Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Vindication of Fr. Antinarelli

June 30th, 2009, Promulgated by Gen

I have been emailing and blogging around today on a little mini-vacation, and someone pointed me towards something which has been said to be “an attack on Fr. Antinarelli.” When I heard it was from one of our own Catholic bloggers who launched this supposed attack, I was quite skeptical and thought that my friend was just a little paranoid.

I could not have been more wrong.

“When I have heard him preach, Father Antinarelli has not impressed me as a gifted speaker – though I have certainly heard worse. At the pro-life Mass, he jumbled information about St. Anthony of Padua. And at today’s daily Mass he did not even preach a homily. I don’t recall the last time I’ve been to a daily Mass at which the priest didn’t at least say a few words about the readings.

At the last two Masses I’ve attended with Father as the celebrant he may have been following all the rubrics and doing everything as they should be done, but I got no sense that he was “celebrating” Mass. It all seemed so rote.”

Of course he wasn’t “celebrating” the Mass! Dear God, when someone says “oh, yes, father celebrated Mass this morning,” I always feel like I should say “Jesus wasn’t celebrated on the cross, He was sacrificed. Jesus didn’t have a joyful celebration at the Last Supper, either. It was a total and unparalleled sacrifice.”

Few priests are as reliable and unswerving as Fr. Antinarelli. So what if he jumbled his facts about St. Anthony? A Jesuit once told me that Sts. Francis of Assisi and Francis Xavier were the same. Heaven forbid that a date is misquoted.

And homilies at Daily Mass? They are optional. Look it up. Yes, it’s preferable to have a homily, and, yes, it is preferable to, at least, say a few words about the readings. However, it is not at all preferable to base one’s judgment (a dangerous thing in itself) upon a lack of a homily. There are days when the preface and collect say more about the readings than anything a priest can contrive.

Why do some bloggers who profess to be conservative Catholics only seem to focus on the errors and imagined faults of conservative Catholic priests? It’s not left to any of us to judge a priest or a priest’s actions unless they jeopardize our own spiritual being. However, to let abuses and schismatic preaching go unnoticed while all the world is invited to see the preaching ills of a humble parish priest is a shame and a travesty, greater than most I should imagine.

“It all seemed so rote.”

The only thing rote here is the original author’s negative attitude to one of the most solid and orthodox priests in the entire state.


Just a note: I don’t want any kind of arguments starting here or in the comment section or on any other blog. This was merely what it was titled as being, a vindication of Fr. Antinarelli.


19 Responses to “Vindication of Fr. Antinarelli”

  1. Sed says:

    Very well said. I love Fr. Antinarelli. I can understand if others may have their own personal taste in a priest, but please, don't attack him if he isn't your cup of tea. He is a humble servant of God doing God's work in a troubled diocese. Appreciate that we have him, and that he gives his life for his Church and his God.

  2. Gen says:

    Thank you, Sed. And I am sure Fr. A would thank you if he used a computer lol.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fr. A is the man!

  4. Granted, I don't know the man well, but his voice sounds pretty much the same at Mass, outside the church after Mass, and on the phone. Then he gets to the consecration and slows down. Fr. Antinarelli celebrates Mass, and if, for that reason alone, I cannot believe that it is merely rote to him.

  5. Anonymous says:

    When he hears my confession I imagine his very deep powerful but gentle voice sounds just like our Lords. We should clone him as well as Father Bonsignore over at The Latin Mass.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fr. Antinarelli is the best priest in the Diocese of Rochester. Period.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As someone who works downtown, I am eternally grateful to Fr. Antinarelli (and Fr. McMahon) for providing daily confession and Mass. When I've fallen into sin, being able to walk to OLV, confess my sins, and celebrate my reconciliation to the Lord an indescribable blessing. And it's a great comfort to be able to confess to an orthodox priest who will follow the rubrics (and not tell me, as some have, "Oh, that's not really a sin anymore.")

    To be honest, however, I share many of the criticisms pointed out in the subject of this post. We do neither ourselves, our priests, nor our Lord any favors by putting on the kiddie-gloves when talking about the ordained, be they orthodox or not. Perhaps a public airing of these grievances was not appropriate, but I would hardly construe the post as an "attack." Given the amount of praise Fr. A rightly receives for his solid beliefs and unabashedly orthodox homilies, I don't think some honest criticism is out of line.

    "Iron sharpens iron,
    and one man sharpens another," and, "But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren."

    God bless Fr. Antinarelli and all those loyal to Him.


  8. Dr. K says:

    I believe the criticisms were more a misunderstanding of Father's style. A person more familiar with Fr. Antinarelli would know that he is truly "celebrating" (whatever one wants too call the sacrifice of Mass) in his own manner. He does so solemnly while not trying to draw attention to himself. As was stated, he says the words of consecration slowly and with great respect. Fr. Miller, a former assisting priest at St. Jude, had the driest voice I have ever heard, and coughed up a lung at the end of every sentence (quite the opposite of the pastor, Fr. Steger). Yet despite his lack of vocal ability, there was no doubt he truly cared about what he was doing. The same with Father Antinarelli; he doesn't have Frank Sinatra's voice, but he is fully engaged in the Mass.

    Fr. Antinarelli's style is also similar to Pope Benedict's. I don't think anyone would accuse the Pope of just going through the motions.

    I appreciate his service to the Diocese of Rochester. I appreciate that he provides us with at least one house of sanity in liturgical abuse land. I appreciate his hard-hitting and interesting homilies (which are truly wonderful on weekends). God bless Fr. Antinarelli. May he one day find himself sitting in Bishop Clark's throne (cf. other video/post).

    ~Dr. K

  9. Father A gave an excellent sermon today on the first martyrs of Rome. He sure knows his history. I wonder if anyone has recorded his sermons. Does anyone know?

    I thank God for good priests like Father Antinarelli, McMahon, Bonsignore and Meng and also Father Paul Schnacky in Hornell. I"m sure the DoR has other good priests, I'm just not sure who they are.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Fr. Antinarelli may be the second coming of the messiah.

  11. David says:

    I have doubts as to his divinity. lol

    Compared to others priests though, he's at least blessed with true grace.

  12. In fairness, the blogger noted — and saluted — Fr. Antinarelli's generous availability for confession. And while I think he was dead wrong in his assessment of Father's ars celebrandi, I don't think what the blogger wrote constitutes an "attack."

  13. Gen says:

    Indeed, Rich. Perhaps "attack" sounds more militant than I intended. I meant something more along the lines of a premature assessment.

    Again, I just wanted to set the record straight. I'm a great fan of the blog we've been discussing. I give my "props" to Lee.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Fr. Antinarelli for Bishop of Rochester in '12.

  15. Gen says:

    I second that motion.

  16. Dr. K says:

    I'll third it 🙂

    ~Dr. K

  17. Anonymous says:


  18. dennee says:

    When my grandmother was dying of cancer, it was Father Antinarelli who brought her communion. He is a wonderful priest! His reward will be great! May God bless Fr. Antinarelli.

  19. hoagy says:

    The vindication continues with the appointment last week of Father as PASTOR of Our Lady of Victory-St. Joseph parish. We now have a bishop willing to correct the inequities of the past.

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