An Alarming Development near… The Vortex

I was alarmed today to see an article in the National Catholic Fishwrap… Reporter  … wait for it and put down your freshly brewed Mystic Monk Coffee

… praising His Excellency Bp. Robert Finn of Kansas City-Joseph.

Alarming indeed.

I wondered: Did our recent foray to the very edge of The Vortex upset the delicate balance of ecclesial force vectors, thus either a) disturbing Bp. Finn or b) correcting the NCR?

Then I read the piece.

It is alarming… alarming, I repeat, to see Bp. Finn’s name in the same paragraph with Archbp. Hunthausen in the NCR.

The issue, more seriously, is about the building of a nuclear arms facility in the borders of Kansas City-St. Joseph and about which H.E. Bp. Finn has issued public comments.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I guess they’re just really happy that Bishop Finn is on their side with this?

    I just read your piece on ‘The Vortex’. That sounds way too exciting for me!

  2. kab63 says:

    I hope you left behind a monitoring device on that Masonic Hall…

  3. talonh says:

    The Mystic Monk coffee references are over the top at this point, Fr.

  4. Liz F says:

    Actually, I was just drinking a cup of my recently brewed Midnight Vigils Blend while checking out Fr. Z’s blog. Coincidence? Perhaps not. Sadly, my cup is empty!

  5. Tim Ferguson says:

    There was also a, perhaps unintentionally, humorous picture on the front page of the most recent edition. It showed a parade of Sisters marching during one of the recent LCWR meetings, down a street with a prominent “Wrong Way” sign posted.

  6. r.j.sciurus says:

    His Excellency is being consistent with Catholic teaching so the variance does not appear to be originating from the chancery. I wonder if the Masonic temple is closed this week and the vortex shifted along the northern axis. We need to send a probe (fueled with rich, aromatic Mystic Monk Coffee of course.)

    I hear there is a new “talonh” blend for those with smaller cups ;-)

  7. pyrosapien says:

    Ahhhhhhhh… Archbishop Hunthausen.

    I’ll never forget when, (while I was a sailor on a Trident submarine stationed in Bangor, Wa.), Archbishop Hunthausen described me and everyone else who was employed at the base as no different than the guards who worked at the German concentration camps of WWII.

    There are still way to many here in the Seattle Archdiocese that look to +Hunthausen as a heroic figure of faith. 60’s style social activism masquarading as the “Catholic Faith” in the “spirit of Vatican II” is not hard to find. Thankfully the pendulum is swinging and Catholic orthodoxy is gaining steam here. I just pray that the new Archbishop who will be replacing +Alexander Brunett is a shepherd not unlike +Vasa, +Dolan, +Burke, +Tobin, etc…

    Archbishop Brunett has done a good job with the culture he inherited. It’s hard to turn a ship around when most of the “crew” remains loyal to the previous “captain” and his philosophy.

  8. r.j.sciurus says:


    Thank you for your service and I agree that “It’s hard to turn a ship around when most of the “crew” remains loyal to the previous “captain” and his philosophy.” That is one of the reasons NCR routinely vilifies Bp Finn. When he took over the KC diocese, he made many of the crew “walk the plank.”

  9. Martial Artist says:


    In reply, first to your comment:

    There are still way to many here in the Seattle Archdiocese that look to +Hunthausen as a heroic figure of faith. 60’s style social activism masquarading as the ‘Catholic Faith’ in the “spirit of Vatican II” is not hard to find.”


    Second, to your:

    I just pray that the new Archbishop who will be replacing +Alexander Brunett is a shepherd not unlike +Vasa, +Dolan, +Burke, +Tobin, etc….”

    I have been praying for the same result. And I hope the fellow parishioners I have talked to about this are correct. They believe that we are finally likely to get some serious movement in the faithfully orthodox direction. I had asked one of them (a co-director of our RCIA program) whether it was possible to communicate that perceived need to the Papal Nuncio to the U.S. and she assured me that it wasn’t likely to be needed, given the current direction of the Vatican.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer, LCDR USN[ret] and …
    former STS1(SS) [USS Scamp, USS Patrick Henry (TAD), USS Ethan Allen—11/1972-11/1977)

  10. Hans says:

    Also, don’t forget the rule about stopped clocks.

  11. Bryan says:

    This blog should be renamed “What Does the Brew Really Say”.

    I have enough problems getting to sleep at night without dreaming about strong coffee…;)

  12. KevinSymonds says:

    Did anyone else see that book advertised in a recent edition of the Fishwrap? The advertisement actually read something like this:

    “We are the Church! Take it back from the hierarchy! The Mass was originally celebrated by laymen!”

    I joke with you not.


  13. mndad says:

    Tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to listen to Jesus,
    but the Pharisees and scribes began to complain, saying,
    “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
    So to them he addressed this parable.
    “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them
    would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert
    and go after the lost one until he finds it?
    And when he does find it,
    he sets it on his shoulders with great joy
    and, upon his arrival home,
    he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them,
    ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’
    I tell you, in just the same way
    there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents
    than over ninety-nine righteous people
    who have no need of repentance.

    Even if the catholics at NCR are as terrible as you like to make it sound
    the disrespect and open disgust expressed by using the term “Fishwrap”
    is very inappropriate language.

    – how original.

  14. Jerry says:


    Even if the catholics at NCR are as terrible as you like to make it sound
    the disrespect and open disgust expressed by using the term “Fishwrap”
    is very inappropriate language.

    The term _fishwrap_ refers to the content of the publication, not the individuals who publish it. The Scripture you quote does not apply to condemnation of printed material which is contrary to the Faith.

  15. Phil_NL says:

    Father, even a fishwrap has more functionality than the NCR. A fishwrap can hold fish – and if anything would have been wrapped in that piece of junk, I would consider it inedible.

    A fishwrap also has more common sense and wisdom than the NCR. Nuclear weapons are what saved millions of lives in WWII, kept us free from communism and severly limits the prospects of radical islam. Moreover, no-one in their right mind wants to abolish them, cause you cannot enforce that, period. And if no-one else has nukes, the guy who does have them (Ahmadinejad) has the world under his thumb. Far better to make sure the West is protected by a full array of modern nukes. Nuclear disarmament is a fantasy, and a dangerous one at that. (and not coincidentally sponsored by the soviets for many decades).

    Blegh, really had to get that off my chest after reading even two paragrpahs of that junk.

  16. pyrosapien says:

    @ r.j. sciurus:
    you’re welcome… I loved my service, and it gave me endless “sea stories” for my family and friends “pleasure” lol. I pray for Bishop Finn, the intollerant liturgical liberals (the ILL) will accept no movement toward orthopraxy (without staging a sit-in).

    @LCDR[ret] Töpfer:
    hello sir! It appears we have much in common. I also spent many hours in the “shack”, though I was an FT. My parish has the Mass in EF the third Tuesday of every month, come on over. After Mass we could exchange “sea stories” over a beer or even some single malt. (I my wife lets me… lol).

    Steve D.
    FT1/ss (USS Henry M. Jackson)

  17. Martial Artist says:


    I would love to do so, and please feel free to call me Keith. Will there be an EF Mass on December 21? I ask because we live in Bothell and are members of Blessed Sacrament Parish in the “U district.” Because I am not yet retired (in the Social Security sense of the term) getting to Bremerton for a weeknight Mass is a time challenge, especially with work the following morning. I fully expect to be on (“use or lose”) annual leave by the 21st of December, so that would be a distinct possibility. And we apparently have more than you are aware of in common. Among my favorite earthly pleasures is being an enthusiast for single malt Scotch whisky. That being the case, I would be pleased to bring along a bottle or two to share. And the obligation to accept hospitality might well encourage your lady wife to permit you a dram or two. My wife shares my taste for single malt as well, and we have some unusual ones. Please feel free to contact me directly at (khtoepfer at msn dot com), if you wish.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  18. mndad says:

    I would respectfully disagree with you.
    Sure the scripture does not talk about “condemnation of printed material which is contrary to the Faith”
    but one certainly can in good faith interpret Jesus action as the positive gesture of merciful embrace of the sinners
    that it seems to be.
    By consistently using rather negative terminology Father very much sets the tone – a tone pointing away from such merciful embrace. And sure enough every other commenter seems foremost eager to add to the insult.
    Let us not forget we are talking about fellow Catholics here. If that level of hate is pointed towards ones fellow believers what is left for people who truly could care less?
    Perhaps it is also too painful for some around here to recognize that the official position of the beloved church
    in terms of nuclear weapons is actually not all that far from what those ‘crazy’ NCR folks write.

  19. T. Ferguson: LOL! Ain’t the truth? Ain’t it truth?

  20. Sorry: That should have read, “Ain’t it the truth?”…poor typing skills here.

  21. AnAmericanMother says:


    As C.S. Lewis once famously said, the only thing a political sermon tells you is which papers are taken at the rectory.

    When it comes to the NCR, or the Tablet for that matter, the ‘seamless garment’ excuse has been used for far too long to justify their wholesale rejection of Catholic doctrine and advocacy of positions condemned by the Church: “See here! See here! They’re in favor of nuclear disarmament and immigration reform!”

    Problem is, there’s nothing particularly unique about that political position. Lots of non-Catholics hold the NCR positions, as they essentially mirror those of political liberals.

    Which is probably why the NCR and its supporters persist in framing all the religious issues they discuss in terms of politics (right and left – liberal and conservative) even though those terms don’t really apply. They’re politicians first, and religious afterwards (if at all). If I wanted that kind of worldly foolishness, I could have remained an Episcopalian (and they’re much better at it than Catholics).

    The issues that they’re dead wrong about, however, are essentially and fundamentally Catholic. Many of them are held by Catholics almost exclusively (e.g. the proper place of sacred music, the solemnity of the liturgy, the inability of the Church to ordain women). Others are held primarily by Catholics and other believing Christians (e.g. opposition to abortion, the sacred and immutable nature of marriage). Those positions they attack incessantly. Again, because they are politicians first and religious afterwards.

    That they do this and continue to call themselves “Catholic” is a mockery. Sometimes people are not only dead wrong, they create a scandal and division in the Church. And then you have to call ’em like you see ’em.

    Not that I hate them. I don’t hate anybody. Again, that’s purely a political talking point — when you can’t argue the facts, you call somebody a “hater” or contend their criticism is “hatred”. That’s only a little less shopworn than calling somebody a “racist” — it’s been overused so much that it has lost all meaning. “Racist” and “hater” now simply mean “somebody with whom I disagree.”

  22. Supertradmum says:

    Bishop Finn is writing not only from a thirty plus year position of the bishops, but from a background of a city with higher unemployment than most cities, a city which closed thirty, yes, 30 schools this academic year, and which is experiencing a renewal of racial tensions. The cost of the project seems to be part of the objection, as for whom is this factory a benefit? Many Catholics, since the USCCB documents, and there are many, for example this one will see the factory as contrary to Catholic teaching. Indeed, I think John Paul II is on record for asking for a control of weaponry and a lessening of the arms race

    Whatever side one takes on the issue, there is not one Catholic side which seems viable.

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