Fr. Dwight Longenecker has said all that really needs to be said about this year’s crêche at the Vatican. The issue is not just that it’s kind of crappy art, but that it dramatizes a heretical theology – a liberal Pelagianism of good works. Do give it a view.
The Lord High Inquisitor’s Song
As some day it may happen that a victim must be found,
I’ve got a little list—I’ve got a little list
Of ecclesial offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed—who never would be missed!
There’s the pestilential journalists who write for NCR,
and all the ultramontanists who think the Pope’s a Czar—
All clergy who wear ugly stoles and vestments as they pray—
And philistines who think that lace is just a little fey—
Theologians from the Argentine who study how to kiss.
They’d none of ’em be missed—they’d none of ’em be missed!
He’s got ’em on the list—he’s got ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed—they’ll none of ’em be missed.
There’s the Jesuit on Twitter who does not believe in hell.
Since God he does resist—I’ve got him on my list!
Then there’s the German Cardinals who pray to Martin L.
They’re just “ecumenist”—they never would be missed!
Then the liberal who praises, with some social justice rage,
The “spiritual but not religious” tenor of the age;
And the parish secretary who makes fruitcake every year
For the congregation’s Christmas Party (and inspires fear);
And that odd phenomenon, theologians feminist—
I don’t think they’d be missed—I’m sure they’ll not be missed!
He’s got them on the list—he’s got them on the list;
And I don’t think they’ll be missed—I’m sure they’ll not be missed!
And those mouth-foaming maniacs who write LifeSite clickbait,
Would that they might desist—I’ve got them on the list!
The Neo-Caths at Crisis in a moral panic state.
And a Two-Tiered Thomist—you know he’s on the list!
Then the smug and smarmy statesman who still wears the scarlet hat
Who bows to tyrants’ wishes from a desk chair in the Vat—
And the bishops who decide they want obedience, not truth—
All baby boomers who attack the faithful of the youth—
And all the heretics who can be judged quite Modernist.
They’ll none of ’em be missed—they would none of ’em be missed!
You may put ’em on the list—you may put ’em on the list;
And they’ll none of ’em be missed—they’ll none of ’em be missed!
I made this spooky content for Halloween. Enjoy.
A is for Accompaniment, the smoth’ring embrace,
B is for Bergoglio, all over the place.
C is for Clericalism’s dark ghost.
D is for Dubia, which really means “Boast.”
E is for Everyone – Come one, Come all!
F is for Fictions, like Sin and the Fall.
G, Gelateria, Italian Cafe.
H is for Heresy, a word not to say.
I is for Internet, where priests show they’re woke.
J is for Jesuit, and Jimmy, and Joke.
K is for Kulturkampf (it’s now all the rage),
L is for Listening to the Spirit of the Age.
M is for Marty, our Lutheran Muse,
N is for Notes that divert and confuse.
O is Obloquy for the littlest waste.
P is for PrayTell, bastion of taste.
Q is for Questioning dogmas all day.
R is for Rigid, the Pharisee’s Way.
S is for Sarah, old Ratzinger’s mime.
T for Trastevere’s napkins sublime.
U is for Undead, like Cardinal Burke.
V is Vocations to Social Justice Work.
W for Words like “Pelagian Coprophile.”
X is for Knights of Malta Exile.
Y is for Youth, who crush all of our hope.
Z is for Zwingli, who should have been Pope.
No please, don’t get up.
I can levitate all by myself.
I’m sure you must see lots of levitating clergymen.
It’s no big deal.
Yes, I know it’s not even a foot up, but still.
Just play your flute or whatever.
Go on, keep doing what you were doing.
Just gonna levitate for my own sake.
Sure is high up here.
All seven inches.
Oh, how I hope never to see the Sun.
To be honest, the best thing about the novitiate is all the restrictions.
It must be unpleasant to have to do all sorts of things that other people do.
Like eating, or going outside, or breathing more than thrice an hour.
Well it has been great holding you.
Really just a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Sure am gonna have to tell my friends about this.
Anyway, you are…uh, kinda heavy.
So uh, I think I’m gonna maybe put you dow—no, get your hand away from me…
OKAY THEN well I guess we’re just gonna stay like this a little longer.
Oh sorry, you caught me at a bad time. I was just dying clear away.
I can never pray without my little blue bow.
You must pray, Iphigenia, you must pray harder.
But Mother, we’ve been doing it for six hours.
If you do not pray, Iphigenia, you can never be well.
We don’t have any more candles left.
Iphigenia, how shall you feel when you are dead and gone far from your own home and all its earthly lights and all who love you?
I only had a small cough—
Shhhh, Iphigenia, shhhhh…
Yes, I said “Come down here at once.”
I’ve even got a little space for you to sit here.
Yes, I know there are bones on it.
Well you’ll just have to move them.
It’s not hard. Really.
How long are we gonna keep saying grace, Jimmy?
Probably a while.
Because I’m using the Roman Canon.
I love how this new makeup makes my face match my surplice.
And please bless mommy and daddy.
And please let us eat lots of desert.
And please crush the Modernist heresy in all its damnable ways.
I hate. every. inch. of it.
John…there’s, there’s a light all about you.
Well I certainly am the most glittering ornament in the room.
I’m sorry, Cecil, but the Church does teach that you have no immortal soul.
Yes, they are rather nice wings, thank you.
Unfortunately I can’t move them at all.
But they look great.
I had no idea such a thing could happen to me.
I feel personally victimized.
I walk into the room and what do I see?
What? You don’t pray to your poetry books?
Deathly pale is the new black.
Little Peter enjoys his prayers.
He smiles as he prays.
He smiles because he thinks about how, at the Judgment Day, the Lord will cast down the heretics, the wicked, and the reprobate into the everlasting flames of Hell forever, where the demons shall rend the very flesh of their bones and devour them.
Little Peter enjoys his prayers.
And eating watermelons, and throwing cakes to swans, and delightedly casting books into the fire…all courtesy of 19th century anticlerical academic painters!
See this Cardinal?
He’s not worried about the Church.
Look at him.
Look at his cat.
Look at the PRECIOUS LITTLE BOW on his cat.
(His cat, incidentally, is named Dom Paphnutius).
Just look at that watermelon.
He’s not worried about whether or not the Barque of Peter can handle a dangerous destabilization of the sacrament of marriage through the undermining of Canon Law in various quasi-magisterial documents and interviews.
His only worry is whether or not he can handle the PRECIOUSNESS of his cat’s little bow.
These two fine gentlemen are out for a stroll.
There seem to be sweets involved.
The Cardinal is very cross, perhaps because said sweets have attracted a flock of unwanted water birds. Or because the liturgy wars have been needlessly reignited by Rome itself and liberal bishops’ conferences are probably going to start forcing people to say “and also with you” and “one in being” in the English Novus Ordo.
I’m not really sure why. Probably the first reason.
Anyway, he should have expected it. Water birds are notorious for their sweet teeth.
Give ’em a few bonbons and they’ll love you forever.
Though tbh I’d be more angry at the other guy for not telling me where he got that fabulous scrolly-hat.
(Note: 19th century priests were very fashion-forward.)
Speaking of which, this Cardinal is too busy tearing up the runway to care about who’s tearing up the Reform of the Reform.
Apparently this is “Champagne Toast,” which I guess is one of those new brunch fads like Avocado Toast.
Thanks for killing EVERYTHING, Millenials.
Oh yeah I’m just enjoying ‘A Quiet Smoke.’ Haha.
Nope, I’m not thinking about Amoris Laetitia footnotes 329 and 351 at all.
Just enjoying my Cuban here.
Sure is nice.
Also, don’t ever talk to me or my son again.
What’s that? Oh, this old thing? Lemme see…why, it’s a relic! A piece of the Holy Napkin of the Trastevere!
So then I says to him, I says, why don’t we elect an Argentinian?
Mmmmmmyessss of course I could tell you about the Synod mmmmmbut I wouldn’t know anything mmmmmmmmmmmbout that….
This Cardinal is deeply disturbed that his new parrot’s first word is “Accompaniment.”
Ah Lafontaine, so glad you could come here have some Dom Perignon for your loyal service
Uh sir I’m just here to tell you that the revolutionaries have subordinated the spiritual to the temporal authorit—
Haha Lafontaine, always one with the jokes
But sir the Reds are comin—
JUST TAKE THE DAMN CHAMPAGNE
His Eminence is thinking up clever new ways to show #mercy and to #meetpeoplewheretheyare and to #judgenot and to #accompany the #youth who are #unemployed in the #interiorforum and to stay #relevant while #BeingChurch, all without ever using the word “sin.”
Here I am.
Just sittin’ here.
With some milk.
Overcomin’ gluttony like a BOSS.
screams internally forever
The Cardinal stared with horror…
Before he saw the bird, he was sure that the vase had been pushed by that mysterious, frightful ghost once spoken of in legend…
The dark creature that was said to stalk the halls of the Vatican even today…
The Spirit of the Council.
Well, Pancrazio, just look at the time.
Half past four.
Funny…they told us they’d sing a new Church into being hours ago.
What a shame.
These gentlemen are enjoying a roundup of the day’s tweets from spiffy, popular Jesuits.
Kasper? Never heard of him…
I haven’t written much this week, as I’ve been traveling. However, on this beautiful St. Bernard’s Day, I thought I’d share this brief and wonderful gem of a piece by Fr. John Hunwicke of the Ordinariate.
I’m sure there are zillions of you out there who have the following sort of information right at your snuff-stained finger tips: did prelates eo fere tempore wear their wigs all through Mass? Even after their zucchetto had been removed as they approached the Consecration? When did Catholic bishops stop wearing wigs? (I think it went out of fashion in Anglican cicles in the 1830s.)
He also gets into the question of blue episcopal choir dress, mainly used in France and Ireland. Read the whole thing.
Clerical dress is one of my longstanding interests, as is the history of 18th century Catholicism. I’m glad Fr. Hunwicke is using his formidable celebrity to draw attention to these matters. While some may dismiss clerical fashion (particularly that of the Ancien Régime) as a trivial matter, I beg to differ. Clerical dress both during and outside of the liturgy is one more aesthetic component by which we can present “the beauty of holiness.” The nondescript threads worn by so many clergy and religious today are, alas, one more surrender to the cult of stark utility, false equality, failed individuality, and, in the end, boring homogeneity.
At the moment, I don’t have the time or capacity to research the questions Fr. Hunwicke raises. But The Amish Catholic will follow this story with all due attention and gravity. You can count on that. In the meantime, I’ll feast my eyes on this doozy of a cappa magna.
- Gregorian Chant
- Byzantine Chant
- Old Roman Chant
- Ambrosian Chant
- Mozarabic Chant
- Hildegard Von Bingen
- Thomas Tallis
- John Tavener
- John Taverner
- Henryk Gorecki
- Arvo Part
- Ralph Vaughan Williams
- Old Negro Spirituals
- The Mormon Tabernacle Choir
- Appalachian Shape-Note Singing
- Mongolian Throat Singing
- Swedish Black Metal
- Broadway Showtunes
- Spanish Versions of Broadway Showtunes
- Esperanto Versions of Broadway Showtunes
- Crappy Bootlegged Esperanto Versions of Broadway Showtunes
- Patsy Cline
- Irish Folk Ceol
- The Game of Thrones Theme Song
- Melanie Martinez
- All 7 Hours of a Castro Speech
- Chris Tomlin (shudder)
- YouTube videos about Fitness
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- “Shall We Gather at the River?”
- David Lynch Cooking Quinoa
- That Weird Russian Guy Who Dances and Makes That Noise with his Lips (you know the one)
- The Interviews of Edward Gorey
- The Collected Works of Charles Dickens Played Backwards
- Machine Metal Music
- The Sound of Two Hundred Bees Copulating Simultaneously
- A Giant Saw Cutting Off California from the Rest of the Union
- Musique concrète
- Dissertation Defenses by Statistics Ph.D’s
- Mark Zuckerberg (shudder)
- The Sound Made by Nikita Kruschev’s Shoe on the Podium, But on Infinite Loop
- The Sound Made by Justin Trudeau When He Announced The Year as If It Mattered, But on Infinite Loop
- Ayn Rand Interviews
- Vaporwave Remixes of Ayn Rand Interviews
- Vaporwave Anything, Really
- “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life!”
- Mr. G’s Dance from Summer Heights High
- A Theory of Justice: The Musical
- “Universal Love, Said the Cactus Person”
- The Ambient Sounds Recorded at the Varsity in Atlanta
- Twelve Germans Arguing About Philology
- John Oliver
- Ethel Merman
- Untranslated Korean Horror Movies
- Buskers in the Tube
- Robert Nozick Gently Asking Me to Kill 10,000 Contented Cows
- Gypsy Music
- Fleet Foxes (actually this would be pretty great and like the only good “folk mass” conceivable in any way, shape, or form)
- “The Sash”
- Ambient Noise Recorded at the Louvre
- The Sound of Praying Mantises Fighting Each Other
- The Sound of Praying Nuns Fighting Each Other
- The Sound of Music
- Oral Histories of the Tennessee Valley Authority
- Smash Mouth
- The Collected Oeuvre of Insane Clown Posse
- Untranslatable Russian Poetry
- Donald Trump (shudder)
- Gordon Ramsay Insulting Hell’s Kitchen Contestants
- Hideous Yak Noises
- The Broken Wind of an Unusually Flatulent Old Vicar in Surrey
- Tracey Emin Talking About Her Work As If It Mattered
- That Flute Played by Mr. Tumnus
- Road Rage
- Chevy Chase Reciting Edward Lear
- “Your Mom Goes to College”
- Lobsters, but Fighting
- Gilbert Gottfried Reciting The Faerie Queene
- “Just You…And I…Just You…And I…”
- The Unrestrained Moans of Passion from the Majestic Wombat in Rut
- All the Burps from Arlo: The Burping Pig
- All the Burps from Arlo Guthrie Over His Entire Life
- “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” On A Day Other Than Thanksgiving
- This List, Recited in Swahili
- Little Jimmy Scott
- The National Anthem of the USSR
- “MacArthur Park” (the original, performed by Richard Harris)
- Cardinal Richelieu as Petula Clark
- A Medley from Die Dreigroschenoper
- Mark Gormley’s “Without You”
- A Headline Act from Branson
- Wing’s cover of “Dancing Queen”