Beans, beans, the musical fruit

For an incisive look into Massimo “Beans” Faggioli of the now-ridiculous Villanova, check out 1 Peter 5 today.  Skojec has him firmly in the cross-hairs.


Beans is a pretty smart guy, but instead of doing something serious and helpful with his smarts, he is making a living by being a provocateur.   That won’t last, I’m afraid.  Skojec writes of his “transitive significance”.   His latest bit about people he doesn’t like being “devout schismatics” is a flatulent case in point.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    And here I thought this would be a post on a great, yet frugal, beans and rice dish you came up with. *disappointed*

    [Yes, Beans does disappoint.]

  2. mcferran says:

    It’s just plain uncharitable to make fun of somebody’s name. The fact that Professor Faggioli may be uncharitable to others (even his own ordinary) does not give license to others to be uncharitable towards him.

  3. ChrisP says:

    mcferran: check your assumemoralhighground.exe file. It failed. The world is populated by grown ups – welcome to join it.

  4. Hidden One says:

    ChrisP, mcferran is correct.

  5. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It’s actually Biblical to make jokes about names.

    I mean, we don’t hear about Beelzebub by his right name, and there are a fair number of human kings who got the same treatment. And of course, good guys are also subject to plays on words that play on their names.

    In Christian times, it was also pretty common to use puns on names as a form of admonishment or encouragement. If your name involved the word “good” and you were doing things that were bad, or you were a Benedict who was acting like a curse, I guarantee that somebody saintly said something about it.

  6. Mr. Graves says:

    The best line in Skojec’s whole piece is, ultimately, a comfort to the orthodox who are being marginalized and persecuted in this era:

    “Men of Faggioli’s transitive significance, I suspect, will, in those halcyon days yet to come, be forgotten almost as quickly as they rose to grab attention. What they are working for has a foundation of sand; by definition it cannot last.”

  7. robtbrown says:

    mcferran says:

    It’s just plain uncharitable to make fun of somebody’s name. The fact that Professor Faggioli may be uncharitable to others (even his own ordinary) does not give license to others to be uncharitable towards him.

    I wonder whether you’ve missed the point. “Beans” is often used to indicate something worthless. For example, someone is asked how is the progress on a certain project. The answer: “I haven’t done beans.”
    Or how was the lecture of a professor? “He didn’t say beans.”

    In the case of Faggioli his name also indicates the quality of his utterances.

  8. TonyO says:

    There is (legitimately) wide latitude in polemical works in the use of sharpness of witticisms. If you read the works of some of the saints, you see some pretty sharp language that they use against their opponents. It depends very much on prudence, in taking in many different levels of goods sought and evils to be avoided. For instance while it possible to fully and completely answer an idiotic, silly objection in a serious and scholarly tone, that may not be the BEST way of answering: it has the possible drawbacks of (a) leaving the listener with the impression that the objection was serious and worthy of a long, scholarly response when in fact it was ridiculous, and (b) boring the innocent listener to the point of his turning away before he gets to the important part.

  9. Unwilling says:

    TonyO, I don’t consider myself to be terribly prudent. And I think your points make sense here. So I will try to keep them in mind in shaping my responses henceforth. I do tend to attach minimal or negative value to mocking of any kind. If calling him “Beans” were all Fr Z had to say in criticism of the fellow, it would be a poor showing indeed. But for Fr Z, such flippancies are a sort of ameuse gueule to clear the palate for the serious business of identifying errors and for more substantial critiques of them.

    I also notice that not all such plays on names are uncharitable mocking; cf. the often positive combinations we see these days on the verb “to trump”. And St Gregory the Great wrote: Fuit vir vitae venerabilis gratia Benedictus et nomine. “There was a man Blessed both by the grace of his worthy life and by his name.”

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