Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's He Getting At?

Fr. Z had a very strange quote today, he said:
Here is a bit from Edward Short’s review of a biography of Elizabeth, the late Queen Mum.

Regular readers will know why I share this:

"Elizabeth never granted interviews to newspapers. She agreed with Walter Bagehot that 'above things our royalty is to be reverenced, and if you begin to poke about it you cannot reverence it… Its mystery is its life. We must not let in daylight upon magic.' "
Now, he's probably just hinting at some reference to the need for mystery in liturgy, but I couldn't help but imagine Fr. Zuhlsdorf(-and-that-is-why-they-call-me-Rolf!) fantasizing about just replacing the word "royalty" with the word "clergy" in that sentence. I couldn't help but notice the parallel between the Queen Mum's attitude to that of a romanticized clericalism, which would have some aloof Pope ruling without question over a facade of clerical culture where everything is covered up and kept all in the family, refusing to acknowledge or respond to the outside world or popular media, and reverenced by a people who are trained to be obsequious and not poke about it...


Stephen said...

What I found most distressing was that Fr. Z described The Weekly Standard as "rich fare for the brain." More like a neo-con rag.

FrGregACCA said...

Sadly, Fr. Z. IS neo-con, lock, stock and barrel. He is all cozy with the Acton Institute. Like his colleagues at the American Orthodox Institute (remember the phrase, "German Christian"?), he is a Randian in clerical clothing.

Anonymous said...

I sense someone DEEP in the closet. Anyone obsessed with vestments, the birds outside his window, and the delicate food he eats... it would be interesting to see him say Mass.

If he wasn't really gay, it would be even sadder on one level.

Anonymous said...

Not all of us who are gay (even Catholic or Orthodox) are obsessed with vestments, birds or our delicate foods ;)

in addition, I don't think I would be quite comfortable with Fr Z on my team

Anonymous said...

I love vestments and fine cooking, its one of my hobbies, and enjoy the sights nature. And I'm not gay. I'm getting married in two and half weeks. Mr. Vasquez, should I be gay in your books?

What is it with the Trad obsession with Fr. Z? For the Angelqueen types he's not stern enough, for you renegade types he is symbol of a kind if Catholic life that glories in itself. Am I right?

Arturo Vasquez said...

"Mr. Vasquez, should I be gay in your books?"

Well, if you like to post on your blog pictures of the birds outside your window, what you had for Sunday brunch, or if you as a layman have some sort of bizarre vestment fetish, maybe you aren't gay, but you do have issues.

And gay people marry all the time. Especially ones deep in the closet. Those less deep in the closet enter the priesthood and become self-hating, catty priests who rail on and on about how gays are destroying society. As you are anonymous, take it as an anonymous observation.

Anonymous said...

I stopped reading Father Z. the instant I caught him mistranslating a passage to support his agenda, then blowing up at a guy who called him on it. Differences of interpretation are one thing, but this was deliberate misdirection.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 9/3/10 1:19 AM is spot on.

Fr Z's grip on Latin (not to mention his English writing) is uneven at best. His most recent "slavish literal translation" of the super oblata for the 19th Sunday of Ordinary time is, simply, wrong. He uses this to claim that the 1973 ICEL translation of this prayer is "an insidious distortion" that eliminates the concept of sacrifice ... which it doesn't.

It's not unlike Cardinal Pell's diktat that the new translation should render adstare coram te in Eucharistic Prayer II as "to be in your presence" because, after all, we couldn't have laypeople standing in the Lord's presence, could we? A shining example of "accurate" translation, innit?

To an earlier commenter: I think people criticise Fr Z because his influence exceeds his intellect by a good measure. And because he has absolutely no accountability, to anyone: he is incardinated in a suburban diocese in Rome, but lives on a luxurious farm, where he sips Veuve Cliquot and smokes cigars. He posts photos from business class airport lounges on his travels through the US and to Europe. The $400 espresso machine is no longer on his "Amazon wish list", but $1500 of camera lenses are, together with champagne vinegar and a $80 glass soda siphon.

It doesn't add up.

To quote the original post: someone needs to let in some daylight on this guy. Whether or not we need more mystery in the Eucharist, we certainly don't need mystery in the way an eccentric priest, living on his own and accountable to nobody, gathers donations from adoring faithful and spends them on luxuries.

He may be a good, hard-working, holy priest. I hope so. But anyone who asks the public for gifts and who claims to represent the Church should fit into the ordinary system of accountability and should demonstrate some transparency about his ways and means.