Thursday, November 04, 2010

The 'eccentric' Fr. Reginald Foster, ocd

Latinist, nudist... but no modernist? 
I wouldn't bet the farm on that one.  What a character however - the man revered as the expert Latinist in Rome, translator to the Popes, who once said he enjoys saying Mass naked, seemed to have disparaged a return to the Latin Mass as well... 
He said reports that Pope Benedict will reintroduce the Tridentine Mass, which dates from 1570 and is largely conducted in Latin, were wrong – not least because of the Pope's desire to avoid more controversies. A speech last year offended Muslims and more recently he gave initial support to a Polish archbishop who was eventually forced to resign, after admitting that he had collaborated with the communist-era secret police.  "He is not going to do it," Fr Foster said. "He had trouble with Regensberg, and then trouble in Warsaw, and if he does this, all hell will break loose." In any case, he added: "It is a useless mass and the whole mentality is stupid. The idea of it is that things were better in the old days. It makes the Vatican look medieval." - By Malcolm Moore in Rome, Sunday Telegraph, 1/27/2007
No one knows Latin like Reggie, but he doesn’t favors a return to Latin liturgy. Asked whether Latin is a sacred language?  “A sacred language? In the first century every prostitute in Rome spoke it fluently – and better than most people in the Roman Curia.” - Robert Mickens, “Letter from Rome,” Tablet.  It is my understanding this was a typical throw-out line to his students - Fr. Foster loved Latin from his youth. 
Father Foster confided that he often celebrates Mass in the nude. "I'm a naturalist, I'm a nudist. I like to say Mass in the nude, too. If God doesn't like that sorry". - Angelqueen
Anyway - see how we mustn't jump to conclusions about others based upon what they say or may do? Fr. Foster is a highly esteemed Catholic priest, scholar, and a Discalced Carmelite...

H/T Thom for the 'Sacred language" quote.
More positive spin on Fr. Foster at WDTPRS.


  1. He still has an Fr. in the front of his name.

    We must storm Heaven on his behalf and the behalf of other Priests similarly situated.

    Never say never.

    Thanks for pointing him out so we can send some oraciones his way.


  2. Mass in the nude!? hahahaha

    The mental cootie count from the church pews alone would send my anxiety soaring and during the sign of peace... - never mind, I deleted it.

    This sounds like a Charlie Sheen kind of an idea. hahahahaha

    From the "This time it means something mentality"- hahahaha

  3. I think he's a good guy - just rather eccentric. I think some of the desert saints went about naked as well. His critiques may be brusque, but not necessarily bad.

  4. But not necessarily bad!?

    Anytime we have to view a fat naked man it's a bad thing. hahahaha

  5. michael r.12:30 PM

    I think nudism is interesting, though I have no interest in participating. You mention the desert fathers, and I had immediately thought of a well-known Trappist monk. This guy sleeps outdoors in the elements and baths in a lake. I've stood next to him in choir -- I don't think the lake has a soap dispenser nearby....if you get my

    I recently came across a relevant quote from Pope Pius XI, as published in Time magazine from the mid-1930's:

    "In pontifical Latin, prepared for him, as always, by his Congregation for Latin Letters, Pope Pius XI last week solemnly flayed Nudism. Speaking before Lenten preachers on the eve of Ash Wednesday, he declared:
    'The pagan tendencies in present-day life afflict all open and attentive eyes. For many people, life is specifically and paganly given over only to pleasure, to the quest after pleasure and to amusement that is specifically and paganly immodest, with an immodesty that often exceeds that of ancient pagan life, inasmuch as it is addicted to what is termed, with a horrible word and horrible blasphemy, the practice and cult of nudity. In ancient times nudity existed only in art and could not be said to exist in life, neither in Rome nor Greece, and that is saying very much.""

    I'm not a historian, but I have doubts about the last sentence.

  6. Fr. Foster is an enigma, to be sure.
    Mass "in the nude"...ewwwww!!!

  7. Father,.....a mass where it's encouraged to "turn the other cheek" literally not figuratively speaking.

  8. The fact that 'the media' likes this guy is proof that he is suspicious.

    He is pulled for opinion whenever Latin is in the fore-ground in any story. Newsey papaers luv'm.

    I know a guy whose 'vocation' revolves around his own expert knowledge of Latin. Rome loves him too and provides a red carpet everywhere he goes.

    Fr.Imposter's comments on the true Mass disguste me; but i have never heard about this nudity thing. Thanks: case is closed on this guy. He's crossed over and needs metanoia.

  9. He's really old and I think his health is not good - so keep him in your prayers.


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