ROME DAY 3: Conference continues

The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy conferences continueth.

Today we have as our speaker His Excellency Most Reverend Augustine DiNoia, OP. He is speaking on … wait for it… priesthood. He is a gifted teacher.




The talk about priesthood we just heard was outstanding. I took quite a few notes.

One serious flaw in this conference is that, for the Q&A periods, the questions are being filtered through designated reps of the CCC. We can’t raise hands and be called on. This is a negative. It suggests an attitude of mistrust on the part of the organizers. On the other hand… to be fair… it could also be an attempt to make sure that the time spent on Q&A isn’t wasted on stupid questions or on speeches. As a frequent speaker, I can attest that – often – people don’t ask questions. Rather, they make speeches or ramble.

BTW… a couple of journalists (a well-known layman and a woman I didn’t recognize) slid in as Q&A started. They were politely invited to remain on the other side of the door. This is not an open forum. This is for clerics who are registered. It is, after all, the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, not of Anyone Who Wants To Show Up. This is also why I am not adding content of the talks.

One thing that I can say to my priest brothers out there is that, during the last two days, it is evident that we must… must… all review Inter insignores.


As I have been thinking about this, I believe Archbp. DiNoia meant to reference the interdicasterial instruction about lay people and the ministry of priests called Ecclesia de mysterio.

Meanwhile, in reference to the Inter insignores document a smart woman friend of mine wrote via email:

The #1 reason (cause?) for the “women’s ordination movement” is the modern liturgy — without that, the thought of any woman dressing in heiratic garb, chanting the Mass in Latin, not to mention bending over to lead the Confiteor (“does this prayer make my derriere look big?”) would have been UNTHINKABLE. And how about as an “equal opportunity” female deacon or subdeacon at Solemn Mass? Kissing a male priest’s hands?  [For those of you who don’t know, during Mass in the Extraordinary Form the ministers kiss objects and the hand of the priest as they are handed to and taken from Father, such as the biretta or the chain of the thurible.  Also, as Mass begins, during the Confiteor, the priest bends at the waist before the altar.]


And even now, those women who want to “be priests” — in some through-the-looking-glass world — would they ever, EVER agree to learn the TLM for their parishioners if a “coetus” [the stable “group”] approached them with the request?


It’s the Novus Ordo, and that alone — the undemanding rubrics, the vernacular, the mumus, the face-to-face format of communication that is favored by women of all cultures (vs. side-by-side for men) — that has triggered this.

Trenchant comments from a woman about women.  I think she is on to something.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. RAve says:

    Monica Miller is a solid Catholic who has been a profound prolife witness who has written about Inter Insignores.

  2. MrsMacD says:

    Y’know I’ve heard so much about stupid priestly conferences with woman explaining to priests how to say Mass and other such tom foolery. I honestly thought there was nothing like this outside the traditional movement. This gives my day a lift. God bless our priests! God hold them and console them, protect them, and sanctify them! Holy God send forth labourers into Thy harvest, make thy Holy Church overflow with devotion, send us saintly priests, convert the world! Leave no stone unturned…

  3. RAve says:

    There are many people and places where the novus ordo is celebrated reverently and Tom cooler is unwelcome. Many such places support Summorum Pontificum and gladly support the TLM/EF. Propaganda to the contrary is harmful. This blog is a great place to become disabused of that false propaganda. Having said that, I have suffered through countless tomfoolish Masses in my years and have great empathy for those who find it hard to believe the novus ordo can be reverent.

  4. RAve says:

    Tom cooler was supposed to be tomfoolery.

  5. Flavius Hesychius says:

    Gotta love that Dominican habit. I know I do.

  6. Clare says:

    Not to disagree one bit with the woman’s substantive comments on the “women’s ordination movement” — but why the gratuitous and random comment about posture during the Confiteor?

  7. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    The Novus Ordo in Latin, with chanted propers and other appropriate music from the great patrimony, is quite reverent and beautiful, although still somewhat chopped compared to the TLM. I have to think that that is how Blessed Pope Paul VI imagined it, not the horrors and banality we actually have so often. Although by 1969 there was enough nonsense going on that the results were at least partly foreseeable. Perhaps the real problems are versus populum and the vernacular, unfortunately combined in an accident of history with the flower child syndrome, that encourage the feminine approach to face-to-face chatting.

    At any rate, I think the lady is definitely on the right track. She nails the women’s ordination crowd and the feminization of liturgy and the Church. And I say that as a woman. Cardinal Burke has just spoken out on the neglect of men and fatherhood for the last 50 years.

    And one has to wonder: in a strong culture of manly, fatherly priesthood, would the abusers ever have made it through or been protected by bishops?

  8. acountrypriest says:

    Thanks Father Z. Photos of the conference proceedings can be found at

    As one of the conference organisers, I can confirm the highly regulated Q&A format is not due to mistrust, but time constraints. Despite our tight protocols, the archbishop was still half an hour late for his next appointment!

    Can I ask a favour from readers? Please pray Archbishop Di Noia is able to commit some of what he presented to text. He spoke ex tempore, but it was gold. It would be a great shame if it’s lost to posterity!

  9. Mario Bird says:

    The lady’s comments on side-by-side vs. face-to-face reminded me of a quote from CS Lewis’ “Four Loves” (Eros):

    “Lovers are always talking to one another about their love; Friends hardly ever about their Friendship. Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest.”

    By analogy, I suppose in the liturgy we are all called to come face-to-face with–nay, even absorb ourselves within–the Divine Lover. In contrast, we are side-by-side with our neighbor, absorbed in the ultimate Common Interest. The fact that the priest faces ad orientem has interesting implications here, too, reminiscent of the Last Supper discourse: “no longer slaves, I call you friends.”

  10. Tradster says:

    I have stated here that same point several times over the past two or three years, that if ad orientem became mandatory again the wymyn-priest movement would disappear in a heartbeat. The demand for female priests is strictly narcissistic “look at me, it’s all about me” with those women. Lose the stage show and they would lose immediately interest.

  11. Love all those bishop-looking types in the audience. I hope they are stocking up on good ideas.

    Also I’m glad the journalist got the boot. If this conference had been open to the laity, I’d have seriously considered going, but it wasn’t, so I don’t see why they should gatecrash when I can’t. Hah.

  12. MrsMacD says:

    Just thinking out loud about your lady reader’s comments, as a lady myself; I’m pretty sure there’s some sect out there with wymyn priests that does the TLM… I can’t remember the name, and I’m not really a face to face person but I LOVE working side by side with someone, anyone really, so is it really a man thing? Or is it just a human thing? As far as tastes go, I don’t like the Nous Ordo, I want to pray, to worship my God, to grow in love for Him, the whole social aspect totally turns me off (but I suffer it because, well God suffers it) and I want a Man (a manly man) to lead me, a man with the power of God, to lead me to heaven. I want to see woman doing what I should be doing as a Mother, so I can copy her but I don’t want a woman, well there’s Mary… I was going to say I don’t want a woman to lead me to God but I rely completely and heavily on Mary, as my Mother, even begging her to possess me, so that’s not completely true, but it just seems so wrong to see a woman in the sanctuary, unless she’s fixing the flowers or meaduring for linnens, contrary to nature, but I can’t put my finger on it. Why I would sooner wear a pair of pants than try and claim a place in the sanctuary, maybe that’s it though, woman are so used to doing things that are against their nature, the nature to be hidden, that bravely striving for places of honour goes hand in hand with wearing a bathing suit at the beach er wherever and whatever thing they’ve been convinced or conditioned to think is worth striving for. Along with being brainwashed that striving for things like Motherhood , consecrated single or Religious life are weak, lesser, not desireable, annoying, too hard and unfullfilling places in life, or secondary like, “I’ll get a kid after I get a second car,” like a kid is the third posession on a long list of things after a career. It’s the mystery of the modern world I guess. What would possess a woman to want to be a priest? Oh, maybe that’s it, possession. (Joke er half joke). The Lord did say the battle was against principalities and powers, not people.

  13. SimonDodd says:

    “[T]he face-to-face format of communication that is favored by women of all cultures (vs. side-by-side for men)”—what does that mean?

  14. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    SimonDodd: it means just what it says. Little girls will sit facing one another and talk or play. Little boys are not likely to sit at all but if they do it will be side-by-side. They might talk but their attention will be directed mostly at things around them, very little at the other boy. The habit has been studied and persists in adulthood. Women know about it; men don’t seem to notice.

    Vive la difference! But realize that the difference makes a difference in the Liturgy.

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