30 August 2012

How to win friends and influence people...

...the Father Z way. 

I've stayed away from Fr. Z's blog most of the time, but every now and then I drop in to see what is up in the blogosphere (he is a fair bellweather for certain parts of it).  Today I dropped in, and found him responding to a priest who is claiming he, Fr. Z.,  has belittled the dignity of new priests in one of his rants.

Here is some of the priest's words and Z's response.  my note

I am a young priest (age 30). Thank you for demeaning my priesthood in your blog post on Aug. 28, 2012.
Not all of us are blessed to be able to go to seminaries that teach the Extraordinary Form, but that does not make us malformed priests. ["Malformed" is your word, not mine. I referred to training. Read more closely and then think it through.] .... Yes, let's read it more closely and think it through. It is actually true, Father Z. does not use the word "malformed".  He instead says they are not properly trained.  But a priest's training is called his formation, and if someone is not properly formed then they are...

Thank you for undermining the dignity of my priesthood (which was part of your concern in your rant) [Father, you need to develop some critical reading skills - together with learning the EF.]
So he is belittling the priest's reading skills while claiming he is not belittling the priest.  I read the original post- or what I presume is the original post, as Fr. Z does not link to the post- and I found it to be standard Father Z boilerplate.  Father Z is maintaining in his response to this priest that he was not belittling new priests.  Here he is, not belittling new priests, nor the new rite.

It take about 5 minutes to learn to say the Ordinary Form in your native language.  Whoop-Dee-Doo!  Saying Mass in the older, traditional form is an accomplishment.  You don’t just get up and do it.  It is not like learning to do brain surgery, but it does take training and practice.  The newer form?  Big deal.
So much for the Roman Rite having two forms of equal dignity.  He goes on to add: 

And we wonder why respect for the clergy has decreased over the decades. What’s so special about what he is doing if it seems like anyone could do it?
I would add to the reasons why respect for the clergy has decreased: or when priests themselves belittle it against the wishes of the Pope?

Father Z would never read this blog, but if he were to do so, I would tell him this: when you tell someone that their accomplishment- and becoming a priest is a glorious accomplishment- that all they have done merits a "whoop dee doo", you are belittling them and undermining the dignity of the sacrifice they offer.  And in your response to the young priest who tries to call you out for doing so, you do it again.

I will now return to ignoring his blog for the time being.


I have been thinking a little since I have posted the above, and I thought about the post below, and the words of my mother, who told me that when I feel like complaining about a priest I should stop, and instead pray for the man.  A few days after I wrote those words, I went off and complained about a priest.  The good father is not the only one with a blindspot, or who may be charged with hypocrisy.  I still disagree with Fr. Z on many things.  But he remains a priest, and we need priests, and they need us to pray for them.

1 comment:

Jessica Rabbit said...

I agree. I avoid his blog at all costs, and when I do check it, I'm reminded why I stay away.