Intimidation is the Enemy’s Tool

I have been thinking about the priest who was assaulted in Italy and the way the Catholic left treats conservatives and traditionally minded Catholic priests and lay people.

Assaults are not only physical and launched by people who are disturbed or overmastered by passions.  They are also planned, cold, systematic.

Bullies have plans.

The tactic of the Enemy, and the Enemy’s human agents, is to bully victims into silence.

Aggressive intimidation the not so subtle way that fidelity is assailed, not only by the Enemy, but also by enemies who are used by the Enemy.

Anyone who is being bullied by the left, by the liberal opponents of the Holy Father and his vision, must not be – like victims of rape – forced into silence.

We must hear about and report attempts to repress the rights of faithful Catholics who just want to pray and live out their legitimate aspirations.

When enemies of, for example, the Extraordinary Form or the Church’s teaching on the ordination of men only or on the sinfulness of homosexual acts and on artificial contraception, threaten and bully and assault Holy Church’s faithful and priests and courageous bishops, we must not be silenced.

Silence is defeat.

We have to report bullying so that bishops and others cannot pretend that it isn’t happening.

We must not be bullied into silence about attacks.

And this applies to those who desire the older form of Holy Mass.

We don’t have to be aggressive, but we do need to be assertive.

Stand up.  Speak out.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray.
And do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the Power of God,
cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirits,
who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Brick by Brick, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. RCGuerilla says:

    Silence is defeat. Stand up, speak out.
    The kind of thinking what led me to start my “I don’t believe (fishwrap) @NCROnline” at twitter!! Come to think of it I haven’t sent out that tweet today so now is as good a time as any!!

  2. jarhead462 says:


    Semper Fi!

  3. LisaP. says:

    But it can be difficult, and complicated.
    Our current priest, whom I believe is sincere in believing he is pursuing the right, spends many homilies discussing the evils of being critical. He does not discuss sin in the traditional language, condemning pride or envy. He does not discuss current forms of sin, such as abortion. He does not discuss virtues such as patience or fortitude. But he repeatedly talks about how wrong it is to be angry, to have a scowling face towards your neighbor, to criticize others. To me, this is a method of silencing opposing voices, spending your time in front of the congregation lecturing them that they must never, never criticize or feel negativity towards their neighbor — or, by extension, towards what your neighbor does. I believe his tack has been very effective — how do you remain vocal about your criticism of the practices at a parish, even in private settings with the priest and small groups, when your pastor is lecturing the congregation on the evils of criticism weekly? When your pastor paints himself as positive and negativity as a vice?

  4. Miseno says:

    Your comment, “silence is defeat”, struck me.

    Being in NY, after the same sex marriage vote, I felt that this was a result of the silence of good people through years of being bullied by those who promote the gay agenda. It became a point for me to reflect and say, “what is my role in the silence”. How much do I hold back because I fear to offend, or fear the fall out of my words. This can apply to so many issues like liturgical ones.

    I believe exercising prudence in speech is important, but prudence is not the same thing as inaction, or cowardice. Maybe some good old Catholic guilt will lead to a firm purpose to speak the truth clearly, despite the consequences. I pray this for myself most of all.

  5. Sword40 says:

    I, for one, will not be silent. It goes against everything I believe. Our immediate past Archbishop didn’t care for my steady stream of letters asking for the old Mass. But I did get him to respond. He finally decided to retire. (not because of me, but because of many like me).

    The only time I ever learned to “shut my mouth” was when I enlisted in the Corps. Even that took an effort.
    In the last 6 years at our little rural parish, we have seen a steady stream of priests. Here for a year and then gone. Some of them would visibly wince when they saw me coming. I have never been rude or disrespectful but I do make my positions known.

  6. Ralph says:


    What a wise post. The inaction of good people who fear the disapproval of their neighbor allows evil to win the day.
    My fear is that we are not so far away in the US from having to face a consequence far worse than disapproval. Those who uphold the Faith may find themselves looking at prison or worse.
    We must steel ourselves. We must proclaim the Gospel openly, especially through the actions of our life. Are each of us prepared to face the severe hardships that our brethern in places like Vietnam and Iran now face?

  7. Mike says:


    The lack of intelligent, prudent, traditional preaching on the virtues is all part of the rupture started in the late 60s.

    It’s as deadening as a lack of focus on the supernatural virtues, in my view, as the natural virtues are the foundation of the supernatural…

  8. shane says:

    “Are each of us prepared to face the severe hardships that our brethern in places like Vietnam and Iran now face?”

    Could be coming sooner than many people think! (Particularly if the economy dies)

  9. KAS says:

    I am noticing all sorts of Bullying by Catholics who dislike something devout against people who love the orthodox and traditional.

    If you embrace anything traditional that is not currently being done by EVERYBODY– the bullies come out of the pews and go after you for your choice. It hardly matters if that is because you love the Extraordinary form of the mass, or if you are a woman who, in embracing her femininity has found delighted self expression in her modest fashion choices. (you are allowed to wear skirts preferentially as long as you NEVER have a public conversation about it with others who also love skirts– having a conversation between two skirt loving women is, I have been told, a criticism of all women who do not wear skirts.)

    If you home school, I have found that there are far more bullies on the home school lists then there used to be– and they attack anyone with whom they do not agree– generally using the same bully tactics described here. There are also priests and even Bishops who willingly permit bullying of Catholic home schoolers– who are almost universally orthodox Catholic– while tolerating any degree of dissent from Church teaching in CCD classes.

    Two of us, at the beach, me in capris and a t-shirt, my friend in a skirt over bike shorts and a tied off blouse over a tank top, were enjoying getting our feet wet and two women in thong bikinis got up from where they were sunning and came by us and called us sluts because the joggers were watching us wade and ignoring them sunbathing in near nudity.

    Bullies are everywhere, and if it is tradition, or modesty, or orthodoxy– they will come out and attack you for it. Jesus told us it would be so– and so it is.

  10. pinoytraddie says:




    AVE MARIA!!!!






  11. ladykathryn says:

    Thank you for this meditation. I am, by nature, easily intimidated and satan frequently uses this against me.
    I have gotten myself into the habit of praying the St. Michael prayer whenever I see the time at 11 minutes past the hour. Somedays I see this time frequently, other days not at all. I pray for me and my family and for others who need to be defended at that time from satan.

  12. Kathryn says:


  13. JoyfulMom7 says:

    “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” -Elie Wiesel

  14. riopeljm says:

    What if your Bishop continually ignores your letters and phone calls? What if you call other Bishop’s asking for advice and help and they tell you to talk to your Bishop~but to not give up

    Instead of constantly trying to get my Bishop to be a Shepherd, I need to invest that time in educating and loving my children. I am not giving up~just changing strategies. My Bishop cannot decide what I teach my children in my home. He can dislike communion rails and Latin Mass but he can’t stop my husband and I from teaching the beauty of it to our children. He can scowl when he sees our mantillas but we will be there with smiles on our faces.
    But, I will still be sad feeling like a lost sheep with no Shepherd to guide and comfort (except for our EXCEPTIONAL priests that bend over backwards to nurture the desire to know and love God)

  15. totustuus333 says:

    This was a nice post. Thank you for it.

  16. GrogSmash says:


  17. cyejbv says:

    This post reminded me of a dentist appointment I had a few months ago. ;) Not what I bet you’re thinking!
    I was in the waiting room and picked up a news magazine. Inside, there was an article/editorial about something or other but the author mentioned the Know Nothings, and went on to describe them as a group opposed to “immigrants” in the mid 1800’s. I think he actually wrote “and Catholics” also, but the whole tone of the piece was dismissive: his mention of the Know Nothings was… wanting.
    How many Catholics even know the truth themselves?

    My point is that there is a kind of sophistry that we should be aware of too; it’s easier – for me anyway- to get my hackles up if the evil is obvious. But the little sins of omission, which I think this article was, arent so easy. And it is everywhere.

    My question, and it’s rhetorical, is have we become the Do Nothings? It’s an ironic twist maybe, and, mea culpa, I did nothing. I wrote no letter about the article, did no grousing on a blog, no lambasting- in charity or otherwise- of this ridiculous description and the total lack of accuracy inside it.
    This is how the enemy gains yardage- inches.
    Mea Culpa again.

    So by the by, thank you Fr Z for posting the photo of the lion with reference to 1 Peter.
    I saved it.
    Needed reminded. [We all do. We are in this together.]

  18. cyejbv says:

    Grammar foul: “needed to be reminded.”

  19. Banjo pickin girl says:

    cyejbv, in Ohio “needed reminded” is considered correct! O grammar, O syntax!

    I have encountered adult bullies in many venues and they are more difficult to deal with than the playground kind because they tend to be the ones in power. I am still recovering from a “close encounter of the bullying kind” that was many months ago. Grrr… What a waste of energy dealing with it instead of the issue at hand.

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