Strange business this: a non-blessing blessing. A Fr. Z mini-rant to priests.

Very strange business this.

At the end of the audience no one knows what to do after this strange conclusion.

This was today, 30 November 2019.

The whole video, but this starts at about 26:30. Note the music afterwards. You won’t have to do penance for the rest of the day.

But wait… here is yesterday, 29 November, 2019.

Weird.  Is this now going to be a thing?

Dear readers, ask your priests for a blessing. 

Fathers, be prompt to bless when asked.

And, Fathers, when you give a blessing stand up straight!   Don’t loom over the poor people as if to make it more meaningful.   Don’t grab their heads and put your mouth near them as if you are about to eat their brains.   Where do priests get this dopey stuff?   Just say a blessing and perhaps gently touch their heads after.

And don’t ramble when giving blessings!   “Through the intercession of blah blah …. with the hope of this ‘n that …. because we are all made in God’s image…. and noting that the weather is great and there is a strong chance of showers in the evening as a low pressure front moves in….”.   For pity’s sake, just say this:

Benedictio Dei omnipotentis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, descendat super te (vos) et maneat semper. … May the blessing of Almighty God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, descend upon you and remain forever.  Amen.”

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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19 Responses to Strange business this: a non-blessing blessing. A Fr. Z mini-rant to priests.

  1. arga says:

    Actually, I am a victim of bergoglio-fatigue. I just can’t watch anymore. It hurts too much. Father Z., I admire your fortitude. Some of can only just look away.

  2. trespinos says:

    I hope someone in the Vatican press corps will do their job and ask Pope Francis at the next opportunity what his intention is in substituting velleities for actual blessings. Let’s hear his explanation.

  3. Kathleen10 says:

    trespinos, no one will ask. And even if someone does he’ll just mock them as being rigid. And there will be no follow-up. And it will disappear into the ether of his zillion other outrageous acts.
    We need a divine intervention.

  4. The Astronomer says:

    Father, for those of us who do not speak Italian, might you kindly provide a translation of what Pope Francis said?

  5. maryelangdon says:

    No sign of the Cross…No” In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.” Throwing away SacredTradition. Sinful.

  6. Nathanael says:

    Astronomer et al,

    The Holy Father doesn’t speak very clearly sometimes, and the audio was somewhat crackly, but something like:

    Everyone stand silently. Let us pray. One for others, all of them. Prayer from our heart. We ask the Lord, we ask God, to bless all of us. Amen.

    And…

    I will ask the Lord to bless all of you. All of you. May God bless all of you. Accompany you on the path of life. Amen.

  7. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    I’ve come to the same conclusion. Somewhere between Bergoglio Fatigue and Bergoglio Depression. I’ve had to disconnect. No amount of my intellect can circle the Bergoglio square.

    His constant failure to strengthen the Brethren and feed me/mine as one of his sheep is too much to bear if I am constantly ruminating upon it.

    Better to pray, practice virtue, repeat patterns of piety, focus on Jesus through Mary and do the best I can where I am in my own vocation and let Jesus deal with the big scary problems.

  8. Rob83 says:

    This seems to be the natural extension of several decades of trying to be accommodating to the world by either toning down, hiding, or being embarrassed to profess the faith in public.

    It can prompt a bit of an examination of conscience – how many of us cross ourselves in public, wear any symbols of our faith (or, in the case of priests and religious, of their state in life), or talk openly about our faith with the people we meet? Or, to flip things around, how often do we consciously refrain from doing so because we’re worried about what other people will think?

  9. FN says:

    @Rob83 You make an excellent point: we the laity also need to be forthright about asserting our faith visually as well as in word and deed. I wear a rosary outside my clothes (pretty sure this is OK, it also keeps it handy for prayer) and have recently started crossing myself when passing a graveyard, in a quick prayer for the souls, or when passed by an ambulance. That was suggested by someone in this space. I’m just passing it along.

  10. Mariana2 says:

    Astronomer,

    “And now…everybody stand up…in silence…let us pray…one for the other, everybody….of our heart…the prayer…and we ask the Lord…we ask God…may he bless us all. Amen.”

    and

    “I will ask the Lord to bless you all…you all…may God bless you all…may he accompany you on the way of life…Amen.”

  11. The Astronomer says:

    To those folks who’ve replied, a hearty ‘Thank You.’

    Pope Francis seemed to be speaking in the future tense: “I will ask the Lord to bless you…”. What have things come to when THE POPE doesn’t give a proper blessing?!?! There are some people who literally wait THEIR ENTIRE LIFE for a chance to be blessed by the successor to Saint Peter.

    Like Father Z says, the formula ain’t that difficult.

    Yeeesh

  12. Benedict Joseph says:

    Who came first, Biden or Bergoglio? Are we having a worldwide geriatric breakdown?

  13. I would like to share a positive story about priestly blessings, blessings given as Fr. Z says they should be given.
    Last August, I was privileged to attend the National Susum Corda Weekend in Wisconsin, a young adult retreat given by the Institute of Christ the King. The first evening, I talked with one of the canons for a while, after which he asked if he could give me a blessing (the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind). I said yes and knelt right there on the road where we had been walking, and he blessed me with, “Benedictio Dei Omnipotenti…” etc. Two days later, I was talking with another of the canons, and when we were done, I asked for his blessing. Same result. It was a beautiful experience for me.

  14. I would like to share a story about priestly blessings, blessings given as Fr. Z says they should be given.
    Last August, I was privileged to attend the National Susum Corda Weekend in Wisconsin, a young adult retreat given by the Institute of Christ the King. The first evening, I talked with one of the canons for a while, after which he asked if he could give me a blessing (the thought hadn’t even crossed my mind). I said yes and knelt right there on the road where we had been walking, and he blessed me with, “Benedictio Dei Omnipotenti…” etc. Two days later, I was talking with another of the canons, and when we were done, I asked for his blessing. Same result. It was a beautiful experience for me.

  15. kurtmasur says:

    Well to be honest, I kind of had the impression that Francis is not well in the head while saying these “blessings”, like if bogged by some confusion.

  16. Ages says:

    If I wanted to listen to a Unitarian spouting platitudes, I could visit the group that meets in my town’s movie theater on Sunday afternoons.

  17. Ages says:

    @Benedict Joseph
    We have reached peak Boomer.

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    youngcatholicgirl: Great story and beautiful experience indeed. Thanks.

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