Wherein Fr. Z rants: the tyrannies of #sodoclerical euroweenies with their self-centered, condescending effeminate blather

The old phrase is: Piscis primum a capite foetet.

Over the many years I have been either going to or living in Rome, it has been interesting to see how the styles and modes change in the ecclesiastical shops. These modes are driven by two forces: market forces and the imaginations of the shopkeepers, trying to anticipate where clerical tastes will go in this or that pontificate. Toward the end of John Paul’s life, the shops were getting more and more traditional, losing the sheer crap of Pauline aestheticism.  In Benedict XVI’s time that accelerated. Now, you see junk returning, edging back in. However, seminarians and priests these days seem, as far as I can tell, to want the more traditional stuff.  I don’t think seminarians, from what I hear, are paying much attention to this… new stuff we are hearing.

On the other hand, the Vicariate of Rome’s subtle messaging from above drives many things which happen inside churches. The last time I was in Rome (May) I noted the sudden appearance of liturgical MONSTROSITIES, entirely out of place in the spaces where they were callously installed. Think of the altar in the Pantheon and the ghastly pile of rubbish now defacing Sant’Andrea della Valle.  It is enough to make angels hang their heads in embarrassment and cause those interred within the sacred walls and floors to rattle their bones in the indignant dust.

I received this note from a priest:

My experience of studying in Rome tells me that Italy (and probably most of Europe) is far behind the United States as regards “winds” of liturgical movement. Whereas we in the USA seem to have left the truly crazy days behind and turned a corner in some degree of liturgical “sound mindedness,” Italy is in the heyday of post-Vatican II nonsense. [Italy is a liturgical wasteland.] Visiting Rome this week after many years, liturgical appointments seem even more cheap and tawdry than my last visit. Some truly sinfully stupid things are going on in sanctuaries in Rome. Some pics are with this email.

I was shocked at Sant’ Andrea della Valle that the presbytery/sanctuary has been completed vacated and a huge stage area set up just outside the Communion rail. In a certain sense I’m glad that the new junk isn’t in the sanctuary but the notion of having vacated the true sanctuary is such a telling and emblematic move.

The Basilica of Sant’ Eustachio seems to have a food pantry operation taking place in a side chapel before an altar that had once been made and consecrated for sacred worship. The area is complete with caterer chafing dishes lined up like a buffet serving line and a bread cutting station.

The Church of Santa Lucia has some new art productions hanging in a side chapel. One modern style painting is of a woman (Mary?) standing behind a young boy (Jesus?). For some reason the woman is crowning the boy (what does that even mean) and more inexplicable the boy is stark naked.

What is this garbage?! As much damage as has been done in the USA we do at least seem better off than Europe. However lasting damage and still undeveloped ripple effects from having changed our rites is an ongoing tragedy on both sides of the Atlantic.

This is a manifestation of a clericalism that is probably also #sodoclericalism if you get my drift.

These Italian clerical euroweenies fancy themselves aesthetes.  How sophisticated they are!  They disgusted me for decades with their self-centered, condescending effeminate blather.    I suffered for years from their sacrilegious tyrannies.

I honestly don’t think they have the faith.  They certainly have no respect for people who come into the churches or for their forebears who built them.

And they don’t, when there are conflicts or disagreements, act like normal men do to trash them out.   That also characterizes those bishops who send men off to the psych ward.

We must hold on.  We must hold on and expand.   The weenies will drop away and leave the field open for our advance if we just have the will to get out beyond our comfort zones and start inviting people to join us, reclaim tradition.   In order to do that, you will have to be smart and patient and excel in good works.

You must, as traditional Catholics, learn to overcome your anxiety about the times we are enduring and, on the contrary, exude hopeful joy.

Joy will attract.

It is one thing starkly to identify what is going on, as we do in these pages, and what other do on their sites.   We must, however, also underscore the good things that are going on.  And there are good things!

More and more young priests are turning to traditional liturgical worship, an ars celebrandi.  Good bishops are getting good vocations and are inviting groups to take dying parishes.  The mask is being pulled off the fakers and the parasites.  People are waking up.

This is a WAR but this is also an OPPORTUNITY.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    While primarily doctrinal in orientation, perhaps a revisit of Lamentabili Sane of St. Pius X is in order, which begins “With truly lamentable results, our age, casting aside all restraint in its search for the ultimate causes of things, frequently pursues novelties so ardently that it rejects the legacy of the human race. Thus it falls into very serious errors…”
    Certainly no blather there.

  2. Spinmamma says:

    Thank you, Dear Father Z. I needed that word of encouragement and hope this day.

  3. GM Thobe says:

    It seems you beat me to the punch with your previous article, Father.

  4. carmelini1209 says:

    I “had” to attend the vigil Mass at St. Patrick’s, the American presence in Rome a few Saturdays ago. Yikes. In the rear of the sanctuary, behind the altar and reredos, there were visible microphone stands and chairs.

    On a similar note, in the window display of a shop on a side street VERY NEAR St. Peter’s was…HARRY POTTER items. I approached a clerk who said they provide it for those shopping for non-religious items. Imagine that, feeling the need to sell non-religious articles near St. Peter’s Basilica. Ugh.

  5. Malta says:

    @Fr. Z: not to be disrespectful at all, but some of your brilliant language made me laugh-out-loud: “euroweenies” for instance!

    I’ve spent much time in Paris (visiting there twice, once in the 90’s and again for two weeks in 2008). I couldn’t believe what I saw. Evergreen branches in place of a cross in one Church; Notre Dame on the Seine is a joke: huge TV screens blasting nonsense. Church attendance is around 3% in that once great Catholic nation. Then I went to Chartres, hoping to find a remnant of the faith. Nope. It’s only a tourist attraction now. I have sequestered myself in Traditional circles, only.

  6. Malta says:

    In a very weird way, the fact that the Government of France owns all Catholic churches there has kept them from total destruction. Just as my friend now owns this deconsecrated chapel: https://www.lorettochapel.com/ I disagree with him allowing gay marriages in it, but he has kept it perfectly preserved. Small pockets of the Church have aesthetic sense, but for the most part they are modernist boobs.

  7. Nicholas says:

    One thought I’ve been having recently is that we, who love tradition, should be leaders in protecting the environment. If that’s what the pope wants, we should give it to him. Show that we can listen. At the same time, don’t give an inch on tradition. Such a strategic thought.

  8. Nicholas says:

    *just a strategic thought.

  9. I second Nicholas’s thought. We are called to care and protect God’s Creation, who better to do that than those most concerned with giving God his due with beautiful and reverent and orthodox worship. Seamless garment? Why is it that those who seem to care less about giving God proper worship are all of a sudden concerned with caring for his creation? That’s where the true cognitive dissonance comes in to play I think.

  10. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “…We shall sculpt statues of beautiful young men, of bold athletes which will be placed in your parks, your squares, your plazas. The museums of the world will be filled only with paintings of graceful, naked lads…”

    ~Michael Swift, The Gay Manifesto, 1987

  11. MrsMacD says:

    @Nicholas – I honestly don’t think that Pope Francis cares about the so called environment. He’s just playing slight of hand. He won’t be enthralled by your recycling endeavours, unless, of course it goes hand in hand with rejecting ‘rigidity.’

    Pour your time and money into helping your neighbour, but duty first, that’s going to save the maximum number of people. Personal sanctity, joy in suffering, ‘love one another as I have loved you,’ Jesus told us what he wants us to be known for loving one another.

  12. Gab says:

    From what I’ve read about all things Catholic in the US, the Church here in Australia has gone positively pagan in comparison. Have a look at this “smoking ceremony” by the local aborigines. This was on the solemn occasion of the ordination Mass of a Bishop. Link here.
    There was absolutely no need for this pagan ritual. It was done on the spurious notion of “inclusiveness” as if the Church is not open and welcoming to anyone who desires to join the faith. Anything I want to find out about Catholic tradition and teachings are all sourced from American sites. Nothing like it here in Oz except for the much paler and watered-down N. O. muck.

  13. JonPatrick says:

    Wow, if the US is now a paragon of orthodoxy and reverent worship compared to Europe and Australia, things must really be bad there.

    What MrsMacD said. However as Fr. Z has often said, we trads should always be at the forefront of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy in our parishes. For example prison/jail ministry. What better opportunity to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ than to people some of whom have hit bottom and realize that what they were doing is not working, and may be open to a different way. Soup kitchens, teaching CCD classes, whatever your talent happens to be.

    Sure saving the planet is important but saving souls more so.

  14. Gab says:

    We in Australia have known for some years that there is a shortage of priests here. After learning what’s happening in the US – and probably elsewhere – I understand now why.

    As Fr Z said, priests are the particular targets of satan.

  15. dallenl says:

    On the secular side, the whole of the EU has not had a pint of red blood between them since this polymorphous organization was taped together. I don’t know if the desire for security replaced the desire for personal freedom be the effect has not been good. Even a weakened Britain recognized it could no longer live with planned mediocrity.

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