Friday, November 04, 2005

Catholic Definitions, Defined

Here's a dictionary which makes the terminology clear. In honor of the upcoming "Old Farts Who Liked Sex-Drugs-Rock'n'Roll" conference (some call it the Call to Action annual meeting) which will be in Milwaukee soon, we steal from Dom Bett (Fidelity is the original source) some definitions:

CLOWN MASS: Liturgical innovation comparable to the innovation of Gregorian chant; relevant: “A clown liturgy may sound sacrilegious but those who attended a special Mass at St. Agnes Church described it as moving, uplifting, spirited and colorful” (Catholic Herald, Milwaukee, February 16, 1984).

LITURGICAL DANCE: Liturgical innovation comparable to the innovation of Gregorian chant: “Today†s procession into the altar by the priest and some members of the laity was a dance in the early church” (Sister Baraba Link); relevant: “For me, my body is my instrument; it's my way of expressing myself," she said, gesturing frequently with hand to convey her thoughts. "I feel free when I dance; it†s a natural expression.” (Sister Barbara Linke, quoted in the Milwaukee Sentinel, August 3, 1985).

SAFE SEX: Taking appropriate precautions during high risk sexual activity; not to be confused with responsible love.

RESPONSIBLE LOVE: Sexual relations only within marriage with a spouse; an ideal impossible to sustain in a complex technological world.

LITURGISTS: “A society of men among us, bred from their youth in the art of proving by words multiplied for the purpose, that white is black, and black is white, according as they are paid” (Swift, Gulliver's Travels).

EMPOWER: To encourage others to think for themselves; cf., Evelyn Waugh: “Every effort was made to encourage the children at the public schools to "think for themselves." When they should have been whipped and taught Greek paradigms, they were set arguing about birth control and nationalization. Their crude little opinions were treated with respect. Preachers in the school chapel week after week entrusted the future to their hands. It is hardly surprising that they were Bolshevik at 18 and bored at 20.”

WORKSHOP: A church-sponsored meeting to ensure that the issues of optional celibacy, women's ordination, the Sandinistas and leisure suits are still being addressed.

SEMINARY: School where men and women are prepared for full-time ministry.

OUTREACH: Any program for whatever reasons; also known as reach out; usually involves fundraising.

CLERICALISM: The attitude of priests who knowingly and willingly practice the sacramental aspects of the priesthood with diligence, reverence and joy.

HOMOPHOBIC: The psychological condition of those who witness and report acts of homosexuality to seminary authorities.

GAY: Deeply sensitive person who naturally possesses the skills for effective pastoral ministry; oppressed minority; in no way connected with pederasty: cf. Fr. James L. Arimond: “Don’t confuse homosexual orientation with other sexual minorities: transexual; pederasty; bafoonery; etc.” from an Archdiocese of Milwaukee workshop in Gay Ministry.

ULTRA‑CONSERVATIVE: Anyone who disagrees with the National Catholic Reporter.

TRADITIONAL NUN: Irrelevant; an embarrassment to women religious.

WOMEN RELIGIOUS: Feminist nun; an oxymoron.

SOCIAL JUSTICE: The realignment of social structures according to the platform of the Democratic Party.

PROGRESSIVE: Pouring the wine of old heresies into new wineskins.

COLLEGIALITY: The doctrine defined by the Spirit of Vatican II stating that bishops have exactly the same authority as the Bishop of Rome.

BISHOP OF ROME: The local ordinary of an obscure diocese in Italy.

RADICALLY CONSERVATIVE: Reason to ignore the current discipline of the Church.

THE FUTURE: The last and enduring hope of Church dissenters.

WE CAN’T GO BACK: An absolutely efficacious and disarming argument.

HUMANAE VITAE: The biggest mistake the Church has made since the Council of Trent.

COUNCIL OF TRENT: A convenient summary of medieval myths and superstitions.

ECUMENISM: The process of transforming the liturgical rites of the mainline Christian denominations into a single rite of coffee, donuts and dialogue.

TRADITION: A practice established before the Middle Ages or after the Second Vatican Council.

There are more--just as good--at the link!


Bernard Brandt said...

Much thanks for the cite: the definitions are worthy of The Devil's Dictionary. A pity, though, that the cite missed "Racist: Noun. An individual who is winning an argument against a (theological) liberal." From

Marcus Aurelius said...


Stewardship was missed. How I have come to hate that word.

That word (or form of it) should only appear in the following manner: "Stewardess, I'll have another beer please!"

Anonymous said...

This is great.

Reminds me of the George Orwell notion of changing the meaning of words.