The seeping cracks are spliting open

I think this next week is it. 

This is probably the week we will start to see an acceleration of expressions of real hatred of the Holy Father and the SSPX. 

The nastiness is starting to seep out cracks in the foreheads of the progressivists which split open when Benedict lifted the excommunications.

These people are terrfied.

Ever since April 2005 they have been holding it in, waiting for a big reason.

After the first shock of last week, and the implication it holds for the Church and the discussion of the super-dogma of the"spirit" of Vatican II, they have collected their wits.

Reassured by a few of the bolder dissidents, the gerbils will – with the help of a sympathetic press – start treading out discouraging notes and articles.

Everything will be veiled by furrowed-brow thoughtful concern and barely concealed righteous outrage that the Jews were insulted or that the Council was impugned. 

"We were right about this Pope, you see.  We were right to be worried."

Watch how this accelerates during the week, now that they are crawling out into the light.

Be prepared to answer questions.  People will be confused by what they read in the press and hear from some Catholic sources.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. paul says:

    Father, I think you are quite right about the persecution of the Holy Father- he needs our prayers especially now.

  2. Lori Ann says:

    Wow! What an image: Forehead cracks splitting open with vitriol…you’re good, Fr Z. I don’t know if it could have been said any better.

  3. Matt says:

    Yes, it’s true that from some non-Catholic media sources things will be reported in a way that isn’t ‘canonically accurrate’….it can be difficult for people to understand that lifting an excommunication isnt the same as endorsing views on the holocaust, etc.

    However….it is somewhat foolish to say that the Pope is being persecuted…..It is the Holy Father who lifted the excommunications days after some of those foolish statements…it is the Holy Father who has elected a bishop who believes God sends hurricanes to punish metropolitan urban areas of the USA.

    In short, this is not about progressives and conservatives…and to say so is to try to gloss over larger issues and play ‘blame it on the media’.

  4. Julie says:

    My Pastor gave a GREAT homily today. He spoke of how the demons, when they were in the presence of Christ, were quite..uh…uncomfortable, and began to spout off. (my words, not his, you get the point).

    His main point on that tack was that we are seeing the same thing today; the demons are uncomfortable in the presence and in the face of holiness, of Truth, and when that happens, they attack and they make a lot of noise.

    Those who are a part of Truth don’t make noise, just calmly go about doing what has to be done, deflecting the attacks, remaining calm in the storm. And that just ticks them off even more.

    We really have to pray for our Holy Father, and for our Church. Yes, we know how the story ends, but if we’re not praying…we’re not part of it.

  5. Joseph says:

    Let us pray for our Holy Father that he be the pastor to all baptized, even if at times it be painful. The media will do what it will do, but their day is coming unless they change their coverage.

    All Pontiff Saints, pray for us!

  6. David Andrew says:

    [I]t is the Holy Father who has elected a bishop who believes God sends hurricanes to punish metropolitan urban areas of the USA.

    Did I miss something, or was Pat Robertson ordained bishop when I wasn’t looking?

    I think Matt’s comments prove Fr. Z’s assertions beautifully. Q.E.D., in fact.

  7. Brian says:

    “the nastiness is starting to seep out cracks in the foreheads of the progressivists which split open when Benedict lifted the excommunications.” Great line.

    Next their heads will spin in circles and their mouths will spew propulsion-vomit, as the demons exclaim, “We were right about this Pope, you see. We were right to be worried.”

  8. chironomo says:

    I am strangely reminded of a scene in “Star Trek-Next Generation” (perhaps a devoted trekkies would know the specifics) where Warf(sp?) and Piccard are hiding from the enemy, and Warf gets fed up and finally says “I would prefer a fair fight to all this hiding and sneaking around…”. It may get ugly, but why not just finally get all the issues to the surface, let people take positions so that we can sort the sheep from the goats and get on with our Church… all of this sneaking around has me tired…

  9. Antonio says:

    Tu exsurgens misereberis Sion, quia tempus miserendi ejus, quia venit tempus.

  10. Paul says:

    This talk about ‘cracks’ is both accurate and somewhat of a portend – but of what? I am sure the Holy Father has weighed carefully what will happen as negative fall out to his actions. However, I think it legitimate to discuss what the ‘progressives’ will do – that is: after the carping dies down?

    My feeling is that they’ll do precisely nothing. For all of the bile and invective that Fr. Z rightly predicts to be thrown at The Holy Father, I think it will all be proven to be empty. That sundry threats of ‘a new divide’ will amount to nothing.

    This is not some classic left v right paradigm shift. What the Pope is achieving here cannot be characterized as a new polarization at all.

  11. sacerdosinaeternum says:

    As Pope Benedict stated with his very first words to the Church as Pope: “the Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble labourer in the vineyard of the Lord…
    Let us move forward in the joy of the Risen Lord, confident of his unfailing help. The Lord will help us and Mary, his Most Holy Mother, will be on our side.” He is indeed ready for the hatred that will come his way; yet, in joy, he moves forward with his Marshall plan knowing that he will have to give an account of his Petrine Ministry to the Lord on the last day. They will revile like the demons, but he will continue to reign, like Our Lord. Long live Pope Benedict XVI!

  12. Paule says:

    Fr. Z., what exactly is their greatest fear? I don’t understand… They don’t want to be Catholic? Some are even leaving the Church. To go where? They need the sacraments…

  13. Brian Day says:

    I am reminded of author and blogger Mark Shea’s axiom: Deduct 50 IQ points when the MSM covers religion, deduct 75 IQ points when it covers Catholicism. The inaccuracies will be stunning.

    A second, related point is that many will accuse the Vatican (and the Church) of inept PR skills. I would disagree in that the Church speaks “like an adult”. But given the point above, the Church comes off looking like it could use some consulting on PR.

    Pray for our Holy Father.

  14. Of Course they are afraid. It means their protestant interpretation of the Church will be challenged, and eventually eradicated.

    2 Months ago, I was discussing with someone in my home “parish” how I went to the wonderful centinniel anniversay of St Francis De Salles. She scoffed, and commented how the traditional mass was “dimeaning and degrading to women” ….. This was after she tried to convince me how another church in the area that has big screen tv’s that show winter scenes during mass, was ok, and “whatever works for people”.,.

    These people are bent on having it their way. They want to feel good. They get mad and upset when someone breaks their bubble.

    But Holy Father is a true holy father. He is going to do what is for the good of the child. How many times did our parents make us do something we deplored, yet now you look back at it, and you are glad they did, and sad you ever put up the fight as a youth ( The years 13-17 come to mind for me, pick a day. lol)

    The Pope is doing just that. He is being a good parent, someone previously compared the situation to the prodigal son. The old brother will complain, but eventually out of love for his fallen brother (and i do believe these people have love, they are just misguided) , they will accept the outcome.

    Viva Il Papa Benedicto!

  15. Megan says:

    Yes, Pope Benedict is in great need of many prayers!! Always be prepared to give an answer to those who ask you why you believe, especially in this day and age.

    Sharpen your battle swords…this next one should prove to be pretty wild.

  16. D says:

    You may want to post this, Father.

    American legislators are now getting in on it… if only they were so concerned about the moral issue of abortion as well.

  17. Jon says:


    Those pictures in France were quite illuminating. Was anyone there under sixty?

  18. Catherine says:

    I totally support our Holy Father, but I am worried about the vitriol and confusion which will result in the coming weeks and months. People are already so angry and disillusioned about conditions in the Church that I fear they may just leave altogether. They are so poorly formed in the faith or they have been brainwashed by the aftermath of Vatican II. I absolutely do not believe we should water down any teachings just to appease them, but what ARE we to do?

    It is so difficult and frustrating to get through all this anger in fellow Catholics. Even being prepared for battle doesn’t seem to be enough anymore.

  19. Greg Hessel in Arlington Diocese says:

    Do you want to read a good example of what Fr Z is talking about?

    Go read the Jan 30th editorial in the Wall Street Journal by Fr Edward T Oakes SJ. He casts opprobrium on the four SSPX bishops, says reconciliation is hopeless and basically makes it seem like the Holy Father is an idiot for lifting the excommunications. Poor Fr Oakes just can’t understand that the Holy Father would actually want these bishops fully reconciled. Maybe the Holy Father wants to offset the incalculable damage to souls Fr Oakes’ order has committed? Hey Fr Oakes, why don’t you take out the beam in your own order’s eye first before you pluck out the splinter in the SSPX!

  20. Gil says:

    Yes we can (and should) pray. Is there anything else that faithful Catholics can do to support the Pope?

  21. humble access says:

    For the MSM and, let’s face it, much of contemporary western society, the Jews are only useful as a stick to bash Catholics with. Holocaust deniers are only worth headlines if they are (1) conservative, (2) Catholic, and (3) both. Meanwhile, today’s Jew-haters get a free pass as long as they tut-tut about Israel’s ‘disproportionate’ response to the Muslim world’s assault on the Jewish homeland’s very existence.

  22. Mike says:

    Sadly, +Williamson has handed them a knife and they will use it. I fear that the same kind of hysterical festival of hate that’s been directed at President Bush for the last 7 years will be directed at Pope Benedict.

    For example, see the bizarre “If Obama Were Pope” column by Hans Kung claiming that the Holy Father is “another George W. Bush”. Ratzinger derangement syndrome anyone…

  23. Paul says:

    chironomo wrote:

    ‘I am strangely reminded of a scene in “Star Trek-Next Generation” (perhaps a devoted trekkies would know the specifics) where Warf(sp?) and Piccard are hiding from the enemy, and Warf gets fed up and finally says “I would prefer a fair fight to all this hiding and sneaking around…”. It may get ugly, but why not just finally get all the issues to the surface, let people take positions so that we can sort the sheep from the goats and get on with our Church… all of this sneaking around has me tired…’

    I like that and I think I agree.

  24. Michael UK says:

    When The Holy Father became Pope, Card. Murphy-O’Coonor opined on radio regretting that “their man was not elected”!

    I believe that Msgr. Lefebvre would not do a deal, back in the 1980’s because he felt no trust in the then Curia and the sway that Kueng [whom he referred to as the “Pope of Tubingen]] and his cohorts held, not only in Rome but also in the mid-European dicasteries.

    There are splits, also in SSPX, I have been villified for supporting +Fellay and Fr. Schmidberger and they have equally been referred to as quisling types and worse.

    My concern regarding +Williamson, is not so much his personal views relating to the Holocaust and other esoteric matters, but the form of Catholicism he has developed from his seminariy and those in the USA. Such has infected the UK and is akin to “Wee Free” Scottish Free Church bigotry.

  25. Sid says:

    The closer to death, the louder the dying scream.

    I expect the screamers will be even louder in the UK and Northern Europe.

  26. It’s our PANZER POPE!

    My heart and my prayers are with Pope Benedict!

  27. Dominic H says:

    Well there are also those of us who think more highly of the Holy Father than ever…

    Mass was offered for the intentions of the Pope at the (London) Oratory last night; and the homily touched (without going into explicit detail) on his brave actions in seeking to bring unity, and the likelihood of the attacks on him intensifying.

    Although frankly many of the attacks come down to: Pope is Catholic. Shock! Horror!

  28. EDG says:

    I remember that in the Pope’s first address after his election, he asked us to pray for him, that he not “run away when he saw the wolves coming.” I wondered about his words at that time. I think he has some prescience about this, and probably, with the storm of hatred being whipped up against him both (technically) within and outside of the Church, he is going to undergo great suffering. We must pray very hard for him.

  29. wsxyz says:

    it is the Holy Father who has elected a bishop who believes God sends hurricanes to punish metropolitan urban areas of the USA

    That particular appointment could not have been better. The diocese of Linz in Austria is infamous. The new Bishop Wagner will clean things up.

    By the way, what makes you be so sure that hurricanes and their results are completely divorced from God’s Will?

  30. Kradcliffe says:

    Julie, I was thinking similar things to your pastor… I guess prompted by Sunday’s readings. I remembered something Father Corapi said about how we’ll sometimes fail in our attempts to witness to people. He said “Don’t be discouraged… Christ didn’t do any better.” People witnessed the Lord himself performing miracles and they attributed what he did to being in league with demons. They focused on the fact that he kept company with tax collectors and was charitable to harlots. They looked the ultimate Good in the face and saw something ugly. How can we mere mortals expect to do any better than He did?

  31. Bruce says:

    “The Church is the ship of the ocean of time, it is the carrier of great treasures above abysses and storms. The greatest treasure of humanity is faith and education, these two must not be torn apart. It is not allowed to say that the salvation of humanity is entrusted to another ship. There are many self-willed audacious sailors, many pirates, but they neither serve the general good, nor the happiness of their own soul. We are on the flagship, we are continually voyaging to new oceans with enterprising spirit and set sails. Our provisions do not sun short, the waters of life do not fail, we cannot miss the direction.
    Jesus is on this ship, he sleeps, that is his presence is mysterious. But on the ship there are oarsman, striving generations who have to row with a will, they have to watch every change of the wind. There are storms and they can only progress with struggling. God placed morals in a material nature and He placed the Church in history. He did not even exclude schism from His plans. Let naught disturb us. Do not lets us question : why does the Lord permit this or that? The Lord is resting amongst us; He gives us strength, faith, and trust. He suffered treachery and agony and we too go through storms. There is one thing we have strongly to believe: God is in our souls, Christ is in the Church”

    Mediation on Matthew 8: 23 from
    Meditations on the Gospels by Bishop Ottokar Prohaszka

  32. Magdalene says:

    Yes, the attacks against the Holy Father and the hatred both for him and for the Church are growing. I think I wrote that a secular Carmelite, a good lady, told me last week that she cannot stand the Pope because she heard on NPR what an anti-semite he was and how is embarrassing the Catholic Church. I had to calm her down and explain the situation. He will do nothing ‘right’ in the eyes of the world. You have the “Catholic” legislators who feel free to support the murder of abortion and also feel free to write to the Holy Father to explain his job to him, meanwhile some still go to Communion weekly with apparently no qualms.

    The servant is not above the Master and Our Lord told us that just as the world hated Him, it will hate His true followers. That is spiraling up now. In the early years to be a Christian, o ne had to be willing to put their life on the line. The same may again be true in more and more places. A nurse offers to pray with a patient in a home visit and is suspended in the U.K.; prayer does not respect ‘equality and diversity’ but those terms only apply to non Christian things.

    The fact that the attacks on the Holy Father continue to pour out of the ‘Church’ is a scandal. But what is new? The spirit of Judas has always been with us. The usual suspects will be interviewed and quoted and will write editorials and call for the Pope’s resignation. They know little of what holiness is for the world has blinded them.

    The Holy Father does not take public opinion polls. I love him! He does what he feels is right. Here is something he once said:
    The Church… intends to continue to raise her voice in defense of mankind, even when policies of States and the majority of public opinion moves in the opposite direction. Truth, indeed, draws strength from itself and not from the amount of consent it arouses. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Vatican, March 20, 2006

  33. I support the Pope. Fr. Z was correct when he said that there was going to be whining from the liberals for “their turn” at getting excommunications lifted. When I read the wymynpryst article, I threw my hands up in the air.

    Time to get cracking folks!

    -Kevin Symonds

  34. bryan says:

    What can we do?

    Prayers, people. The vile enemy (and don’t fool yourselves for a minute that he and his minions are full-tilt-boogie at work, using the useful idiots in public life, the press, and, sad to say, segments of our own clergy) doesn’t sleep.

    He (and those of his ilk) hate prayers, mortifications in reparation, devotions to His Mother, and spiritual bouquets offered for His Vicar on Earth and the Church He set as a bullwark against the seductions of the Devil.

    Call it for what it is. There’s nothing like a little clarity to focus the mind.

    So, it’s time to get on our collective knees, pull out the Rosaries (the devil HATES this most powerful prayer…), and start uniting our prayers TOGETHER that His Will be made manifest.

    It’s spiritual warfare. Plain and simple. So, it’s time to enlist, so to speak, on the side of the Holy Father and the Church Militant to meet the battle that’s being offered.

    Who’s with us?

  35. Tomas says:

    Nice image, Father Z. My first reaction was to think of Athena springing from the head of Zeus.

    Sid: “I expect the screamers will be even louder in the UK and Northern Europe.” How right you are:

    This would be the equivalent to the Battle of the Bulge.

  36. Marc says:

    Dear Father,

    There is at least one online petition to support and thank the Holy Father:

    In addition to our prayers, it may well be worth to tell the world how grateful so many Catholics are to Benedict XVI.

  37. a chinese Convert says:

    I am Chinese, I am Catholic, I am friendly to the Jews.

    I stand totally behind our Pope.

    He has done the right thing.

  38. Margaret C. says:

    My pastor also preached on demons yesterday. I think the Holy Spirit is up to something…

    Now, I’m sure our Holy Father can handle the pressure — after all, he was routinely vilified as God’s Rottweiler for years. (I once heard a story, back when he was Cardinal Ratzinger, in which he was quoted as saying that, if he weren’t being denounced somewhere, he’d have to examine his conscience.) But some expressions of support surely wouldn’t be amiss. Why not make a point this week of getting his address off the Vatican website and writing him a short note of appreciation?

  39. Calleva says:

    Margaret has the better idea. I went to sign the petition of thanks to the Holy Father but baulked when it asked my age and number of children. I don’t see why such private details are needed on a petition, unless the makers are after the information for another purpose. I ain’t signin’.

  40. Paul Haley says:

    Even when Bishop Fellay is right, he’s wrong in the eyes of the press and media who just cannot resist picturing the SSXP as antisemitic. Our religion is only approximately 2,000 years old but the Jewish religion goes back eons before that . Much of what we do as Catholics in rituals and ceremonies has been taken from the Jewish religion and, in fact, our religion is based upon the Old Covenant which found its completion in Christ Jesus. Jesus, Mary and Joseph were all Jewish in ethnicity and a slur against the Jews would be a slur against them (God forbid).

    But, even as we admit these historical facts, we are castigated for our supposedly anti-Jewish perspective. It boggles the mind. I just hope Pope Benedict XVI doesn’t fall victim to these attacks against the SSPX and traditional Catholics in general and that he remains firm in his intent towards regularization. Once again, Lucifer prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls and uses a vast array of anti-Catholic media and press releases to accomplish his goals. In fact, he even uses us against ourselves to foment the hatred and division he seeks. Let us reject Lucifer and all that he stands for.

  41. Amelia says:

    Father, is it a sin to be experiencing sheer joy at the exorcism of The Church taking place before my eyes? I mean, the sound of the wailing and gnashing of fangs is sweeter than Godiva chocolate. I want more! More! I can’t WAIT to hear them all howling back to Hell when the tiara returns to the head of Christ’s Vicar on earth! I am salivating at the very thought. Someone bring me a chair and fan my face!

  42. PMcGrath says:

    the gerbils will … start treading out discouraging notes and articles.

    Vincenzo! Where are you? We need a Goofy Gerbil Graphic for these guys!

  43. Steve K. says:

    Well, at last. This fight has been brewing for a long time, and we are going to have to fight it before the healing in the Church can get underway in earnest. “Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out.”

    We should all say a daily rosary for our beloved Holy Father. May the Lord protect him!

  44. irishgirl says:

    I offer my Rosary for the Holy Father every day!

    ‘Gerbils’-oooo, I like that image!

    Who cares what the idiots in the MSM say, anyway?

  45. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    Yes, the seeping cracks are splitting open and the more foolish of Evil One’s thurifers are drawing attention to themselves. Time to douse them and their thuribles with some holy water. Put your raincoats on…the pea soup is about to hit the fan!

  46. chironomo says:

    “Those pictures in France were quite illuminating. Was anyone there under sixty?”

    Under 60?? I think under 75 would give the same results…

  47. IvoDeNorthfield says:

    It’s amazing that, after all these years of Hamas, Hezbollah, Ahmadinejad, and the lunacy of most of the Muslim mainstream, the liberals and the MSM are finally scandalized by clerical anti-semitism. Do statements by the Holy Father and Bishop Fellay even make a difference any more? Is the MSM listening to them? Are the gerbils listening?

  48. Henry says:

    it is the Holy Father who has elected a bishop who believes God sends hurricanes to punish metropolitan urban areas of the USA.

    When was Al Gore “elected” a bishop?

  49. Steve K. says:

    Well, that’s exactly it, Ivo. Here we see the mask slip. The Progressives are simply the party for the destruction of Western Civilization, and above all the religion that made it possible, Christianity. Any club will do to further that end; widespread, systemic anti-Semitism exhibit by enemies of the West that actually kills Jews every day, is ignored or relativized, but the loopy remarks by a lone bishop is the cause for a massive public outcry and media campaign against the Pope.

  50. Veritas says:


    Just wait until 500,000 Anglicans re-join the Church. This is only the beginning.

  51. michigancatholic says:

    Listen, the progressives are suffering right now.

    1) The economic crisis has people quietly refuting the progressive claims of spend, spend, spend and don’t worry, don’t think, you deserve it. People are starting to pay their bills, save money and give these things a little bit of thought. Can you believe it?

    2) The newly elected president is doing no-one quite knows what and it’s very silent up there. One wonders if he knows what he’s doing. A growing number are suspecting not.

    3) And To Top It All Off, the Pope brings back that Latin Mass and offers reconciliation to those nasty old-fashioned Latinizers!

    Now, progressives can’t really (YET) cuss & swear at the people’s fear without disgusting them, and they can’t really (YET) cuss & swear at Obama because he’s still sort of their darling-magic-underclass-talisman-dream-come-true-guy, but they feel perfectly free to let the Pope feel their ire. So here we are.

    What’s really the kicker for the progressives is this: They are starting to realize that no matter how we Catholics are vilified, we care less about what they say than any of the above groups. [We did learn something from Vatican II, after all!] We are just being what we are–Catholic–and that’s not going to stop anytime soon. And it galls the crap out of them. Somebody they can’t control—GRRRRRR.

  52. Lynne says:

    “Be prepared to answer questions.”

    Yes Father! My husband told me about a conversation he had with a friend of his. They both agreed that this was a care-taker pope(!!!!!). I told my husband (calmly) why I disagreed with this. Unfortunately, they ( my husband and his friend) are C&E (Christmas & Easter) Catholics so they are quite removed from the type of discussions that occur here. Just so you understand what we’re up against…

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