“A Jesuit commenting on liturgy is like…”

fishwrapAt Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) contributors are wetting themselves – and each other – over the Motu Proprio Magnum principiumby which Pope Francis took part of the role in working up liturgical translations, etc., away from the Congregation for Divine Worship and made it more firmly the role of conferences of bishops.

The libs are really feeling their oats right now, no doubt. Reading them, you’d think that they’d received the 11th Avatar of Vishnu.

There are several rather sad offerings at Fishwrap, which have exaggerated the ramifications of the document somewhat.

The most risible of them must be that of Jesuit Thomas Reese who was so radical as editor of the Jesuit organ Amerika Magazine, that he got the heave-ho.  He has been drifting from site to site ever since.

His premise is so dopey and, frankly, anti-Catholic, that I won’t give you any samples.  You can go see for yourselves.  HERE  It’s an exercise in pure selfishness with a strong dash of malice. It’s not just that he clearly dislikes tradition, which is bad enough.  He dislikes the people who want to be traditional.


Clement XIV, of happy memory

I will however observe that there is an old saying about people who are completely bumfuzzled, like fish out of water: Like a Jesuit during Holy Week.

Mind you, there are few exceptions, but they prove the rule by the great contrast they offer to their confreres.

This morning brought some other apt Jesuit v. liturgy comparisons to mind.  These are from a couple of my pals, as they filled in the blank.

A Jesuit commenting on liturgy is like…

  • … Falstaff commenting on sobriety.
  • … a slave trader commenting on human rights.
  • … Judas commenting on loyalty.
  • … the KKK commenting on integration.
  • … Nero opining on religious liberty for Christians.
  • … Diocletian declaiming on the veneration of relics.
  • … Semiramis commenting on morality.

Ahhh Semiramis,…

“…that ancient queen who was the first person to castrate male youths of tender age”.

If you do go over there to read, put a dab of Vick’s under your nose before you click.

The moderation queue is ON.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I wasn’t bothered by the overall ignorance of the article until I got to the paragraph beginning with, “A second step is to clarify the position of the pre-Vatican II liturgy.” That entire paragraph left me dumbfounded! Implying that we were left the with scraps of the TLM as scraps to appease us and now to take it a step further and say that the entire “version”, as he calls it, should be wiped out. Dark times :-( And no, I will not encourage my children to attend the NO! Thanks for the parenting advice!

  2. Spade says:

    Of course a Jesuit wants to make changes to the Mass all randomly and willy nilly. Why, I heard they like change so must that there’s only two things that have never changed at a Jesuit run Mass.

    [I can’t believe I left that one out. Such low hanging fruit, too. Still, great reminder.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  3. mithrandirmonk says:

    Perhaps Fr. Reese (et al.) would like to have a “bottom up” approach like that of the Ruthenians or Melkites in dealing with their translation. For example: “It is proper and just to sing to you, to bless you, to praise you, to thank you, to worship you in every place of your dominion. For you are God ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever existing, yet ever the same, you, and your only begotten Son, and your Holy Spirit…” Or, even better, in the Ruthenian translation of the Liturgy of St. Basil: “By the power of Your Holy Spirit, end the schisms in the Church, quench the raging of nations, and quickly destroy the insurrections of heresy.” One suspects that certain people at Fishwrap would prefer that to become: “… end disagreements among your people, end all wars, and provide serenity among those who debate about your word.”

    Hmmm…. My little western ears have never heard my eastern brethren crying when the priest faces _ad orientem_ behind the iconostasis praying words that would likely be unacceptable to Fr. Reese and company.

    It is a great sadness to me that the West has spent over fifty years trying to recover a culture that never should have been destroyed. I say this as a Roman Rite Catholic who refuses to go to take his family to any local Novus Ordo Roman Rite liturgies (except in dire circumstances) because of the wretched liturgical surrounding our home-place.

  4. vetusta ecclesia says:

    Reese thinks we should have more Canons based on children’s liturgy. Why do libs always want to dumb down and infantilise?

    [Because they think they are smarter than you, and because they are self-empowered by their imagined moral superiority. These are the true self-absobred promethean neo-pelagians!]

  5. Poor Yorek says:

    Given lex orandi, lex credendi one might as well ask

    A Jesuit commenting on liturgy/prayer … ::transpose:: A Jesuit commenting on belief/dogma … ?

  6. lovethatpope says:

    The software metaphor is really clumsy, but apt in a way. Because when Microsoft and Apple and all the other tech companies push out constant must-have updates, and tout their newest version of everything as the best ever, they are decidedly not acting for your good as a person. What they want, is to increase their power. By giving the impression to consumers that they always must purchase the latest version of their products, software companies are able to sell products that people otherwise might not buy, and turn a profit where there would be none. Since most people aren’t programmers, they just have to go along with what the companies produce: there is no other source for software.

    In a similar way, the Church is the only place where the faithful can receive the life giving sacraments. Constant change and ‘innovation’ do the same thing here that they do in the software business: they make the masses rely on the specialist. Maybe what will be added is a helpful comment that clarifies the meaning of a particular icon, or maybe you’ll be forced to interact with a talking paperclip. Who knows?

  7. ejcmartin says:

    My diocese is so messed up, upside down, the celebrant of our Extraordinary Form Mass is a Jesuit. Go figure.

    [An exception that proves the rule.]

  8. anilwang says:

    I’ve always thought it dire mistake that Jesuits do not pray the Liturgy of the Hours as a community.

    Without prayer, especially daily community prayer it’s too easy to get lost in the affairs of the world and drift away from God. This is especially the case for communities that are based on study such as Jesuits and Dominicans, since it’s so easy to justify that drifting using casuistry. To me, the reason why the Dominicans have on the whole stayed more faithful (if you ignore Father Radcliffe and his ilk) than the Jesuits is precisely the importance of community prayer and the rosary in the Dominicans.

  9. The Masked Chicken says:

    Let me try to make an analogy that one can use to explain the liturgical landscape to Catholics who don’t quite understand what might happen, once bishop conferences finish revising their liturgies.

    In Britain in the 1990’s, so I heard it*, there was a movement to change the side of the road that cars drive on from the left side to the right side, but the Ministry, so as not to upset delicate sensibilities, decided to make the change optional.

    The Chicken

    *It told to us was at a humor conference by the distinguished British sociologist, Christie Davies. I think he might have been joking, however :)

  10. wmeyer says:

    Clearly, Fr. Reese has no competence in software development. I can tell him, however, that these days, many software publishers scrimp on testing, using the end user as QA, and letting them suffer the crashes. Oh, wait, that sounds like ICEL!
    Properly managed, software development is not hasty, but thoughtful. The architecture is developed to favor testability, and testing is a major part of the process. All that seems foreign to my understanding of how the OF came to be, and how it was decorated and celebrated in dance.
    But perhaps I missed something in the painful but short history of the OF, the staging which sadly displaced the transcendence of the EF.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  11. rcg says:

    A Jesuit commenting on Liturgy is like…

    My dog watching TV. He’s entertained but doesn’t really know what’s going on.

  12. LJC says:

    …like Bill Clinton giving a lecture on sexual morality?

  13. hwriggles4 says:

    A Jesuit commenting on liturgy is like :

    Seeing a U-Haul behind the hearse in the funeral procession going to the cemetery.

  14. Kostadinov says:

    is like Hillary Clinton talking about the rights of the unborn?

  15. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    A Jesuit commenting on Liturgy is like…

    a drunkard commenting on the value of sobriety. (He can do such a thing, but no one believes a word because of how he practices.)

  16. TonyO says:

    A Jesuit talking about the lityrgie is like:

    • A Jesuit in 2010 talking about humble obedience to their rule and to Pope Benedict;
    • A catastrato talking about sex;
    • A slum lord giving a conference on housing with dignity;
    • A heroin dealer giving a talk on antiseptic needle practices;
    • A Democrat president talking about lean government;

  17. jflare says:

    That paragraph caught my eye too. I find it shocking, even insulting and offensive. He might be shocked to learn that I would expect raise my kids in a traditional parish so they might learn the faith. If he keeps on with attitudes like that, someone like myself will begin making clarion calls to abolish the Novus Ordo. Said “modern” Mass certainly does not seem to serve the needs of the faithful. Not when many of us have sought the TLM as refuge from the madness of Fr Reese’s “experiments”.

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  19. teomatteo says:

    ….like Leonardo DiCaprio commenting on global warmimg.

  20. Joan M says:

    U had Cousin who was a Jesuit He was at mtybrother’s ordination. I presume he is dead now. my brother is 88 years old and 62 years ordained .Last Saturday was my wedding anniversary. 48 years.

    We had a LOVELY DAY.

  21. KateD says:


    Those poor, poor people are in dire need of our prayers. I can’t express how crestfallen I am after reading those comments and seeing how so many have been led astray. It’s like getting gut punched!

    I can only imagine how much sorrow it brings Our Lord and Our Lady.

    Truly saddening. The worst part is it is tempting to begrudge them the necessary and healing salve of prayers, because of their arrogance.

    And that a priest would say such things…..

    OH! MY! GOODNESS!!!!

  22. KateD says:

    BTW- that last comment was in reference to the comments at National Catholic Reporter…

  23. MrsMacD says:

    Is like;
    A leper commenting on skin health
    A blind man commenting on landscapes
    A deaf man conversing on symphonies
    A paralitic expounding the glories of the afternoon stroll
    A wolf explaining how to be a sheep
    A prodigal working with pigs

    Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Have mercy on your Jesuits!

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