Franciscan. “Dancing”. Fail.

This …. fellow… jumped around in a church like a testosterone impoverished squirrel to the words “credo negli essere umani… I believe in human beings”.


I’d also like to point out that this is a Franciscan and not a rather-more-expected Jesuit. Surely not all Franciscans have this… proclivity! Please, tell us it isn’t so!

To you good, sensible Franciscans out there, can’t you do something about guys like this? Among yourselves?

Dear readers, if your priest does this sort of thing, or anything like it, subdue him with a net, medicate him, place him in restraints, and have him assessed by a trustworthy professional.


On further reflection, do you suppose that this was an audition video for the LA Religious Ed Conference (aka Three Days of Darkness)?  It has many of the qualities the organizers and choreographers must crave.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. rdb says:

    While I often laugh at videos like this one, I am left with a profound sadness for this broken man and a desire to pray for him, which I did and will through the rest of the day.

  2. dans0622 says:

    Multiple “safe environment” violations going on there. … I guess this is one time where I will say that it’s good that the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in some other place (at least, I don’t see a tabernacle). … This is not cringeworthy but cringedemanding.

  3. I can’t find out if ‘Marco Mengoni’ is his name or that of the composer of the song. I am relieved he’s not a Capuchin but I’m not convinced he’s OFM (Leonine Union) either. He many taken off the capuche or hood. If not then he’s wearing what seems to be a Third Order habit. On aesthetics alone he needs our prayers.

    Francis did dance when he preached before Pope Innocent III but that seems to have been more a moving on the spot with joy in the Lord not prancing all over the place. I shall join rdb in praying for him and all those inclined to such behaviour. My late mother, who loved dance, would’ve called hia performance “St Vitus’ dance”.


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  4. majuscule says:

    Lots of space in those pews. No wonder.

    I will refrain from the obvious comment about his body language. There is something simply exuding from him.

    Cute hairdo. But a tonsure would be more in order.

    I will pray for him and in fact I pray every day for the coversion of his type. Or that they leave the priesthood.

  5. RobertK says:

    He looks to be a little light in the loafers. He He!!. [C’mon. He’s not wearing loafers. Sheesh.] How many sensible Franciscans are there??. Good question!. I think the majority of them would rather be mainline protestants rather than orthodox Catholics. This video only enhances my theories about the majority of the Franciscans. Satan has this Franciscan by a puppets string It’s just that the string is invisible.

  6. Sawyer says:

    Isn’t there a document of the Holy See that explains why men such as this one very strongly appears to be should not be admitted to the priesthood? This video is clear evidence in support of that wise judgment.

    No healthy, normal man could take that prancing queen (apologies to Abba) seriously as a priest.

    No healthy, normal woman could either.

  7. Absit invidia says:

    When will the Church finally rid us of this goofy nonsense. [The Church can’t get rid of the effects of Original Sin. The Church can only help people live holy lives and strive for heaven.] How can this appeal to any sane person curious about joining the Church? [hang on! This is actually a pretty good argument in favor of joining the Catholic Church! Any thoughtful person out there would think: “If the Catholic Church can survive all these centuries in spite of all these loony tunes, then it MUST be from God! Only a Church with divine origin and help can endure this!”]

  8. Joseph-Mary says:

    Well the Franciscans of the Immaculate have not behaved like this and we know what has happened to them!

    [Hmmm… there’s a flaw in the argument in there somewhere.]

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    While it’s tempting to look with sympathy on this sad little performance, I feel it too, it’s important to remember we have a crisis going on. Souls lost and little boys and young men. We should be outraged to know this is in the house of God, and to realize the reality of allowing men such as this one to have access to boys and young men, and with our support yet. At this point, we are responsible because we can see the numbers of these men all too clearly now. This dancing indicates something not harmless but terrible.

  10. thomistking says:

    This quite a potent metaphor. A large Franciscan cross sits behind, and to the side of large group singing about how they believe in humans. . . .

    I also can never comprehend how people don’t burst out laughing at these things. How can we be expected to take that seriously?

  11. zrhaskell says:

    Please tell me this isn’t a mass.

  12. Elbereth says:

    When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is if little children would be disciplined for doing this in a church (cart-wheels, prancing on top of pews, grabbing random strangers), then probably it ill befits a priest.

  13. majuscule says:

    A little levity.

    Speaking of squirrels…

    Father is right on!

  14. LarryW2LJ says:

    Have to admit ……. if I was there, two things would have happened.

    1) Facepalm
    2) Abrupt exit

  15. wanda says:

    First thought at this is profound sadness. My next thought, not sure what to call it, but it borders on anger. Our churches are closing and merging for lack of priests. This fellow has plenty of time for this sadness while our remaining priests are becoming over-burdened with the care of multiple parishes. It bothers me a lot. Prayers for this fellow and for our good and faithful priests. And yes,
    I’ll be going to confession this weekend.

  16. jazzclass says:

    This must be his interpretation of the sign of peace. What a beautiful way to celebrate such an ancient tradition!

  17. Amante de los Manuales says:

    I know girls who wouldn’t even dance that girly.

  18. CradleRevert says:

    Looks like a good reason to start bringing pepper spray to Church.

  19. WmHesch says:

    Felt bad for those poor, Poor Clares at first as they awkwardly watched their flamboyant frater… then the Clares join in for the finale…

  20. erick says:

    Oh. Evidently the com box doesn’t support Unicode. Last comment was simply a face palm.

    [It does.]

  21. AnthonyJ says:

    Can we be sure this is a Catholic parish? There are Episcopalian Franciscans as well. Probably wishful thinking on my part.

  22. fishonthehill says:

    I find it so sad, we have priests who are told not to wear black vestments, seminarians who have to protect their identity for a biretta, lay people enduring all sorts of liturgical abuse… and then this guy just flaunting whatever he calls that thing he just did.

  23. kolbe1019 says:

    Would it have been a sin to pull the power plug on his music? Or… is it a sin of omission to allow it to go on? Serious question.

    [It would have been a work of mercy.]

  24. Tamara T. says:

    I just cannot bring myself to click on that video. What has changed within me I do not know but I simply cannot watch this sort of thing anymore. I can tell in the comments it is horrible and will pray for him and all those who condone this nonsense. I am sure it makes our Lord very sad. Lord have mercy!

  25. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    What a histrionic.

  26. KateD says:

    Did he say…

    “LARRY! Price check on asaparagus!” ???

  27. KateD says:

    One needs no other argument for a Traditional Latin Mass Franciscan Community….

    Saint Francis, pray for us.

    Saint Junipero Serra, Pray for us.

    Saint Anthony, Hammer of Heretics, Pray for us!

  28. G-Veg says:

    “hang on! This is actually a pretty good argument in favor of joining the Catholic Church! Any thoughtful person out there would think: “If the Catholic Church can survive all these centuries in spite of all these loony tunes, then it MUST be from God! Only a Church with divine origin and help can endure this!”

    Father, I never quite thought of it that way. Thanks for making me grin, ear to ear. :)

  29. Kensington says:

    So, so painful to watch.
    And applause at the end, too.
    Please tell me this wasn’t during a Mass. That wouldn’t make it all better, of course, but it would help.

  30. Chris Rawlings says:

    We attend the Latin Patriarchate Parish in Jerusalem. It is, of course, run by the Franciscan Custodia. You’ll be happy to know that not only is there no dancing, but Sunday Mass is often in Latin (Novus Ordo) with chanted propers. Weekday Mass is said in Arabic ad orientem from various side altars.

    Thinking of returning to the U.S. and enduring much of its liturgical madness literally depresses me.

  31. MarkJ says:

    I particularly liked the part where he portrayed the “ghost of mustards past” with the mustard color sheer cloth over him… or maybe the Gulden Calf?

    But wait, are you sure this wasn’t an audition for a new movie called “Brother Act”?

    [“ghost of mustards past”… Gulden Calf! Thanks for making me literally laugh out loud.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  32. paladin says:

    Oy. vey.

    …and there are still people who think that Michael O’Brien’s books (describing pagan-esque cavorting by priests, religious sisters, etc.) are exaggerating…

  33. Legisperitus says:

    At times like these, the sequestering of the tabernacle seems a merciful act of providence.

  34. ZCGP says:

    I promise that not all Franciscans are like this. The OFM Conventuals that run my parish would sooner run this man out of Dodge than put up with such foolishness!

  35. Chiara says:

    I was professed as a Secular Franciscan almost 2 years ago. In that time, and the time of my formation, I learned there are Franciscans, and there are … other Franciscans.

    I took good St. Francis of Assisi as my patron saint at my profession, and I studied up quite a bit about him. He was not the flippy flower child he is usually made out to be. He was simple and austere about himself and in what he expected of his brothers.

    But he was adamant that nothing was too good for God, whether at Mass or otherwise. This included altar linens, vestments, Eucharistic vessels, the grandeur of the tabernacle and the church, and the proper, reverent use and cleanliness of all the above.

    I feel certain St. Francis would be absolutely appalled and ashamed that a son of his would act in this way in a church, in the presence of the Lord. He would feel the same about organizations, such as the Franciscan Action Network, which have appropriated his name and his image to work against Church teaching, focusing entirely on ecology and politics, and encouraging relativism.

    I think St. Francis would also be very unhappy that he has been appropriated as the patron of ecology, ecumenism, and lax practices in the Church and in society. He loved creation and his fellow man, but there was far more to him than that. He preached to the birds because he was full of the Holy Spirit and humans would not listen. He did not risk his life, armed only with a Bible, to simply make friends and peace with the Sultan and his forces in the middle of a war zone – he wanted to convert them to Catholicism.

    Very best Franciscan blessings to all here – Susan, ofs

  36. Mariana2 says:

    St. Vitus’ dance, indeed. If my husband saw that he would never convert! I have had to shield him from lots of things these past few years!

  37. Animadversor says:

    One wonders if the experience of being a Christian in Jerusalem does not tend towards making these follies unappealing and towards instilling a certain seriousness of purpose, as well.

  38. pelerin says:

    Sorry – by the time the friar leapt onto the pew I was laughing out loud. How do people keep a straight face with these antics. I know some people point out that in the Bible David danced but this is ridiculous. On the other hand African dancing at Mass can be very moving and dignified and natural. This is neither natural, dignified nor moving.

  39. cantus says:

    It’s such a task to gouge out the minds eye.

  40. edm says:

    1. This actually hurt the eyes
    2. Don’t blame the Episcopalians so fast!

  41. John Grammaticus says:

    as a millennial I prefer the Latin Mass….

  42. Fr. Kelly says:

    When I watched the video, it was followed by another even more disturbing:
    This one features a priest leading a dance outside a church with a bride and bride cross-dressed as a groom.
    Don’t know if it is Catholic, but it looks like it is portrayed as Catholic. At least it is outside the church

  43. CanukFrank says:

    Lol, Recalling Kurtz’s line from ‘Apocalypse Now’….”The Horror…the horror…”. It vividly reminds me back when Vatican II’s ‘changes’ first started percolating down to the parishes and schools where ‘I am The Lord Of The Dance’ (along with ‘Morning Has Broken’ and ‘Kumbaya’) was virtually mandatory in the new “Folk” masses; cringe-inducing-“With -It”-trying-to-be-hip priests and youth ‘ministers’ painfully trying to be “Relevant” (circa 1971) to the bewildered kids and thier equally parents. Ugh…spine tingling stuff in the worst possible sense!

  44. Wryman says:

    It’s even funnier without the sound.

  45. Wryman says:

    Oh, and I think if a sensible person were there the proper response would be to LAUGH OUT LOUD, the heartier the better. This sort takes strength from criticism because they get to look persecuted, but laughter will do them in.

  46. otsowalo says:

    Could it be that he belongs to the Franciscan branch still attached to the COE?

    They are out still out there.

  47. iamlucky13 says:

    @ Elbereth
    When in doubt, a good rule of thumb is if little children would be disciplined for doing this in a church (cart-wheels, prancing on top of pews, grabbing random strangers), then probably it ill befits a priest.

    We should be able to treat your maxim as a good joke, and yet it is apparently a necessary guideline.

    @ Amante de los Manuales
    “I know girls who wouldn’t even dance that girly”

    I didn’t really see anything there that I’d dignify with the term “dancing,” and considering I don’t know any girls above the age of 10 who might act that way except in a fit of extreme silliness, I’d think most women would be a bit offended to have that bizarre behavior appropriated to their gender. In contrast, this friar seems to have been treating his display as serious, not mere silliness.

    I note the sisters didn’t join in until he dragged them into the center and forced them into the awkward situation of parroting his behavior or else conspicuously ignoring him.

    We talk understandably about this sort of thing driving men away from the Church, but I can add with certainty that had my wife had to endure such nonsense, she would have left the Church, too.

  48. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Sawyer says: . . . (apologies to Abba) . . .


    Thank you Sawyer. I needed that – makes it a little less painful to bear.

  49. APX says:

    It gets worse:

    Proof that even a cassock-wearing priest in a beautiful ornate church doesn’t even guarantee you’re safe from such antics.

  50. un-ionized says:

    If he touched me like that the whole thing would have come to an abrupt end as we waited for the ambulance. Gulden calf, love it.

  51. Mike of Arkansas says:

    Had I found myself surrounded by such bozos and unable to escape, a generous application of 25 percent oleo capsasin spray (if it could penetrate the yellow mosquito net) would doubtless redirect Prancer-Boy toward alternate activity while greatly improving decorum.

  52. Gerhard says:

    Reminds me of when St Therese’s father visited Constantinople, and wrote to describe seeing whirling dervishes. “Poor devils” he called them, if I remember rightly.

  53. ChesterFrank says:

    Aw shucks, your just jealous because you don’t got his moves. Where is cannon law when you need it.

    [I keep my copy of Cannon Law next to my liturgical Beretta.]

  54. Chris Rawlings says:

    One wonders if the experience of being a Christian in Jerusalem does not tend towards making these follies unappealing and towards instilling a certain seriousness of purpose, as well.”

    Indeed. But if only it were enough–as we know it is–that every tabernacle around the world hold the Body of our Lord. If that doesn’t inspire derp reverence, then that same Lord’s tomb may not do it, either.

  55. pelerin says:

    APX says ‘it gets worse’ and indeed it did in the link he gave.

    I never thought I would see a priest do a strip-tease and in the Sanctuary too. He seems to enjoy performing there and he ends his ‘performance’ commandeering a baby and giving his blessing with the baby. It really is the stuff of nightmares. Perhaps if he had been doing this in a church hall it might have been acceptable as entertainment although on second thoughts I don’t think he should have treated his vestments in this way at all. Searching for a good point I noticed that he did place them carefully on the altar after he removed them.

  56. JViktor says:

    I wonfer if this was a replacement for the Credo. I prefer Credo in unum Deum. Human beings do fail, God doesn’t.

  57. SanSan says:


  58. elijah408 says:

    I know a good many OFMs and for the most part are heading in this direction. I’ve seen facebook posts of a group of them who attended the women’s march. Sad.

  59. StephenM says:

    Father, look this:

    I was in Rome that day, for the “World Meeting for Young Consacrated”. It seems that everybody liked this coreography. Maybe I’m crazy? :)

    [I wonder if instead of Propagation of the Faith, it might be called Infantalization of the Faith.]

  60. Mac_in_Alberta says:

    @Chiara: Well said, sister. I am happy that you beat me to the punch because I would not have been as calm and well, Franciscan. I was permanently professed almost 26 years ago but some of us are slow learners.
    Murdoch ofs

  61. Mac_in_Alberta says:

    And I have never seen anything like this in Franciscan circles. Maybe I’ve just been lucky.

  62. Chiara says:

    Thank you for your kind words, Mac. This kind of thing hurts those of us who take our vocations as Franciscans seriously, doesn’t it? Our good St. Francis wanted to bring all of us to Jesus. He would never have caused such scandal and disrespect inside of the house of God.

    Please pray for me, brother. I am involved in a matter of conscientious objection with my fraternity over their (and most of the fraternities in the US) monetary support of the Franciscan Action Network by means of our Fair Share. FAN is a leftist political organization, composed of Catholic and non-Catholic Franciscans, and is not under the authority of the Church or the Pope as we are. They think ecology and political issues are more important than supporting the Church’s teaching on abortion, same-sex “marriage”, and issues of conscience involving government-funded healthcare. In fact, their Executive Director delivered a petition to the Knights of Columbus, berating them for their fight against same-sex “marriage” and abortion, stating their money could be better spent elsewhere. God and good St. Francis help us.

    P & B from Susan, ofs

  63. teomatteo says:

    My differential diagnosis would have to include: infestation.

  64. RobertK says:

    If only St. Thomas More were hear today. He would know how to deal with such people. He He!!!

  65. catholiccomelately says:

    The squirrel video is perfect!

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