There’s “That’s wrong!” and then there’s …this…

Someone ought to have a few words with this … fellow.

From a reader…


I hope that this isn’t really a photo of Mass.  Maybe it’s some, I dunno, bible church group doing their thing.   But I fear that it is what it looks like it is.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, You must be joking! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. JabbaPapa says:

    I hope that this isn’t really a photo of Mass

    It can’t be — whatever it is that he’s holding aloft, it’s clearly leavened.

    Looks Baptist to me.

  2. EeJay says:

    Baptism full immersion, confirmation and first communion all in one?

  3. Fr. Ó Buaidhe says:

    An image search came up with this:

    “Since people asked “Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio – Youth and Summer Camp Program”

  4. The priest should have been wearing a chasuble and the male attendees should have been wearing dress shirts and slacks and the female attendees should have been wearing decent dresses or blouses and long skirts. I don’t care if they were in a swimming pool or not. I am glad to see that they were most likely Episcopalians, which underscores a point that Father Zuhlsdorf makes repeatedly: if people want to do nutty things, there are already plenty of places they can go without ruining the Catholic Church– just let them go already, and after they come to their senses, we will be happy to welcome them back.

  5. Luvadoxi says:

    That looks like some kind of oatmeal or something cookie…

  6. Luvadoxi says:

    It’s worth going to that site linked above–some of the comments are hilarious!

  7. Charles E Flynn says:

    If this were licit, we might see:


    At least there appears to be some consideration for safety. The chalice looks like wood, and would probably float if dropped.

  8. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    I once read about two Jesuit idiots, in the 1970s (when else), in California (where else), who devised their “Rocky”-themed Mass, which featured chorographed boxing.

    Instead of punishing the two idiots, their superiors punished the brave Jesuit who blew the whistle on this and other nuttiness in a weekly Catholic newspaper (hint: it didn’t have “Reporter” in its name).

  9. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    It could be worse. They could all be naked.

  10. benedetta says:

    Very wise to keep the guitars out of the water. This of course appears to be a Jesuit discernment retreat circa 1993. Many will recognize the now aged participants. Nothing that a little botox can’t fix for the public image(s).

    No really it could be something coming to a Catholic Faith Worshipping Community near you. Swim up grape juice bar, apparently.

    Interestingly of that Protestant denomination in some places still the daily liturgy is ad orientem and in Latin. It’s a crazy mixed up world we live in.

    Perpetrators pretend to be victims and try to slander victims (even a kid!) as the perpetrators. Weirdly enough. Powerful people even. Who should know better. Who seem desperate. If you can’t do the time…as the saying goes. It’s simple. The answer isn’t to harass the victim, even more.

    Interestingly, most of the people from the early 90s subjected to a lot of this stuff have moved on. Which leaves the rebuild to people who want reverent traditional liturgy. It’s even happening where I am. At ground zero the consensus isn’t to do the same that killed. What is desired completely not that, for goodness’ sakes.

  11. Matt Robare says:

    This image is like an icon of the Anglican Communion today: they’re going under and trying to pretend everything is normal.

  12. Henry Edwards says:

    What I can’t figure is . . . Why does the reredos behind the altar have a basket on it?

  13. DavidJ says:

    Scruple _spoon_ not scruple _pool_.

  14. PostCatholic says:

    I confirmed with a classmate who ministers in the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio that this is the “Proctor Camp” in London, OH. Further details were also provided. Rest easy it’s not a Catholic event and let others do as suits the discipline of their faith tradition.

  15. jbosco88 says:

    Not an Ordination Tambourine in sight.

    Le sigh.

  16. pelerin says:

    Seeing the picture I just hoped that those present were not expected to kneel for any length of time as this would put most of them under the water!

    I have to say I was relieved to know it was not a Catholic Mass but isn’t it sad that some of us thought it a possibility.

  17. PostCatholic says:

    Well, I suppose there’s a sadness in leaping to negative assumptions about your clergy; sometimes, though, I think I detect glee.

  18. benedetta says:

    I don’t think it’s “glee” so much as like gallows humor. People have become so calloused and demoralized in not being respected for their own choices in worship that sometimes they just need to harmlessly let off steam. I think a lot of people while they roll their eyes still pray for those who participate in this sort of thing, and, if it’s in another denomination, well, hey, live and let live…and they should probably not harass us either and respect our traditions just the same, no? As in if a womyn pprreeesssttt wants use of their sanctuary/pool for a pool party to attempt a “Catholic ordination” out of respect for us, they should decline. We ought to all be praying for each other at any rate.

  19. PostCatholic says:

    Indeed, callosity is an evil to guard against. Good luck.

  20. benedetta says:

    There are so many evils one has to guard against these days sometimes it is difficult to know where to even start! Thank you for the best wishes.

  21. Henry Edwards is right. The reredos should have had a crucifix on it. On further inspection, I also note a lack of candles on the altar.

  22. Matthew says:

    It looks like a bagel.

  23. JeffLiss says:

    When a ‘church’ is founded on a soveriegn’s inability to produce a male heir, somehow it ends in this. I can’t exactly prove that, but I strongly suspect it is so.

  24. HealingRose says:

    My 11 & 12 yr old children said how funny, awesome, and yet definitely wrong it was.

    Do you suppose it was grape Kool-Aid in that cup with that cookie?

  25. TheDude05 says:

    This is the link to the Instagram photo confirming it is the Episcopalians and thank you Lord Jesus and Saint Michael, not a Catholic retreat.

  26. iPadre says:

    How would priests that do such foolish things like to sleep and eat in a sewage treatment plant? That is how they treat Our Lord.

  27. HealingRose says:

    This was a great teaching moment for my kids. Even though they recognized it as being wrong, we discussed what they should do if they were in a situation similar to the picture.

  28. bobk says:

    Appalling. The girls should have head coverings.

  29. ChesterFrank says:

    Its a belligerent mockery of the Mass. Its both offensive and a sacrilege, an insult with nothing funny about it.

  30. jilly4life says:

    I suppose they will all have to receive on the tongue, since their hands will he wet with chlorine water. Though no kneeling, as that would prove dangerous.

  31. brotherfee says:

    Not Catholic,

    the portable basketball hoop instead of a crucifix gave it away. :-)

  32. Aquinas Gal says:

    Whew! Glad it’s not a Catholic “event.” RE earlier comment: if they think it’s OK to do a Mass in a pool, they wouldn’t scruple about the bread being leavened or not.
    But it’s not the kids’ fault. The girl on the far left seems to be bowing her head trying to be reverent, maybe there’s hope they’ll eventually see through this nuttiness.

  33. Aquinas Gal says:

    I just noticed the “altar girl” holding what appears to be some sort of liturgical book–but why bother with ritual prayers when you’re doing the “liturgy” in a pool?

  34. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    It is grotesquely gratuitous. But I can pretty confidently imagine Episcopalians who would ‘mean well’ in doing this, perhaps even ones who think Our Lord comes to be Really Present in the process. (That does not excuse it, but it need not be conscious intentional mockery.)

  35. Looks like a whole wheat waffle.

  36. Fr. Timothy Ferguson says:

    that priest is all wet.

  37. Widukind says:

    Commemorating the Titantic disaster
    or Mass at (in) Sea?

  38. Rob in Maine says:

    Where are the liturgical synchronised swimmers a la’ Mel Brooks?

  39. afanco says:

    He really went off the deep end.

  40. The Mad Sicilian Geek says:


  41. The Mad Sicilian Geek says:

    I guess kneeling is optional?

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