Christmas in St. Peter’s is cancelled, but apparently this Mass is okay. Wherein Fr. Z rants.

As reported by CNA, Francis cancelled Christmas liturgies for the public.

And yet… apparently a Mass like this is okay.

Here’s a public service announcement. If you love good music, don’t… just… don’t. Unless, perhaps, you are in need of a moment of penance. In that case click HERE for a musical highlight. The juxtaposition of the image of the soaring dome of St. Peter’s and the out-of-tune guitars and pitch challenged singers says a great deal about the state of things in Rome.

For the whole thing… not that I recommend it, except for the strong.

Look… this is part of a wider issue.

The Devil always tells you what he is up to. He gives you signs that he is at the bottom of it. There will be something beautiful, for example, and, when you look closely you find something strikingly out of place and usually hideous once you think about it.

A demonstration of that now stands in St. Peter’s Square, the vile Nativity scene of 60’s and 70’s vintage. Vatican News trumpets its goal to “transit truth and beauty” through artistic creativity. HERE  Fail.  The report is absurd, full of mouthings about the pandemic, blah blah.  It is as if it were written about an entirely different work of “artistic creativity”.

Think about it.

It’s like they are openly saying, we are dragging the Church back from the time of John Paul II and Benedict XVI into the 60’s and 70’s again.

Moreover, and worse, it is as if they are openly mocking the mystery of the Nativity of the Lord by doing so.  Mockery in the guise of sophistication.

You can tell that the people who made it had some artistic game.  So did artists like Picasso, Bacon and de Kooning.  When they wanted to they could create beautiful things.  But their worldviews became so twisted that they eschewed beauty for the savagely ugly.  The drew and painted the way they did both because were terrified of death and because they hated their subjects.

That’s not all that is going on the Square.

Remember that other monstrosity in St. Peter’s Square, that black hunk of junk depicting refugees?  It was only supposed to be in the Square for a while, I think.  But… set up in September of 2019, the gawdawful thing is still there.   From Crux we learned: “It’s unclear how long the sculpture will remain in St. Peter’s Square, but Crux can confirm that it will be longer than “one week,” as some Italian news outlets have reported. In order to install the 3 1/2 ton sculpture at the crack of dawn on Monday, a section of cobblestones were removed from the square.”

Dogs bark at it.  I’m not making that up.

How about renting out the Sistine Chapel to Porsche?

And remember the projection onto the facade of St. Peter’s?  On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in 2015?  At the time, in that post, I remarked that we didn’t see humans, except a pair of hands planting a tree.  That’s a good person, you see, not like the vile “virus” of humanity infecting Mother Earth which must be extirpated.  And, in retrospect, irony oozes from that event and my post.  Since then, the Vatican has betrayed the Chinese Church and has slithered into bed with globalists and population control fanatics, bent on reduce the number of people because of, you know, Gaia.  At the time of that post in 2015, I even remarked, ”

What’s next?  A change to the Litany of Loreto?  St. John Paul II inserted two titles of Mary into the Litany by which we invoke her intercession… Holy Mary… “Mother of the Church” and “Queen of the Family”.  What looms on our horizon now?

Holy Mary, innocent of carbon footprint… pray for us.
Holy Mary, conceived without climate change… pray for us.

As it turns out Francis did try to put into the Litany three more titles.  HERE Not that anybody actually uses Litanies today other than traditional Catholics.  As it happens, I keep forgetting to remember to add them to my book.  My bad.   The three titles are not in themselves bad, of course, though the Litany gets a little ponderous.

In the wake of this nasty Nativity scene, maybe we will get more… like… Queen of climatologists … Vanquisher of carbon emissions… Protectress against homophobes… Help of the trans…

The Devil tells you what he is up to.  You can see patterns emerge if you pay attention.

Mater ecclesiae… ora pro nobis.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liturgy Science Theatre 3000, Save The Liturgy - Save The World, What are they REALLY saying?, Wherein Fr. Z Rants, You must be joking! and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. APX says:

    There seems to be some disagreements between some of those notes.

  2. TonyO says:

    Who the heck creates such scenes, such figures? It’s not only bad art, it’s bad theology and bad simply – evil. Forget about casting one of the characters (is it Mary?) as a an astronaut in a spacesuit with helmet on. Why is St. Joseph or a shepherd (who can tell which?) cast as representing a statue borrowed from idolatrous worship of Baal or Moloch? The figure clearly has a look of horror on his face. Maybe the artist should not be excommunicated for this (though I suggest it’s debatable), but surely he should have to do decades of penance in order to be absolved from this. Think of the children being abused by just looking at this!

  3. pope Francis doesn’t look very well. Appears to have one foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave. I pray for his soul!

  4. grateful says:

    For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on Pope Francis and on the whole world.

  5. kurtmasur says:

    While I do commend the fact that the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe is observed in the Vatican with a papal Mass, it sure would be nice if the Mass employed nothing but solemn Gregorian chant, just like in the rest of the papal liturgies. Why, oh why do they have to vulgarize an otherwise beautiful occasion with the sounds of guitars and folksy music? On the other hand, Father, at least the music of “Misa Panamericana” was totally left out this time around while they seemed to have employed Missa de Angelis for the mass setting.

    With regards to the astronaut and Darth Vader in the nativity scene….I wish I could say I was more surprised. If there is one thing that strikes me as odd is that lately there have been multiple items in the mainstream media telling us about the possibility of aliens’ existence. It makes me wonder if there isn’t in fact a connection between the Vatican nativity scene and the aliens news stories, especially considering how Francis’ papacy seems to be quite in harmony with all of the brainwashing coming from the mainstream media, like anthropomorphic climate change, LGBTQ, BLM, etc.

  6. robtbrown says:

    Join Pope Francis in a gay romp through the 1970s.

    A priest, and former student of mine, said that every time the pope speaks, his phone starts ringing.

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Spiffy refreshing-beverage-themed Nativity Scene Fr. Z.

    I bet that Camel could use some bovine accompaniment:

    A wise man will welcome our Savior:

    Dogs are proof God has a sense of humor, surely man’s best friend was in attendance that night:

    God Bless and Stay Hydrated.

  8. sendero says:

    And notice that the same one that cancels the public worship of Christ, stands unmasked and within 6 ft! of the worldly leaders of the Great Resets’ “Inclusive Capitalism”.

  9. Semper Gumby says:

    sendero: Good eye. The motto of “Our” private-plane-using restaurant-dining “Guardians” is ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ These “leader” wannabes can pound sand.

  10. OssaSola says:

    So. If this Nativity is too big to throw into the Tiber, is it flammable? Road trip!!!

  11. grateful says:

    I’m thinking Our Lady of Guadalupe was very pleased with the Latin American music after all.

  12. gaudete says:

    I perceive most comments regarding the music as condescending. There’s 51 other weeks with Organ and Gregorian Chant in Saint Peter’s.

    You will have noted that the whole Mass, including the homily, wasn’t in Latin or Italian (except for the Gospel) but Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.
    It’s the identical libretto (as to the music) as every year for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and to me it seems that Latin American music is most appropriate for that. Tongue in cheek, She didn’t speak Latin with Juan Diego after all, did she?

  13. Joe in Canada says:

    Didn’t the Holy Father say that Mass should be no more than 45 minutes?

  14. Dr. Thursday says:

    Sorry I was late in posting this, but I thought it was worth doing.
    For quite some time now I have added these invocations to the Litany of Loretto:

    Queen of Scientists, pray for us.
    Queen of Engineers, pray for us.
    Queen of Mathematicians, pray for us.

    And to that of the Sacred Heart:
    Heart of Jesus, Who has ordered all things according to number and measure and weight, have mercy on us. (see Wis 11:21)
    Heart of Jesus, Whose designs shall stand forever, have mercy on us. (see Ps 32(33):11)
    Heart of Jesus, Whose science has been made wonderful, have mercy on us. (see Ps 138:6 with the Latin intact)

    And to that of St. Joseph:

    First and greatest of knights, pray for us.

    ora et labora
    and don’t forget the O antiphons begin tomorrow…

    paradoxically yours
    Dr. Thursday

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    kurtmasur: Regarding “ancient aliens” going mainstream.

    In addition to the many books such as Von Daniken’s “Chariots of the Gods,” the so-called History Channel a decade ago debuted their Ancient Aliens series. One “expert” appearing in that series is Barry Downing, a Presbyterian minister (yep, some Christians are involved) and author whose books include “The Bible and Flying Saucers.” Downing points to Bible verses such as John 8:23 (“I am not of this world”) to support Ancient Alien pseudo-science.

    This Ancient Alien pop culture movement is, of course, an exercise in mass delusion, pseudo-science and Confirmation Bias (cherry-picking items to support a conclusion and ignoring or mocking evidence to the contrary).

    Here is an example, the “Abydos Helicopter.” Ancient Alien enthusiasts believe that the ancient Egyptians had alien technology that enabled them to build helicopters, speed boats and submarines. They “prove” this by pointing to hieroglyphs on the wall of the tomb of Seti I (the father of Ramses II, probably the pharoah of the Exodus) in Abydos, Egypt. Here is a photo:

    Of course, that is merely worn plaster and a “palimpsest” or one layer of hieroglyphs written over another (similar to monks in scriptoriums sometimes reusing a piece of parchment). If the ancient Egyptians actually had helicopters roaming over the Sinai and speedboats zooming up and down the Nile and into the Mediterranean that would have been big news back then, to say the least, and recorded in many places in many languages.

    “Ancient Aliens” attracts people for different reasons: 1) those Christians who desire a “scientific” explanation of the Bible, 2) those secularists and occultists who have their egos inflated by possessing “hidden knowledge” (akin to Gnosticism), and 3) those who view themselves as the elite of humanity and desire to link themselves to Ancient Wisdom and Ascended Masters Who Lead The Way (akin to Lenin’s Vanguardism, though the particulars of the Ascended Masters quickly gets into deep waters and outside the scope of this post and comment).

    The Catholic novelist Michael D. O’Brien wrote that much of modern art has a baneful influence on the mind, and that healthy symbols can be distorted for malicious purposes (see his non-fiction book “A Landscape with Dragons: The Battle for Your Child’s Mind”).

    The Vatican Nativity Scene is ugly, unskilled and, this is important, disorienting. Art that disorients serves an important purpose: it gradually unmoors the mind from Human Nature, Tradition, and Beauty. Furthermore, it gradually transforms the mind to be more and more receptive to modernist propaganda and the “wisdom” of our “masters.”

    The Vatican Nativity Scene, to say the least, is unhelpful.

    For more on this topic, see the following post and comments:

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    Congratulations to Taylor Marshall, who noted the similarity between the Nativity Scene spark-plug figure and the ancient Egyptian “Djed” column or pillar (meaning “stability” or “enduring.”

    A closer look…

    The Djed pillar is part of the so-called “Dendera Lamp” which, like the Abydos Helicopter mentioned above, is Ancient Alien “evidence.” The Dendera Lamp is “evidence” that the ancient Egyptians had electricity. Scroll down about halfway for a photo.

    Now, the “god” Osiris was central to funerary cults. His titles included “lord of Djedu”, “lord of Abydos” and “the one who is foremost of the westerners” (i.e. the setting sun and realm of the dead, “hnty-imntw”).

    The Gardiner List (a list of hieroglyphs compiled by Sir Alan Gardiner) classifies the Djed pillar as glyph R 11 under the category Temple Furniture and Sacred Emblems.

    According to Richard Wilkinson’s “Symbol and Magic in Egyptian Art” Egyptian symbols, such as glyphs, are “used both to reveal and conceal: to reveal by evoking important aspects of reality, and to conceal by limiting the audience who would understand their [deeper] message.”

    While we’re at it, note Gardiner List R 10, the glyph for Necropolis or City of the Dead.

    The Vatican admits to both Sumerian and ancient Egyptian influences with this Nativity Scene. The preferred course of action here is returning to Christian art for the Nativity Scene.

  17. Semper Gumby says:

    “Dogs bark at it. I’m not making that up.”

    Good point Fr. Z, had a friend tell me today he observed the same phenomenon.

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