L’Osservatore Romano… what the…?!?

Many…many.. of you are asking me via e-mail what one earth is wrong with L’Osservatore Romano.

The Vatican’s newspaper published a decidedly dopey article on the visit of President Obama to Notre Dame.

The singularly grossest aspect of the decidedly dopey article was the fact that it did not mention, at all, the 70+ who made statements against the decision to honor this aggressively pro-abortion politician.

That is pretty insulting, actually.

So, to give a brief answer to the questions I am getting, leaving deeper analysis to a another day, I think that one thing best explains what is going on.

Effects have to be proportioned to their causes. 

{slap forehead HERE}

Who else could be it be but the Vatican’s Secretariat of State?

Think about it.  What could produce such a dopey article if not for the section of the Secretariat of State involved with the relations with states?

Leaving aside the personal political tendencies of many who work up there, the President is scheduled to go to Rome in, … what is it, … July?

The diplomat elements in the Secretariat of State probably don’t want anything to spoil the planning.

Ta da! 

Cause and effect.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in SESSIUNCULA and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Tod says:

    Huh? Come again, Father. Please expound some more.

  2. AlwaysCatholic says:

    Non capisco. Forse sono stupido.

  3. TNCath says:

    Father Z wrote: “The diplomat elements in the Secretariat of State probably don’t want anything to spoil the planning.”

    You mean, like Notre Dame didn’t want anything to spoil the planning of Obama’s visit to and “dialogue” at Notre Dame? Lord, have mercy.

    This makes one wonder what the Holy Father is really being told by his advisors about what is going on over here. We know for a fact that there are people in the Curia who know good and well what really happened. Archbishop Burke knows. Cardinal Grocholewski knows, Cardinal Stafford knows. Archbishop Sambi knows. Bishop D’Arcy knows. Over 70 American cardinals, archbishops, and bishops know, and over 350,000 Catholics who signed the petition by the Cardinal Newman Society know. I sure hope and pray the Holy Father is getting his information about the United States from more than L’Osservatore Romano and the Secretariat of State.

  4. Romulus says:

    So the OR — speaking for the SoS — is telegraphing the message to The Doctor that the Holy See will roll over for him? This is diplomacy? What’s in it for the Holy See — other than pointless “dialogue” even as The Doctor rolls them up like a rug?

    I was going to ask if the world has truly gone mad, but upon reflection realise that I already know the answer to that question.

    It’s a satisfying insight in its way, doing away with fruitless searches for logic where no logic exists.

  5. Brian Mershon says:

    Last I checked, Cardinal Bertone works directly for the Pope. Maybe the Republican/political tendencies of many who read this blog are jading our thinking regarding “the One.” Maybe we just don’t recognize him for the great person he is.

    Cardinal Bertone works for the Pope. Just like Cardinal Sodano worked for Pope JPII all those years and worked to undermine the teaching of the authority of the Pope too.

    Many priests have incompetent workers at their parishes all around them, but despite the priests’ seeming orthodoxy, continue to let them be employed and make a mockery of how the parish is run.

    Shouldn’t expect any different from the offices of the Vatican curia, should we?

  6. TJM says:

    DId they write flattering stories about Mussilini or Hitler before a state visit? I know it’s an explanation but given the gravity of the circumstances
    a muted response would have been better. Tom

  7. I am not Spartacus says:

    Barack went to Notre Dame (Neo-Calvary; the place where truth goes to die) and delivered a panegyric to those in attendance who have willingly buried their defense of truth in the graves of Barack’s Common Ground.

    And now the Moral Monster slouches to Rome waiting to be borne aloft again amidst rapturous applause with many photos documenting the miracle.

  8. We need to start sticking to our guns. Corruption is what led to the reformation, and look at everything that happened there. All acts like this do too is play into the sede vacanist mentality, and other former mentalities.

    If someone from the Curia, or the Holy See reads this, PLEASE have someone speak out against these travesties. There are people in the US fighting the good fight, who more or less have been hung out to dry.

    I myself have spent my time in the cold, heat, and rain praying in front of Planned Parent hood, being spit on and cursed by people driving by, only to have it undermined in the cause of “Diplomatic relations”

    We arent of this world, we are made for a higher purpose. I cant understand why the people who are our leaders and voice (AKA O.R) care so much about the secular world. Where is the greater reward, bliss here and damnation, or strife here and eternal bliss?

    The current anti spam word is Maniples Now. I would challenge some of the Priests and what not who have laid down to the secularist mind set to look up what they are for and get one as soon as possible.

  9. Joe says:

    Did the OR have to mention it at all?

  10. The OR did…but they should have spoken in a catholic way about it, rather then eating from his hand. That’s the disappointment. It makes the rest of us look too “hard nosed” and such. People will equate “well if rome doesnt speak out then they are just blowing fire”. This is how the populous thinks. We have to be united on our core values or we will fail

  11. Kevin says:

    Whereas liberal society does not hesitate to marginalize anyone of whom it disapproves – to obvious great political effect – the Church continues to allow apostates and heretics to sit side by side with anyone not completely scandalized out of his or her orthodoxy.

    Is this about access to the sacraments? Is the Holy Father’s fear that mass excommunication would leave the few dozen faithful Catholics in an otherwise liberal diocese without access to the (impiously distributed) Eucharist and extreme unction?

    If so, is he not equally afraid that enthusiasm for the sacraments may be lost entirely when no-one in the diluted Church understands what they are for?

    Even were I to find myself on the list of excommunicants, I would rather know where I had gone wrong than to just wing it. The latter alternative simply does not impress any sense of urgency or importance.

  12. quiet beginning says:

    TNCath wrote:

    “This makes one wonder what the Holy Father is really being told by his advisors about what is going on over here. We know for a fact that there are people in the Curia who know good and well what really happened. Archbishop Burke knows. Cardinal Grocholewski knows, Cardinal Stafford knows. Archbishop Sambi knows. Bishop D’Arcy knows. Over 70 American cardinals, archbishops, and bishops know, and over 350,000 Catholics who signed the petition by the Cardinal Newman Society know. I sure hope and pray the Holy Father is getting his information about the United States from more than L’Osservatore Romano and the Secretariat of State.”

    I remember in the ’80’s and ’90’s how people would say in response to the atrocities being committed in various parishes in the U.S., “If only the pope knew what was going on! He’d put a stop to it!” According to many clerics in-the-know (Frs. Malachi Martin and Paul Trenchard among them) John Paul II DID in fact know what was going on. Furthermore, he was THE quintessential hands-on pope, not letting ANYTHING happen down through the ranks without at least his tacit approval. According to these clerics, JPII was the CEO and the bishops were yes-men; it only APPEARED to be the case that JPII was letting the bishops run the show. I suspect the situation has not changed with Benedict XVI.
    It seems that people are beginning to wake up now to the fact that there is something terribly wrong in the Vatican II church. Please pray the Rosary.

  13. “Whereas liberal society does not hesitate to marginalize anyone of whom it disapproves – to obvious great political effect – the Church continues to allow apostates and heretics to sit side by side with anyone not completely scandalized out of his or her orthodoxy.”

    In the Good Ol Days, we had the inquisition.

  14. Henry Edwards says:

    Furthermore, he [Pope John Paul II] was THE quintessential hands-on pope, not letting ANYTHING happen down through the ranks without at least his tacit approval..

    I had the opposite impression — that John Paul II exercised little direct control of bishops. The question being whether this was by choice or by necessity.

  15. Mark says:

    Is there a link to the story in question?

  16. Immaculatae says:

    Interesting. The marking of every residence with GPS locations by the “census workers” which is now taking place is due to be completed before July 09?

  17. Kevin says:

    In today’s “Daily Telegraph”, one journalist blogger notes with disgust the invitation of the members of the Greater London Assembly to a presentation by the English Football Association of its bid to host the World Cup in 2018.

    Why the disgust? Because one of those elected members belongs to the British National Party, which believes in voluntary
    repatriation of non-British residents.

    The word “dialogue” will not be heard in this context, even though the BNP’s economic policies appear to be Left-wing, like Obama’s.

  18. This reminds me of a prophecy made by Sister Elena,

    “Russia will march upon all the nations of Europe, particularly Italy, and will raise her flag over the dome of St. Peters. Italy will be severly tried by a great revolution and Rome will be purified in blood for its many sins, especially those of impurity. The flock is about be dispersed and the Pope will suffer greatly.”

    And here’s another one by Holzhauser:

    “There are evil times, a century full of dangers and calamities. Heresy is everywhere, and the followers of heresy are in power almost everywhere. Bishops, prelates, and priests say that they are doing their duty, that they are vigilant, and that they live as befits their state in life. In like manner, therefore, they all seek excuses. But God will permit a great evil against His Church: Heretics and tyrants will come suddenly and unexpectedly; they will break into the Church while bishops, prelates, and priests are asleep. They will enter Italy and lay Rome waste; they will burn down the Churches and destroy everything.” (Apocalypsis, Bartholomew Holzhauser, 1850.).

    Capuchin Friar (18th Century)

    “During these calamities the Pope shall die. … Through the death of the Supreme Pontiff the Church will be reduced to the most painful anarchy, because from three hostile powers (through their influence) three popes will be contemporaneously elected: one Italian, another German, the third Greek. This [the Greek], by force of arms, shall be placed on the throne.” (Christian Trumpet, p. 55).

  19. I was actually thinking about subscribing to L’Osservatore Romano but I don’t think I will.

    Henry Edwards,

    Do you subscribe to L’Osservatore Romano?

  20. Irene says:

    I feel like I am in a Dan Brown movie and I can’t leave.

  21. TJM says:

    Henry Edwards,

    Why not send L’Osservatore Romano a note to that effect?


  22. Hidden One says:

    So, the Secretariat and PR Department both need to a lot of people to get fired…*sigh*

    Pope Benedict and his few allies still have a lot of work to do. I wonder if there are summer internship/other opportunities in the Vatican for orthodox Catholics with a bit of Latin…

  23. EDG says:

    I read the L’Osservatore Romano piece and I am stunned. I know the paper has published things in the past that are not exactly in harmony with the views of the Pope, but if it is believed that Cardinal Bertone is behind this, that’s bad news indeed. Rome was strangely silent during the whole ND storm, and I assumed it was just because of “subsidiarity” and that the situation would be handled here by US bishops without the active participation of Rome. Of course, nothing at all happened and Obama carried it off. What does this mean about the views of Rome?

  24. Bailey Walker says:

    I feel as if I am in a Michael O’Brien novel and that’s NOT a good feeling. Sigh.

  25. Michael J says:

    It is getting harder and harder to not believe that this is just the latest effort by L’Osservatore Romano to undermine the Church.

    As one poser noted, most will say “Well if Rome is OK with it, there must not be anything to be concerned about”. L’Osservatore Romano knows that it is considered the “official” spokesman of the Church and deliberately chooses to continue to publish articles directly contrary to the will of the Pope.

  26. ejk says:

    Fr. Z – not leaving my name…(email is there as well as computer IP) – but I have heard from two priest friends there IS great corruption in the church. One left the priesthood over it (well, forced out) – this worries me so. I don’t fully understand this post or some of the comments. Catholic whole life – but some of this intellectual talk – frankly, is over my simple head…WHO do we believe through this mess!? WHAT is going on!?

  27. Amy, MEV says:

    Forget the dumb article, where is zChat!? I have BIG news and no one to tell!

  28. taad says:

    This article undermines not only the bishops authority but the Holy Father himself.
    This article also is destructive of Right to Life Movement. Cardinal Bertone
    stated in 2000, “Unfortunately, in the great societies of today’s world, where numerous unjust laws are enforced, many Catholics do not comply adequately with their duty to oppose these laws. The fundamental reasons are the weakness of faith and Christian commitment, and the poor distribution of tasks between pastors and the laity.”

    So what does Rome want? You can’t have it both ways. To write to the Cardinal
    and express our fears for this weakening of the bishops authority:

    His Eminence

    Tarcisio Cardinal Bertone, S.D.B.

    Secretary of State

    00120 Vatican City State


  29. canon1753 says:

    Is this also a way saying “please appoint a US ambassador to the Vatican?”

    This is frustrating though. It is a realpolitik type situational diplomacy, which smells bad but keeps lines of communications open…

  30. LCB says:

    Fr. Z,

    Things like this REALLY infuriate me. This is going to be reported nation wide.

    This sabotages the pro-life cause.

  31. Mark says:

    Meh. It’s the perfect storm.

    First, take the massive corruption of the clergy. They’ve sold out heaven, maybe not for sex and money, but for popularity, trying to be “cool” and relevant to the secular world and their “intellectual” peers in other religions/impotent-academicized-non-philosophies.

    Second, take the fact that good Catholics feel like their only recourse is to pray and silently suffer, maybe gently lobby if they are in the position to do so. But I say, we should start taking a lesson from the liberals and start being a little more bold. Maybe not SSPX-ordaining-bishops-illicitly-bold…but certainly bolder. One priest I know was all scrupulous about whether he could where a maniple at the New Mass. I say just DO it! If no one is doing anything about Notre Dame, they arent going to do anything about an “illicit” maniple, for crying out loud. And I doubt God will care either. The rubrics dont exist for their own sake. If the “disobedience” is traditional…then it cant be disobedient. The Vatican doesnt crack down on REAL liturgical abuse. It happens year after year in all sorts of parishes. What if some pastor just started, say, adding all sorts of old prayers to the new mass. Would anyone stop him? I doubt it. Or, for example, what if a few young Catholics in a diocese went on a hunger strike for some traditional cause. Like, ending communion in the hand or something like that. How would the bishop react? Who knows! No one tries this sort of thing because good Catholics just sit back and take it. We cant let our belief in the power of prayer turn into this sort of quietism! Protest and resistance can accomplish things. Forget about just withholding money from Notre Dame. What if we started withholding money from our parishes, etc, and sending them to some alternate, and traditional, charity within the Church, eh? Some of these lazy bureaucrats need to realize WE’RE feeding them!

  32. Je ne comprendè pas le article. What do you mean Fr. Z?

  33. Tod says:


    Thank you for posting this address.

    I’m writing His Eminence my thoughts.

  34. Dave N. says:

    Perhaps it’s because the Vatican doesn’t wish the pro-life spotlight turned toward honors THEY’VE granted to the likes of politicians like Sarkozy (pro-choice, not exactly an example of sexual discretion, but named honorary canon of St. John Lateran)?

  35. LCB says:

    Dave N.,

    It is an ancient privilege granted to France, that the sitting head of state be an honorary canon of St. John Lateran. It honors the nation of France, and not the man.

  36. Fr. Tony says:

    I have subscribed to L’Oss. R. for years. Over the past year or two, I have noticed the occasional use of diffent types of photos to illustrate articles: once, of Greenpeace activists; another time, of ACORN demonstrators. (And the article had to do with housing, not political fraud or corruption.)
    I have wondered if this is the choice of the Rome-based editors, or of the American. (For the U.S., L’ Oss. R. is now printed in America under the auspices of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.) Or if this is simply some “progressive” functionary sneaking a little leftward spin into the paper.

  37. Dave N. says:


    IMO this is exactly the compromise of moral clarity that can no longer be tolerated by “but we’ve always done it in the past….” (Notre Dame invited Jimmy Carter to speak too–precedent is no indicator of morality.)

    Isn’t that what we’re talking about here? Finally taking a clear stand?

  38. Tony from Oz says:


    Subscribe to L’OR? Don’t even think about it mate. Boring! Even the old Soviet Pravda was not as ‘ultramontane’ (read as slavish adherence to whatever the latest party line may be, regardless) as L’OR is today. Its performance here is risible and beyond contempt. Besides, there are too many better RC journals capable of providing intelligent and incisive commentary with an orthodox Catholic intellect actually ‘engaged’, to boot!

  39. LCB says:

    Dave N.,

    I don’t disagree, just trying to clarify the matter.

  40. David Kastel says:

    The Secy of state (the politics) runs the show in the Vatican since the time of Paul VI. Before that the Inquisition/Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ran the show.

    The doctrine used to be the most important, now it is worldly politics. This is part of the great springtime of the Church!

  41. Insteresting title too Fr. Z! Did you mean what the f… or what the h…. ?

  42. Petrus says:

    “Confusion is spreading within the Church, where everything in the field of dogma, liturgy and discipline is being subverted.” To the Priests, Our Lady’s Beloved Sons, Marian Movement of Priests, p214.

  43. Supertradmom says:

    Solzhenitsyn once said of detente that one could not have detente with evil. The same goes for realpolitik.

  44. “Comment by quiet beginning — 19 May 2009 @ 2:51 pm”

    It is a consequence of the human condition, that different popes have different strengths and weaknesses. Administrative prowess was never ascribed to the late John Paul II. He was known to have admitted as much, as well as lament that bishops around the world often refused to listen to him.

  45. Latekate says:

    “The diplomat elements in the Secretariat of State probably don’t want anything to spoil the planning.”

    If this is true then it sounds as if Rome is lost. The Holy See is the lapdog of the Obammunists. This is more depressing than the CINO ND honoring The One.

    I had hoped if there was a schism that I would be on the side of the Vatican at least.

  46. Nick says:

    I wonder how deep the Vatican is in to the world bankers? This article is too dopey to be by accident or even malevolence from within.

  47. Irene says:

    From the Catechism:

    CCC675 “Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final
    trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that
    accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the ‘mystery of iniquity’ in
    the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their
    problems at the price of apostasy from the truth”….

  48. michigancatholic says:

    Mark, they realize that we feed them and they think we’re fools for it.

    I half agree with you on what you propose above. BUT, and it’s a big BUT. You have to make sure if you do some of those things that you don’t simply end up doing what you’re objecting to someone else doing. Example: Adding extraneous prayers to mass. When progressives do it, it’s bad because it breaks liturgical law. We shouldn’t break liturgical law to get back at them for breaking liturgical law. Do you see what I mean? It would be kinda pointless.

    *I agree heartily, though, with the part about stepping out and being far, far, far more assertive about what we, as Catholics, need and expect to see.* The USCCB is going to roll over. WE are going to get no help. IF you, like I, want to see Catholicism still in this country in 20 years, then we’d all better stop whining & moaning at each other and get the lead out of our drawers. It’s up to us, and that means prayer AND action.

    You have time, you have a pocketbook that can be open or closed, you have a brain and a will and a mouth. God helps those that helps themselves, as the old saying goes. There are a lot of things we could do, and the first one is to be as Catholic as you can be-everywhere you go. It’s up to YOU ALL to be the ones that don’t just roll over.

    So, expect to get what you need. Make it clear you won’t take less, even if it means you yell, you drive across town, and you insist til they make you stop (surprise: they can’t). Was Joan of Arc a mouse? No! Did St. Dominic refuse to offend the Albigensians by telling them they were WRONG? No! Did St. Francis go with the flow to avoid embarrassment? NO.

    Show up with your rosary and if the homily/meeting/movie stinks and has golf jokes, honey, here is your chance to get it said. If they don’t like what you’re doing, make them watch you 24/7 to make sure you don’t do it. If you can’t overpower them with force, then wear them out just like that widow in scripture. If they tell you that you can’t kneel, ignore them til you see the leg braces–one for every single person in the congregation. Bring em on. When you get threatened, you should always ask yourself, “What will they do?” 99% of the time, the answer is “nothing.” They can’t stop you from praying, or kneeling, or talking about God. They’re probably not going to assault you.

    So. Teach your kids to sing in latin and let them show off–every chance they get (best if you have LOTS of kids). Find the prettiest lace mantilla you can find and ALWAYS wear it to church (but only if you’re a girl). Bring your handivac to clean up that pesky water font when it gets dirty during lent–you know, the battery powered one. Unplug the amplifiers–it saves energy. Volunteer to lead the procession that they haven’t thought of yet. (The kids’ll love it–you wouldn’t want them to miss the fun, would you, meanie (what kind of a progressive are you anyway?))

    EAt. Laugh (especially at progressive wackos–because they’re actually very funny). Pray. Support each other. Be Catholic. (You’ll make everybody jealous of you for being so happy. Who knows, they might decide to be happy too.)

    People outside the church should always have the suspicion they just might be listening to church on that CD you keep playing but they can’t understand a word, so they’re not quite sure enough to accuse you. People inside the church should know right where you stand and know that you will guffaw at them if they say anything at all idiotic about where you stand.

    There was a time about 50 years ago, when all this would’ve been out of place–across the entire spectrum, I might add. In that time, good Catholics believed that they had to just put up and shut up with any old thing that was done to them, because they didn’t expect the any old thing to be this. Well, we see how that turned out.

    Come on, people. Use your head. Use your heart. Use your mouth. That’s why God gave them to you.

  49. Before considering the conspiracy theories or diplomatic maneuverings, lets consider Occam’s razor. Is it possible that people in Rome are still falling short in paying attention to other countries? it wouldn’t be the first time… the controversy over Williamson, and how Randall Terry caught Archbishop Burke by surprise.

    Quite possibly the writer of the piece was comparing Obama’s liberalism to the average European politician.

    That doesn’t make this article right of course, but I suspect ignorance, not malevolence.

  50. mike hurcum says:

    Irene, you are close the Mystical Body of Christ must undergo the Passion of its Founder, Jesus Christ. We can all probably agree we the Mystical Body are at the time in the Garden when the Apostles ran away from the Eucharist. Soon the journey begins the slow procession towards the crucifixion of the church with very few of the faithful hanging in for the journey. I truly hope you, we all will get down on your knees and pray for fortitude and strength to bear the Cross we will all surely bear. Soon the Bishops of the world will find reasons of social justice to permit abortions and birth control. It is already unofficially happening. Canadians caught the Canadian Bishops funding groups in South America knowingly. We must stand up and say no more what we forget if many ever knew is the nine ways we are complicit in sin.

  51. michigancatholic says:

    When was the piece written? If it was written a week or so ago, you have to admit, catholic (and I use that term loosely) universities (also used loosely) have given degrees to people who didn’t exactly deserve them. Maybe it didn’t seem to be much of a big thing to them because of our (many) precedents.

    And maybe they think ND is a cesspool too so they weren’t exactly surprised. I wasn’t.

    And another thing. There is the business of dealing with a president diplomatically vs. dealing with him as a personal turkey. The ND thing and a diplomatic visit to Vatican City (read foreign country) are not on the same magnitude or of the same type. Perhaps the Vatican has fish to fry diplomatically that are bigger than the stupidity at ND and CNN.

  52. quiet beginning says:

    David L. Alexander wrote:

    “It is a consequence of the human condition, that different popes have different strengths and weaknesses. Administrative prowess was never ascribed to the late John Paul II. He was known to have admitted as much, as well as lament that bishops around the world often refused to listen to him.”

    And even though JPII possessed the power to discipline those malfactors, he chose instead to do nothing. I find a troubling number of people who will go to the greatest lengths in their attempt to explain away the actions, or lack thereof, of JPII. That says something about the lack of understanding–if not of concern–of the post-Vatican II laity’s role vis-a-vis the Roman Pontiff. It is NOT in fact Catholic teaching that the laity are to fawn (almost to the point of deification) over a pope (remember how pleased JPII was when told that a movement was underway to have him remembered in legacy as “John Paul the Great?”), no matter how charismatic that pope might be. On the contrary, if a pope is teaching that which has been condemned by the Church (do I REALLY need to go down the list of things?) then he is to be challenged. It’s not something that is merely permitted–it is incumbent on Catholics to defend the Faith.

  53. “I find a troubling number of people who will go to the greatest lengths in their attempt to explain away the actions, or lack thereof, of JPII. That says something about the lack of understanding—if not of concern—of the post-Vatican II laity’s role vis-a-vis the Roman Pontiff.”

    When President Harry Truman left office, he was known to have commented on the prospects of his successor — that once he became President, “Ike” would act as if he was still in the Army; telling everybody, do this, and do that, and then wondering why nothing would happen. (See American Government and Politics: A Concise Introduction, by Robert Singh, page 128. Don’t take my word for it.)

    I find a troubling number of people who will assume that a pope can make someone halfway around the world follow his every command, without the prospect of that individual possessing a will of their own, including the will to disobey. That says something about the lack of understanding of the Church as a communion of sinners; indeed, of human nature itself.

    Why else would they need our prayers?

  54. RJS says:

    Is anyone under the impression that the Vatican realy cares about abortion? Where was the outrage when the unbelieving Jew, Rabbi David Rosen, was made a Papal Knight? Where was the outrage when John Paul II invited pro-abortion members of false religions to come to Assisi and represent their respective false religions in a “prayer service”? And where was the outrage when he offered them a room where they could commit their false worship – which is a mortal sin against the first commandment – in the hope that God would look upon this mortal sin and grant world peace? Since violations of the first commandment are much more serious than those of the 5th commandment, such as abortion, why are the same people who defended John Paul II’s Assisi event so concerned over Notre Dame? After all, we all know that Notre Dame is a liberal College Catholic in name only, while John Paul II was the Pope, no less. What Notre Dame did pales in comparrision to the Assisi event of John Paul II – yet those who are so ooutraged over Notre Dame defended John Paul II.

  55. LCB says:

    quiet beginning,

    How brave of you, to defend the Catholic Faith against the apostate Pope. Now, tell us how you really feel about JPII. [No.. how about NOT telling us?]

  56. Mark says:

    There was a lot the Pope could have done (and could still do), just based on how our institutions work. I’m not for Vatican micromanaging interference in the dioceses, but one of the roles of the Pope in the constitution of the Church IS as a failsafe of unity when individual bishops are bad. The Pope could put a diocese under interdict. Revoke faculties from all the priests for confessions. He could try to sack the guy, and if he wouldnt leave…it would at least force the wheat to separate from the tare. If the Church is festering under the surface with a schism about to break out between “the American Bishops” and “the Vatican” any moment now (as I’ve been told by most people to whom I suggest more direct disciplinary action)…then I say the physician cant heal a wound he cant see. If something like that exists just below the surface, I say bringing it to a head is better.


    I dont think the liberals adding prayers to Mass is bad because “it breaks liturgical law”. I think it’s bad because the prayers themselves are liberal or ugly or untraditional. I’d be fine if people were adding traditional, beautiful prayers. That’s how the Mass developed in the first place. Rubrics dont exist for their own sake. The “liturgical law” is not an end in itself.

    But I think fetishizing obedience for obedience’s sake is what has kept good Catholics from being activist about our agenda (defending the true faith) whereas the liberals have no such qualms, and so they make progress like the debacle we saw at Notre Dame this Sunday. We need to be a little less scrupulous about “obedience”. Yes, maybe take a lesson from the SSPX (though not as extreme). If the people we are allegedly “disobeying” dont do anything to discipline the alleged “disobedience” then that silence seems to imply consent. Canon law type stuff draws its validity from the intent of real human beings, it has no life of its own. And if they dont enforce it, it implies a permission.

    The bishops are extremely lenient and permissive. The liberals have known this for years. We should use it to our advantage too. “Say the black, do the red” is a conservative ideal. But that’s why historical “progress” has been moving leftward. Because the left is willing to take positive steps in their direction, whereas all that “conservatives” are willing to do is to be dead-weight maintaining the status quo, maybe vaguely hoping for some “eventual, gradual” restoration. It’s not enough. We need to start tugging Rightward as strongly, more strongly, than the left tugs leftward. Otherwise, by being dead-weight conservatives…we merely slow them. We dont stop them, and certainly dont REVERSE anything. If they actually DO things and we dont…they’ll win in the end. We have to adopt their tactics, because they are empirically more effective. I know, we pride ourselves on “not being like” the rainbow sashers or whatever, but that aversion may be misplaced. It may be time to become more vocal.

    I’d like to see some suggestions for active protests we could make against the current hierarchal cabal. With-holding money is one thing. Write your bishop and tell him you are withholding money from the collection-plate and sending it to the FSSP instead or something like that. That’s where it will hurt them. As long as we are feeding them, like you said, they’ll just think we’re fools.

    In the middle ages, angry peasants dragged bad priests through the streets. It’s time to get Medieval.

  57. Nick says:

    The Secretary of State, the editorial board of L’Osservatore Romano, etc. etc. ALL serve at the Pope’s pleasure. Any and all could be immediately replaced with his signature. Clerics/diplomats in the Vatican are either much too clever and cunning for their own good or simply staggeringly stupid. The jury is still out. Regardless, I fear we will be wringing our hands, lamenting, for the foreseeable future.

  58. Naturally, I support the Holy Father no matter what. We have to trust in the Holy Spirit.

    That being said, a former holy father was facing similar circumstances. He was trying to flee town. All of a sudden he saw Jesus. Jesus reminded him what his real duty was. I think most of you know the rest of the story, if not go see “Quo Vadis”. We have to remember that we will always be at odds with the world. Was not our Master crucified, hung on a tree, whipped, scourged, mocked, spit on? That was for us. Here we are complaining that the going is tough. I guess human frustration enters into it, and there is doubt, frustration and the like. All I am saying is, there have been far greater endurances of the evils of the world. I also dont think the “world” is going to come to its senses anytime soon

  59. I had to comment again, because I noticed something further

    I dont think anyone here expects the Bishop’s to listen 100 percent of the time. That has been consistently proven in many cases. But, I guarantee if the the Pope used some of his pull and power to voice a very catholic opinion right now in response to this matter, there would definately be a shot to the arm of the Pro Life movement. Then Obama would really be stuck trying to figure out how to get the catholic vote back, because it would be taken away with so little effort.

  60. Scotty says:

    This incident and the subsequent commentary by l’Osservatore Romano ranked up there with Pelosi, Kerry and Kennedy being allowed to take Communion at the Papal Mass in Wash., D.C. in terms of pastoral ineptitude.

  61. Mark says:

    It was the following that depressed me most about this weekend:

    Vatican: No criticism of Obama on abortion
    Updated 4:42 p.m. PT, Mon., May 18, 2009

    VATICAN CITY – The Vatican said Monday that President Barack Obama was clearly looking for some common ground with his speech at the University of Notre Dame about abortion. The Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano said Obama’s speech at the …


    Maybe the SSPXers are right after all! The smoke of Satan, not only has entered the Church, but the fires of hell have gutted the Church… only a remnant remain, it seems to me. I’m not saying that Evil has prevailed here… but we seem to have a standing 8 count and we’re rather battered and bloodied!

    Very depressing indeed.

  62. Larry says:

    People, people, people calm down a bit and breathe. LOR has on many occassions made me wonder a bit. But I think here we dealing with more than you might think. Yes this is politics and yes it gets ugly and interesting at the same time. I do not for a momment believe that Rome or even LOR has turned on the abortion issue. The article you are commenting on as though it was all there was in that paper is dealing with one specific fact. President Obama is President and at this table called American Government he deals the hand. You may not like your cards, h…,you might not like the game but we are in this game for human lives and so we are here to play the hand we are delt. In his speech the president gave up a few small points in his program. It is on these points that we must play. But in addition there are other hands in this game and the issues here are more to our liking as Catholics, or at least should be. The Vatican has a deep interest in all these hands therefore it does not go stomping off because it doesnot like its cards. Nor does it remain silent on the issues of import. That the president spoke is history. All the yelling and screaming and foot stomping and crying foul won’t change history. But on the issue of fetal stem cells the hand is still in play. Turn the pages of LOR and you will find an article condeming Obama and praising many of the Bishops for their courageous and correct pronouncemnts on this issue. Indeed the quotations concerning Archbishop Chaput and his warnings and admonitions concerning the Church in the US should give you a clearer view and understanding of the entire battlefield. ND is over what we do about it in terms of cutting funding and removing it as a Catholic Univ. is up to the Bishops; but, the issue the Pesident being invited and receiving an honorary degree is history and there is no going back to make it not happen. This ain’t Star TRek and we can’t change history. SO pick up your cards, ugly as they are and get back in this. Babies are dying for us to get involved. Visit priestsforlife.com and get started now, 2010 is our next chance to change the playing field; but, there will great opportunities to argue and even win in the halls of COngress. Don’t worry the Vatican has not lost its mind; don’t you loose the Faith.

  63. RC says:

    Isn’t this just one more reason for a new communications director at Rome?

  64. Noel says:

    I think one or two posts are getting close on this. We can rant all we like about wearing maniples and other liturgical minutiae.

    HF is both our Spiritual Pastor and a head of state. I can believe that one-to one meeting in July could be a platform for setting out the Church’s pro-life stance and challenging the President to be worthy of the honour afforded him, albeit ill-judged. There is little point L’OR becoming embroiled in argument at this stage and does the job of merely reporting the fact after the event.

    Softly, softly, catchee monkee sometimes.

  65. Father,

    I too first thought it was diplomacy. However, there are some things that tell me it’s not.

    1) Was the goofy article about Angels and Demons in L’Osservatore Romano about diplomacy too? To what? Hollywood?

    2) The article on Obama’s visit to Notre Dame has created great scandal. Since when do the ends justify the means? Proof of scandal? Here’s a sampling…

    Time Magazine : The Pope’s Stand in Obama’s Notre Dame Controversy

    James Martin, SJ: America Magazine: Vatican: Obama Sought “Common Ground”

    Bold Faith Type blog: Vatican Newspaper: Obama’s OK

    Hot Air blog: Vatican newspaper trumpets Obama’s “common ground” message on abortion

    No. If it is diplomacy at work from the Secretariat of State, then someone needs to do a thorough examination of conscience.

    This not only caused scandal through the secular and dissident Catholic press which had a field day with it, it undermined our bishops, dedicated pro-lifers who work tirelessly, and many more.

    Further, the L’Osservatore Romano just legitimized President Obama’s visit to Notre Dame (the Vatican didn’t, but the paper did) in which he was honored and given a platform to spread error – a visit according to over 80 bishops in the US, was not suppose to happen.

    L’Osservatore Romano’s actions are shameful (along with anyone else behind them). I’m beginning to think that the Vatican’s newspaper has been hijacked by a dissident ghost editor.

    Vatican newspaper: No radical changes in Obama’s first 100 days.

    Vatican newspaper: Obama’s stem-cell research guidelines ‘not so very permissive

    [You know… I think I like comments with a lot fewer links.]

  66. I meant to include this link to the Angel’s and Demon’s article:

    Vatican Paper: Angel’s & Demon’s film is harmless…

  67. Ottaviani says:

    “Diabolical disorientation” comes to mind.

    Maybe perhaps we join Bishop Fellay’s rosary crusades after all. It ain’t looking good and there ain’t no springtime renewal from where I’m standing.

  68. Kimberly says:

    You are a brave priest Fr. Z. That’s why I love this blog!

  69. “Maybe the SSPXers are right after all! The smoke of Satan, not only has entered the Church, but the fires of hell have gutted the Church…”

    …contrary to the promise Christ gave to Peter. Something about the gates of hell.

  70. Henry Edwards says:

    David Alexander: I find a troubling number of people who will assume that a pope can make someone halfway around the world follow his every command

    Or even — and perhaps especially — in the Vatican itself.

    I remember a story about Pope Pius XII. There was a continuing irritation over something the Archpriest of St. Peter’s — if I recall correctly — was doing contrary to papal preference. Someone asked the pope why he didn’t simply issue a direct order that it be done the way he wanted.

    Pius replied to the effect, “You must understand that I’m only the Pope. There’s practically nothing I can get done by simply saying it.”

    If that was true under Pope Pius XII in times of such (seemingly) happy memory, imagine how much more so now, after the last 40 years of chaos.

  71. The Astronomer says:

    A wise and holy priest told me before his death some years ago that (in the waning days of JP2) that the benign inaction of the Holy See in the face of the manifest sexual, financial and other corruption in the US church, was a sign that Christ had withdrawn grace from major parts of the RC hierarchy.

    The worst fate that can befall us is to go merrily on our way, consciences muffled and to not realize we have lost the Faith (see Fr. Jenkins, McBrien…etc.). He told me this does not invalidate Holy Mother Church’s promised indefectibility, but rather for true Catholics, it would be a protracted time of ‘dry martyrdom.’

  72. Henry Edwards says:

    Mark: I dont think the liberals adding prayers to Mass is bad because “it breaks liturgical law”. I think it’s bad because the prayers themselves are liberal or ugly or untraditional. ….. Rubrics dont exist for their own sake. The “liturgical law” is not an end in itself.

    An interesting remark. Some arguments — such as whether this or that was suppressed in 1962 or 1955 or 1911 or … — may raise a question whether it’s about worship of God or worship of rubrics.

  73. quiet beginning says:

    Henry Edwards wrote:

    “I remember a story about Pope Pius XII. There was a continuing irritation over something the Archpriest of St. Peter’s—if I recall correctly—was doing contrary to papal preference. Someone asked the pope why he didn’t simply issue a direct order that it be done the way he wanted.

    Pius replied to the effect, “You must understand that I’m only the Pope. There’s practically nothing I can get done by simply saying it.”

    I notice that you don’t cite a reference to that “quote.” Of course, the implication in your post was not lost on anyone, to wit, that Pius XII admitted his (supposed) impotence. I would encourage anyone who seeks truth to study the pontificate of this great pope, a pontificate that demonstrated Pius XII’s firm adherence to Catholic teaching and willingness, when necessary to impose discipline (e.g., the April 9, 1951 decree in which he excommunicated the Communist Chinese-installed “bishops”). Also, and most important, study his great encyclical Humani Generis.
    It’s not by accident that, on those exceedingly few occasions when pre-Vatican II popes are even mentioned at all by them, conciliarists impune them.

  74. I find it ironic to see many speaking about the “Smoke of Satan” comment and yet fail to see where it is coming from. Thus there are several comments about the corruption of the Vatican.

    Such is the problem with bifurcation. The issue is not “Either Rome sides with us or Rome is wrong.” The issue is “what views are Rome looking at” and “have they negated what the US Bishops have done?”

    I don’t care for the L’Os article as I believe the author has a naivety over what is going on in America.

    Yet here we are speaking dire predictions, questioning Magisterial authority (though the article plays no part of this) and saying “maybe the SSPX was right.”

    No they aren’t, and this article does not say Obama is “right.” Rather it is commenting on things which, in Europe, might seem like an improvement over the past Obama. Certainly we need to hope bishops in the US set the L’Os straight. But let’s knock off the nonsense of claiming Rome is giving Obama a blank check.

  75. Henry Edwards says:

    quiet beginning: Sancta subito, Pope Pius XII (whose intercession as a saint I invoke daily).

    My intended “implication” is that the circumstances are exceedingly rare when a pope can simply “impose discipline”, especially on wayward bishops, and most especially when (as now) they are so numerous.

    Think, for instance, how many bishops would simply ignore the Holy Father if he acted to restore the rite of St. Gregory the Great in a manner like the following scenario:

    “The Pope announced that a general ‘cleansing of the Vatican’s Augean stables’ was underway. He had told priests, bishops and Cardinals of the Church that if they were not prepared to renounce the heretical beliefs which had become so much a part of their nature, they must step down and leave the Church. ….. Then in an announcement which stunned the congregation, the new Pope announced that the ‘prolonged experiment’ of the ‘Novus Ordo’ Mass would be rapidly phased out and … the ‘Mass for all times’ formulated by St Pius V, would soon once again be embraced universally. To bring this into effect he had ordered all bishops and priests everywhere to re-institute the Tridentine Mass on a daily basis in all churches ….. He noted that some ageing priests and prelates might not be able to grasp the necessary skills to say the Latin Mass and that therefore these, after due examination, would be permitted to say the Novus Ordo in private, after the prayer book apportioned to that version of the Mass had been adjusted to correct the errors and omissions imposed over the decades.”

    This “thought experiment” may suffice to make it clear just how impotent a Pope really is.

  76. quiet beginning says:

    LCB wrote:

    “How brave of you, to defend the Catholic Faith against the apostate Pope. Now, tell us how you really feel about JPII.”

    Bravery? I’m just being an obedient Catholic in defending my Faith. As far as JPII’s supposed apostasy, I’m not qualified to judge him in that regard–that’s up to a Church council at some future date (popes have been condemned in the past via council, BTW); nor am I impugning him as a person–that’s God’s job. What I CAN say, though, is that as a Catholic it would be heretical (and mortally sinful) for me to, say, maintain that all men are NOT obliged to enter the Catholic Church; or that Jews are still awaiting their messiah and are somehow not required to accept Christ as the One for which they historically awaited; or that Protestant sects are part of Christ’s Church (try telling that to a Baptist preacher!), instead of believing the Church’s teaching (Council of Trent) that they are an abomination unto God, and that those who are under such a heretical yoke are obliged to flee it and enter the Catholic Church; or to pray with pagans, and then tell them to go and beseech their gods to bring about a better world, thereby blaspheming Almighty God by my actions.
    I would say that it’s not about how I “feel” about JPII. All I can do is note his actions and compare them with the 2000-year history of the Church’s teaching. (Among his LACK of actions is his refusal to discipline the many malefactors in the hierarchy.) That’s all I’m supposed to do. And yet I can’t help but also note that during his reign he presented himself to the world as a sort of superstar. As a man of his intelligence and perception, he cannot have been oblivious to the cult-like adulation of the adoring throngs, the sycophantic press, etc., that followed in his wake as he toured the world. It would seem that a pope, when aware that such a level of adoration for his person had developed, would hasten to admonish mankind that glory belongs to God alone–not to John Paul II, a man who was supposed to be merely Christ’s servant on earth. I’ve searched the JPII literature and can find no such admonitions.

  77. MAJ Tony says:

    To continue on with the theme of “The Other David” it’s become patently obvious to me, really more at reinforcing my belief, that some of you believe your own propaganda (“SSPX is right…” more than you believe in the Catholic Church.

    Thought to ponder that can be applied to your faith life (from http://www.professionalsoldiers.com)
    “Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn’t worry about what workout to do – his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about ‘how hard it is;’ he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn’t go home at 17:00, he is home. He knows only The Cause. Still want to quit?”

  78. quiet beginning says:

    Henry Edwards:

    Thank you for clearing matters up. With regard to a pope’s giving an ultimatum to so recalcitrant a group as the American renegades making up the episcopate on our side of the pond, there IS the option of a papal declaration specifying that those American institutions which refuse to BE Catholic may no longer rightfully claim to be in the Church, and that Catholics are forbidden to associate themselves with such institutions. Granted, the financial implications are no small matter here, but it is still one option. Regards.

  79. Henry Edwards says:

    quiet beginning,
    Certainly, there are some things that a Pope can do. For instance, surely he could pick just one of our Catholic-in-name-only universities — his choice, though I have my own preference — and, for a single salutory example, by direct action sever its connection with the Church.

  80. I am not Spartacus says:

    There are not a few in here telling us to calm down.

    OK, I just calmly checked around and discovered what L O R wrote about Billy Jeff Clinton and his first one hundred days.


    Resume panic.

    This is a ghastly mistake of epic proportions. This President is at war against The Catholic Church and he is kicking The Catholic Church’s butt all over hell and creation and all we get in response to his radical evil is to have to endure the scandal of an invite to Notre Dame, his honorary law degree(public statements by Bishops, but action?) and these indefensible scribblings in LOR.

    Obama is a highly intelligent man and he and his advisors have already neutralised (if not killed) the public voice of The Catholic Church in America.

    And he is headed for Rome in July to administer the coup de grace. and he brings with him an army of Media men brandishing arms (Notre Dame Honorary Doctorate and applause lines/photos and fawning quotes from L’Osservator Romano) to find Common Gorund with a Pope who was a member of the Nazi Youth still spouting his crazy old man rhetoric of sin and exclusion and condemnation blah blah blah.

    I ain’t too bright but even I can do the math.

  81. TLewis says:

    I am so sick and tired of those who state that a foul behavior of a pope cannot be judged as foul. What are we chopped liver. Look, each of us is given grace to judge ourselves, and then it is up to us to ask Our Lord to forgive us. If it is true for each one of us lowly Catholics servants, it is surely true of the Servant of the Servant of God. I am also tired of those who call a foul action by a pope a good action (when in fact it is not.) Please stop speaking with fork tongue and live the Truth. Foul is Foul Yes is Yes and No is No anything else if from the evil one.

  82. This is just too weird. I’ll close this before I start locking people out.

Comments are closed.