A Fairly Typical Encounter with a Member of the Urine and Vinegar Wing

I keep being told these people are a tiny minority in real life.  I have no reason to doubt it since I almost never meet them in my parish, just as I–living in the least-Churched city in America never meet militant atheists in real life either.  Something about face to face encounter almost always guarantees that socially unskilled people just don’t act out their social and emotional cluelessness–until they get on line and are no longer hindered by normal human interactions and are encouraged to behave like Dwight Schrute by their fellow socially unskilled dogmatists writing from their mom’s basements.  When that happens, you suddenly find that a group who constitute a tiny, sullen percentage of people in real life suddenly dominate conversations in great excess of their numbers and suck all the oxygen out of the room with their anger, paranoia and supremely un-self-aware tantrums.  And so we find that bitter SuperTrads (what one sane and healthy Traditionalist calls the “Urine and Vinegar Wing”) occupy a vastly bigger amount of time and space on the Internet than they do in real life since normal Trads are busy with, you know, Life and Happiness and Being Normal while these guys continue to cling to rage about their obsessions.  One such guy was busy in my comboxes last week, repeating variations of stuff I have had flung at me a thousand time in cyberspace.  To wit, one Hereticorum Interfector favors me with the following:



Say what you want, Mark, but Francis is no friend to orthodoxy, let alone so-called “traditionalists”.  The Roman Catholic Church is in ruin.  Francis’ “kumbaya” approach isn’t going to repair it, either.  We need to return to the days of leveling anathemas and calling for crusades.  We need real men in the papacy, not this weak liberal.  Francis makes JPII look like John Wayne.

and adds:

You can thank Vatican II for “clown” Masses along with every other conceivable variation.  This would have been unheard of prior to the oft lauded V2 debacle.  I’m not a sedevacantist, by the way, although I do sympathize with them.  I just hate the Novus Ordo with every fiber of my being but I doubt we’ll ever see the end of it, unfortunately.  I think it’s here until Jesus returns and exacts His vengeance on ever “Mess” that’s ever been “celebrated” in His name that have turned many, many Catholics away and possibly to their eternal damnation.  The Novus Ordo is WORTHLESS.

So I reply:

This is why I have a hard time buying when people tell me that the Urine and Vinegar crowd “love the Mass”.  No they don’t.  Like you, they frequently express their hatred and blasphemy for the Mass.  What they love is a particular aesthetic.  And they love it more than Jesus Christ himself, fully present in the Eucharist at the OF.  They also frequently express, as you do, their intense hatred of most of the Church and of the Holy Father.  HI, it is you and those who talk like you who are the greatest enemies of the EF in the world.  And you seem to have absolutely no awareness of the deep evil you advocate.  Repent.

And he responds:

OK, Mark, I’ll take my vitriol down several notches here.  Firstly, I don’t pretend to represent the “Urine and Vinegar” crowd, by which I presume you mean those with an affinity to the EF of the Mass.  Secondly, are you suggesting that I should just suck it up when I happen to attend a Mass where all sorts of illicit acts are performed?  I argue that the real blasphemy takes place is most Catholic churches each Sunday.  Why you refuse to admit this baffles me.  Instead, men like you just want us to “offer it up”.  I’m sorry, Mark, but that’s not in my character.  I stayed away from Christianity for years because of the way in which most Christians around me treated Jesus, i.e., like their fishing buddy.  When I found the Catholic Church I *thought* I’d finally found a place where the faith was taken seriously but it appears that since V2 the Church has went he other direction, apparently in a futile attempt to make itself more appealing and more relevant.  What you’ve actually, done, however, is stripped it from any substance – aside from the Eucharist itself, of course – but when you see most people not genuflecting, making the sign of the cross, chewing gum, dressed in shorts or short skirts, etc., then what has it gained you?  Nothing.  The RCC in the west is a real joke and human beings are to blame for that.  It infuriates me precisely because I DO love Jesus and it angers me that others show so little respect for Him.  We only give him an hour a week and this is how we treat Him?  Sorry, I’m calling it out and shining a light on it.  It’s wicked.  Get your head out of the sand, Mark.  It’s not all rainbows and unicorns in the Catholic Church and no matter how you try and sell that view, there are many of us who know better.

My response:

OK, Mark, I’ll take my vitriol down several notches here.

Given what follows, you continue to demonstrate spectacular unselfawareness.

Firstly, I don’t pretend to represent the “Urine and Vinegar” crowd, by which I presume you mean those with an affinity to the EF of the Mass.

You needn’t pretend, you do represent them.  And no, it is not those with an affinity to the EF, but those who speak with hatred and contempt for the OF, for all those in the Church who do not share their aesthetic obsessions, and (lately) for Francis, for JPII, and for the Council.  Stuff like what you write is an embarrassment to sane and healthy lovers of the EF.

Secondly, are you suggesting that I should just suck it up when I happen to attend a Mass where all sorts of illicit acts are performed?

No.  I’m suggesting you should stop blaspheming the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I argue that the real blasphemy takes place is most Catholic churches each Sunday.

Correct. You do argue that, even though you canot possibly know it is true.  As I say, you casually blaspheme the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and express your deep hatred for most of the Church.

Why you refuse to admit this baffles me.

I admit that you blaspheme Holy Mass in your addiction to anger and hatred of the Church.  I do not admit that a Mass approved by Holy Mother Church is “worthless” or blasphemous. That’s because I go to an OF Mass that is reverently celebrated and have done so all over the country and do not regard it as “worthless” as you blasphemously do.

Instead, men like you just want us to “offer it up”.

No.  Men like me are grateful for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

I’m sorry, Mark, but that’s not in my character.

That much is obvious.  What is, alas, in your character (which the grace of the Holy Spirit can alter and redeem) is deep hatred for the Church and idolatry of the sin of anger.  Repent.

I stayed away from Christianity for years because of the way in which most Christians around me treated Jesus, i.e., like their fishing buddy. When I found the Catholic Church I *thought* I’d finally found a place where the faith was taken seriously but it appears that since V2 the Church has went he other direction, apparently in a futile attempt to make itself more appealing and more relevant. What you’ve actually, done, however, is stripped it from any substance – aside from the Eucharist itself, of course – but when you see most people not genuflecting, making the sign of the cross, chewing gum, dressed in shorts or short skirts, etc., then what has it gained you? Nothing. The RCC in the west is a real joke and human beings are to blame for that. It infuriates me precisely because I DO love Jesus and it angers me that others show so little respect for Him.

No.  You don’t love Jesus.  You love a particular aesthetic, a particular moral theory, and above all, you love indulging the sin of anger.  If you loved Jesus, you would love the People of God.  That’s not me.  That St. John: “If any one says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.”

We only give him an hour a week and this is how we treat Him? Sorry, I’m calling it out and shining a light on it. It’s wicked. Get your head out of the sand, Mark. It’s not all rainbows and unicorns in the Catholic Church and no matter how you try and sell that view, there are many of us who know better.

Thanks for that news flash that all is not well with the Church.  I never would have known that (after ten years of reporting about the Scandal and very other Catholic lunacies) without your emotionally incontinent fits of rage.  Here, read this:


Here’s reality: You don’t love Jesus.  You love your sense of prideful superiority to the average Catholic. You love anger, rage, and disgust.  They are working like drugs in your system, like crystal meth robbing you of the appetite for healthy food and stealing your soul. Your anger will destroy you if you do not address it and take it to confession–preferably with a priest you cannot stand and have judged to be “too liberal”.  How *dare* you speak of Holy Church with such contempt.  Who died and made you the judge of the People of God?

God is ready and willing to forgive and help you.  But you have to face facts about your sin here.  It will kill you.

PS. In other news, the Anti-Francis Urine and Vinegar Ground Zero: Rorate Caeli, has been relying on a Holocaust denier for all their “inside info.”

“So that’s, you know, coming along.” – Dr. Horrible

PPS. The crazy Jew-hating wing of the UV Trads is out in force. “Maurice Pinay” shows up in my boxes to mutter darkly about the “true enemies” of the Church, while over at Dawn Eden’s blog, the splitters of hairs and the rationalizers of Jew hatred turn up to offer such insights as, “Eden is not even able to make the distinction between belittlement and denying of the holocaust.” Belittlement of the murder of six million Jews is, you see, waaaaaaay different than denial of that act of mass murder. Dawn Eden, a convert from a Jewish background is clearly hypersensitive.

UV Trads are unparalleled in their ability to neglect the use of mirrors. They live in a fantasy world where Jooooooos and Masons and modernists and neo-Catholics combine in vast and shadowy conspiracies to discredit and destroy them. It never seems to dawn on them that nobody on earth does more to discredit and destroy UV Traditionalism than they themselves. And as they do it, they inflict incalculable harm on sane and healthy Traditionalists and on Holy Mother Church, not to mention on souls less sturdy than Dawn Eden’s, who is mature enough to know that sentiments like this are, as the blessed and holy Second Vatican Council teaches us, “foreign to the mind of Christ.” May God solemnly rebuke this Jew-hating filth.

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Demons, Deliverance, Discernment
  • Longinus

    I seem to recall something about “a house divided” that seems quite appropriate for this. The devil dances when we fight this way. Maybe it’d be better to keep from adding to the fire, Mark; by all means respond to someone, but there’s no need to publicize it. In a way you’re being just as bad, expressing your own vitriol; and you’re alienating Catholics who love the Tridentine Mass by dismissing it as mere aesthetics in response to the radical fellow like the one above. We need to be unified. Neither this fellow, nor your put-down of him, are helping. I’m hardly the person to do so, but I suggest a bit more humility. Pride is the greatest sin, I know that from experience…

    • Rosemarie


      Mark isn’t “publicizing” it since this wasn’t a private exchange. I read the whole thing in a combox on this blog last week. It’s already public.

      • Longinus

        Ah, my mistake. Thought it was an email exchange. This is still a way of spreading it further, but you’re right.

        • http://signsshadows.blogspot.com/ Colin Gormley

          Mark has received accusations that he is making a mountain out of a molehill over his arguments against this particular kind of Catholic. He is taking the time to highlight the all-too-often connection between those who have an affinity for the EF and the contempt for those who are not like them.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “you’re alienating Catholics who love the Tridentine Mass by dismissing it as mere aesthetics”

      Nope, he did not do that. Read it again. This not infrequent attendee of the EF would have noticed such.

      • Longinus

        He refers to a “particular aesthetic”; he’s done so in other articles as well. Again, it’s not malicious, he’s just pushing back against RadTrads in a way that tends to irk the more moderate traditionalists as well.

        • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

          I’m pretty much the poster boy for what some view as a “moderate” traditionalist, and in this case, Mark made an example out of this guy and rightly so. If you walk around saying you hate hate HATE a mass the Roman Pontiff has approved, your doing it wrong.

          • Longinus

            True enough. I suppose I’m just a bit annoyed that Mark harps so much on this, being a traditionalist myself; I can’t stand jerks like the one in the post, but the way Mark goes about putting them in their place just smacks of something less than respect for the rest of the more old-fashioned, tradition-minded Catholics. I’m certain that’s not his objective, but that’s what it often comes across as, to me.

            • http://rayontremblant.wordpress.com Robert

              How about you stop defending the indefensible and decry the nonsense as Mark does? When racial profiling was heavily covered in the media in the wake of 9/11, the thing that was constantly brought up was why Muslims didn’t openly and emphatically castigate the extremist wing of their religion with whom they were being lumped together as suspects by the TSA. I don’t think Mark is doing ANYTHING like what the TSA did. He is speaking about and to either a specific person or specific group of people whenever he brings up this issue and is always careful to make that clear. Your offense doesn’t really inspire pity in me and I don’t blame anyone in whom pity is not inspired as well, not that you asked for it. I just don’t really care how you feel disrespected because you can’t seem to get in your head that Mark is simply doing something good for the maligned, attacked, and the truly disrespected, most of all, Jesus and the mass for which He left us and that the guy with whom he’s discussing is really just an angry jerk. Mark spewed no vitriol. Everything he said was true.

  • Andy, Bad Person

    In other news, the Anti-Francis Urine and Vinegar Ground Zero: Rorate Caeli, has been relying on a Holocaust denier for all their “inside info.”


  • JB

    Speaking of confusing aesthetics with the essence of the mass, it’s worth remembering that what the mass remembers – Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross – was not only a bloody mess but also the ugliest event in the history of the world. In other words, no amount of ugliness can detract from the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

  • Rosemarie


    Apart from the Rain Man bit (he was a sweet guy, not an obnoxious jerk, so there’s no comparison), I basically agree.

  • freddy

    So, yeah, I went to Mass
    And I’m looking around; there’s the Nelsons; she’s his second
    (and I doubt they’ve had an annulment)
    And there’s the Smythes’; three years married and no kids
    (Bet she’s on the Pill; looks the type)
    And sure I should be happy those teens over there even showed up
    (But wearing THAT stuff? C’mon that’s not right)
    (And I’m sure I hear a Gameboy)
    (And that old lady’s on her cell. Again.)
    So yeah, I’m trying to pray.
    But it’s a noisy crowd. Got no respect for You, Lord!
    And me in my suit and tie.
    (And WHAT is that kid in the back mumbling? Is he drunk? Stoned?)
    (Sounds like: “Oh God” blah blah “mercy” blah blah “sinner.”)
    Stupid kid.

    • Stu

      I heartily congratulate you on being better than that person.

      (Whomever they are.)

      • freddy

        Oh, Stu, that’s me: more times than I can count.
        I’ve learned that whenever I think I’m catching on to this “holiness” thing, or that I know what God wants, or that I’m ever so ‘umble, it’s time to run-not-walk to the nearest confessional.

        • Stu

          Well, that part is lost when you post in a thread like this.

          Threads like this, “thank God we are all better than those RadTrads, though we believe they are the minority, but thank God nonetheless we are like them” are really just as bad as….them.

          Rinse and repeat.

          • Mark Shea

            Actually, they read more like “I’m pretty tired of jerks who invade my comboxes to kick me in the teeth and talk to me as though I am subhuman trash.”

            • Stu

              It really brings out the best in you.

              • freddy

                1. I don’t consider myself any stripe of trad, but I am a member of an FSSP parish, by the grace of God.
                2. I used to take Mark’s words about the U&V crowd more personally until I realized he is perfectly right to call folks out for their uncharity. Mark has no beef with those of us who have an affection for the EF, and I was being silly to feel “lumped in” with them or worse, somehow responsible for them when I don’t know them, don’t agree with them, and have never, to my knowledge, met any face to face.

                3. Just for you, Stu, because I like you. :) And in the spirit of fairness:

                Who Looked But Did Not See
                I made up my mind to be fair, and so I went.
                I saw what I expected, more or less.
                Lots of old people, clutching rosaries.
                Lots of gold and lace and polished brass and nose-tickling incense.
                The stately dance of bowing servers.
                A droning muttering of an ancient language
                To the counterpoint of the chanting choir.
                Okay, more kids than I expected.
                Little girls fussing with those doilies on their heads.
                Little boys fussing with books.
                How bored they must all be!
                Must be why they were all so happy
                Laughing and chatting in the parking lot after

                • Stu

                  And you probably know that I am part of an FSSP parish as well (by the Grace of God).

                  Thing is, I don’t come across bitter people like this. Do they exist? Surely just as there are all manner of Catholics and various extremes at parishes who celebrated the OF. But I don’t see the value in dwelling on this over and over. It’s just Hatfield and McCoy type stuff now.

                  If we want to build bridges and understanding, then people need to put down the guns and actually start building bridges. And that means sometimes, people are going to say mean things to you and you have to….offer it up.

                  • freddy

                    Well, sure we do have to offer up uncharitable things people do or say. We also have to practice the spiritual work of mercy of admonishing the sinner. You may disagree with Mark’s prudential judgement to do just that — and I find that it is an area where good people may in good conscience disagree — whether the time, or the tone, or something else, is right; but Mark isn’t the one causing divisiveness. That distinction belongs, unfortunately, to those who insist that the OF Mass is invalid, “hateful,” or “worthless.”

                    • Stu

                      I don’t disagree with admonishing the sinner or even recommending a better approach.

                      To end division, there must be an effort to bridge the gap. It often takes a hero to initiate that first step. Who is that person? I think consistently highlighting the words of a minority group, especially when it does collateral damage, doesn’t help the effort. It just sets it up for the next round to continue.

                    • http://www.torontotlmserving.blogspot.com/ Julian Barkin

                      Freddy, you are like the Long-Skirts of the Novus Ordo/GladTrad Crowd!

  • James H, London


    When I’m big, I wanna de-screed like Mr Mark!

    The comboxes in British blogs are stuffed with UV Catholics. It wrecks my peace to have to write against their vomit. There was a time when I thought I’d like to attend and EF Mass. No longer. Can you imagine the conversations they have after Mass? Ick.

    • ivan_the_mad

      I’d encourage you to reconsider. I don’t have a particular devotion to the EF, but I know some who do. If you’ve felt drawn to it, give it a go and see if it bears good fruit in you. Batshit crazy Pharisees will be batshit crazy Pharisees regardless of your attendance or lack thereof.

      • Longinus

        An excellent point. I attend the Tridentine Mass every Sunday, and it’s beautiful, but there are a fair amount of Pharisees in it. The important thing is keeping your heart and mind on Christ and on glorifying him through the beauty of the Mass.

      • http://www.torontotlmserving.blogspot.com/ Julian Barkin

        “Batshit crazy Pharisees will be batshit crazy Pharisees regardless of your attendance or lack thereof.”

        LOL! Let me reword it a bit though … “Those Bat(#*$ crazy Pharisees man, they be full of cray cray, whether you be there or not, dawg,”

  • Sandy

    Thanks Mark. You have given me the words to deal with the “pridefully superior” in my own corner of the world.

  • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

    Would you believe I came upon this post after having watched “Rain Man” (on Netflix) last night, for the first time in about 10 years?

    I think you were partly right, Mark. While Rain Man wasn’t being intentionally obnoxious at all (you do come to understand his ways and sympathize with him), he did have several qualities that remind me of the U@V crowd, including the laser-like focus on trivialities as opposed to the people around him. He misses the meaning in everything while repeating all the words. He freaks out if someone moves any of his stuff a fraction of an inch. But is no anger in him, and he is utterly childlike, something you can’t say for the people like the one you encountered.

    But trivialities are what these U@Vs focus on: whether the cut of Pope Francis’ chasuble, or the fact that he has worn the same one several times in a row or that he carried Pope Paul VI’s crozier at the Mass at St. John Lateran (a major no-no for some reason), or that he STILL hasn’t worn the mozzetta – these are supposed to mean that the Pope has “degraded” the Mass and has no reverence for the faith or tradition, etc. — when all you have to do is look at how he acts at the Consecration to know how reverent he is. When he raises the Body of Christ, there is no question that he is truly adoring Jesus truly present in the Eucharist.

    I believe these people above all are deeply, deeply insecure and afraid of change; they cling to the ideal of the past to cope with the seemingly crumbling world of the present. They are in essence, freaking out because someone moved their stuff.

    They have it in their mind that if people would listen to them, they would save the Church, but they are really doing more to damage it, if only they knew. They represent maybe 5% or so of commenters at Fr. Z’s blog, and have earned a mixture of pity and disgust from the rest.

    I wonder if the 60′s changes in the Mass really were that traumatic to live through, that people were so scarred? I was in my early teens when the new Missal arrived (and we had already been saying Mass in English a few years before that). I liked the new style and adjusted, perhaps because I had little invested in the old one. The Mass, whatever flavor it comes in, though, isn’t the primarily reason for my reverence for the Eucharist. My catechesis is, and thank heavens that was sound, at least I got the basics before the real post-conciliar craziness hit. Plus I loved to read, and fortuitously was directed to the right books.

    Many trads have this strange notion that if people just returned to the old liturgy and all the pre-Vatican II paraphernalia, the Church would miraculously right itself again. To me this kind of thinking is precisely backwards. To most progressives, the whole of the traditional paraphernalia is just meaningless mumbo-jumbo, and represents only useless finery and triumphalism. In order to see its worth (and it does have some worth) they would have to really believe in the Real Presence — and for many of them, that’s the catch. It’s evangelization and real catechesis that are going to wake people up to reverence and save the Church, no matter which Mass text we are using. . .

    • ivan_the_mad

      “They have it in their mind that if people would listen to them, they would save the Church, but they are really doing more to damage it, if only they knew.”

      Yup. Folks like Mark’s combox jerk are the EF’s worst enemy. No pope or bishop will ever do as much to deter people like James H above from the EF as joyless angry Pharisees will, especially if said Pharisee blasphemes against the OF. This is a real pity, because there are some folks who clearly have a devotion to the EF and good fruit is borne from them, and people should be encouraged to find such devotions.

    • Rosemarie


      Still not thrilled with comparing nasty, unpleasant people to Rain Man, or people with autism in general. Incidentally, you’re also likely unaware that the term “Rain Man” is becoming a kind-of slur against people on the autism spectrum. I don’t assume everyone knows that, which is why I don’t take immediate offense when it’s used. You probably have to be close to the whole autism thing to be up on the latest developments. So that’s just a “heads-up.”

      PS: April is Autism Awareness month, FWIW.

      • Mark Shea

        My apologies. I altered the post.

        • Rosemarie


          That’s okay. Like I said, I don’t expect everyone to know about stuff that’s happening in the autism community. I just know because, unfortunately, every month is Autism Awareness month for me. I’m all to aware of it all year round.

          • Rosemarie

            …or maybe I’m all TOO aware of it…. :-)

            • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

              Rosemarie, I hope you didn’t think my references were offensive. I hope the film itself is not now considered offensive. It’s one of my favorites.

              • Rosemarie


                It’s okay. As for the film, some complain that the character does not reflect all people with autism, just a small subset, which gives people the wrong impression about the disorder, while others are okay with it. I like the movie myself.

  • ivan_the_mad

    Here, from BXVI’s letter to the bishops which accompanied the promulgation of Summorum Pontificum:

    “In this regard, it must first be said that the Missal published by Paul VI and then republished in two subsequent editions by John Paul II, obviously is and continues to be the normal Form – the Forma ordinaria – of the Eucharistic Liturgy. The last version of the Missale Romanum prior to the Council, which was published with the authority of Pope John XXIII in 1962 and used during the Council, will now be able to be used as a Forma extraordinaria of the liturgical celebration. It 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.”


    Two forms, same rite. By blaspheming against the OF, your combox jerk in fact blasphemes the EF, which he claims to love. Unless he considers himself bound by neither the pope nor the magisterium, which is a whole other can of worms.

  • Sam Schmitt

    Pretty low hanging fruit there, Mark. I’m just wondering what good comes from giving someone like this free airtime? Life is short.

    • ivan_the_mad

      Probably the following:
      1) Devotees of the EF will make some noise of their own to drown out the U&V crowd with the joy and grace that stems from their devotion.
      2) People who aren’t devotees of the EF crowd will realize that the U&V crowd really are big poopyheads who aren’t at all representative of the great preponderance of EF attendees.

    • Mark Shea

      I get hit in the face with low-hanging fruit from these people quite frequently. So do a lot of others. Memorize this line from James H’s comment and deal with this reality: “The comboxes in British blogs are stuffed with UV Catholics.” Face these people and stop pretending that they are not a scandal throughout the conservative Catholic blogosphere.

      • Stu

        Catholic blogosphere = not the real world.

        • KML

          While that may be true from our perspective as active practicing Catholics, Stu, it is unfortunately not true for the rest of the world. Plenty of people don’t know a Catholic in real life and have not stepped foot in a church, EF or OF, but they know how to use Google.

          • Stu

            Most of the World isn’t even on the Internet.

      • Sam Schmitt

        I’m not pretending they’re not there – they bother me as well. But I find the best antidote is reading about all the good the pope is doing and reading his words rather than answering each and every one of the asinine points the UV crowd is trying to make.

      • Taylor

        But what if I see you as a U & V Catholic?

        Charity, we must all have it.

    • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

      Because he knows sensible traditionalists, being the marks they are, will object to guys like that, and give a better traditionalism.

      And as the one who coined the whole U & V concept, let me state what i mean…. again.

      A U & V Catholic need not be a traditionalist. Quite frankly, you find them in all corners of the internet. They feed off of outrageous outrage, usually from their fellow u & v guys. Their entire time spent talking about the faith is always in regards to how horrible things are, how horrible other people are who disagree with them, and their entire devotion to the something is only manifested publicly by tearing down everything else.

      They hold those they disagree with them in the utmost contempt, as to disagree with them on the slightest of manners is to cease being part of the true movement.

      It isn’t just a religious thing. Heck, it probably played a huge role in why conservatives in America lost the last election. Even when they are just a small minority, the trolls make a huge amount of noise, and end up causing way more problems than they solve, and typically drive people away from the very thing they love.

      These types are also normally not ones who will wage such wars in public, or against those who are in any sort of authority.

  • Will J

    So is the brick by brick blog part of this group?

  • Alexander Anderson

    Speaking of the Urine and Vinegar wing, where’s Troll? He hasn’t posted since B16 resigned, and it’s making me sad.

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    Yes, the real flesh and blood of Christ are offered in the Mass, no matter which form.

    However, all of us have seen celebrations which seem neither sufficiently reverent nor comprehending of what is taking place. There are problems as well with ritual continuity and emotional register.

    I like a good story too, but one who represents Christ at the altar should not also be a joke telling MC. Glad handing after the representation of the Sacrifice is a form of incomprehension that can verge on blasphemy. After the end of Mass would be more appropriate.

    The Mass is not a show, and yet people feel called upon to applaud while the Mass is still happening.

    Pope Benedict said it well: The priest is not so important.

    The Lord of the Universe is there. One should not turn one’s back to Him.

    Mark, I don’t believe that psychoanalysis at long range of someone who disagrees with you is called for. No one knows the quality of this person’s relationship with Christ except himself and the Lord.

    • Longinus

      Thank you. Once again I find that others often express my thoughts far better and more respectfully than I can…

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    I think that part of the attitude problem is that most of us have never seen a real crucifixion.

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    Despise no one. Christ didn’t.

  • rachel

    Ok, here is a trad to chime in. Mark, you did a good job dissecting all the poster’s silliness. My husband and I, both who attend the EF almost exclusively (every Sunday) do not share the ideas of the UV crowd. In fact, those are the sort that we shy away from. My heart is heavy. The vitriol about our Holy Father Francis is very, very sick. Part of the problem is that in the 70′s through the 90′s, many trads were treated terribly by priests, bishops, and others in the Church.

    I would never go so far as to say like one of the previous posters that the pre-VII church was all meaningless mumbo jumbo. It wasn’t. That is one of the problems.
    By promoting the OF some people denigrate the EF. No. We should not denigrate either. The trads who denigrate the OF are being just as ridiculous as the “progressives” and others who say terrible things about the EF. Again, I have a great devotion to the EF as well as my husband. We love singing Gregorian Chant and the solemness of it. We love the old devotions and the disciplines. It saddens us both to see it being denigrated but it also saddens us when we see Trads acting like jerks. I agree that Trads are their own worse enemy and that they are also partly to blame for the treatment of many Trads throughout the world.

    When Benedict XVI put out Summorum Pontificum in 2007 there was a meeting in my diocese. I was there. The representative of the bishop was there to answer questions. He was immediately belligerent and when he was later asked as to why there were people interested in the EF Mass, he cited a supposed study that many of them have ADHD. He insulted us that day. However, my husband and I continue to be good natured. We are not bitterman trads who are part of the clothes and liturgical police. I love Pope Francis and I think he will do good things for the Church. So far, I haven’t seen any problems with his Masses. They are still reverent and I believe there is room for a variety of music, provided it is sacred and appropriate for Mass. Some songs that are sung at many parishes are terrible but that can change.

    We must move forward and heal. There are so many wounds in the Church. One of them is the treatment of Trads and vice versa. Let’s love one another. That is what we are called to do as Christians.

    • Will J

      I have no problem with either Mass. I do have a problem with those that want to eliminate the English Mass or change it (as in “some songs that are sung at many parishes are terrible but that can change”). Kind of “I have my Latin Mass and now have to work on your Mass”. That is just the way it comes across to me. Too much division.

      • rachel

        I’m fine with many English songs but some of them are honestly terrible theologically and musically. I sing in the Choir and some of them are just awful to sing. Yes, that can change. No, I don’t mean to change all the songs to latin but some of them are just bad.

        • Stu

          No harm in pointing out that the 70s brought with it bad taste all around. No surprise that it got into even liturgical music, church design and vestments.

          Some still remains. It is what it is.

    • ivan_the_mad

      “I would never go so far as to say like one of the previous posters that the pre-VII church was all meaningless mumbo jumbo. It wasn’t.” Agreed, you do the previous poster a disservice. She wrote concerning a particular error held by some, but she is quite clear that she does not hold that error.

      • ivan_the_mad

        Agreed, *but* you do the previous poster a disservice.

        • rachel

          Ivan, you are correct. I misread her post and just hadn’t got around to correcting myself. I’m sorry.

      • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

        Ivan, thank you. I was just about to say I was misrepresented, but you beat me to it!

        Rachel, I want to state that I too love Gregorian chant as well as the solemnity of papal Masses. (I have not the Mass according to the 1962 Missal though, since around 1964). The only thing I have a problem with is people who elevate the importance of every last detail of papal vestments above the importance of truth, charity and common sense.

        Fr. Z is now banning Pope Francis bashers from his comboxes — thank God!

        • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

          I meant that I have not *been* to the 1962 Mass, not that I don’t love it. Sorry.

  • Mark R

    I am amazed how often the most bitter sort of Catholic is either a very recent convert or revert. I wonder if the reason is raised expectations from reading works or blogs which represent how thing ideally ought to be — practically any written thing constitutes a de facto ideal of some sort.
    I was a Byz. rite seminarian. Some of us were very heavy on externals being just so Eastern – me especially. However, most of us got to the point that Liturgy Isn’t Everything. It took one or two devout priests to point out that yes, doing such and such is the ideal but not absolutely essential (I won’t go into Byz. details).
    Bringing me back to my first point: A lot of things people would not know are now known because the info is now more widely available in re. to liturgics. As laity, this is really not our sphere. Would that the clergy take a little bit of the time that some of the laity gorge themselves on things liturgical. And gum chewing and not genuflecting is not the priest’s or pope’s fault but our neighbor- in- the- pew’s.
    And what is this oft spoken of clown mass? I have never encountered one and who is to say there would still have been clown masses had there been no N.O. mass.

  • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

    The Mass is about how true God and true man is flogged to the verge of death, and then nailed to a cross to die a slow death , and how He rose from the dead, and about the purpose of this torment and this rising.

    Many of us would have fainted even to see it.

    How many Masses have you attended in which the congregation seemed to grasp what it was that they were witnessing and being part of? After witnessing that, do you want to trot around the aisles shaking hands and grinning?

    How alienated are we from what actually goes on in the world? I could tell a story or two here, but I don’t want to give anyone nightmares.

    The experience of Golgotha is by no means limited to Jesus of Nazareth. God shared with us what we do to one another. He gave himself to *that.*

    Do you begin a representation of *that* with: “Good morning everybody”?

  • Taylor

    The Extraordinary Form is not about aesthetics. If you think that it’s about Latin, or incense, or chant, you too are caught up in the trappings.

    • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

      Every Mass should be solemn because what it represents is most solemn.

      • Taylor

        I agree. I was just making a point that the EF is not appealing or more substantial because it has Latin.

        Suscipe, sancte pater…
        Mysterium fidei in the appropriate place…
        Roman Canon from forever in the Roman Rite.


  • maurice pinay

    The true enemies of the church are sitting back on their haunches absolutely licking their chops at the marvelous job they’ve done over the last five centuries in accomplishing their task of DIVIDE and CONQUER. It couldn’t be any more obvious if they were to rip out our throats and howl at the moon.

    • Mark Shea

      And by “true enemies”, “Maurice Pinay” means Jews. Scratch a rad trad, find a nutty Jew-hater. The U&V Trad: True Enemy of the Church. Get off my blog.

  • Brian

    What this post missed (and most of the comments) is the substance of the arguments posited by attendees of the EF. I read through the post twice and Mark clearly views affinity for the EF as a preference for a certain “aesthetic” rather than a preference for the proper solemnity due the Mass. In addition to the changes in the missal such as the shortening of the confiteor and the canon, the OF typically has the priest facing the people and communion in the hand. One is not a Pharisee for recognizing that how we pray and worship says something about what we believe and what we believe has an affect on how we pray and worship. One Commenter called these substantive concerns “trivialities.” What is interesting about this debate is that while many faithful OF attendees think such arguments are focusing on trivialities, more liberal Catholics know that they are not trivial. Try to re-impose communion on the tongue, for instance, and see how the Nuns-on-the-bus crowd responds. They will not find it trivial.

    • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

      I find myself sympathetic to this.

    • freddy

      But that’s doesn’t seem to me to be *entirely* what Mark is arguing.

      I don’t think, in other words that Mark is equating a love for the EF over the OF as about aesthetics per se; only that a certain group of those who prefer the EF have elevated it — because of aesthetics — to a place of idolotry that requires a spittle-flecked hatred of the OF.

      This group has generally made no in-depth study of the liturgy, they just think it’s better because its better, and anyone who disagrees is some sort of post-concilar puppet. Neither have they looked at the OF in any depth, and couldn’t put together a reasoned argument for replacing the responsorial psalm with the gradual if their lives depended on it. They generally have no real understanding, either, of the history of reception of Holy Communion, and seem to be willing to believe the most preposterous conspiracy theories involving [insert fringe group here] taking over the Church.

      So it seems to me that when Mark is talking about aesthetics, he’s politely informing his detractor that the detractor has lost sight of his Christianity (and made a god of the FORM of the Mass). No matter how much one loves the EF, or sees room for improvement in the OF no Christian worthy of the name should write so bitterly about a valid liturgy correctly promulgated by the Church.

      • Brian

        From Mark’s post: “What they love is a particular aesthetic.” I guess it depends on who “they” is. Was “they” supposed to denote all EF attendees or people who have issues with the OF? It was unclear to me.

        On a different note, how do you know that this group has made no in depth study of the liturgy? That comment plays nicely into one of my original points. There is this view among certain well-intentioned Catholics that I have read that the EF and OF are just two different preferences and any criticism of the OF is simply Pharisaic ramblings. While I can appreciate this view over those who despise the EF, it is not Pharisaic to point out changes in the OF that are less than ideal. Furthermore, if certain changes that have only been the norm in the church for 40 years are not that important, than why do so many people cling to them? Because while there are many Catholics (perhaps like Mark) that don’t see what all the fuss is about, there are priests and bishops that know it matters and will fight tooth and nail to keep the OF the way it currently is.

        I am no liturgical scholar or theologian, but two simple activities influenced my view of the EF and OF. First, I opened the 1962 missal and compared it to the Order of the OF Mass. I found several deletions without many additions. (Attending the OF regularly I was already aware of the additions that have nothing to do with the rubrics.) Second, I read Benedict XVI’s foreword to “The Reform of the Roman Liturgy,” which briefly and succinctly explained why he thought that the reform of the liturgy had gone off track and why we needed a new reform. This view without a doubt led to Summorum Pontificum and other smaller practices during his pontificate such as allowing communicants to kneel and receive on the tongue. In other words, many attendees of the EF do think that the EF is more proper than the OF and for specific reasons. And many Catholics believe that we need a reform of the reform more than most anything else. If this offends those with an affinity for the OF, let’s discuss it. Simply calling people with that position a Pharisee or ignorant simply ignores the issue.

        • freddy

          I’m certain that Mark has a specific “they” in mind in his post. He’s been referring to them as the “Urine and Vinegar” crowd : a specific sub-set of rad-trads that are characterized by their *hatred* of the OF. As the writer to whom he objects, they are not shy about saying it.

          How do I know that many of them have made no in-depth study of the liturgy? By reading what they’ve written and exchanging thoughts. Some have expressed the belief that Pope John Paul II was literally held hostage to force him to allow communion in the hand. Others have expressed the belief that the Masons infiltrated the fashion industry in order to corrupt Catholic women and bring down the Church with short skirts and bare heads. One charming older lady once tried to convince me that bread could not be consecrated in English, only the “original Latin.” These are not, I think, the thoughts of well educated Catholics.

          Look, I’m not a theologian or expert in liturgy, either. I truly love the EF and am privileged to be a member of an FSSP parish. Our pastor very kindly gave a series of lectures on the liturgy and its history. He once remarked that if he thought there were no real difference between the two rites, he could get a very cushy parish instead of being a pastor of a small, poor inner city parish that had to worry about how to keep the lights on every month. But there’s a wide difference between those who note concerns and problems with the reform, and a small, loud group who offer nothing but hatred and despite.

    • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

      No, I did not call concerns about the Mass or worship “trivialities.” What I called “trivialities” were the nit-picking details about vestments, like those of people who came close to calling Pope Francis a heretic because he hasn’t worn the mozzetta (gasp!) or because he carried the “modern art” crozier also carried by Pope Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II, and because he had the audacity to wear the same chasuble for different Masses. This is beyond Pharisaic, it is just plain nutty.

      You are right to say there are substantive concerns about the Mass, but my point is that these can’t be fixed by arguing about the details of the celebration. There can be substantive argument about communion in the hand vs. on the tongue. But here again many supporters of the EF mistake the symptoms for the disease.
      Take your example of the “nuns on the bus” who wouldn’t want communion on the tongue re-imposed. Well, why don’t they want it? They see it merely as a “rule imposition” by Rome that goes against their 60′s anti-establishment sensibilities, of course, but we can go deeper than that. I’m sure the actual meaning of of what is being discussed goes over their heads, and that is most of the time because they either don’t believe or don’t understand the Real Presence, and so don’t care about reverence toward what to them is just a symbol.

      I forget the actual numbers, but a number of polls have shown that I majority of Catholics don’t understand or believe in the Real Presence. But the thing is, you can’t MAKE someone understand or believe this by imposing a rule about standing vs kneeling or hand vs tongue. You do it by evangelization and catechesis. That’s what my original post was about.

      By the way, I have been receiving our Lord standing for a number of years (because of knee problems) and in the hand for almost as long as I can remember. I don’t think this harms my reverence or devotion at Mass one bit, and I resent people saying that receiving in the hand in itself or by its nature betrays a lack of faith. (I’m not saying at all that you are like that, but there are people like that out there). Even legitimate concerns about substantive issues can go too far and turn Pharisaic mighty fast.

      I could write all day about this, but for now I have to go.

      • Brian

        I see from your previous comment, that you read Father Z. And if you do so with any regularity, you are familiar with the idea that the law of prayer is the law of belief (Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi.) Or, as I originally posted, the way we pray affects what we believe, and what we believe affects how we pray. Doesn’t the phenomenon you describe suggest that this true? When we receive on the tongue kneeling for centuries and then receive in the hand and now at many churches people are taking the host over to the chalice and dipping it in, is it any surprise that there is confusion about the True Presence. I don’t doubt that you believe in the True Presence without kneeling and receiving on the tongue, but the Church’s job is to do what is in the best interest of the souls of all the faithful. While imposing a rule may be unnecessary for some people, it would likely re-emphasize the True Presence for others. More importantly (not to beat a dead horse here), how we worship says something about what we believe.

        You are right to differentiate the problem and the symptom. Receiving in the hand was not mandated by Vatican II, but is a symptom of it.

        • http://www.pilgrimage.subcreators.com Lori Pieper

          “The way we pray affects what we believe, and what we believe affects how we pray.”
          I never denied this. But as you note, it affects; it doesn’t determine. Some people tend to act as though the second is true. That’s all I’m saying.

  • SouthCoast

    “I argue that the real blasphemy takes place is most Catholic churches each Sunday.

    Correct. You do argue that, even though you canot possibly know it is true. ”

    Perhaps he has received the gift of bilocality?

  • anna lisa

    Rad Trads are worshiping bells and smells, while tearing at the body of Christ. It’s their Kool Aid.
    The pride in them would be COMICAL if it wasn’t scandalous. Is it any surprise that they are so filled with hate? Fruits of the Spirit eh? That’s what happens when you APE the worship of God. It’s pretty scary if you think about it. I have also found that a fair amount of them tend to be converts or reverts with some kind of painful past and/or from broken or abusive homes. It’s sad and creepy how obsessed they are with the end of the world. They might just become happy if they learn how to live “dangerously” in their towns and streets like Pope Francis. For now, I’m glad that other than the com boxes or the ones that sell their hate- message, they tend to seal themselves off from the rest of the sinful world.

    • http://pavelspoetry.com Pavel Chichikov

      But you’re OK, right?

    • Stu

      I bet you really hate it when they say the same exact thing about you.

      Mirror, mirror.