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Father Z Equates Catholic Bishops at WYD 2013 with Nazis
Patheos ^ | July 27, 2013 | Sam Rocha

Posted on 07/28/2013 3:36:59 PM PDT by ebb tide

Father Z Equates Catholic Bishops at WYD 2013 with Nazis UPDATED

July 27, 2013 By 31 Comments

Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, also known (and hereafter referred to) as “Fr. Z,” will surely dispute the claim of this headline, however, this post will show that the proposition “Father Z equates Catholic Bishops at WYD 2013 with Nazis” is true, by examining the words used by Fr. Z in today’s post at his web log, “Your Excellencies? REALLY?!?

Fr. Z’s post begins with the YouTube video (below) of a large group of Catholic Bishops, dressed in ecclesial attire, rehearsing hand movements to an upbeat religious song in Portuguese.YouTube Preview Image

Fr. Z follows that video with the following remarks:

Bis pueri senes?

This is supposed to be a rehearsal of some sort.  I don’t know for which event.

I really want to just smile and shrug this off.  I suspect this isn’t what Pope Francis meant when he said that we clerics have to get out there.

This is too far out there.

As a quick aside: I am certainly not one to be offended by strong criticism, even of the Bishops or the Pope. And the opinion given up to this point of Fr. Z’s post strikes me as harmless and even somewhat persuasive, given my general intuitions on the matter.

But then, in the passages and image to follow, Fr. Z crosses into very hot and downright scandalous waters.

In a preventive and defensive disclaimer, Fr. Z anticipates possible critiques of the second image he uses in this post. For the sake of coherence, I will post it here, in advance. The image is a photograph of a single, dissenting person refusing to heil Hitler during a Nazi rally:

Fr. Z  then writes the following disclaimer about what he is not doing, but he also unwittingly describes the analogy he sees between the YouTube video and the Nazi photograph, thereby undermining himself. See for yourself:

DISCLAIMER: Some mouth-breathers out there will claim that I tried to compare WYD to some sort of Nazi rally.  That is NOT what I am about to do.   If there is a better image of non-conformity within a large, uniformed crowd doing something that is just plain wrong, please send it to me.

In the three sentences that follow the disclaimer notice, Fr. Z makes a negative claim — “That [i.e., trying to compare WYD to some sort of Nazi rally] is NOT what I am about to do.” — followed by another claim that, in fact, subverts what the prior negative claim is trying not to do.

Fr. Z tries to say that the only significance of the photo is this: it is a description of “non-conformity within a large, uniformed crowd doing something that is just plain wrong.” However, the only reason why this Nazi photograph is such a powerful description of something that is “just plain wrong” is precisely because they are Nazis. In other words, Fr. Z effectively equates the “wrongdoing” of Nazi’s with the, in his view, “wrongdoing” of the Bishops.

On a close reading, Fr. Z is only partially right in his negative claim. He cannot, strictly speaking, be accused of comparing “WYD to some sort of Nazi rally.” However, he can — and must — be held accountable for making a very direct, logical analogy between the wrongdoing of Nazi complicity with Hitler and the Shoah and the Catholic Bishops merrily gathered at WYD 2013. This alone supports the claim that the proposition, “Father Z equates Catholic Bishops at WYD 2013 with Nazis,” is true.

But there’s more.

In the passage to follow, before the image appears, Fr. Z slightly changes his analogical imagery to describe the Catholic Bishops at WYD 2013. He goes on, saying

It is easy for us, in a crowd, in a mob – wherein there is that unpredictable n+x factor involved – to lose our heads and do what everyone else does in the pressure of the moment.  But, Your Excellencies, after watching this, … really?!?

In this passage one might argue that Fr. Z is not necessarily making the same analogy as before, but, rather, pressing a related and more generic one. Fine. It does not follow, however, to argue that a generic “mob” somehow weakens the prior analogy between Nazi rallies and the (poorly) dancing Bishops. Plus, if you are resorting to letting Fr. Z off the hook for calling our Bishops a “mob,” you’re not exactly winning the overall argument.

And there is even more.

Fr. Z then returns to the original Nazi analogy and makes another, slightly different association that further equates Nazis and the Bishops at WYD 2013. He asks the Bishops, condescendingly:

The next time they ask you to do something like this, and they will, please – be that guy? ALL of you?

That guy,” of course, is the lone person, circled in the photo (above), who refuses to heil Hitler. In other words, Fr. Z asks our (and his) Bishops that, next time, they should not act like Nazis in the one respect noted earlier:  ”non-conformity within a large, uniformed crowd doing something that is just plain wrong.”

One might quibble that the details of what, exactly, is “wrong” could differ from one case to the other, and that would be true. It certainly does not follow from the proposition I am defending to claim that Fr. Z is accusing the Catholic Bishops at WYD 2013 of genocide — or of being Nazi themselves. It is a simile. In Fr. Z’s post, the Bishops are like Nazsi in the respect that they are doing something “that is just plain wrong.”

Nonetheless, it does remain valid to make the propositional claim that Fr. Z, in the post ”Your Excellencies? REALLY?!?“, equates the Catholic Bishops at WYD 2013 with Nazis on at least two (sufficient) occasions and a third, slightly weaker, one:

  1. By making a direct analogy between the “wrongdoing” that makes the photo of a Nazi rally relevant to the YouTube video of the Bishops at WYD 2013.
  2. By asking the Bishops to abstain from dancing and hand motions next time they are in a situation that is “just plain wrong” through the use of the exact same analog noted in point 1.
  3. In addition to points 1 and 2, Fr. Z also refers to the Bishops gathered as a “mob” which, while being a rather stupid remark, does not add or detract from the proposition I am defending, but is hardly a salutary remark to make on the whole.

Since, as I have shown, this proposition, made in the title of this post you are reading, is, in fact, true, then, it must follow that the truth-value of that proposition can and ought to render serious, truth-based implications.

What are the implications that follow from Fr. Z equating the Bishops at WYD 2013 with Nazis?

That question is beyond the scope of this post. But, as you can imagine, they do not appear to be good ones. All my intuitions on the matter seem to be wholly negative.

My humble suggestion to Fr. Z would be to remove the post, apologize to his ecclesial superiors, and consider giving up blogging for an extended amount of time.

Feel free to chime in with the implications you come up with — my comment boxes are wide open, baby.

UPDATE

In an update, Fr. has removed the photo and all of the commentary I took issue with here. The opening remarks remain. He has also added more updates and media about the event, but no longer associates the Bishops with Nazis nor does he refer to them as a “mob”. While he doesn’t name me directly, he does, rather ungenerously, refer to the objections to the previous iteration of his post as “having a nutty.”

As I anticipated some people had a nutty about this, so I took down the photo I originally associated with this post.  Yes, it was the well-known photo that sometimes bears the caption “Be This Guy”, or words to that effect.

I guess having a nutty is persuasive. I do appreciate his prudent decision in censoring his imagery and commentary.

Meanwhile, my comment boxes will remain open.



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Worship
KEYWORDS: bejoyful; brazil; catholic; evangelical; frz; happyinthelord; lemmings; popefrancis; praisingthelord; riodejaneiro; romancatholicism; worldyouthday

1 posted on 07/28/2013 3:36:59 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide

He wasn’t equating them with Nazis, he was saying they looked stupid. Which they did.

However, Brazil is Brazil, and these were Brazilian bishops doing idiotic Brazilian things. This is something he should have known.

I think Fr. Z shouldn’t have posted this with the comments that he made, but I also think that describing his post this way is seriously exaggerating it.


2 posted on 07/28/2013 3:50:52 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius

Yutes and Dupes.

3 posted on 07/28/2013 3:54:25 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide

Give them a break. They’re Brazilians.

I take it you’ve never had to deal with Brazilians?

The Pope’s homily and all his words to the bishops were very good today, and they might (and I hope will) get their act together.


4 posted on 07/28/2013 4:08:00 PM PDT by livius
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To: livius
I take it you’ve never had to deal with Brazilians?

As opposed to Catholics?

5 posted on 07/28/2013 4:10:20 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide

Brazilians have had years and years of bad instruction. They are, however, very pious in their own way.

The Pope’s talks to the Brazilian and Latin American bishops today were very good, and he was calling them back to the teachings of the Church. Some of the younger ones are fine, but a lot of the older ones are not so much bad as weak, and were pushed by the media and the academy into some very loopy things.

Do not break the bent reed or quench the smoking flax. Encourage them, don’t say stupid things comparing them to Nazis.


6 posted on 07/28/2013 4:15:49 PM PDT by livius
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To: ebb tide
In an update, Fr. has removed the photo and all of the commentary I took issue with here. The opening remarks remain. He has also added more updates and media about the event, but no longer associates the Bishops with Nazis nor does he refer to them as a “mob”. While he doesn’t name me directly, he does, rather ungenerously, refer to the objections to the previous iteration of his post as “having a nutty.”

Ping for later

7 posted on 07/28/2013 4:15:52 PM PDT by Alex Murphy ("...Someone handed the keys to the Forum to the OPC and its sympathizers...")
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To: ebb tide

The man refusing to give the Nazi salute was August Landmesser:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Landmesser


8 posted on 07/28/2013 4:31:43 PM PDT by vladimir998
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To: ebb tide
With all due respect to Pope Francis, we need a leader, not a social worker. His job is not to minister to the poor, but to make sure the various Catholic agencies that are supposed to minister to the poor are doing their jobs well. He is the only person who can do that. If he doesn't do it, it won't get done, and no amount of social work on his part can make up for that.
9 posted on 07/28/2013 5:12:04 PM PDT by JoeFromSidney ( New book: RESISTANCE TO TYRANNY. Buy from Amazon.)
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To: livius

“...don’t say stupid things comparing them to Nazis.”

Are you addressing me or Fr. Z??


10 posted on 07/28/2013 5:39:35 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: livius

“Brazilians have had years and years of bad instruction.”

And who hasn’t had years of bad instruction?

Here in the U.S., Bernardin, Weakland, McCarrick, Mahoney, Hubbard, et al. come to mind. Not to mention O’Malley who has been appointed to the Pope’s “Round Table” of Dudley Do-Rights.

But back to Brazil, Have you heard of the Lion of Campos, Bishop de Castro Mayer? Do you think we would have done the hokey-pokey with the other fools?

Have you heard of Bishop Rifan?


11 posted on 07/28/2013 6:00:09 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: livius

“Do you think we would have done the hokey-pokey...”

My mistake. That should be “he (Bishop Mayer) have done”; not “we would have done”.


12 posted on 07/28/2013 6:06:02 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: vladimir998

Thanks! Good for Mr. Landmesser.


13 posted on 07/28/2013 6:15:13 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide
The headline is a complete crock.

Not that it really matters. Cat fights in the blogosphere are nothing unusual as petty jealousies unfold. Two bloggers having a p***ing competition hardly amounts to news.

Maybe I'll start a blog and pick a fight with someone.

14 posted on 07/28/2013 6:20:53 PM PDT by marshmallow
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To: ebb tide
Here, exactly, is Fr Z's blog entry...so you decide for yourself:

Bis pueri senes?

This is supposed to be a rehearsal of some sort.  I don’t know for which event.

I really want to just smile and shrug this off.  I suspect this isn’t what Pope Francis meant when he said that we clerics have to get out there.

This is too far out there.

DISCLAIMER: Some mouth-breathers out there will claim that I tried to compare WYD to some sort of Nazi rally.  That is NOT what I am about to do.   If there is a better image of non-conformity within a large, uniformed crowd doing something that is just plain wrong, please send it to me.

It is easy for us, in a crowd, in a mob – wherein there is that unpredictable n+x factor involved – to lose our heads and do what everyone else does in the pressure of the moment.  But, Your Excellencies, after watching this, … really?!?

The next time they ask you to do something like this, and they will, please – be that guy? ALL of you?

Meanwhile….  Sirach 3:12-14.

I will keep the combox CLOSED on this.

15 posted on 07/28/2013 6:43:22 PM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: marshmallow
The headline is a complete crock.

Agreed.

I was a t a Catholic Mass once in a very German town. The Charismatic Catholic Priest, asked for everyone to raise their right hand to "call down the Holy Spirit". I think three people in the Church did not comply.

I thought, "sheesh, dowes he not realize what would happen if someone took a picture of this stupidity?"

I guess I just would like some decorum, instead of attempts at hipness. I still cringe at the memory of Dolan wearing a giant cheese on his head..

16 posted on 07/28/2013 6:55:11 PM PDT by sockmonkey (Of Course I didn't read the article. After all, this is FreeRepublic..)
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To: marshmallow

“Maybe I’ll start a blog and pick a fight with someone.”

Go for it, Dude! I hope you find somebody; but I doubt it.


17 posted on 07/28/2013 6:55:49 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: markomalley

“Here, exactly, is Fr Z’s blog entry...”

No; you posted Fr Z’s sanitized version. Nice try.


18 posted on 07/28/2013 7:01:57 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide

Wow, really got him on this post you did. It’s like you kicked a commedian for not being funny enough, except this was a priest who’s not intending anything hurtful. Bully for you satan!


19 posted on 07/28/2013 7:08:13 PM PDT by If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
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To: ebb tide

Father Z does a lot of satire. This is a joke, guys.

But you know, this is the second overblown bashing of Father Z I’ve read recently (a UKTelegraph blog called him homophobic for telling the story of a Catholic woman killed by a gay in rage after she told him he was sinful).

He must be upsetting someone...

how do I do a Catholic prayer ping?


20 posted on 07/28/2013 7:13:37 PM PDT by LadyDoc (liberals only love politically correct poor people)
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To: livius
However, Brazil is Brazil, and these were Brazilian bishops doing idiotic Brazilian things.

My Archbishop, Gustavo Garcia-Sillier, is there for WYD..I wonder if he participated.

21 posted on 07/28/2013 7:13:39 PM PDT by sockmonkey (Of Course I didn't read the article. After all, this is FreeRepublic..)
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To: sockmonkey

“I was at a Catholic Mass once in a very German town. The Charismatic Catholic Priest, asked for everyone to raise their right hand to “call down the Holy Spirit”.”

Cool! Did you see the Holy Ghost come down? What was He wearing and what did He have to say?

Did you all raise your left hands to send Him back to Heaven?


22 posted on 07/28/2013 7:14:43 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: If You Want It Fixed - Fix It
...this was a priest who’s not intending anything hurtful.

Is that your idea of a good priest?

23 posted on 07/28/2013 7:29:26 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide
Cool! Did you see the Holy Ghost come down?........Did you all raise your left hands to send Him back to Heaven?

"Did you all"..Uh, I was one of the three people who did not comply, so the "you all" doesn't apply to me.

24 posted on 07/28/2013 7:56:47 PM PDT by sockmonkey (Of Course I didn't read the article. After all, this is FreeRepublic..)
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To: ebb tide

What can be more arcane than the internecine of squabbles of bloggers? Any real news out there?


25 posted on 07/28/2013 8:59:35 PM PDT by dangus (Poverty cannot be eradicated as long as the poor remain dependent on the state - Pope Francis)
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To: ebb tide

re: named Cardinals

Dudley Do-Rights, fools?

Beam.


26 posted on 07/28/2013 10:35:07 PM PDT by AliVeritas (Pray/Penance. Isa 5:18-21,10:1-3 "Tempus faciendi, Domine, dissipaverunt legem tuam")
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To: dangus

Sure, there’s other news out there.

Did you year the one about the flaming homosexual priest who is running the Vatican bank?


27 posted on 07/28/2013 10:57:37 PM PDT by ebb tide
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To: ebb tide
No; you posted Fr Z’s sanitized version. Nice try.

Uh, no. That was the original. Here is the sanitized:

What was "offensive" and subsequently sanitized was the "be this guy" photo...

28 posted on 07/29/2013 2:01:15 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: ebb tide

Oh, by the way, the reason I know it was the original version was that I had that blog open on my computer and was away from the computer for a full day...well prior to Rocha’s little fit.

Without refreshing the screen, I pulled the source.

(Also, as an FYI, that is exactly what was in the RSS...which was sent the instant the post was published)


29 posted on 07/29/2013 2:05:42 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley; ebb tide

I must be dense. Exactly what was offensive about Father Z’s comments?


30 posted on 07/29/2013 4:28:06 AM PDT by piusv
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To: piusv

” Exactly what was offensive about Father Z’s comments?”

I really wouldn’t know...


31 posted on 07/29/2013 5:37:27 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

How is your version the “original” if it has four updates?


32 posted on 07/29/2013 8:03:56 AM PDT by ebb tide
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