Jurassic Liberal Park

I could add a great deal more, and in rather strong language, to the observations made already over at Creative Minority Report.

When you watch this through, I think you will pretty much conclude that this old feller is perhaps less of heretic than he is of being not a very bright old liberal.

Wow. This is truly unbelievable.

This is a video by the Rev. Joseph Patrick Breen, pastor of St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Nashville TN. This video is posted by the pastor on the parish website.

In this video Fr. Breen, as communicated to us by a reader commits multiple counts of video heresy and hits most of the heretical bases.

Women’s ordination – Check!
Reversal of the Church’s teaching on artificial contraception – Check!
Divorce – Check!

He then goes on to slam (married) former Protestant clergy who convert and are ordained Catholic clergy,

He shows open disdain and insults the Pope, the Roman Curia, today’s bishops, today’s seminarians. About the seminarians he says they are intellectually inferior to those of yesteryear and are probably from dysfunctional families.

And there is even more! Watch!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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


  1. Legisperitus says:

    To paraphrase Doctor Who…

    “Don’t you think he looks tired?”

  2. doanli says:

    Now, what is his bishop going to do about him?

    I’m sorry, but he needs to be removed from the pulpit asap.

    I don’t know why this ilk, with all due respect to his being a priest…stay in the Roman Catholic Church if they don’t agree with Her Teachings.

  3. SimonDodd says:

    Leo XIII answered this fellow’s points in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae. “The underlying principle of these [ ] opinions is that, in order to more easily attract those who differ from her, the Church should shape her teachings more in accord with the spirit of the age and relax some of her ancient severity and make some concessions to new opinions. Many think that these concessions should be made not only in regard to ways of living, but even in regard to doctrines which belong to the deposit of the faith. They contend that it would be opportune, in order to gain those who differ from us, to omit certain points of her teaching which are of lesser importance, and to tone down the meaning which the Church has always attached to them. It does not need many words, beloved son, to prove the falsity of these ideas if the nature and origin of the doctrine which the Church proposes are recalled to mind. The [First] Vatican Council says concerning this point: ‘For the doctrine of faith which God has revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared. Hence that meaning of the sacred dogmas is perpetually to be retained which our Holy Mother, the Church, has once declared, nor is that meaning ever to be departed from under the pretense or pretext of a deeper comprehension of them.'” And that was in 1899.

  4. Magpie says:

    I got really bored listing to his voice. How sad.

  5. Legisperitus says:

    Perhaps we should take him up on his invitation to call him and discuss some of these issues.

  6. teomatteo says:

    Did i hear him say that “ordained men from other faiths (he meant ecclesiastic communities) are joining the Catholic Church but NOT because it is so wonderful or anything”??? yikes… prayer is the only antidote for this disordered thinking…

  7. Legisperitus says:

    Just before the 12-minute mark, he seemed to imply that Hispanic men are less capable of living the celibate life than non-Hispanics. Or am I misunderstanding him?

  8. Thomas in MD says:

    If you go to the “About our Pastor” page there is a link to photo’s of Father Sunshine’s trip to Rome, where you can see him shaking the hand of the the Tyrant himself. I think you can see a “666” on the Tyrant forehead, if you look real close…poor Father!

  9. Iconophilios says:

    It was just so……predictable. The banality of evil.

  10. Tom in NY says:

    Over a hundred years on, the war against modernism continues. As the quotation above suggests, Leo XIII was aware of the situation. Pius X also took action in Lamentabili in 1907.Luctatio permanebit.
    Oremus pro pontifice. Salutationes omnibus.

  11. Ellen says:

    One of my siblings goes to that church and thinks the world of Father Breen. We agree to disagree. The bishop of the Nashville Diocese is very orthodox, and I’ve often wondered why he puts up with him.

    Father Breen is kind of a throwback to the old 70s type pastor. He adlibs the Mass, and supports just about every progressive idea out there. He preaches doom and gloom unless we Catholics change our ways and become more like the Episcopalians and takes no notice that the progressives are shrinking in numbers while the orthodox are growing. The Nashville Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia are growing so fast they are running out of room.

  12. SimonDodd says:

    He does make a couple of points worthy of consideration. He says that the bishops have not exercised leadership; we talked about that just yesterday. And he says that we should ordain women as deacons; frankly, I’m not sure that I understand why we won’t ordain women to the permanent diaconate. We know that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women,” Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, no. 4 (John Paul II, 1994), but permanent deacons are not ordained to the priesthood, see C.C.C. ¶¶1569-71. I’m not ready to say that I agree with him that the Church should do it, but I do agree with him that it’s a conversation worth having.

  13. More Incense Please says:

    There must be a reason why the bishops don’t do something about such priests as Fr. Pfluger and Fr. Breen. Why don’t they address the issue? Instead we give them awards? I just don’t get it. This old man is free to have his opinions, but he has no right to be a priest in the Catholic Church.

    Perhaps we should send this video to his Bishop and ask for an explanation?

  14. irishgirl says:

    I didn’t watch the video-I would get aggravated, and I don’t need it this early in the morning.

    Why doesn’t the Bishop in Nashville do something about this man?

    He can’t see past his nose. Thankfully, his kind are passing away.

  15. Fr. Richard says:

    This is distressing and more. It seems that Bishop Chobby of Nashville will respond shortly. Recently I was speaking with a priest about gay “marriage” in the wake of the judge’s decision in CA. He asked me what I thought and I told him and then finally said, “I accept the Church’s teaching on human sexuality.” He said he did also and then went on to say how he had come to accept gay “marriage”!!! I think there’s a lot to be done, some very basic work, on renewing the Catholic faith of priests and religious. Part of the problem is that the question of authority is not seen within the life of faith. Authority is an external element that I can take or leave. Perhaps it’s just the generation that is passing away (also my generation- I’m 60) that has this problem. But somehow I can’t just write them/us off. I keep wondering, if there is not something to be done so that they come to a renewed appreciation of the Church. Is it useless to try? Today is the tenth anniversary of Dominus Iesus. May we all grow in faith in God’s truth.

  16. TJerome says:

    Fr. Richard, you sound like a man of faith and common sense. We’re of the same vintage and I have generally been appalled by the faithlessness of many priests, religious, and even bishops, of our generation. Thankfully, the younger clergy and younger Catholics have rediscovered the orthodox, Catholic Faith. The young generally recognize the authentic and the beautiful. Father Breen is to be pitied. Somewhere along the way he lost it (if he ever had it). Priests like him are glorified social workers who damage the Faith immeasurably. I hope Bishop Chobby can find the strength to remove him. He probably should be a greeter at Walmart. And there, he’d be forced to toe the company line or he will be gone, tres vite. Best, Tom

  17. Magpie says:

    SimonDodd: Some women were appointed as deaconesses in the early Church. They were not deacons.

  18. SimonDodd says:

    Magpie, could you expand on the distinction you’re drawing and perhaps expand it into an argument bearing on the question of ordaining women as permanent deacons today?

  19. lucy says:

    What part of the site are you all listening to ? I’ve listened to both Mass sermons and this obviously isn’t what you’re talking about. Please point me in the right direction. Thank you!

  20. Jerry says:

    @Lucy — What you’re looking for is the “State of Our Church” video on the parish homepage, just below the Facebook link.

  21. lucy says:

    Thank you. It comes up black on the site, but I found it at CMR. Atrocious.

  22. Animadversor says:

    I am very sorry indeed to learn that Father Breen holds these opinions and perhaps even sorrier to hear him make them public. I hope that his bishop may be able to correct him, or at least to induce him to be silent. Let us not be too quick to judge Bishop Choby in this regard. I should guess that it is not easy to be a bishop, and that he has many things to consider so that whatever he does may be in fact for the good of souls. But I am also very sorry to hear the tone of contempt used by some here in speaking of this elderly priest. Yes, he is seriously misguided, perhaps even a heretic, but still, he is a priest, and he ought to be addressed and referred to with some considerable respect, even reverence. I should gladly kiss his sacred hands that have offered the Holy Sacrifice. Dear fellow-readers, you will note that Father Zuhlsdorf very often refers to bishops with whom he has serious issues as “Most Reverend Excellency.” I do not believe that he is simply being sarcastic. [I’m not.]
    Also, what has happened to the reverence due to age? [And office.]

    I should also beg the prayers of readers for myself. I am to go for spiritual direction tomorrow, of which I am in great need. Please pray also for the poor priest who must help me.

    Affectionate greetings in Christ to all.

  23. Poor Father is, indeed, in a time warp.
    He, unfortunately, is a typical example of the “brainwashing” that has taken place since the 1960’s…the “tired” and “depressed” nature of his comments only confirm that this “experiment” has not worked; at all.
    We will continue to see the criticism of Pope Benedict, the magisterium, the Sacred Tradition and yet, the resurgence (thanks be to God!) of authentic Catholic life amongst the young and those who are converting from Protestantism and even atheism.
    It’s unfortunate and sad; annoying, at times, to hear this continuous litany of gripes (so typical and banal).
    Father needs our prayers.
    But it is also important and crucial that these “tired” criticisms against authentic Catholicism be confronted, in charity.

  24. ttucker says:

    He certainly hits most of the bases, except I didn’t hear him come out in favor of gay marriage.
    It is tempting to just let those of his generation, with their heterodox beliefs, die off and be replaced, but how many souls has he injured and how many does he continue to injure with his un-Catholic teaching? Just imagine what RCIA is like at his church, and youth formation.
    It is ironic that he complians about the Curia being so old and he’s the same age they are!

  25. William Tighe says:

    On deacons and deaconesses, SimonDodd, why don’t you get and read a copy of Aime-Georges Martimort’s *Deaconesses: an Historical Study?* The book was published in French in 1982, and in English by Ignatius Press in 1986 and reprinted by them in 1996. Martimort was one of the foremost French Patristic and liturgical scholars of the 20th Centuty. The book is still available from Ignatius Press at $19.95, and at cheaper prices through such outfits as Abebooks.com and Amazon.com:



    I will paste in below a summary of Martimort’s arguments that I recently sent to several friends. Martimort’s basic conclusions are (1) that “deaconnesses” (where there were “deaconesses” in the Early Church, which was far from everywhere) were not “female deacons” and thus no part of “Holy Orders” or “the clergy” and (2) that it would be both unnecessary and dangerous to revive “deaconesses” today in the Catholic Church. Here is my summary:

    Now, concerning deacons/female deacons/deaconesses I wish that I could find a good scholarly review of Martimort’s *Deaconesses* (French 1982, Eng. trans. 1986), which I think is probably the best book on the subject I have read — but most I have seen are either (on occasion) uncritically adulatory or (more often, e.g., Kyriake Kydonis Fitzgerald’s essay in favor of “the female diaconate” in the second [1999] edition of *Women and the Priesthood* ed. Thomas Hopko) airily dismissive. (The book mentioned here is a collection of Eastern Orthodox essays on women’s ordination to the priesthood, all of which oppose it, although Mrs. Fitzgerald argues strongly in favor of their ordination to the diaconate.)

    Martimort argues that deaconesses are an innovation of the latter part (?half) of the Second Century in Mesopotamia, and later spread to the Antioch-Constantinople region, where, however, they had different functions.

    In Mesopotamia, on both sides of the Roman/Persian frontier, deaconesses assisted in the baptism of women, entered secluded “women’s areas” for purposes of catechetical instruction and, perhaps, carrying the Eucharist, and later they administered the Eucharist from the reserved sacrament in women’s religious communities when a priest was not available to celebrate it or a deacon to administer it. In the Antioch-Const. region they tended to be wealthy women who did not wish to marry or wealthy widows who did not wish to remarry, who founded religious communities, or who headed influential nunneries, as their hegumenai. They did not generally assist with baptism etc., although they could administer the presanctified gifts within their communities in the absence of a deacon or a priest. M. further shows that in the East Syrian tradition the liturgy for making a deaconess is totally dissimilar from that for ordaining a deacon, and it is clear from it that a deaconess is not considered to be (to use an anachronistic term) in Holy Orders — and while, by contrast, in the Byz. Rite the rites are largely parallel to one another, M. insists that there are subtle differences enough to warrant his conclusion that even there “deaconesses” are not “female deacons.”

    He further supports his general argument by proving that there were no deaconesses
    anywhere in the Western (Latin) world before the late 4th Century (Gaul, later Spain) and that the Church of Rome has never, ever, had deaconesses, and North Africa never did, either. Further chapters examine Armenia, Egypt and Ethiopia, showing (he claims) that in all these cases there were no deaconesses before 400 or 500 (I forget which date he gives).

    There are lacunae in his book that I would wish to see plugged. First, he says that there is no NT evidence for deaconesses, and he insists that “Phoebe the diakon of the Church of Cenchreae” was neither deacon nor deaconess, as the term “diakon” at that date should be taken as “servant,” not necessarily as a menial servant, but as possibly a “lady bountiful,” a patron or prostatis of the church (some Australian scholar, I think a Jesuit, wrote a book in the 90s, early on in that decade I think, about the NT sense of the word “diakon” which provides support to M. in this respect, that “diakon” really doesn’t mean “servant” in the later sense, or even “liturgical assistant,” but I never read the book and now can’t remember its title or its author’s name, although I think it was published by Oxford). I find this wholly plausible, but it needs more defense and vindication than M. gives. Secondly, he dismisses the reference to “ancillae” in Pliny the Younger’s letter to the emperor Trajan ca. 110 about the Christians he’s rounded up and what to do with them. M. says that whatever these “ancillae” were, they were not deaconesses. This may be so, and I’d like to believe it, but at this point his argument comes too uncomfortably close to an “ipse dixit.”

  26. Ingatius says:

    Our Lady must be weeping over this man, and St Edward the Confessor, spiritually speaking.

  27. Christopher Milton says:

    Fr. Breen did indeed sound very tired. We must pray for him and St. Edward Parish and School. Yes, he also instructs elementary and middle school children. My godson attends, and frankly I worry about his spiritual welfare.

    Bishop Choby works hard as our shepherd, and I’m sure this is on his radar. Though, perhaps I will write a letter to the editor of the Tennessee Register, our dioceasan paper.

  28. To SimonDodd (6 August 2010 @ 8:46 am)

    “Leo XIII answered this fellow’s points in Testem Benevolentiae Nostrae…”

    I don’t pretend to know Latin, but it looks to me like the title of that document is “You’re trying Our benevolence!” ;)

  29. SimonDodd says:

    William, thanks, that’s useful and I’ll try to pick up a copy. You mention two conclusions of Martimort: that historical deaconesses were not deacons as we understand them today, and that it would neither necessary nor wise to have female deacons today. Your summary only covers the first point, so would you mind saying a few words about the latter?

  30. MikeM says:

    Fr. Breen seems to think that having more “Catholics” is more important than having a faithful Church.

    While many liberals are seeking to make the Church “relevant,” they’re losing sight of the basic truth that the Church is only truly irrelevant if it no longer remains faithful.

  31. Oneros says:

    I think his analysis is realistic and pragmatic. Though I think he probably does hold liberal positions on these issues based on his statements about conscience and obedience…if you actually listen to the video, he never really does advocate divorce and remarriage, nor women’s ordination to the priesthood. He simply says these are issues that divide Catholics in the pews, that many Catholic disagree on, which the bishops refuse to even discuss, and which have caused many people to be driven away. And they are. Whatever you believe about these issues, that’s just a sociological fact; those issues are major issues for people in the Church and need to be addressed more effectively than they have been, though I disagree that this would have to involve changing teachings. But if they want to face the massive collapse the Church is facing right now, they can’t be in denial over the fact that the problem exists.

    His only explicit dissent is, later, when he says the Pope should apologize for the teaching on birth control (advocating deaconesses is not heretical; the question of whether they receive an actual Sacrament or merely a sacramental is a different question, but without practical effect).

    But, again, that the reiteration of the teaching on contraception in Humanae Vitae (as prophetic as it was) drove people away and was part of the huge breakdown of Catholic unity and the facade of institutional authority…is simply a historical fact. We can’t ignore it just because we don’t like it.

    And he’s likewise spot-on about the crisis of leadership, lack of accountability and initiative among the bishops, the major problems with mandatory celibacy, the problems with authoritarianism and hyper-centralization in Rome, and the dysfunctionalism among current seminarians and the seminary atmosphere. But no, “good Catholics” aren’t allowed to discuss any of those things. We’re just going to pretend those problems don’t exist and defiantly stay the current self-destructive course…

    Like I said, I would bet my life this priest does hold liberal positions, but he was very careful; he never explicitly advocated for any of them except perhaps contraception. And if you went after every Catholic or even priest who didn’t fully accept the teaching on contraception…well, it would be a minority in the Church prosecuting a majority (though I’m definitely not saying that makes the majority right).

    The point is, for the most part, he didn’t actually advocate for these positions (whatever he may have implied)…he merely said these areas are a problem for many of your average Catholics, and that’s just the truth. It’s like the bishops and self-proclaimed orthodox want to live in a world of denial about it.

    Though I don’t like heresy or liberalism, I think if Catholics simply refuse to have these conversations or discussions and continue a regime of groupthink conformism, the Church is going to continue to stagnate. This priest’s analysis is honest and realistic. And even if I can’t support the solutions he probably imagines…there is no denying the problems that need to be dealt with.

    Shooting the messengers is never a good sign.

  32. lux_perpetua says:


    thank you. i cringe at the lack of charity every time i read something to the tune of “thankfully he/they/that generation will be dead soon.” Thank God above no one was raising such prayers about me when i was out wandering the desert of hedonism and self-indulgence. This man had to have been poisoned spiritually at some point, and by someone who had responsibility for him. Just like he is doing now, someone first paid the favor to him. Please, never wish a quick death to a person in such grave spiritual peril.

  33. ttucker says:

    Interesting comments, but I don’t think the Church is stagnating at all.
    And all of these things HAVE been discussed. Ad nauseam.
    Some people just don’t like the conclusions.

  34. ttucker says:

    lux- in reality, you should understand those comments as : thankfully, those pernicious, heretical teachings will die out when those who hold and teach them do. I don’t think anyone honestly wishes for those people to die, rather than to repent and convert.
    I suppose I could be wrong.

  35. Oneros says:

    “Interesting comments, but I don’t think the Church is stagnating at all.”

    I think you don’t think it’s stagnating merely because you don’t WANT it to be stagnating. Because you’re comfortable in the thought-world you’ve built for yourself religiously. A major crisis is evident to anyone willing to take off the rose-colored glasses. Reality, facts, should not be spun to suit an ideological agenda. The Church is being driven into the rocks by the bishops.

  36. ttucker says:

    Okay, two can play at that. You think it is stagnating because you WANT it to be stagnating, etc.
    How about if you present some actual facts that support your claim that it is stagnating.
    Until then, I see what I see, which is a growing vibrant church in central Texas where I lived until recently, and a very active vibrant church where I moved in Washington state. Where I have lived, there are more seminarians than they know what to do with, crowded RCIA classes, large numbers of converts, TLM’s, active lay groups, etc. What else can I say? The lens in my glasses are clear and colorless.

  37. Tom in NY says:

    Leo XIII’s letter starts:
    “Testem benevolentiae nostrae hanc ad te epistolam mittimus…” “We send this letter to you as a witness of our good will,…” In Latin, cf. Actae sanctae sedis v. XXI, p. cccclxx, et. seq. or http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Leo13/l13teste.htm.
    There’s more than 2500 entries in the search.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  38. Tom in NY says:

    erratum: v.XXI;corrigendum, v.XXXI

  39. Gabrielle says:

    Jurassic? I’d call it Precambrian. It is so tired, as many have already said.
    Where is the life in this? Where is the vitality? All that shows is dead wood, tired, bitter, raking up the same old sad grievances again and again, and getting nowhere, because they’re in a cul-de-sac. The man needs our prayers, or at least his flock, lest he should have mislead any of them, particularly with his attitude to contraception. Lest a millstone hang around his neck…

  40. Gabrielle says:

    As for the “stagnation” of the church- the only place where it is going nowhere is PRECISELY where dissent is presented as “mature contribution to discussion” (the Holy Father’s warning to the bishops of England and Wales earlier this year). If the church has to grow smaller in order to grow more faithful, so be it. Whatever happened to the notion of “sacrifice” in our comfortable society? Oh yes- we don’t do that anymore because we all have “our rights”. An opinion doe snot deserve to be heard if it is incorrect.
    The movements in which the church is growing are those which are faithful to the Magisterium, and which promote orthodox teaching.
    It has been said before- if you don’t like the rules of the club, go elsewhere.

  41. SuscipeDomine says:

    I have noticed a peculiar similarity Fr. Breen and the Emperor.


  42. That the parish didn’t give a second thought to posting the video to their website and facebook page is what’s most remarkable. Whoever succeeds Fr. Breen, and it’s likely to be soon, is going to have his hands full.

  43. William Tighe says:

    “William, thanks, that’s useful and I’ll try to pick up a copy. You mention two conclusions of Martimort: that historical deaconesses were not deacons as we understand them today, and that it would neither necessary nor wise to have female deacons today. Your summary only covers the first point, so would you mind saying a few words about the latter?”

    He says that everything that deaconesses have ever done, and more, is done and can be done by female religious, and therefore to revive deaconesses would be superfluous; and that to revive deaconesses would be perceived as the Church’s drawing back on the question of women’s ordination, and opening debate about what deaconesses really are; and thus dangerous as well as superfluous.

    I might also mention the book *Priesthood and Diaconate: the Recipient of the Sacrament of Holy Orders from the Perspective of Creation Theology and Christology* by Gerhard Ludwig Mueller (formerly a Professor of Dogmatic Theology in Munich and since 2002 bishop of Regensburg), which was published in German in 2000 and in an English translation by Ignatius Press in 2002, which argues (ignoring the question of “deaconesses”) that the ordination of women to the diaconate (as “female deacons”) is as impossible and as contrary to the Catholic Faith as is their ordination to the priesthood or episcopate. The book can be found here:


  44. robtbrown says:

    Watching the video is like having to watch a very bad movie for the 1000th time. His comments are predictable, obsolete, and anything but analytic.

    1. His attitude is typical of a certain generation of priests whose formation and ordination occurred sometime around 1955-65. They were given very legalistic, by the numbers formation. Then everything fell apart–since then they’ve been floundering.

    2. His comments, however, reinforce something I realize a long time ago: People (and priests) need Latin liturgy to lift them out of the pressures of daily life.

    3. His opinion on seminarians is probably a bit dated. Those in studies now are a much better lot than those of 20 years ago. Further, if he had seen the students I had at the FSSP seminary, he would not be so melancholy about the future.

    4. My guess is that he is nearing retirement, and this interview was a bit of valediction.

  45. Athelstan says:

    Hello teomatteo,

    Did i hear him say that “ordained men from other faiths (he meant ecclesiastic communities) are joining the Catholic Church but NOT because it is so wonderful or anything”??? yikes

    Let me see if I can translate this for you. Try this: “These right-wing priests converted because they wanted to escape denominations that believe in equality and justice for a dungeon where they can continue to nurse their homophobia and misogyny.”

    Or something like that. It’s easy once you pick up the lingo. It’s clear that the Anglican and Lutheran minister converts really, really bug him.

  46. TJerome says:

    robtbrown, I suspect Father Breen would have nightmares every night for a year if he saw the seminarians at the FSSP seminary. The horror of horrors, orthodox, Catholic seminarians,what’s the world coming to! ON the other hand, the seminarians at the FSSP seminary cause me to have restful nights, not worried about the Church’s future. I have met some of the FSSP priests, and they are wonderful. Nice to know you had a hand in their training. Best, Tom

  47. curtjester says:

    I wrote the Bishop and he replied back that he was aware of this and would be speaking to Father Breen personally. I hope it is for him to pack his bags since he blew his previous chances.

  48. Supertradmum says:

    This type of heretical nonsense starts in the seminaries and goes unchecked…

  49. robtbrown says:


    I was referring to his specific complaints about seminarians, none of which apply to FSSP students.

    I agree that he’s probably more than capable of objecting to anyone who actually believes in doctrine.

  50. Jenny says:

    I was married by Fr. Breen, as was my sister. Orthodox he most definitely is not. The most stressful part of my marriage prep was trying to get ahold of Father to actually do the marriage prep. At my sister’s rehearsal, he invited everyone for Communion during the nuptial Mass if you “loved the Lord.” Fortunately no one got the chance for this to happen because unfortunately he ditched the Mass part of the nuptial Mass during the ceremony. (This is an odd, separate story).

    Bishop Choby is much more orthodox, but this is a sticky situation for him. Nashville doesn’t have a whole lot of Catholics and Fr. Breen is the guy the media goes to every time. He is the face of Nashville Catholicism and has been my whole life. If there is an issue involving the Church in Nashville, there will be a quote from Fr. Breen. So the Bishop has to be careful.

  51. Animadversor says:

    Jenny, since Father Breen has done those things you say, and indeed, if he is the face of Nashville Catholicism, I would imagine that is all the more reason for Bishop Choby to take swift, but prudent action. Let us give Bishop Choby a chance, though, guys.

  52. TJerome says:

    Jenny, Fr. Breen should definately be a greeter at Walmart since being a Catholic priest is “above his pay grade.” I suspect if Bishop Choby suspended this old reprobate “a divinis” he would gain more support than not. After all, young Catholics (those that still bother) would have little, if no sympathy for him.

  53. Animadversor says:

    Jenny, Fr. Breen should definately be a greeter at Walmart since being a Catholic priest is “above his pay grade.” I suspect if Bishop Choby suspended this old reprobate “a divinis” he would gain more support than not. After all, young Catholics (those that still bother) would have little, if no sympathy for him.
    Comment by TJerome — 6 August 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    Well, I guess this is a pretty good example of the sort of thing that I had in mind in my first comment when I spoke of a “tone of contempt.” And really, if you think about it, it’s not very nice about greeters at Walmart, either. I might suggest, TJerome, that you pay a little more attention to your spelling of English before you start venturing to display your Latin, lest people credit your opinions perhaps even less than otherwise they might.

  54. Animadversor says:

    And, TJerome, if Bishop Choby should happen to be reading your (and certain others’) comments about Father Breen—and who is to say he is not—should anyone then be surprised if he discovered in himself a little more sympathy for Father Choby and a little less eagerness to rein him in?

  55. Animadversor says:

    And—and this will be my last remark, at least on this post—I object, TJerome, to your calling Father Breen a reprobate. If you wonder why, you need only look up what it means. It’s a calumny, really. I have to imagine that, as a regular reader and commenter here, you are a better person than to say that.

  56. Animadversor says:

    And, notwithstanding my previously declared intention to post comments here no more, I beg to correct “sympathy for Father Choby” to “sympathy for Father Breen” in my comment of 1:11 am.

  57. Hieronymus Illinensis says:

    I’ve just followed the link to the site and don’t see the link to the video (or the Facebook link either). Big online form for donations, and six more links about donating and fundraising.

  58. robtbrown says:

    I’ve just followed the link to the site and don’t see the link to the video (or the Facebook link either). Big online form for donations, and six more links about donating and fundraising.
    Comment by Hieronymus Illinensis

    Do you think maybe the bishop told him to remove it from the site?

  59. robtbrown says:

    And, TJerome, if Bishop Choby should happen to be reading your (and certain others’) comments about Father Breen—and who is to say he is not—should anyone then be surprised if he discovered in himself a little more sympathy for Father Choby and a little less eagerness to rein him in?
    Comment by Animadversor

    Are you saying that Bp Choby’s attitude toward Fr Breen is going to depend on the reaction of others? That doesn’t seem much of an endorsement of the bishop as a man of faith.

    I agree that some of the comments here have been too strong, but there are a lot of Catholics tired of having to be subject to priests whose MO includes serious attempts to undermine the faith.

  60. Jack Hughes says:

    Howabout Priests should act like Priests, Bishops should act like Bishops, Religious act like Religious and laity act like faithful laity?

    if Fr Breen wants to improve the situation of the Church he should go down on his knees before the Blessed Sacrament (assuming he believes in the real presence) and beg to be a priest in the mold of the Cure of Ars.

    PS the crusades were a great idea and the fact that I’m from a dysfunctional family has no bearing on what kind of priest I might be.

  61. Henry Edwards says:

    Perhaps someone with personal knowledge of Bishop Choby needs to mention that he is not only an orthodox and holy bishop, but also a priest and man of faith and digniity and responsibility.

    The present controversy, not necessarily the worst he has to deal with, may only illustrate the situation he inherited. Readers of this blog might find particularly interesting how some of his priests reacted at a meeting where they were presented with some of the ideas in Summorum Pontificum, but that is another topic.

  62. TJerome says:

    Animadversor, take your own advice. By the way, it’s Bishop Choby, not Father Choby.

  63. I’m afraid Fr. Breen, as well as his particular “stance”, all of it, is all too common nowadays, with priests (bishops?) in a certain age-range, seminary training, experience.
    They need our prayers, here.
    And charitable correction.
    Wishing for death is not an option for a believer in Christ; we have to stand in the truth, being willing to explain, in charity, the errors and misunderstandings of those who, even if in positions of authority, maybe duped, ignorant or just plain “out of it”.
    That’s not to accept the error; but the whole “weed amongst the wheat” thing comes to mind, and the necessity of the layfaithful to challenge, confront and demand from their pastors what the Lord intends…without sinning ourselves. Which can be a major challenge.

  64. ALL: Apparently the video has been removed from the parish website. It may be that the local bishop is involved. This should now be left in the bishop’s hands, unless of course that video or others like it are posted on that parish website. (I captured it for my own records.)

    People should consider their concluding thoughts now.

  65. robtbrown says:

    The present controversy, not necessarily the worst he has to deal with, may only illustrate the situation he inherited. Readers of this blog might find particularly interesting how some of his priests reacted at a meeting where they were presented with some of the ideas in Summorum Pontificum, but that is another topic.
    Comment by Henry Edwards

    Completely agree that he inherited a bad situation. Of course, that raises questions about his predecessor (Bp Kmiec, now in Buffalo) as well as the popes for the 40 years after Vat II.

  66. TJerome says:

    Father Z, I believe your blog may have brought this to Bishop Choby’s attention. Brick by brick. Best, Tom

  67. Jenny says:

    I agree with Henry that Nashville was in bad shape and is now on the upswing. Both Bishop Choby and Father Breen are affable men. And since we are Southerners, we don’t generally swing bats to get things done. I am sure that the bishop has discreetly addressed the issue. It would not serve the Nashville church for there to be a public brouhaha over this.

  68. Nora says:

    It is good deal easier to criticize a bishop than to be a bishop. Bishop Choby was my pastor for over 15 years before becoming our bishop. He is totally orthodox and in no way unwilling to deal with abuses or error (about which he sometimes speaks privately in a quite colorful manner). However, he speaks the truth with charity more often than with righteous anger. He is not willing to hurt or alienate huge numbers of people just to be quick with a sound bite.

    Father Breen has expressed these same opinions before and has been disciplined by our last bishop. He has also done some pretty outrageous things, like unilaterally setting up another “parish” in the diocese to serve the Hispanics who were attending his church. That largely flew under the radar screen, except for press praise for his “care and concern” that their needs be met. He is right at retirement age; he has a devoted following among many who (perhaps erroneously) consider themselves to be good Catholics. Certainly many of those folks are indeed good people and would like to be good Catholics.

    Obviously Breen must retract or be removed, but as witnesses, not players, our best course, IMHO, is to pray for the Holy Spirit to guide the Bishop and priest involved and leave them maneuvering room to get to the least hurtful resolution possible.

  69. Henry Edwards says:

    Nashville Priest May Face Canonical Discipline Over Heretical Video

    Rick Musacchio, director of communications for the Diocese of Nashville told LSN Thursday that Bishop David Choby became aware of the video on Tuesday and “considers it a very serious matter.” “He’s in the process of developing a response in light of the canonical disciplines of the Church, and is in the process of arranging a meeting with Fr. Breen to address the matter,” Musacchio explained.

    Fr. Breen, however, said he is not afraid of facing discipline. “I’m just telling them what the people think. That’s all I’m doing,” he said. “What the people believe, that’s what I’m saying.”

  70. Thanks, Henry. I saw this as well.
    We don’t need priests like Fr. Breen venting their spleen (even if in a calm, relaxed manner).
    I hope the diocesan Bishop can deal with this.
    Compassion is one thing; but for heaven’s sake, the pastor of a parish has got to be aware that he represents the bishop…he’s not a “lone ranger”.
    Plus, any pastor who questions basic moral teachings (like we never heard of this from the late sixties…”tired” indeed) is not in any way, shape, or form the “shepherd of souls” in the image of Jesus Christ.
    Let him write screeds for NCReporter. Eugene Cullen Kennedy does (I just love this nomenclature…who is he trying to impress?…the old, tired Irish dissenters??). And his articles are so full of bull**** that you can’t help but step in it (a rural kinda description).
    God love the Irish. But they’re either saints or dissenters. Sorry to make a rash judgment here; I’m part Irish (does that count?)…but the Celts ain’t doin’ so grand in the Catholic Church way right now:<)

  71. catholicmidwest says:

    “When you watch this through, I think you will pretty much conclude that this old feller is perhaps less of heretic than he is of being not a very bright old liberal.”

    Um, he can be both. Most dissidents are.

  72. I think we have had about enough here, as I said before.

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