Saturday, September 3, 2016

Father John Zuhlsdorf Again Proves He Is A Danger To The Faithful

Last year I reported that Father John Zuhlsdorf banned me from his blog.  I wasn't banned from just being able to comment.  He actually banned me from even viewing his blog.  When I would try to call up his blog on my home IP address, all I got was the following:

The reason he banned me was because I dared to disagree with a post he wrote in which he said the Ordinary Form and Extraordinary Form of the Mass were not two separate forms, as the Church declares them to be, but are actually two separate rites.  When I tried to correct him and pointed out that Pope Benedict had plainly written in his letter to the bishops that "[i]t is not appropriate to speak of these two versions of the Roman Missal as if they were 'two Rites'.   Rather, it is a matter of a twofold use of one and the same rite", Father Z had a "spittle flecked nutty", called me nasty and banned me.  And he not only banned my home IP address, he also banned my work IP address.

A couple of months ago, for some unknown reason, he lifted the ban on my home so that I can now view his blog (I'm not about to try to comment), but my work IP address is still banned.

I occasionally check in on his blog, but for the most part I cannot stomach his ultra right views either theologically or politically.   Just as he attacked me for daring to disagree with him, he attacks anyone with whom he does not agree.  I find his style very combative and in your face.

But sometimes Father Zuhlsdorf is more than just combative and disagreeable.  Sometimes he is actually a danger to the faithful.  This was on full display when he attacked me.  And it was also on full display a few days ago in a post entitled, "ASK FATHER: What are the best arguments they have in the favor of the novus ordo?"  in which Father Z answered the following question:
We’ve heard plenty, and readers agree, about the superiority of the extraordinary form. We also agree that the novus ordo can be done well, but that it far too often isn’t. We also know, as all recent evidence proves, of the extraordinary form’s blessings.
[1] So why is the extraordinary form so disliked by some bishops and clergy?

[2] What are the best arguments they have in the favor of the novus ordo?

[3] What reasons do they use to cling to it, given its by now obvious flaws? Was there ever a clown or giant puppet mass before Vatican 2?

That reasons many priests give on keeping an obviously flawed mass can only be described as Jesuitical. But this is a mere layperson’s view.

What’s yours?
Father Z is always promoting Summorum Pontificum, the Motu Proprio in which Pope Benedict XVI gave full access to the Extraordinary Form of the Mass.  However, Father Z never seems to quote the following passage from the accompanying letter to the bishops, linked to above:
Needless to say, in order to experience full communion, the priests of the communities adhering to the former usage cannot, as a matter of principle, exclude celebrating according to the new books. The total exclusion of the new rite would not in fact be consistent with the recognition of its value and holiness.
If Father Z were to acknowledge this statement from Pope Benedict XVI, he would then have to immediately correct the premise of the question posed to him, i.e., "the superiority of the extraordinary form", "the extraordinary form’s blessings", and that the OF is "obviously flawed." However, nowhere in Father Z's answer does he point out the inherent rejection of the Church posed in this question.  In fact, as we will see, Father Z supports the question and its premise.

Father Z's first statement in answering this question is filled with harsh judgment and condemnation:
Among the reasons why bishops and priests might hate the older form of the Roman Rite is because they fear it.  People tend to fear what they don’t know.
As I have noted, Father Z does nothing to correct the perception that one form of the Mass is superior to the other, which is in direct disobedience to Pope Benedict XVI and the Magesterium.  Secondly, as noted, he paints the hierarchy of the Church as being fearful and ignorant, and therefore not worthy of the respect and obedience of the laity.  Unless he repents, he will almost certainly be held accountable for such hateful and divisive statements.

As a reformed traditionalist, I know both sides of this issue. At one time I was in total agreement about the "superiority" of the EF. And I was an enthusiastic supporter of Father Z and others like him who never hesitate to condemn anyone - be they laity or cleric - who does not support the superiority of the EF. But then, unlike Father Z and other traditionalists, I actually took the time to read Summorum Pontificum and the other writings of Pope Benedict XVI. I came to realize that my position was not only wrong, but in direct contradiction to the Magesterium of the Church.

Father Z continues to denigrate the hierarchy of the Church in his answer. He makes harsh and sweeping judgments and condemnations:
Many priests and bishops today are young enough not to have grown up with the Traditional Latin Mass. Also, the TLM is in Latin. They maybe ignorant of Latin, which means that they do not know the language of their Rite, their Church. That means that they are self-conscious. They don’t want to be revealed as being ignorant of Latin.
Another reason is that they perceive the use of the older Mass as being a repudiation of everything they were told about Vatican II, etc. And if they are older – and this pertains to priests in these USA, at least – and they grew up in the halcyon days of protests and Vatican II, their own identity is fused with the mythic, iconic “spirit” of those times. When they see something like a biretta or hear the suggest that Latin be used, or Gregorian chant, a switch flicks in their heads and they go into an anti-authority, anti-traditional mode.
Also, if they know something about the older form of Mass, they might realize that they can’t be the center of attention, as they can be in the Novus Ordo. By now so many priests are conditioned to have to be the focus of attention, the driving energy of the “liturgy”, the main event, the ring master, the host of the party. This may not even be conscious, at this point.
Lastly, the older form constantly reminds the priest that he is a redeemed sinner and that he, too, must be not just a priest, but a priest who is also victim. More could be written. This is sufficient.
Father Zuhlsdorf, as a Catholic priest, made a promise at his ordination to be obedient to the Church.  However, as we can see in the answer above, he has no qualms whatsoever about denigrating priests and bishops of the Catholic Church. He condemns the young priests by saying they are too young to know the Latin Mass and are afraid of being exposed as ignorant.  Then he condemns the older priests as being trapped in the protest mindset of the 60's and as a result, at the slightest hint of anything "traditional", "they go into an anti-authority, anti-traditional mode "

Father Z continues to berate those priests who do know the Latin Mass by accusing them of rejecting the EF because "they might realize that they can’t be the center of attention, as they can be in the Novus Ordo."  (Just as an aside, one must always be aware when the Ordinary Form of the Mass is referred to as "the Novus Ordo."  People who use this term are showing their complete contempt towards the Ordinary Form.  They hate it so much that they won't even use the word "Mass" to describe it.)

Father Z tops off his hateful diatribe with a truly vicious and hateful statement. He accuses priests and bishops of hating the Extraordinary Form of the Mass because "the older form constantly reminds the priest that he is a redeemed sinner and that he, too, must be not just a priest, but a priest who is also victim."  With this statement, Father John Zuhlsdorf is agreeing that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is deficient as he claims it does not present the priest as victim as the EF does and does not remind us of our own sinfulness.  Father Z makes the horrific judgment that it is for this reason that priests and bishops prefer the OF to the EF.

In the second part of his answer, Father Z tries to explain arguments in favor of the Ordinary Form. He makes a statement about Christ sharing his Priesthood with the laity and ordained, and that all baptized - lay and clerical - can offer sacrifice to God.  He says that there is a three-fold dynamic to Christ - Christ the Head, Christ the Body, and Christ the Head and Body together - Christus totus. He says:
In some ways, the Novus Ordo [note the derogatory form used to describe the Ordinary Form of the Mass] reflects this three-fold dynamic more often than the older form, according to which there are fewer moments when the Body on its own speaks or sings, or when they do so at the same time as the priests. They are there, but there are fewer.
This is the only positive statement which Father Z can make about the "Novus Ordo."  So what, according to Father Z, is the real attraction of the "Novus Ordo"?  It is the stupidity and ignorance of the people:
Otherwise, another explanation is one which a lot of people really resent: in this day when so much of our catechesis has been non-existent, poor, or ridiculous, and so many people have little or no idea of the transcendent in worship, sound and traditional use of the Novus Ordo [note the derogatory term] could help them to “grow up” liturgically.
He goes on to describe the "Novus Ordo" as baby food:
Sometimes I – with a touch of whimsy to make the point drive home – will say that when humans are young, they need more or less shapeless goo to eat, stuff out of jars, because they can’t yet handle the steak and Cabernet. Eventually they are given more complicated foods of different textures. They need that kind of food in order to thrive!
Father Z states that mature Christians must move on from the "shapeless goo" of the "Novus Ordo":
However, once they grow up more, they need something else. Grown ups, on the other hand, can continue to survive on the goo, but they won’t thrive on the goo. [The Ordinary Form of the Mass is nothing more than "goo."]  So, now that we are in the state we are in, the Novus Ordo [again, the derogatory term] could be, when celebrated well and reverently and with a strong strain of Roman style and tradition – which is exactly what the Council Fathers wanted – a great propaeduetic for something richer and more nourishing, satisfying yet. I could say more but that’s enough.
As can be seen in his answer, Father Z claims that the "Novus Ordo" actually hinders spiritual growth.  He feels that the only salvation of the "Novus Ordo" is an injection of "a strong strain of Roman style and tradition".  He claims that this is what the Council Fathers wanted, even though Pope Benedict made it very clear that the two forms of the Mass are not to be mixed.  This point could be argued, but what cannot be argued is the fact that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is every bit as valid and sacred as the Extraordinary Form, and to say anything different, as Father Z so clearly does, is to be in complete opposition to the Catholic Church.

If Father Z were to actually be honest with himself and his readers, he would clearly see that the reason traditionalists are often in opposition to the mainstream Church has nothing to do with the Extraordinary Form of the Mass in and of itself. Traditionalists run into opposition in the Church because of their smug and arrogant attitudes as displayed so plainly in Father John Zuhlsdorf's answer quoted here. Like Father Zuhlsdorf, traditionalists tend to make sweeping condemnations of anyone who doesn't agree with them that the EF is superior to the OF. Even though they constantly point to Summorum Pontificum as validating their heretical and divisive positions, the truth is their beliefs are in direct contradiction to this papal document.

Traditionalists are often viewed with suspicion and yes, even fear, because of their rigid and unshakable belief that they cannot be wrong. Priests and bishops know that this attitude can and often does lead to division and conflict in the Church and can actually cause people to lose their faith. Father Zuhlsdorf's answer as outlined above is Exhibit A. Another sad example is the Society of St. Pius X.

We must always remember II Corinthians 11:14 - "And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light." Just because someone *sounds* and *looks* good, that doesn't necessary prove that you can trust him. Remember what our Lord said, "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another." There is no love shown in in any way in Father Zuhlsdorf's answer here. All he does is judge and condemn, and he judges not only priests and bishops, but the Mass itself.

Our world has become a spiritual minefield. The only way you will stay safe is to stay close to Jesus Christ and to the Church He founded. We must remember that the Church is not defined by our beliefs and views. It is we who must be defined by Jesus Christ and His Church.


  1. It's my understanding that Father Z has appeared on EWTN in the past. Would he be allowed to appear on "The World Over with Raymond Arroyo" THESE days?

    1. Hmmmmm. I think he would probably be welcomed with open arms!

  2. Your point is what, exactly? The TLM (or extraordinary form) is the historically developed Mass of All Time, with elements that extend back to the time of the Apostles. The N.O. is a man-made (and Man-centered) exercise that was hastily developed and imposed to attract Protestants (and how has that worked>). The fact that the revolution produced rules redefining some level of equality between the two masses means nothing; every totalitarian government has lots of new laws, new courts, new commissions, and the like, to attempt to justify their new order. The N.O. may be licit, due to the Doctrine of Indefectibility, but Fr. Z is essentially correct (and Benedict knew it). Read anything by Michael Davies about the defects in the new mass "form." Interesting, by the way, that the Church is willing to dismiss many of its post-Vatican II "teachings" as non-dogmatic now, so that the SSPX can become regularized (as the Society refuses to agree to them, as well as any of the "new" forms of sacraments and of the Mass; no, not a member). You need to focus on what is truly at issue here; the attempted making of a "new" Catholic Church.

  3. Were you not banned from Father Z's site for what amounted to harassment.

  4. It is ironic that he thinks priests object to the EF because THEY want to be the center of attention.


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