing.

He nailed this, of course.  This is exactly what has been going on for decades and this is exactly the sort of thing Card. Burke was talking about.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. JesusFreak84 says:

    I’m not seeing a link to the original…?

  2. moon1234 says:

    It also doesn’t help when the chair of Peter calls the parents of some potential candidates for vocations “people who breed like rabbits.” When my children read this they themselves were offended. They asked “Did the Pope just make fun of you guys?” and looked at myself and my wife. We did not know quite what to say.

    St Gianna, pray for us and for our Holy Father.

    I REALLY miss Pope Benedict!

  3. dbonneville says:

    “…bemused contempt”

    This somewhat describes our after-Mass-during-coffee conversation with my 3 teenage boys (one in college), every single week. During Mass, I often get “looks” from my boys when any of the ridiculous things from the catalog of the absurd happens on a near weekly basis. Sometimes music selection and performance (by women) is so bad they start chuckling. Oh, it might be technically correct, and include semi-virtuoso piano runs or vocal frills. The chuckling is the teenage gut response the absurdity, for instance, of hearing Disney-esque tunes and Broadway-style song delivery during Communion, or during the, ahem, “meditation” after Communion.

    The irony is thick, when during a Mass like what Tony Esolen describes, there is a plea for vocations. Our typical Mass hits most of the absurdities parodied in the recent Saturday Night Live skit. And nobody can do anything about it.

  4. Clinton R. says:

    “Make “man” into an obscenity.” This one is only too true. Any use of the word “man” is verboten. Most of the usage of it in the lectionary used in the NO Mass has been replaced by the word “people”. At my parish, anyone who speaks publicly, whether it be the priest, a deacon or layman, it is almost always “sisters and brothers”. Since when did Adam come from the rib of Eve?

  5. dbonneville says:

    “…sisters and brothers…”

    I cringe every time I hear that. It only brings attention to the priest. It says “Look what I’m saying and how I include you!”. Every time I hear that phrase, the only thing I take from it is “why did he say that?”, together with a 15-second psychoanalytic digression I have to quickly abandon to get back to paying attention.

  6. mpmaron says:

    I want to say Albany is different but Professor Esolen has nailed us.

  7. amont says:

    This situation has been the lived experience in that part of Canada, where I have lived for the last 40 years.Other than the revised Missal, nothing of Pope Benedict’s tenure was allowed to break-through to parish level.(Of course Pope Francis IS mentioned in almost EVERY homily every week). We are told to stand throughout Communion; the choir sings (“songs” NOT hymns and invariably on a piano) ) constantly during this period-and when the priest returns the Ciborium to the Tabernacle-everyone sits. No time for meditiation, reflection, thanksgiving or anything else. I really am at the point of despair- I had long ago given-up looking for any wisdom from the local ordinary-Pope Benedict did offer hope.But now, faced with the current Bishop of Rome (and the mind blowing suggestion of another destructive Council-) angels and Minister’s of grace defend us!

  8. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    My home diocese in Indiana is in current state of apoptosis (that is, planned safe self-destruction) like what cells in the body do when they are dying. I was just visiting the diocese for the 100th birthday of a now retired priest in my family. Speaking to some of the locals in that diocese, there is a lot of talk about:

    1. “Strategic Planning”; they’ve been having deanery meetings for years now to address the necessary closing and reorganizing of the diocese. Of all my family members who have attended many of these meetings, not one has reported upon questioning from me that efforts toward fostering priestly vocations were ever discussed at the meetings. Very strategic, that.

    2. “Linking” parishes: happy glad-hand speak about not having enough priests without ever actually mentioning the lack of priests. Apparently the coupled parishes sharing a priest now add a specially hand-crafted “linking prayer” to help them learn to “accept change” during every Sunday Mass, but there is no prayer for priestly vocations offered during Sunday Masses.

    3. “Father John From India”, everyone loves him; for the record, I have nothing against foreign missionary priests but I think its a sad absurdity we have to import priests form impoverished nations to sustatin our own vocational poverty. The previous Bishop in that diocese didn’t believe in bringing in missionary priests and then persisted for over 20 years feminizing the diocese and squashing vocations; the current Bishop apparently sees the value in imports, but continues to stone-wall the stable group of traditional Catholics who have repeatedly asked for an FSSP or equivalent priest to minister to their needs.

    The only consolation I find is knowing that some of the liberal old guard types that nearly destroyed my Faith in my college years are finally retiring from ministry in that diocese and the few younger priests remaining actually have the Faith. But apparently no one in power in this diocese is talking about priestly vocations in any serious way.

    It is not rocket science; young men have bemused contempt for the feminized priesthood, the altar girl servers (who serve in an at best 3:1 ratio to boys at every Mass I’ve attended in that diocese in the last 5 years), the horizontally-oriented gradeschool room mother led liturgies with their moms friends reading and singing in the front/center, and other nonsense that everyone reading this has seen a million times. It is not rocket science why Arlington VA & Lincoln NA have such great vocations per capita (Lincoln has about the same sized Catholic population as my home diocese, but 7 times as many seminarians not including their FSSP seminarians as my home diocese).

    The few young college aged men you find who bother to come to Mass of their own volition in less orthodox dioceses inevitably attach themselves to the Masses of a young masculine more traditional priest. I know I did. And I haven’t looked back.

    That was my rant, I’m done now.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    It is the role of the seminaries to be teaching priests proper liturgical forms and actions. That Pope Benedict was a Pope for priests and seminarians was a rare thing in our day and age. I felt that he frequently addressed the clergy, as this was his call, more than others even before him. His book on the liturgy is fantastic. Not all popes have the same charisms.

    It is simple for the laity–stop sending money to those seminaries which turn out such clergymen who still are into novelty, and support those which demand reverent and true liturgical rules.

    I am glad to say that the diocesan seminary where my son is follows the rules, and some orders in England absolutely do not. Even in Malta, the joke is that the Franciscans are still not following the rules, where most other orders and the seculars are-except the Summorum Pontificum is still and always has been suppressed there.

    Local ordinaries must insist on proper liturgies. And not only pray for vocations, but be open to them in your own families. I am convinced God gives parents insights into who may have real vocations. What is in the parish is an extension of what is in each home. Remember that St. John Bosco believed that one of our four boys had vocations. Well, we are not seeing that, are we?

  10. drforjc says:

    “Castrate the rest of the hymns.”

    It just make me cringe when I have to put up with stuff like “Rain Down” or “Lift Up Your Hearts to the Lord” which go out of their way to avoid using masculine pronouns for God.

  11. Supertradmum says:

    P.S. I am also convinced that if a young man has a real call from God, altar girls will not deter him from following that call. We had altar babes in our parish with silver spangled shoes and silver head bands to match making them look like Christmas angels, but son still went into the seminary. He skipped serving at that parish, however.

  12. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “Sing a New Church Into Being”

  13. LarryW2LJ says:

    Went to a Church (which shall remain nameless) in upstate NY (Albany Diocese, mpmaron – sorry!) while we were on vacation last summer . I was very upset with the woman who was leading the hymns, particularly the one after Communion. She was singing it as if she were onstage at a cocktail lounge for Pete’s sake. I was not only upset, I was embarrassed.

  14. Austin says:

    Castrating the hymns has happened across the Protestant denominations too.

    As a convert from Anglicanism, I was at first pleased to see so many familiar first lines in the hymnal our parish uses (not that anyone much except the cantor actually sings the hymns…). I sang for years in a cathedral choir and know half of the English Hymnal and Ancient and Modern by heart.

    Then I realized that every single hymn has been bowdlerized — “corrected” to be non-gender specific; all archaisms removed (thee and thou); concepts such as divine wrath, judgement, awe in the presence of God rewritten; references to the Scriptures (the “mercy seat” ;”Ebenezer”) excised since nobody is supposed to know the Bible.

    For a while I used to bark out the original texts, until my wife begged me to stop. Now I cross my arms and glower like every other straight man in the building.

    Of course, we have feeble ceremonial, girl servers, loads of female EMs in pantsuits, facing the congregation celebrants, and the usual casual, nothing special going on here, approach typical of US parishes.

    Needless to say, my son, despite my efforts to inspire and educate, thinks mass is the most boring and irrelevant thing imaginable. Catholic school has done nothing to educate him out of it either.

    When I was a kid, I thought Anglican High Mass was the most magical and inspiring thing in the world. We did it as if it mattered, even if we were just pretending to be Catholic.

  15. kekeak2008 says:

    May every priest, bishop, and cardinal read that article and seriously reflect upon it. Deo volente.

  16. NBW says:

    Spot on!

  17. NBW says:

    Question: does anyone know if the male dancers are priests or lay people?

  18. govmatt says:

    This article should be nailed to the door of every church in, at least, the United States.

  19. Eraser says:

    I had to laugh (although bitterly) about the way he described the piano. For some unexplicable reason, our new, youngish pastor who is otherwise a fine orthodox priest felt compelled to hire a “music director” who just loves the piano and the whole Hallmark hymn genre that goes with it. It’s ironic because he’s demonstrated himself as an excellent organist when he chooses to delve into the classical repertoire. I hope he doesn’t read this because we might just see a brandy snifter by the keyboard.

  20. JKnott says:

    Here’s a great little Protestant song that might appeal to altar boys and vocations in the Church Militant.
    Mighty Warrior by Randy Rothwell 1987
    Mighty warrior
    Dressed for battle
    Holy Lord of all is He
    Commander in chief
    Bring us to attention
    Lead us into battle
    To crush the enemy

    Satan has no authority
    Here in this place
    He has no authority here
    For this habitation
    Was fashioned for
    The Lord’s presence
    No authority here

    Mighty warrior
    Dressed for battle
    Holy Lord of all is He
    Commander in chief
    Bring us to attention
    Lead us into battle
    To crush the enemy

    Jesus has all authority
    Here in this place
    He has all authority here
    For this habitation
    Was fashioned for
    The Lord’s presence
    All authority here

    Mighty warrior
    Dressed for battle
    Holy Lord of all is He
    Commander in chief
    Bring us to attention
    Lead us into battle
    To crush the enemy

    Mighty warrior

  21. Indulgentiam says:

    Great article. “Make sure there is nothing to fight for.”
    I agree with everything the good professor says. Though from the sound of some of the above comments those sitting through that mess seem to be plenty fighting mad. Having come to the US in the late 60’s and raised in the N.O I never knew anything else. When the timing was right the Good GOD started putting information in front of me. Letting me know that there are things required of me of which I was ignorant. Thorough the internet, RealCatholicTV as it were, I found the Traditional Latin Mass. I live in a state where there is not a single TLM in the entire state. So we travel to a neighboring state for the TLM. The N.O, as seen in these parts, is an affront to the Almighty and a soul sucking experience. Once I was shown the danger it is to souls I took my child, ran for our eternal life and never looked back. My son has served in the TLM for years now. He knows his faith better than I ever did. He knows more about Saints lives than football players. And believe me he’s plenty into football. The EF, I believe, has a way of aligning the reason that is conspicuously lacking in the N.O. And I don’t think thats a coincidence. My prayers of reparation go up to Our Lord who is made to suffer in that mess. And more prayers go out to all my brothers and sisters that they may find a TLM soon.

  22. arrowsmith says:

    NBW, the dancers are laymen.

  23. Mike says:


    Do you live in Maryland? Your parish, I’m sorry, sounds just like mine!

  24. NBW says:

    @arrowsmith: Thanks.

  25. Mike says:

    Ok, I know it has political baggage. But I love the masculine spirit expressing hopes of peace in the Lord.

  26. Joseph-Mary says:

    Being a female I have consciously not taken up any of the ‘ministries’ of a Sunday. I do lector on Wednesday mornings. I was a “Eucharistic Minister’ for some years, starting in my 20s but no longer serve at holy Mass. It is not my place. On Sundays the little army of mostly older and some middle aged women usually with one token male marches up around the altar to hold out their hands for Communion and then take their places. When I attend the N.O. on a Sunday, it is the early Mass where it is generally young men who serve but last weekend it was little girls and one boy. I wonder if that boy will ever serve again. Thanks be to God, no dancers at my parish. And we did just get the Adoremus hymnal but are not quite using it yet. That would help to not have the inclusive language songs.

    When I am able to attend the TLM, none of the foolishness is present. Ah….

  27. RJHighland says:

    Good to see Cardinal Burkes statements are still the talk of the world, that is a good thing. Mr. Esolen hit a grand slam home run.

  28. Mike says:

    Real men are devoted to Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth.

  29. juergensen says:

    Feminization and homoization are two sides of the same coin.

  30. Ben Kenobi says:

    “I am also convinced that if a young man has a real call from God, altar girls will not deter him from following that call. We had altar babes in our parish with silver spangled shoes and silver head bands to match making them look like Christmas angels, but son still went into the seminary. He skipped serving at that parish, however.”


    I’m also not convinced that those who are truly called to the sacrament of marriage are deterred from prostitution. It should be ok to wallow in temptation because if you fall that means you were never meant for it anyways.

    Bad theology = bad outcomes. There’s a reason Christ taught us to avoid sin rather than pursuing it.

  31. JARay says:

    When I was a boy, the priest used to refer to the congregation as “My dear brethren”. Now it’s “Sisters and Brothers”. When I was a boy there were several vocations from my parish. Now there are none.

  32. Adrienne Regina says:

    LarryW2LJ – Next time you’re in the Albany Diocese, go to the Noon Mass at St. Joseph’s Church in Troy.

  33. Suburbanbanshee says:

    I find that if women musicians, lectors, and sacristans can manage to be formal and prayerful without going either overemotional or mannish, it seems to go over a lot better with men and boys in the parish. I’ve been a parish musician lots of years, and I don’t think I’ve ever driven anybody away. Most of the other ladies at my old parish were similar, and so the guys in the choir felt comfortable with us.

    Of course, I have brothers and a good dad, so I know how to fit in.

    But I think this sort of thing goes for everybody. If you walk down the aisle like you’re doing something bigger than yourself, and you’re not lollygagging or acting like you’re the star of the show, it sends a signal that Mass is serious business. If pretty much everybody at Mass treats it that way, it helps the folks who are feeling out of it to get into worship mode.

    I also think it’s a shame that more young male Catholics don’t learn to sing, or never are taught to sing after their voices change. Male voices in a choir are just so manly and grounded and purposeful. The female voice is pretty, but as a soprano, one gets tired of all soprano all the time. As with Irish harp tunes, you get a lot of added beauty by adding a bass line.

  34. Hank Igitur says:

    He left out a few things. Don’t encourage private prayer or devotion inside the church (it is a place meant for communal celebrations after all). The priest should only allow people to call him by his first name and never use “Father” (to make people more comfortable). He should not wear priestly vestments when “celebrating Eucharist” (Jesus didn’t). The servers should wear just their street clothes (it is more natural and money should not be wasted on buying expensive church attire). Never use holy water (it is a superstition and spreads germs). Never use incense (it induces asthma). Use simple kitchen vessels for the bread and wine (no ostentatious silver and gold). Don’t have a crucifix on the sanctuary (it scares the younger children). I could go on………….

  35. Feminise everything – except the women … tee hee ….

    I am a reader in my parish, because I have a huge and very clear voice, and also because I do not proclaim God’s word like I’m telling stupid children a lovely fairy story.

    We have around half and half male and female readers, no extraordinary ministers, troops of altar boys and zero girls, a communion rail, and a priest who says Mass facing God. The men take up the collection.

    It suits us.

  36. PS. I do not gesticulate to the congregation, either during the responsorial psalm (the ‘over to you, folks!’ gesture) or at the Gospel acclamation (‘everybody up!’).

    Just so you know.

  37. templariidvm says:

    Just forwarded that article to nearly every Catholic male I know.

  38. gaudiumcumpace says:

    The original article is on the Crisis magazine website (one of today’s articles).

  39. Here’s one I dread every year: gender-bending the reading of the Passion. Make sure women are reading St. Peter’s lines.

  40. Thorfinn says:

    Rule #32 – If lucky enough to have a solid priest, especially if he’s young and personable, minimize his interaction with young men & boys — you don’t want them to see him as a role model.

  41. I remember I was having a beer in 1992 with a friend in college who just out of the blue began lamenting about America’s decision to use altar girls. We were more into weightlifting and sports to be having this discussion, but we felt it was such a turning point in the church that we were addressing this, two average college dudes, over a beer, clearly recognizing it as a bad move for vocations, for the integrity of manhood as a spiritual discipline in the modern age, and the bleak future it would bring. 25 years later our predictions, each and every one of them, have all played out, with eery accuracy.

  42. lelnet says:

    It’s a pretty good list, actually, but he left out a few items. Most prominent among them being “NEVER speak out against the Divorce Culture”. (My wife and I, in any situation except those where the only alternative is to miss Mass entirely, avoid parishes with significant liturgical or theological heterodoxy. The priests we encounter are thus, almost without exception, the cream of the crop…exemplars to others in virtually every way one could desire. Homilies against abortion, euthanasia, contraception, and the forcible redefinition of marriage to include homosexual unions are not, for us, a rare experience, the way they seem to be for people in most parishes. But even in a situation of such otherwise-overwhelming plenty, I have _never_, in my _entire life_ heard a priest speaking in public, in a sermon or otherwise, emphasize to those listening the plain words of Christ on the indissolubility of marriage.)

    To the boys in the pews, whose mothers have forced their fathers entirely out of their lives, and who hear _nothing_ against this practice from any other source (and, of course, there are millions of them out there), it might be some comfort to be reminded on occasion that, at least officially, the Church does not approve of this. Might help them see that the Church really does have something to offer, that the secular world doesn’t, which might make it _worth_ a lifetime of service.

  43. andia says:

    The part about confession is so true! And it’s not only driving away men from priestly vocations, but the faithful as well…why should anyone go to confession when they are told that their being there is a “waste of the priest’s time” ( true story from just last week) and priests don’t agree on what mortal sins are? If people are discouraged from receiving sacaraments, why would they want to enter the priesthoood to give them?
    Also neutering the language we use is stupid….I cringe everytime the priest who is running my spiritual exercises group changes the word “Man” to “Men and Women” or “brothers” to “sisters and brothers” —honestly it is all I can do to refrain from handing him a dictionary and Genesis 1:27 and telling him to cut the sexism out. Sigh.

  44. frjim4321 says:

    The dancers were priests?

  45. dbonneville says:

    @Mike, I’m in Rhode Island. Sorry to hear it’s bad, in the same way, in both directions.

  46. anilwang says:

    I think that what’s happening in the Church and society at large isn’t feminization. If you read The Little Flower, you’ll notice a humility and acceptance of and desire of anything God has to offer in terms of extreme pain. Compare her writings to some of the soft and syrupy sermons and songs found in most masses. Compare these sermons and songs also to the traditional role models for women from the Bible, namely Mary, Judith, Esther, the mother of the 7 sons in Maccabees, etc. In every case you’ll find a feminine strength and humility that you just won’t found in most parishes today.

    What we’re seeing is now isn’t a feminization of the Church. We’re actually seeing an infantilization of the Church.

  47. arrowsmith says:

    The male dancers are not priests. At least not any priest that I ever saw at this parish in five years of occasionally attending to fulfill my obligation. You can see the pastor at the end of the video approaching the altar. I believe they are lay members of the “Dance Ministry”. The pastor and the parochial vicar were removed from their posts last spring by the bishop and the parish now in the hands of younger priests. An answer to a great deal of prayer and many letters to the diocese over many decades.

  48. Dienekes says:

    I hate to say it, but but as much as I know why I attend Mass and always will, It’s a tossup as to which I find more grim; going to the dentist or to our “infantilized” liturgy.

    The dentist has something of an edge in that I get to choose the music while I’m in the chair.

  49. asperges says:

    An interesting article in today’s Daily Telegraph (London) to the effect that women have a greater belief than men. It adds (sadly): “Muslims have the strongest faith in modern Britain while only one in six who identify with Anglicanism or other mainstream protestant churches are convinced of the existence of God” See

    The feminization of Faith started some decades ago with the Church of England ditching doctrine for fuzzy, woolly feel-good elements – including hugging trees and spurious ecological nonsense (does that ring a bell?). We seem to have learnt little from this, alas.

  50. Genna says:

    I keep my eyes tight shut so as not to witness the wymminhood taking over everything, including cleaning the sacred vessels, and generally bustling around. Why is it that women bustle, but men don’t? With open eyes I see a congregation overwhelmingly of women of a certain age, a sprinkling of very elderly men but few under 40, especially male. Given the ages of the active women – late middle age to elderly – I assume they are grabbing what they have been led to believe was denied them in their youth. They tend to form an elite, rather smug, group within the parish guarding their close proximity to Father and to which no-one else is admitted. This may well well suit some priests as women are generally more biddable than men.

  51. Lori Pieper says:

    Anilwang: What we’re seeing is now isn’t a feminization of the Church. We’re actually seeing an infantilization of the Church.

    A resounding YES!! to everything you’ve said. All this silly gender politicking is distracting us from our real problems. We need both real men and real women in our Church. We need them both in abundance. (My impression is that most of the things that the men here are calling “feminine” in hymns and liturgy are things that I myself and most other women I know also find objectionable. That alone ought to tell you something!)

  52. JonPatrick says:

    We almost always attend the TLM but during Advent had to go to an OF Mass while traveling in Massachusetts. The first tip-off was in the bulletin where it stated “confessions by appointment only”. Once in the church there was much hustle and bustle before Mass due to the presence of a Jesse Tree in the sanctuary next to the centrally located priests’ chair. Women and children came up and deposited gifts which spread all over that portion of the sanctuary. Naturally no one acknowledged the tabernacle located forlornly in the opposite corner almost out of sight. The priest was busy giving 2 minutes of instruction to the one altar girl on how to ring the Sanctus bell (at least they had bells). That seemed to be the extent of her training. With all this activity plus people greeting each other, prayer before Mass was difficult at best. All female lectors and EMHCs in street clothes of course. My wife remarked later that it reminded her of her Protestant past and she vowed never to attend an OF Mass again. Ironically the name of the parish was St. Pius X. He must be spinning in his grave.

    I don’t mean to criticize people for being generous to those less fortunate at Christmas, but it seemed as though these gifts rather than the real Gift was the central focus here. Another aspect of the feminization seems to be this total concern for activity instead of the sacred mystery.

  53. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Dear “Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda”,

    You are speaking about my diocese and you are absolutely correct on everything you say.

    This past Sunday was the, um… annual “pitch” for the nearest seminary (I won’t mention it) where we have less-than-the-numbers-of-fingers-on-one-hand studying theology for ministerial priesthood.

    Regarding the “Strategic Planning”. I would ask friends who are somewhat known for their “leadership skills” in our diocese to ask this question at the SP meetings: “Are we spending as much time, effort and money to foster vocations to the priesthood as we are learning to live without priests?”

    Never got much of an answer on that one.


  54. Sonshine135 says:

    A resounding YES! to Anthony Esolen for his poignant article. Behold the “Spirit of Vatican II” in all of its profane, prideful glory. This article described my previous 2 churches to a tee, and my wife boldly stated that it described her first 17 years of Catholicism. How foolish we were.

    The church we last attended did not create a single vocation in the 5 years we were there. The church we now attend, with heavy use of a male altar a regular TLM on Wednesday nights, and Priests who are interested in the salvation of souls and their profound duty has the highest percentage of vocations out of any church in the diocese. I often call our church an oasis in the desert of faith. Deserted indeed.

  55. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Never use incense (it induces asthma).”

    Now, now…my parish has Masses the use incense and Masses that are incense-free and announce both in the bulletin. Asthma is nothing to take lightly.

    As for the name of the phenomenon, is it feminization, infantilization or what? It looks like plain ole selfish-centerness and pride, to me. Of course, the self-centerness is coy, so it resembles feminization and the pride is without reason, so it resembles infants. In the end, I guess one could call it the, “me-me-ing,” of the Church.

    On the other hand and no offense to the women folk in the crowd, the philosopher, Eric Hoffer, was of the opinion that letting women have the vote was a bad idea, because it would, inevitably, shift politics in the liberal direction. St. Teresa of Avila wanted here nuns to be, ” strong men.” That says something, doesn’t it?

    Ultimately, at the bottom of all of this is a distorted anthropology that does not adequately understand either the essential natures of men and women, nor the place of human activities, such as the proper use of imagination, emotions, and reason. I guess, one could call it Modernism, but it is more than a distortion of theology. It is a distortion of the essential characteristics of man.

    The Chicken

  56. frjim4321 says:

    I previously indicated all of my objections to the liturgical movement in question.

    The Rite is elegant and eloquent in itself as I see it, and nothing needs to be added.

    That being said, I have seen liturgical movement done well, in in a way which emphasizes key elements of the Rite, rather than to distract from them.

    Seems to be more than the usual snarkiness in this string: “Feminization = Homoization,” “feminized everything except the women.” Sad.

  57. Adam Welp says:

    @Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda

    I too am a native son of this same diocese and you are 100% correct. I hate to say it but things are not much better in the archdiocese next door where I currently live. I always find it interesting that the bishop does not tap the monastery/seminary in the neighborhood for priests. I’m sure they have more than the two they currently send the diocese. As for the missionary priests that the bishop has brought in, they both have come to the diocese through my “home parish” and have shown to be very orthodox and will be a boost to the younger more orthodox priests currently in the diocese. I’m sure my friend MSM can back me up on that.


  58. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I’m currently in the stateside archdiocese holed up in a downtown traditional parish and I’m spoiled rotten here. Not sure what I’m gonna do liturgically if I move back to my home diocese after I complete my job training…

  59. mpmaron says:

    It’s alright. I may just send email this link to the Bishop and see what happens.

  60. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Got your back., Adam. :^)


  61. catholictrad says:

    Our Tradition-only diocesan parish in Huntsville Alabama has produced two seminarians and one Dominican novice in three years. God bless Bishop Baker and may he realize the whys and wherefores.

  62. oldconvert says:

    It seems to me a consistent driving force is not feminization or infantilizing, but Protestantizing. Let’s rip out anything which is old and/or beautiful, because “it must be distracting”. Let’s have the place as bare as possible, IOW, no statues, paintings, flowers, candles. Also, let’s not allow anything but street clothes (preferably trainers, jeans and anoraks) be worn by lectors and servers alike (and get Father out of that chasuble if we can get away with it).

    We in England went through all this twice, at the time of the Reformation, and then in spades at the hands of Oliver Cromwell’s mob. It seems to me a mindset which has two defining characteristics. First, it’s all about what we WON’T have in worship, secondly it’s about preventing anyone else having these things. In the long years since my conversion I have noted that it is always the ones who don’t want Latin, or church decorations, or the EF, who will go to any lengths to prevent them, whereas those of us who do, never try to prevent the NO people from worshipping as they wish.

  63. Sonshine135 says:

    Fr. Jim,

    Out of curiosity, what liturgical movements have you seen that emphasized key elements of the Rite? I actually agree with you here, but I think we may be at opposite ends of the spectrum as to what those “liturgical movements” might be.

    Also, I think it a bit callous for a Priest of God to not listen to what a substantial group of Catholics are saying, especially when the anecdotal and empirical evidence points to what they say as being true. I will be the first to admit that I have spittle-flecked nuttied here before, but it becomes aggravating when we who love God, his Church, His precepts, Sacred Scripture, the Magisterium, and Sacred Tradition are constantly called Pharisees or reactionary. Then, we are summarily dismissed or ignored by the very Church we love. Liturgy has been clearly demilitarized, feminized, and infantilized in parishes, and it is the rule more than the exception. Allow me to demonstrate:

    Demilitarized- The refusal by Priests to teach the more difficult aspects of the faith to the Parish (abortion, sexual sins of all kinds, the harm of divorce- especially on children). In my old church, never a peep, but they sure did like to invite Guest Priests who support illegal immigration. In my new church, I have Warrior Priests who speak often about sexual sin, abortion, and why communion is not possible for the divorced and remarried.

    Infantilized and Feminized- In my former parish, Moms lead the “altar servers”. My own son quickly gave up on serving the altar while my daughter loved to do it. After we moved to our more traditional parish and started the TLM, low and behold, my son out of nowhere wanted to serve altar again. He is strongly considering a vocation.

    Infantilized- The Bishop Emeritus of our Diocese often when he proclaims how he was so happy when they got rid of Latin. People couldn’t understand it. I bought off on that remark many times until I actually started trying to pray in Latin. Low and behold- some phrases became instantly recognizable. The hypocrisy of it all is when we tell our children how important it is to learn a foreign language, and then we sneer at the Latin language. This is something that helps on SATs too by the way. You don’t have to be an expert either to use a Latin to English Missal.

    In conclusion, I believe I have clearly demonstrated that these are real problems the church faces. Until we are listened to, souls will be lost. I will pray for you Father as I hope you will pray for me too.

  64. Singing Mum says:

    If over involvement in good things on the part of girls and women is a problem, then don’t insult and shove them out. Build up the men and boys without resorting to putting down the women and girls.

    If the quality of activities is silly or embarrassing, change that. Don’t knee jerk blame it on women and girls. Faithful women detest a lame and/or unorthodox hymn like anyone else. We don’t hear or see heterodox things and blame it on men or women, but perhaps bad catechesis, or just plain undeveloped taste.

    Yes, some women in the Church are and have been frothing sort of feminists for several decades. But what we are now seeing is an anti-female backlash. The problem is not femininity. Faithful women are not to blame for men not signing up for the priesthood, for example.

    Regrettably, diatribes like Esolen’s lose credibility when faithful women are not distinguished from women who are in error. This is offensive.

    For example, Esolen puts women leading the music (like many of us here) in between “Jesus is my boyfriend” songs and liturgical dance. That’s ignorant. And it’s profoundly disrespectful, even uncharitable, to the women like me who have worked long and hard to serve the Church faithfully. I’m the one teaching Catholic children like Esolen’s children their heritage in Gregorian chant. What kind of beef would any faithful Catholic have with that?

    This kind of half-baked analysis risks being mere reactionary trash. The real problems pointed out need better solutions or we are just left with, forgive me, a guys’ bitching session. Pun intended.

  65. robtbrown says:

    Eraser says:

    I had to laugh (although bitterly) about the way he described the piano.

    I am not in favor of the use of percussive instruments (which includes the piano) in liturgy.

  66. Indulgentiam says:

    Singing Mum,
    I understand your frustration. The ladies in my parish with beautiful voices trying to bring back Gregorian Chant, done right, are fought at every turn by the N.O organist/music director who insists on having a choir, who never meets for practice and sings Gregorian Chant either like a love ballad or a broadway musical. The cantor winds up sounding like a love sick moose or Ethel Mermen on steroids.
    The professor does not lay all the blame on women.
    “Do not preach the full doctrine of the Church. Never speak about the terrible sins of our age. Be more sensitive about offending a couple of the people who still show up for Mass, than about offending God. Cut the sixth commandment out of the ten. While you are at it, cut out the second, the third, and the ninth too.”

    These are all the wrongs he’s laid directly at the feet of the parish Priest.

    If it sounds like a bitc** a gripe session maybe it is. But he’s blowing off steam. It’s cathartic, necessary and loooong over due maybe. I find the way the professor is choosing to present his, very valid, gripes way more edifying than some of the real bitc***** sessions I’ve had with my lady friends. Let’s not begrudge them some of what we ladies have been enjoying for years ;)

  67. Serviam1 says:


    Thought you might like this:
    The only Catholic Boys Choir School in the United States. This boy choir will go far foster many vocations as it main function is to support the Holy Mass daily. We have no problem attracting boys from many backgrounds [some are not Catholic]. This school is a precious gift for the Church in America and an excellent resource for renewal its Sacred Worship. I pray this model that is ever ancient, ever new is followed elsewhere.
    St. Paul’s Choir School; Cambridge, Massachusetts

    EWTN World Over, 26 October 2014

    The Boys of St. Paul’s Choir School “Christmas in Harvard Square”

    Shameless Plug: The red headed boy in the first video is my son, who is a chorister at the school.

  68. Thorfinn says:

    Singing Mum:

    I think the context of the article, reread, should satisfy some of your concerns. For example, Esolen writes, “Let the music be led by women, especially women who like to be seen and heard performing it.” There are three aspects here:

    1. Sacred music during Mass is not supposed to be a performance, per se. This is one thing that distinguishes “faithful women” in music ministry from “women who are in error”, as you put it.

    2. While the article could have avoided overbroad generalizations, the above quote clearly calls to mind the image of a female cantor or choir leader of the Spirit of Vatican II type, possibly a warbling soprano, who silences every man in the congregation. If that image didn’t immediately appear to you, be grateful you have avoided the musical abuse heaped upon so many! I assure you that it has nothing to do with Chant leaders. Chant is not even a remote consideration in most parishes, particularly of the sort Esolen is addressing. Expunge Chant from your mind when reading the article.

    3. Even when music ministry is faithful & well-intentioned, if it is exclusively female then there is a risk that boys & young men will consider that this business of praying to God in song has nothing to do with them. What a change from the days of choir boys! Leaders like you who properly introduce children to sacred music are helping to restore this balance.

  69. Athelstan says:

    Quote of the day, and it’s a good shorthand gloss on Tony Esolen’s essay, and how we ended up where we are now:

    “For the last half a century or more the rhetoric of many of those charged with proclaiming the Gospel has been directed to the task of distancing the Church from the pious ideal, in order to make the Church more acceptable to those who reject the pious ideal.” – Dr. Joseph Shaw

  70. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    My own addition to Dr. Shaw’s quotable.

    “…and directly at the spiritual expense of those precious souls within the Church seeking the pious ideal.”

  71. Singing Mum says:

    Excellent quote, Aethelstan. Gets to the heart of things.

  72. frjim4321 says:

    “For the last half a century or more the rhetoric of many of those charged with proclaiming the Gospel has been directed to the task of distancing the Church from the pious ideal, in order to make the Church more acceptable to those who reject the pious ideal.” – Dr. Joseph Shaw


    You’d all find it interesting that over the past four weeks at least three of the homilies here have been about seeking holiness.

  73. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Homilies about seeking holiness primarily through social justice outlets?

    Was there anything that was particularly “Catholic” about the homilies? Or would a Lutheran or Unitarian or secular agnostic have been able to follow the advice on how to seek holiness?

    Were there mention of traditional pietical practices that sustained Catholics for hundreds upon hundreds of years?

    Homily included references to: Fasting? Abstinence? Adoration? Family rosaries? Readings on the Saints? Pietical/reflective reading of classical texts (Divine Intimacy,True Devotion, Spiritual Exercises, the Divine Office, the Little Office of the BVM, etc)?

  74. AnAmericanMother says:

    Our choirmaster, who has more letters after his name than Carter has little liver pills, mentioned St. Paul’s choir school with high praise last week at choir practice.

  75. Indulgentiam says:

    Maybe you could post a few excerpts? I’m always looking for suggestions about how to become more holy.

  76. jr215 says:

    I am relatively new to this blog, but I find so many of these comments interesting, a little fascinating, and some – kind of ridiculous.

    I read the interview that Cardinal Burke did – I read it in its entirety. I think Cardinal Burke has a lot to learn. What I find rather funny is that for centuries, we have and continue to refer to Church as “Mother Church” [obviously feminine]. We know that the Church is both masculine and feminine. God created them “male and female” (Genesis 1:27). We also know what St. Paul says about that too ,. . . . . “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, woman or man, for we are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). I think looking at our theology from the standpoint that we are all one in Christ Jesus [by virtue of our baptism], vs. looking at everything from a masculine and feminine perspective could lead us to healthier waters. . . . . . we need to trust both and we need both.

    The vocation “crisis” in the Church is really non-existent. There is no such thing as a vocation crisis in the Church. The vocations are there. We are not listening to the Holy Spirit, and haven’t been for a long time. I will just leave that little nugget right there.

    As far as “castrating” hymnody and music in the Church . . . . I can tell you that as a parish music director and organist . . . . . . . it is getting harder and harder to find music that is appropriate for worship. I am a stickler on text. We are publisher driven in the United States . . . . (and sorry folks, Corpus Christi Watershed, and the other – more conservative publishers out there – are just as guilty of pushing their publications down our throats as are the other big “3” publishers). If you could see the truckloads of ads that come in snail mail and in my email from ALL the publishers . . .day in and day out……

    I find it offensive that many think that music and liturgy has been feminized or “homo-ized” (?).
    The way we communicate in song and in word MATTERS. How we talk to one another MATTERS. If we are constantly referring to women as “men” – that is a problem. I don’t care what the translation says, or what the expert says. This isn’t my first rodeo either . . . . I am very well versed in the liturgical documents of the Church, the Rites of the Church, and the Third Edition of the Roman Missal. I teach Pastoral Care of the Sick, and the Order of Christian Funerals to two different formation groups within my diocese. The OCF and the PCS are both beautiful examples of rites/documents in the Church that give plenty of “inclusive” options. . . . . . . and thank God for that. I fear what these two rites will look like (as well as the RCIA rites) after they get re-translated according to the norms of Liturgiam Authenticam. Not holding my breath on that one.

    Rome makes the rules when it comes to translation . . . ok, I get that and that is fine. Let’s all take out our copies of Liturgiam Authenticam and have a reading party (not!)…. But why can’t we have flexibility in our hymns, songs, and even psalmody translations? I had been using the Grail translation of the psalms way before it was ever “legal” at Mass. And guess what? Now it is is one of the approved translations for liturgical use in the United States!

    The video that was posted of the liturgical dance on this blog a few weeks ago – I thought was some of the most beautiful liturgical movement that I have ever seen. I thought it was well done. But I have also seen plenty of BAD liturgical movement before…..and have sat on the edge of the pew wondering . . . “oh my, when is this going to be over with”? (But those times have been few and far between).

    So . . . . . . . I will continue using Rain Down (my choir does one heck of a descant on the verses of that piece) . . . . . . and I will continue to Sing a New Church into being . . . to trust the goodness of creation and the Spirit strong within. . . . .

    [This should be interesting.]

  77. Patti Day says:

    Professor Esolen’s article jogged an unhappy memory of a pulchritudinous young woman in our parish who sang the psalm in a breathy piano-lounge voice, with all the wrong inflections, and arms draped over the ambo as if she were caressing it. I don’t know how others were affected, but I had to look at my lap to hide my embarrassment. Fortunately, there was no applause at the end of her performance.

  78. Patti Day says:

    Also, I’ve thought about throwing out our main percussive instrument, namely the tambourine with the ribbons, that our choir uses to punctuate those extra special renditions of, what did Prof. Esolen call it, bilge? No but it was something similar to that.

  79. The Cobbler says:

    This isn’t infantilization any more than it is feminization.

    Infants are not stupid. I should know, I had one not all that long ago (he’s only a year old now). They are ignorant, sure — for all of the few seconds till they open their eyes and start learning. Then they make the stereotypical science fiction horror villain AI look slow — going from knowing pretty much zilch to knowing how to walk in the blink of an eye (they know how long before they can actually do it — they spend quite a lot of time screaming over the fact that their bodies can’t keep up with what they’re trying to do), learn how to get their parents to give them what they need long before their parents (being adults and therefore much less intelligent) can understand them, and learning to communicate by definition before anyone can communicate it to them! All without any access to outside resources to boot. No, infants are basically all geniuses; if they weren’t, the human race wouldn’t be where it is today.

    Oh yeah, and they have good taste too — at least, not horrible taste.

  80. The Cobbler says:

    So I realized afterward that I’d forgotten the most important example in this context.

    Know what infants end up doing if they’re exposed to Latin? I’ll give you a hint. It’s not “fail to learn a word of Latin.”

    I mean everyone knows they have it easier than grown chaps like me…

  81. jameeka says:

    jr215: Are you for reals? ( Fr Z–thanks for laugh, was picturing piranhas) –but jr215 is that what you really think?

  82. Charlotte Allen says:

    The big problem is that priests, like American men in general, are afraid of the wrath of women. They take marching orders from their wives (“she’s the boss!”)–and the wives, even the politically and religiously conservative ones, have their heads full of feminist cant. Even in my own Dominican parish, where the priests are admirably orthodox and the liturgy quite reverent, the priests squirm when they have to preach on St. Paul’s directive in Ephesians that wives submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. I’m a lector–and I love to read that passage, because it shocks the congregation (I had it read at my wedding, and the wedding guests couldn’t believe it), but the priests feel compelled to issue an apology that Paul didn’t really mean that literally or whatever. The situation will change only when men grow spines and say “no” to women in inappropriate liturgical and other roles. But most priests don’t want to offend the parish ladies, who can be quite vocal.

    And whichever commenter said women “bustle” at the altar and men don’t is absolutely correct. It’s embarrassing to watch. They also insist on being smiley-smiley when they function as ushers or eucharistic ministers. The Mass is not a social event. It’s a solemn religious service.

  83. AnAmericanMother says:

    Let me speak to you candidly, as someone whose entire family has been in theater, dance and music for over 100 years.
    You are starting at the wrong end of the horse. Holy Mass is not a performance! It doesn’t *matter* that the two Principal Dancing Ladies are competent. It doesn’t *matter* that you like pop-style music. It doesn’t *matter* that your choir can rock a descant.
    What matters is that the choir sings reverent, holy music that is oriented towards God not man (yes, and I’m a bit insulted that you think women are too stupid to digest that, but never mind), is of the highest quality that can be negotiated by the forces available, and that is “Apollonian” rather than “Dionysian” as our Pope Emeritus wisely noted.
    Much of what singers and listeners acclaim as having “moved” them is pure emotional excitement — which of course pop music is designed to evoke (it sells). But along with the excitement go banal lyrics from which all that is awesome and terrible (in the holy sense) has been excised, and melodies that are likewise banal, repetitive, and designed for vocal elaboration and display by the Stars of the Show. All of this is a function of what pop music is all about — getting all emotional about US and our feelings.
    All this is antithetical to the holy joy of beautiful, appropriate music well sung, preferably up in the choir loft where we are not seen to be applauded and to preen, but anonymously contribute to the praise of Him Who is on the altar.
    And that goes double for the dancing ladies. Pure performance — you need only see the jarring effect when the priest clumps out of the wings like a stagehand gone astray to know that.
    You say you have read the documents of the Church, but if you have, you have taken away only justification for doing what you wanted to do in the first place. You are taking what you want from an artistic standpoint, and letting that drive your choices. That’s fine if you’re an independent musician – but you’re not. You’re under orders, and under judgment.

  84. Indulgentiam says:

    jr215 says: “I had been using the Grail translation of the psalms way before it was ever “legal” at Mass.”

    That’s quite some ego you’ve got there jr,
    What unmitigated arrogance to walk into the house of GOD almighty and act like you own it and can do whatever you want. Good luck explaining that one at your personal judgement…you’ve got one coming Ya know.
    Mass is not about what we prefer it is about what we OWE. You want to dance around YOUR house on tiptoe, in a toga that’s the place for it. How’d you like for me to come on over to your house and rearrange your furniture, to my liking, and play heavy metal music till your ears bleed. Doesn’t GOD deserve as much respect in HIS House as you do in yours? No, wait…MORE?! HE is, after all, greater than you.

    You say: “Cardinal Burke has a lot to learn”
    Clearly not as much as you do. Heaven help you.

  85. frjim4321 says:

    “Rome makes the rules when it comes to translation.” -jr

    Well, yes, since the true ICEL was eviscerated by the Chilean prelate. SC clearly gives to the episcopal bodies the right and responsibility to oversee translations for themselves.

    I am in agreement with your take re: the recently demoted cardinal.

  86. Mike says:

    That Truth will prevail against the challenges brought on by distortions of the Mass, denials of the Magisterium, and the calumnies of Modernists is not in question.

    The question is whether we choose to be on the side of Truth, or that of the Zeitgeist — of which the putative “Spirit of Vatican II” is not the first manifestation and will not be the last.

  87. Uxixu says:

    Ah jr, so sad to see no regard to the tradition of thousands of years of chant in favor of such… droll music that unfortunately predominates in the ordinary form.

    I think “crisis” is a bit of an overstatement but the lack of seminarians is undisputed and unfortunately far more widespread. At least for diocesan seminaries where the music you prefer is so prominent. The orthodox seminaries such as that of Lincoln are doing much better as is that FSSP and even the SSPX…. The biological solution will work itself out and the gates of Hell shall not prevail… but that doesn’t mean widespread access to the sacraments by the laity in the jurisdiction of these more… contemporary areas is anything close to guaranteed in the meantime.

  88. frjim4321 says:

    “The orthodox seminaries such as that of Lincoln are doing much better as is that FSSP and even the SSPX…” – Uxixu

    I’m all for seminarian of any flavor as long as they are ready to work a 40+ hour week and with both men and women effectively. I don’t see this in the traditionalist/fundamentalist newer priests in my diocese.

  89. acardnal says:

    frjim, they may be saying the same thing about you!

  90. robtbrown says:

    FrJim4321 says,

    I’m all for seminarian of any flavor as long as they are ready to work a 40+ hour week and with both men and women effectively. I don’t see this in the traditionalist/fundamentalist newer priests in my diocese.

    Your experience with such priests is no doubt severely limited, and probably influenced by narrow mindedness. The FSSP manned parishes I’m familiar with are doing very well, so I doubt your assessment would apply.

    And why do you always insist on wedging what you consider an insult (fundamentalist) into your comments?

  91. Kathleen10 says:

    jr215, you think “Cardinal Burke has a lot to learn”. Hm. That is quite a statement to make. I don’t know your age, but I wonder if in 20 years that statement would embarrass you, were you to recall it. Humility is a nice quality but that’s not to say it comes easily for many of us.
    Speaking to Professor Esolen’s article. I agree with him and don’t mind myself that he did not mention the many women who yearn for hymns that elevate the heart and soul toward God in worship. He can’t speak to everything in one article. Today’s contemporary hymns are such a stumbling block for me personally. It is jarring to be expected to sing them. I love the old southern spirituals and hymns such as “Old Rugged Cross” and others, but I don’t want to sing them during the Holy Mass, they just don’t fit and why should we sing those when we have so many beautiful Catholic hymns?? It’s frustrating. It’s a maddening American weirdness that we love whatever is not in our particular heritage. Anyway I yearn for Gregorian chant or at least the old Catholic hymns and I love to sing in Latin. Enough with the “me me me” tunes.
    As a woman, I too, wish more men would step up and participate in church. Men have been treated very badly by our feminist culture in so many ways. Male-ness has not been appreciated. It is mocked and insulted. If I were a man I’d be totally confused, but it’s not much better for women. The culture is a mess of “gender” confusion.

  92. Imrahil says:

    Dear jr215,

    the Church is, as such, feminine because she is the bride of Christ.

    F.w.i.w., in all languages (to my knowledge) that have retained in practice the distinction of genders, the word for “Church” is feminine, as is the word for “creation”, the word for “soul”, the word for “nature” and the word for “mankind”. Men are men; but Man is a woman. (G. K. Chesterton)

  93. Uxixu says:

    Funny enough but what I’ve seen of the TLM in Southern California both diocesan (single old school diocesan priest all on his own) and FSSP (one permanent priest so far, two visiting priests, and 6 visiting seminarians since the apostolate arrived in August or so), 40 hours would be one of their lightest weeks. Masses from 7:00am to 7:00pm with daily Confession, sick calls and normal operating of a vagrant parish without a rectory or office staff while trying to find a permanent home. And praying the old more strenuous Office (in choir more than once). The home Epiphany blessings had them most busy and just now recovering from to catch up on office work neglected during that.

    I love my local diocesan parish priests and wouldn’t dream of impugning their work ethic as they’re also pulling a heavy load, but that’s a complete non-sequitur from comparatively empty seminaries in diocese that allow 1970’s Protestant music to proliferate.

  94. Kathleen10 says:

    Serviam1, I had to come all the way back to tell you, what a cutie! I’m a sucker for redheads, and he’s adorable. The choir is just wonderful as well.

  95. Mike says:

    The term fundamentalist has a derogatory tone derived from the 20th-century context in which it was first used, and is inappropriate to this discussion both contextually and intrinsically; see Matthew 5:22 for more on the latter.

    When fed fundamentalist, my New-Age-to-Catholic translator (NATOCATRANS, pronounced “Nagadish,” still under development) returns “aligned with the timeless teaching of Our Lord and the Magisterium.”

  96. robtbrown says:


    Your comments seem to have a lot of in common with the 12th century neo-Gnosticism of Joachim de Fiore.

  97. Midwest St. Michael says:

    frjim says: “I’m all for seminarian of any flavor as long as they are ready to work a 40+ hour week and with both men and women effectively. I don’t see this in the *traditionalist/fundamentalist* newer priests in my diocese.”

    I posted the following here back in October of 2014. Seems it bears repeating:

    It’s really funny to see how progressives in the Church seem to always fall back on that word “fundamentalism”. As if *they* are not!

    Can one can be “fundamentalist” in their traditionalist view of the Church? — New Catechism? “Naw.” New Mysteries of the Rosary? “No way.” New Mass? “Not on your life.”

    Can one can be “fundamentalist” in their traditionally-mechanical view of the Church? – Study the Catechism? “Naw.” Pray the Rosary? “That’s for nuns, right?” Assist at a TLM? “Isn’t there just one Mass anyway?”

    Can one be “fundamentalist” in their progressivist view of the Church? – Study the Catechism? “No, I read Chittister.” Pray the Rosary? “That’s just vain repetition for old timeys.” Assist at any Mass during the week? “No thanks, got mine out of the way Saturday night with Sr. Groovy presiding.”

    Yet, if one simply wants to be *obedient* to Holy Mother Church on what she teaches on faith and morals (and what she proposes for belief), on disciplines, and on correct worship of Almighty God… and defend them, suddenly *that Catholic* is a “fundamentalist”!

    Go figure.


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