Waiting for Zagano

For some time now I have been getting emails and phone calls from friends with reports that someone who writes for the National Catholic Reporter aka Fishwrap, Phyllis Zagano, has been sniffing around looking for dirt about me.  Zagano hasn’t always represented herself to them as a writer for the Fishwrap, of course.  She also called my mobile phone, and a land line I check. She has sent me emails with lists of questions, but without any adequate explanation of why she is asking them. Even on Sunday afternoon, yesterday, she left me a threatening voicemail.

Phyllis Zagano, when she isn’t promoting the ordination of women deacons, spends her energy on smearing Catholic bishops and undermining the Church’s hierarchy.

You might recall that in June on the site of the NCFishwrap she drew a moral equivalence between Arnold Schwarzeneger (unfaithful husband), Anthony Wiener (odd-ball misuser of Twitter), Dominque Strauss-Kahn (accused, possibly falsely, of attempted sexual abuse) and Egyptian businessman Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar (accused of sexually abusing a hotel maid) and, wait for it, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri.  Obvious connection, no?  NO?

What is obvious is that

  • the Fishwrap‘s offices are in Kansas City and
  • I stood up to defend Bishop Finn.  Here.

When Phyllis wrote her smear of Bp. Finn, I called for an apology from the NCR – which may or may not have paid her for that piece.  I wasn’t alone in calling for an apology either.  Here are pieces on Catholic Exchange, Catholic News Agency and the Catholic League.

Look, we can bicker about issues and argue positions back and forth.  She smeared Bp. Finn with a personal attack.

Zagano didn’t like my call for an apology to her yellow smear of Bp. Finn.  So now it is my turn.  It’s payback.  She is going to write a piece to smear me, because I called her on her smear of Bp. Finn.

Furthermore, Zagano also wrote a piece elsewhere against Bp. Robert Morlino of Madison, WI, whom I have also defended and praised.  Here.  It appeared in – I am not making this up  The Presbyterian Outlook, though it also says Religion News Service.

And now that I think of it, she wrote against Bp. Olmsted of Phoenix too… hmmm.

Think about it.  If that is the company she is placing me in, with Finn and Morlino and Olmsted, then I’m damn proud to stand with them.

That is the context.

“But Father! But Father!”, you are now asking.  “What dirt is Phyllis digging for?

She has been calling everyone under the sun asking mainly, it seems, about my canonical status.  Am I really a priest?  Am I in good standing?  Why do I live where I live?

She has been threatening in her phone calls to people I know that she is going to write about me.

Oooooo!  That should increase my blog’s traffic for a few days!  Perhaps I can sell more Mystic Monk Coffee for the Wyoming Carmelites?

To be fair, as I said, she wrote emails also to me with these questions.

I haven’t responded.  What good would that do, given her view on things?  I should expect anything other than malice from her after her treatment of Bp. Finn?  She and her employer – does the Fishwrap pay her or is this her hobby? – are dissenters from the Church’s teachings.  They attack bishops.  They distort.

But Zagano has now been using either her mobile minutes – or perhaps the resources of her employer – to try to dig up dirt on a Catholic priest who asked her for an apology when she smeared a Catholic bishop.

I will now help her out a little.

Actually, let’s do this in the form of “Priests 101”, a topic not well-understood by NCFishwrap and promoters of women’s ordination.

I am a priest in good standing in the Suburbicarian Diocese of Velletri-Segni in Italy.  This is one of the little ancient dioceses encircling Rome, thus “Suburbicarian”.  My name appears on my diocese’s website in the list of diocesan priests.  Unlike poor Roger Maris, I have no asterisk by my name.  I have faculties to say Holy Mass (can. 903), to preach (can. 764), and to receive sacramental confessions (can. 969.1).

I am living, with the knowledge and consent of my bishop and his predecessor, outside my diocese and in the United States.  I am working on my doctoral thesis, working on the internet, writing as a columnist for different publications, and giving talks at conferences and other events.

I am not engaged in any official external apostolate where I live.  I have no assignment.  I haven’t sought anything on top of what I now do.  I can barely make headway on my thesis as it is!  (It’s about the figure of David as an exemplum of civic virtues between Augustine and Ambrose, by the way, for the Augustinianum.) Since I am not functioning publicly in any way as a priest within the diocese where I live, I do not need the faculties of the diocese and therefore I have not sought them.  I have been in the diocese with the knowledge of the last two bishops of the place.  I don’t know what the present bishop knows. I haven’t been in touch. [UPDATE: Since I originally posted this, the situation is changed.  I have full faculties of the Diocese of Madison and I am publicly functioning in various capacities.]

Think about it this way.  If a priest goes fishing in another diocese or, say, goes to a condo he buys for retirement in Florida and never functions publicly as a priest there, he doesn’t need the faculties of the local diocese.  If he travels to another place and stays there, even for some time, and yet never functions as a priest there, he doesn’t need to inform the diocese or obtain anything from them.  He can say Mass privately and go about his business as it pleases him and his own bishop back home. This is something that Ms. Zagano doesn’t seem to understand, and she has apparently allowed her less-than-well-informed imagination run wildly down a steep path.

She has also been asking if I have obtained “temporary faculties” in places where I have visited.  For example, because I have gone to place X for a few days, she thinks I needed faculties from place X.  Back to “Priests 101”.  The Church’s law on this matter says that, when the rector or parish priest of a place does not know the visiting priest, then he is to look at his celebret, etc.  If the priest is known to the pastor or rector, this move is not required. I am pretty well known to my friends where I have visited, and when necessary, because of diocesan concerns or restrictions, I have provided my most recent correspondence from my bishop confirming that I am a priest in good standing and that I have faculties.  And, for Phyllis’ edification, there really isn’t such a thing as “temporary faculties” when it comes to a brief visit to a place.

As far as my “celebret” is concerned, I can say this.  I had for a while a page of my bona fides linked on  the blog.  When I had to entirely rebuild the blog because the software couldn’t support my theme, I lost some things and didn’t get around to replacing them.  One of them was the bona fides page.  However, on that page was a scan of my celebret (with a photo of skinnier me), which was signed for a three year period expiring in 2008.  The celebrets of my Italian diocese stated – at least in that old format I originally received and renewed from 1991 onward – that the priest has faculties to say Mass, preach and receive confessions.  Not all celebrets state that.  Some just ask the reader to let the priest say Mass… thus, Latin subjunctive “celebret… let him celebrate”.  Subsequent to that I have correspondence from my bishop from 2009 and 2011 confirming that I have faculties.  I have shared that with priests when I have traveled and have been asked for it.  What Phyllis and others don’t understand is that the “celebret” is the NOT same thing as the faculties.  If a celebret expires that means that the celebret is expired, not the faculties.  It is not like a driver’s license.  It is more like a diploma than a driver’s license.  Faculties are demonstrated in various ways and the celebret is just one of those ways.  Priests who never travel outside their diocese often don’t even have a celebret.  That’s why I have other recent correspondence from my bishop.  I have actually asked for a new celebret, but that’s the way my bishop is working right now for whatever reason.  Maybe they ran out of the forms.  It’s Italy, after all.  Anyway, I will share the other correspondence and even my old celebret with priests who invite me and with bishops if they want.

As far as my lack of desire to put out there exactly where I live is concerned, let me put it this way.  Sometimes what I have written on the blog has drawn some pretty threatening email, including on one occasion someone sending me a photo of my house with very uncomplimentary comments.  A priest of my acquaintance was murdered.  I have had concerns about my safety.  I take threats seriously and do something about them.

That said, diocesan priests don’t have to report to the National Catholic Fishwrap about who they are, what they do and where they go.  The Fishwrap demonstrates time and time again that they have no respect for priests and bishops.  There can be no good or pure motive for Phyllis Zagano to be harassing my friends and leaving me threatening voice mail.

Ironically, while liberals promote heresy and disrespect for the Church’s laws, they invoke those laws when they think they can use them to hurt someone they hate.

I stood up to defend a fine bishop in his time of need.  NCR‘s Zagano now attacks me.  Coincidence?

But I am willing to stand and take bullets for any American bishop I respect.

Another point.  One of the people who wrote to me about a phone call from Zagano said she brought up the issue of Fr. John Corapi.  Get it?  Huh?  Get it?   Get it?  The insinuation is that because Corapi and I were ordained together, and because he well… you know… then maybe Fr. Z…. well … you know.  Piffle.  Corapi and I were ordained together along with 60 other men – no women – and, at the time, I didn’t know him.   But the fertile imagination of Phyllis makes a connection.

Anyway, dear readers, while I have been happy to write about many of the things I do and many aspects of my life, I haven’t wanted to make my blog all about me or my personal journey or concerns.  I, like you, have a path to walk and choices to make from time to time, and some of them are hard and take time and care.  Sometimes I ask for prayers, as a fellow Christian will dare to do.  But I leave many things I am doing or going through aside, so as to focus on the really serious questions, such as whether we can use pine nuts or walnuts in making pesto.  A serious question?  Of course!  But it is a question that doesn’t involve deeper issues of my life or future plans.

Zagano, however, in a break from attacking a bishop for a change, has decided to harass me, my friends and many others, looking for dirt on me.  Alas, I am not very interesting.

If she wants dirt, I have a garden that needs some weeding. She is not invited to stay for supper.

So, friends.  I don’t know when this dishy article will be unleashed to my chagrin and embarrassment. She has been saying “sooooon!”  One of my friends told me that she said she was just waiting to click the key!  Not true, as it turns out, but … well… she’s consistent.

Perhaps we should have a pool?  Guess the date of publication and win, say, a pound of Mystic Monk Coffee?   The problem is, I have so many readers that that could get a little spendy for me.  And I can’t track who uses my voting app.

Oh, yes, that’s another thing.  Since I am living outside my diocese, I have been living solely by what I earn by writing, by what I gain from your kind donations, and by the kindness of an important benefactor.  I am, in short, a working beggar, and have been happy to be one.  Being involved as I am pioneering a new form of ministry, and being outside my diocese, I have no support and I haven’t asked any from my bishop.  I pay my own insurance, groceries, etc., cook for myself, clean for myself, do my own laundry.  I keep it pretty simple. [Since I originally posted this, this is all still true! Pioneers make their way!] I, like you, am rather alarmed about our future, given what is going on, too.  The main difference between me and most of you is that I am also a Roman Catholic priest in good standing and, therefore, I say Mass every day, and my office, and I do everything I can with my meager powers to uphold the Church’s Faith and teach it without error.  If I say anything by mistake that strays from the Church’s teaching, I hope to be corrected charitably.

Unlike the Fishwrap and Phyllis Zagano.  They don’t accept correction.

But back to the point.  What should we do to celebrate my lynching by Zagano and the Fishwrap?  I think a poll is in order, if not a pool.  Perhaps your “protest the Fishwrap” donations could provide enough for me to send the winner who emails me with the closest date and verifiable time of the appearance of her exposé, and the runners up, some WDTPRS swag, Mystic Monk Coffee, and perhaps a subscription to The Wanderer or The Catholic Herald.  The grand prize could be a case of Zagnut candy barsRemember them?  (Buy through my link now and I’ll get a percentage.)  I am not sure how to determine a winner.  Lemme think about the pool.  Send me email suggestions, perhaps?

But we can have a poll right away!

When will the big Zagano hit piece be issued?

View Results

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Friends, there is going to be a lot more of this sort of thing in the future.  Liberals, dissenters and secularists hate the Church’s teachings, and so they attack those who defend the Church’s teachings.  They try to intimidate people into silence, much as attackers do to the victims of rape or of assaults.  This is a common tactic of the left in politics as well.  Attack the person not the position.  Intimidate.

I don’t think we should lie down and let them trample us and our Faith.

If you defend the defenders of the Church, her enemies will seek to smear you too.  Pray for our bishops and priests, especially me.  And please, I ask in sincerity, pray for Phyllis Zagano.

I’ll keep the combox open on this one, for now at least.  However, I really don’t want to see any personal bashing of Ms. Zagano.  No personal, ad mulierem, attacks on her.  Period.  We won’t use their tactics. If you post something mean, I will delete the comment and suspend your posting ability and perhaps even pray that your guardian angels read NCR articles to you in your dreams for the sake of penance.  Let’s keep this nice and clean.

Also, I’ll probably close the combox if I am going to be away from my computer for a longish period.   I am sure you can empathize.

I’ll leave the donation box open, too!  The last time, you were really helpful and I remember donors in my prayers and at Mass.

[Originally posted on 8 August 2011]

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "But Father! But Father!", Brick by Brick, Lighter fare, Non Nobis and Te Deum, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, Throwing a Nutty, What Fr. Z is up to and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. JimmyA says:

    I am delighted that you are not going to put up with this intimidation. Yours has consistently been the model of the online apostolate, illuminated by clear thinking, erudition and orthodoxy to the magisterium. Your frequent calls to the sacraments of Confession and Holy Mass are a voice we hear too seldom.

    I shall be praying both for you and for Ms Zagano. I hope that all friends of WDTPRS will be praying for her.

    I hope we will see you back in London and may share another good and convivial curry. [That was such a nice evening! Thanks for the reminder and note.]

  2. Virgil says:

    You should give the exclusive interview to John Allen. [I have always liked John Allen and respected him even though he writes for NCR. But I think I too small a fry for his focus. Thanks, though.]

    In fact, your bio, and your vocation story, written by whomever, should be very interesting to the readers of the NCR. You are an independent-minded priest. Your distance from your ordinary is surely envied by many of the priest-readers of the publication. Your willingness to engage the laity should be welcome to Phyllis & Co. Your reasoned disagreements with the style of certain members of the episcopacy, without trashing the teachings of the Universal Church, could be a good example to the writers at the NCR.

    Frankly, Father Z, although I wish it were John Allen rather than PZ writing the piece, I think this will be a good thing.

    In bocca a lupo!

  3. benedetta says:

    All of this seems to verify what I have independently experienced in my travels which is that the spirit of classical liberalism is really hardly to be found anymore in the usual places where one generally encountered it and was edified by it, and further, that what is now occupying its place is a spirit which no longer values or respects people’s free will in entertaining robust debate and coming to own conclusions, but rather has completely discarded the necessity to present the contours of opinion altogether in favor of elimination of those with whom one disagrees, particularly through orchestrated smear campaign. It also signals a desperation or sense (because in many places those who ascribe to the traditionally liberal point of view agree privately that the results of the effort have not been constructive) and that one is unable to be convincing on the merits (hence the smear against Bishops) of one’s arguments, and an overall lowpoint in terms of contribution to Catholic media in this country. It also confirms to my observation of historical events that there never was a grassroots outpouring in the first place by the people since the people are by and large choosing not to go the route set out for them by this particular publication. People may fall away or they choose orthodoxy but this particular path as far as grassroots just does not have the roots or the grass it seems.

    I’m sorry to hear that a “national catholic’ publication is looking to single you out for attack Fr. Z. Clearly they see consecrated people and things in utilitarian terms.

    I do like the description of your thesis. There is quite a lot of hunger and interest in Christianity these days for knowledge about the Church fathers and doctors of the Church.

  4. APX says:

    Father Z,

    When I passed on your greetings to my bishop here in May, his face lit up. There is no doubt in my mind that you are a good priest, and that any type of slander a writer writes about you would be inaccurate. I find your blog to be an ineffable resource and have directed many people here. Thanks, and good luck on your thesis.

    BTW: I’m sure if you ever needed to take refuge, you could come help out my diocese with its Latin Mass Society, as the priest who offers our lone Sunday High Mass isn’t getting any younger. We’re direly short on priests and the majority of our current priests are visiting from other countries anyway. You’d fit right in! Well, not really. You’re too young.

    PS: Protest Donation en route.

    [Thanks! May yours be an example followed by many others! And thanks for the story about a bishops face lighting up. Bishops have to be careful, I think, about public or open support of any particular blog these days, since we are still in the digital “Wild West” and are unsure of our collective footing about what it all means. But it is nice to have little notes like that.]

  5. Mike says:

    I will certainly continue to remember your intentions each day at Mass, Fr. Z.

  6. wolfeken says:

    Your friends here in Washington, DC shall keep you in our prayers, Father Z. Your writings and commentaries are well-read in this town — may there be many, many more good postings. (And we hope to see you out here again soon!) Ken [Thanks! And greet our mutual friends.]

  7. Elly says:

    Father Z,

    I am sorry that this is happening to you. Thank you for all you do.


  8. PostCatholic says:

    I understand your concerns and needs for safety. It sounds as though

    It is a bit unusual for a secular priest to be away from his diocese for a long time without assignment, and when you’ve mentioned you’re a priest of I have wondered why you’re in the US Midwest. But I didn’t make the leap to “dirt”, personally; I assumed you perhaps were “on loan ” to an academic institute, doing a degree at college, had some unique skill (I know a priest who’s been away from the US for years because his ability to communicate in sign languages are needed in Europe) or maybe had family obligations that are none of my business.

    It’s a shame people won’t engage in polite and reasonable discourse with those with whom they have an intellectual pursuit. I am a liberal and dissenter when it comes to many of the Church’s teachings, but I’ve found it interesting and edifying to have discussions here on your blog with you and your many very intelligent fans. I hope I haven’t been intimidating to you or anyone else. It’s not a tactic that true liberalism ought to be about; affirmation of the freedom of the mind and the inherent dignity of the person are to me the bedrock of inquiry.

    In any event, might I suggest you offer another reporter of the NCR a “scoop” and perhaps do an interview within bounds of respect for you? There’s a lot you have to share and teach. I think that’s what Archbishop Chaput must have thought by doing his interview with NCR. Sunlight has a way of softening things.

    [Thanks for your consistently civil disagreement and intelligent contributions here. As I understand, you left the Catholic Church some time ago. I look forward enormously to your return and would be pleased to be the priest to give you Holy Communion for the first time after that return. o{];¬) ]

  9. PostCatholic says:

    I skipped ahead on that first paragraph! I’d meant to say, “It sounds as though this reporter is being very aggressive in her investigation.”

  10. andersonbd1 says:

    Whatever dirt she has on you can’t be as bad as being a Pirates fan who just a few weeks ago thought they had a chance at winning the NL Central. [That’s a sad story. This from a Twins fan. Solidarity.]

  11. SonofMonica says:


    I’ve spoken with priests from various parts of the country who have spoken very highly of you, and seen things change for the better at a nearby Cathedral (which shall remain nameless) precisely because of your blog and NLM. I’ve also personally heard you say Mass in Manhattan, and was very impressed with your homiletics and decorum. [I just try to get myself out of the way. But thanks!]

    Yes, I know that the devil attacks those who take courageous stands for the Church. I know you’re a sinner, and I have no business putting my faith in you or anyone else in Church leadership. We’re all painfully aware of what happens when we do that. That said, I cannot imagine why this woman has it out for you, other than the message of hearty repentance and Catholic renewal that you represent. I am grateful, however, that you’ve gotten out in front of the story. The Vatican could use a PR tip or two from you.


  12. benedetta says:

    Also I don’t really get the idea that they are above accountability for what they print. Do they think that Catholics are simply not entitled at all to reply, or that people’s legitimate support for Bishops is unimportant, just to be disregarded.

    Do they really believe that at this point people’s very faith hinges on these details about the personal background of priests? It is laughable (but as ridiculous as it is it does explain the willingness to do that to Bp. Finn). I don’t attribute my faith to any mortal person. In all honesty the very first motivator in terms of my faith is a layperson, female who remains a reliable measure for me against which I evaluate the various assertions about faith one comes into contact with.

    I think people are really tired of this dominant voice that has sought to tear down the Church for decades. That people are finally saying, enough is something that the Fishwrap is going to have to get used to, and adapt to accordingly to more coherently articulate what it is that they are proposing for the faithful. It’s not enough to just target someone with whom one disagrees and declare, ‘he has to go’ and set out to accomplish it anymore. I grant that it has had its day and did accomplish, well, some things.

    If the Fishwrap is looking for better story ideas I read today that China has recognized that the state sponsored abortion culture has resulted in a disparity in which men outnumber women by, I think the figure was, tens of millions. And is looking to, make abortions that discriminate against women, I guess, more rare. I take it the Chinese feel that on the whole that abortion has not really been helpful even though they felt justified out of necessity to the one child per household requirement. How about that for a story idea.

  13. mrsmontoya says:

    Father, prayers as always for you and your fellow priests and for all in a leadership role in our Church, from the quiet voice of one in your audience.

  14. James Locke says:

    Father, though we have never met, I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers. I someday do hope to meet you, though being near DC, it seems that you will not be here soon.


  15. RichardT says:

    Oh dear; when you asked for prayers, I did wonder if you had a dirt-digging journalist after you. [And that was not my most urgent intention, btw! There are other things going on too. We all have a lot to pray about right now.] As others have said, your prominent support for the Faith is likely to drive them to it, so although sad it is hardly surprising (I think I am right that at least two priest-bloggers in the UK, Fr Blake and Fr Finigan, have suffered press attacks). I hope that the experience is short and not too unpleasant.

    But interesting to hear that you are working on a doctoral thesis; they can take a long time, and can be lonely work. I hope it goes well.

    And it is hardly shocking that you are not doing parish work; from what you have written, you seem to have worked for various departments in the Vatican in the past. Of course there must be many priests that do so, and many priests who are studying; it is a sign of ignorance in this journalist that she can only think of priests in a parish context.

  16. ALL: I want to give due credit to the great Vincenzo, official photoshopper of WDTPRS, for the newer Fishwrap image at the top. Did you know that he has Pope Pius Clocks?


  17. JeremyB says:

    Dear Father,

    Please take comfort that your ministry fall in line with the words of Christ, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” There are many who have not ears with which to hear for they have been stopped by the Father of Lies. A review of St. Ignatius’ Discernment of Spirits will hopefully give you comfort in this trying time. Be assured of the prayers of the Catholic community for the work that you do and for your own perseverance and strength.

    God bless.

  18. KevinSymonds says:

    Fr. Z.,

    You have friends. Know this and trust in the Lord.

    -Kevin J. Symonds

  19. GirlCanChant says:


    I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers. I am sorry that you are being attacked. Hopefully this will all blow over soon.

    Perhaps today would be an opportune time for a good news thread? ;-)

  20. jaykay says:

    Just looking at your list of possible dates, Father, do you think that Sunday 27th November might also be an option? I mean, it’s the first Sunday in Advent and, well, something that liberals dislike intensely is due to happen on that day. Something that goes to the very root of the blog, as it were. A portentous day! [Portentous. brrrrrr]

    Prayers for your intentions anyway, as ever.

  21. APX says:

    @Father Z

    I didn’t even mention your blog to him. I assumed with you two knowing each other from Rome he’d have known about it. I will say, though, I couldn’t help but giggle a bit to myself during one of his homilies when he was talking about how “important it is when translating texts to ask yourself (and I am not making this up one bit!), ‘what does the text really say?'” The lady sitting next to me must have thought I was on some sort of happy pills.

  22. Maria says:

    Hello Dear Father,

    When I first came on here, I was talking to my Priest after Reconcilliation and was telling him about this fabulous blogsite of yours.
    I asked him if he ever went onto the internet and he said occasionally. I asked him if he had ever heard of Father ‘Z’ and he said “Do you mean Fr. Zuhlsdorf?” – “Yes” I said, this is the same Priest” and he said he had been privelaged in meeting you in Rome. I was pleased as punch Father.

    As to this daft woman, hasn’t she got a life? I cannot be bothered with stirring old gossipmongers.

    Dont worry Father, I know you are a genuine Priest, not only because my own Priest has disclosed the fact, but also because you are known by your good fruits.

    Thank you for your great sound teaching. I am still a beginner and have so much to learn. I love your Blog.

    God Bless you.

  23. Jackie L says:

    Why do they all look like that?

    I think it’ll be the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum.

  24. diezba says:

    Dear Father:

    Thank you for publishing this post. First, please know that after I click “Post,” I’m going to offer an Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for your priesthood and ask your Guardian Angel to redouble his efforts in light of these attacks. [Blessings. Thanks.]

    Second, I appreciate your taking the time to let us know a little more about you. As a reader of your blog since my conversion to the Church in 2009, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to “know” you through you public writings. I will admit, however, that after the Fr. Corapi scandal happened, I was worried that you might have been in a similar situation. I think that your efforts to reassure your readers — I like to think of myself as a part-time online “parishioner” of yours (yes, of course, I know I’m really a parishioner in my parish and I am an active layman there) — goes a long way toward reassuring us that there are good men in positions of public prominence who love their priesthood and desire to strongly defend our Lord, his Church, and her teaching.

    Thank you for your commitment to this online ministry. Forgive me for worrying about your bona fides.

    St. John Vianney, pray for Father Zuhlsdorf and all priests! [His day on the traditional Roman calendar is tomorrow. He is also co-patron of my native place.]

  25. Philangelus says:

    Father, you’ll be in good company when they curse you and insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Jesus. At least, Jesus seemed to think so. :-)

    I’m sorry you’re in the crosshairs right now.

  26. andersonbd1 : I LOL’d that…. of course I am a Brewers fan :)

    Fr. Z: Keep up the good fight, you are saving souls and the souls of future generations. Reading your writings has proven extremely beneficial to me. In fact, it could almost be said that I have recovered my Catholic Identity.

  27. Fr. Z,

    I second (or third) the suggestion that you grant an interview to, “the fair-minded nearly-ubiquitous John Allen who is still with the National Catholic Reporter”. [It would be nice to see him again. It has been a while. But I am far too small for his radar, I think.]

  28. benedetta says:

    I am not positive, others will know better but isn’t this columnist the one who particularly has an issue with having a better translation from the Latin? If so then this is so predictable and tiresome — it’s August 2011, the clock is ticking down, and seeing as how the arguments against using a better translation have been unconvincing, to associate the use of a better translation, with, um, child abuse, is, well simply put, immoral journalism and dishonest intellectually, and, now, having failed to rally us all to refuse to pray it, the final, parting shot and finale to this whole thing is, to attempt to do away with the messenger who has done the work of translating and comparing the prayers in the first place. I don’t think it is really Fr. Z that her issue is with after all, his credentials, his address, his faculties, the details of what he in particular is doing with his time and is up to, no, her issue is that someone beyond the control of the fishwrap has undertaken side by side comparisons and let people make up their own minds about which they would prefer to pray on their own. No column about Fr. Z, the priest behind the translations will be able to accomplish what she seems to be angling for, which is to claim superiority of the old translation.

  29. meunke says:

    The ncr has been doing a lot of hit pieces lately. Today Jamie’s piece is an attack on Bishop Chaput, Beckman’s piece is an attack on catholic.com, Eugene Kennedy’s piece is an attack on everyone in the Church who takes part in the Sacrament of Confession. They must feel like a ufc fighter who is backed into a corner and knows he’s lost the fight anyway, so he just starts taking wild swings.

  30. Heheheheheh… you must be doing something right to attract all this ire!

    Seriously, Fr. Z, you’re in my prayers. Don’t let the miserable so-and-sos (well, this IS a Catholic blog, so no swearing allowed) get to you.

    [Coming from a “Mulier Fortis” that means a lot. “Fortis” in the more authentic sense.]

  31. benedetta says:

    meunke, You are right. The Kennedy piece was really overboard. It just becomes meaningless after awhile. His thing about neuroses and guilt, well, people were actually laughing at this. But it wasn’t at all reasonable, it was just a wild smear. One wonders whether he actually knows any young people who of their own accord have chosen, embraced and live orthodoxy, and with great joy or whether that matters not so long as the stereotype has some nostalgic echo to it?

    I don’t think that anyone has all of the answers, by any means but I can’t help but contrast the way that people in quite good faith patiently accepted all sorts of ill thought out things and just thought, well this is the youth culture speaking or the future of the Church, etc. and not only did not complain but went along even if troubled by certain really pronounced things, and trusted in what others with knowledge did and said. Not everyone stomped out of the parishes with a harumph and on to the Tridentine Mass (if one could be found), by no means. Though in hindsight one can’t help but wonder, well what if.

    But I also don’t know what to make of the assertion that on the one hand it was all meaningless mumbo jumbo and ritual that one could do what one wanted with but now when people are investing it with meaning they become enraged as if that is somehow not permitted. Why should it be threatening to those who do not invest in the Mass if others in fact do — it is not as if there is a dearth of institutions, parishes and media going along with their point of view. So what if others wish to pray the new translation, can’t they live and let live, or even, be patient and trust the way people did a time ago.

  32. hicks says:

    Father, you should know better. Using the NCR as fishwrap is giving it far too much credit, and it’s an insult to the fish! Thanks for all that you do. Your blog has been a real blessing to me and a lot of my friends. [Thanks so much.] Also, your posts about the Aubrey/Maturin series got me re-reading the whole lot. Best books ever. Keep up the great work and God bless.

    PS: Why is it called the dog watch? Because it’s cur-tailed! Haha. [Indeed! Hoo! Hoo! Thanks for that. The Aubrey/Maturin series just keeps on giving, doesn’t it?]

  33. capchoirgirl says:

    I will redouble my prayers for you! The church needs strong teaching voices like yours to build us up!

    andersonbd1: I am a Pirates fan. The sorrow is great. :(

  34. Anonymous Seminarian says:

    I voted for Aug 10th. If she’s trying to roast you, you might as well have good company.

    [Right! St. Lawrence! And that reminds me that the “Tears of St. Lawrence” are coming!]

  35. KAS says:

    I thought I would share how your blog helps and edifies me.

    When I attend Mass and the music is all from the 70’s and 80’s and none of it any good and I feel grief for the beauty that is missing: your blog helps me know that there are others who long for God to be offered GOOD music during the Mass.

    When the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion bless my child in spite of my attempt to receive without some woman playing deacon with the blessing bit: it is so good to read your blog and know I am not the only Catholic who abhors such abuses and your example of civility prevents me from shouting at the woman about her willful abuse of her position– after all, nobody hides the documents from the EMHCs so there is no excuse for the abuses– and this woman teaches English at a high school so she CAN read– but then few of our EMHC bother to know what they are not allowed to do, after all, it might prevent them from doing what they want to do. It is a relief to come here and know that YOU would not permit such ignorance and disobedience in EMHC you trained.

    When an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion does the deacon’s job with the cup after communion: it is good to come here and know I am not the only one who wishes the deacon would stand up and object to having his rights and duties infringed upon by Lay persons.

    When Catholics I know blast me for insisting that Catholic Social teaching does NOT support socialism as the correction for the flaws in the free market: it is good to come here and know there are other people who read the documents and know that more than one of them condemn socialism as incompatible with human dignity.

    When I have to avoid sending my child to the parish education programs because I cannot trust that orthodox Catholicism will be taught and it is just easier to teach the CCC myself than to spend time trying to figure out what errors were taught this week so I can correct the lesson for my child: it is good to come here and read about the prayers and what they really SAY and other defenses of the Faith.

    It is good to come online and find others who love Catholicism and wish to conform to God’s teachings rather than to tell God to change His Church’s teachings.

    Thank you or your efforts here. I am firmer against peer pressure to compromise for the sake of nice feelings because you stand firm for orthodoxy. Be sure that you are in my daily prayers.

    We need more priests like you. [Thanks for your kind words. May I add that we need more priests and those priests to me more like the High Priest. Let priests be more like Him. I must decrease and He must increase.]

  36. Bryan Boyle says:

    I don’t even know WHAT to say, Father, except prayers ascending for you and your vocation.

    Had the privilege of attending, in 2008, the Mater Ecclesiae celebration in the Camden NJ cathedral. Your homily left me spellbound and reeling in amazement. Afterward, I saw you talking with, obviously a gaggle of fans (no doubt, some here…) and didn’t want to interrupt (a bit shy and respectful of others’ privacy…)…so, missed that opportunity to at least ask for your blessing. But, the effect of that homily still is real.

    I’ve no doubt that the furies of Hell are arrayed against you. You represent, along with the other faithful and devout priests, the greatest threat to the devil’s triumph. White martyrdom perhaps, but, know that there are many out here, who may just lurk, occasionally get in a comment, send in some offering, or just remember you at Adoration. So, while I can’t press the ‘donate’ button this month…know that you are remembered in prayer. God bless. [Your comment really helps. Thanks.]

  37. This post epitomizes why you’re a complete and utter boss. [That’s…. good. right? o{]:¬) ]

    Thanks for your excellent, uplifting, and most inspired work, Fr. Z.

  38. Gregg the Obscure says:

    “Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. ” It’s even in inclusive language already in the Douay. ;-)

    Another of my favorite blogs bears the caption, attributed to St. Pio, “Discouragement is not from God”.

    My guess for the date of the defamation/detraction would be the anniversary of Summorum Pontificum.

  39. JKnott says:

    Dear Father,
    Your vocation, fidelity, and ministry are a joy, a blessing and a good Catholic “home”. for us. I am so sorry for this trial. You have my continued prayers and sacrifices. And God is with you!!!!!! I bet he is smiling at your forethought response to the problem at hand! :)
    In Christ

  40. Joan M says:

    Fr. Z, your name is firmly included in my daily list of priests whose names I raise to God during the offertory at daily Mass. I expect your name to remain in that list as long as both of us are alive.

  41. chloesmom says:

    Dear Father, I am sorry that you have to deal with this sort of thing in the middle of a beautiful summer. Prayers are going up for you – illegitimati non carborundum! Thanks for your blog, which I read often and enjoy very much. God bless you!

  42. Mrs. Bear says:

    Our prayers are with you Father.
    I took part in your poll and chose Aug 11 not because it is the feast of St. Clare but it is also the namesake feastday of our son, Alexander : St. Alexander the Charcoal Burner. [Indeed? There for a moment I flashed back to “Alexander aerarius multa mala mihi ostendit”, which I talked about from Castle Danger!]

    Again, we are with you in the fight.
    Pax Christi,

  43. Glen M says:

    Father, you gave this dissenter much more time than she or her employer deserves. Thank you for your on-line ministry. You are the closest relationship most readers have with a priest. Your knowledge and guidance saves souls and greatly helps the Church rebuilding project. The next ten years will be the dissenters most savage. Like a cornered snake their last recourse will be to strike at the closest targets. Thankfully, this and the next pope along with the biological solution will end their reign. We must always pray for our priests and the conversion of the Church’s enemies.

  44. dawneden says:

    Keeping up the prayers for you, Father, and also sending up a prayer for Ms. Z. In the meantime, remember the immortal phrase of Stan Freberg in one of his classic TV commercials: “A Zagnut by any other name …” (Note: While that commercial is an ad, it’s not intended as an ad mulierum.)

    [Okay. That pun deserves…]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  45. AnAmericanMother says:

    Fr. Z, so sorry you’re having to deal with this nonsense. It’s been a long time since I had to deal with the media, but it left a bad impression even back then.
    Prayers continue for your intentions and for you to brush through this as easily as possible.
    And, with all respect to “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, “Noli nothis permittere te terere.”

  46. Rich says:

    Let us pray for Zagano’s conversion. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?]
    I personally did not vote for what date the hit piece will be published as I think it will be the day after Assumption this year.

  47. pablo says:

    Here is my comment at Abbey roads blog:

    “…Apparently someone is digging for dirt on Fr. Z – a woman…”

    Dang women.

    I was at the Benedictine Monastery this past weekend, and I was trying to have a private conversation with a Padre.

    We were whispering, and the women eavesdroppers were making comments about everything we were speaking about.

    Being as rude as I could possibly be, telling the women they needed to stop eavesdropping on the conversations of a Priest, the women said they were sorry, but they continued eavesdropping, ever more aggressively.

    This woman doing the criminal background check on Father Zulhsdorf is an agent of Satan, and should be denied communion as a public sinner.

    His Bishop is responsible for his actions, and is responsible for him, not a prideful woman.

    There should be a public outcry against this woman.

    Her actions are evil.

    The only woman in charge of Priests is the Holy Mother, who forms them in the image of her Son.

    Liberals would say I am a woman hater.

    I don’t hate women.

    Instead of keeping my wife barefoot and pregnant, I bought her a nice pair of high heels.

    (Faithful need to be careful hounding Priests; they could be Exorcists that require much privacy. What would someone do that encountered what the Priest is fighting? How do you know the Bishop hasn’t assigned him to Exorcism? Why is it anyone’s business?).


  48. Mrs. Bear says:

    That Alexander was a coppersmith. This one was a charcoal burner – BIG difference!
    I think there were a few years difference between the two as well.

  49. wanda says:

    You’re in my prayers and in the prayers of your virtual flock, I’m sure of it. I am sorry that you must endure this nonsense. We’ve got your back, Fr. Z. (Oooh, Zagnuts, they are good, the candy bars that is, not easy to find.)

  50. bookworm says:

    “Zagano hasn’t always represented herself to them as a writer for the Fishwrap, of course. She also called my mobile phone, and a land line I check. She has sent me emails with lists of questions, but without any adequate explanation of why she is asking them. Even on Sunday afternoon, yesterday, she left me a threatening voicemail.”

    I was a reporter myself for 20 years, both in the Catholic and secular press. Never, at any time, did I consider resorting to sneaky tactics like this nor did anyone ever ask me to. At all times I functioned either as a clearly identified reporter for a particular publication, or simply as a member of the general public seeking the same information to which ANY citizen (or layperson) is entitled. Nor did I ever threaten anyone, although there were times when I might call someone more than once if the information I sought had not been forthcoming and a deadline was looming.

    While Ms. Zagano has the same right as anyone else to confirm Fr. Z’s identity and bonafides — which are readily accessible — misrepresenting herself and stepping over the line into genuine harassment is another matter.

    Father, I am sorry that you are going through this, and I will continue to pray for you.

  51. Courage my brother father! As a friend of mine once said, you can tell a lot about the quality of a man by his enemies. Prayers for both you and your dissertation. [OOH-RAH!]

  52. PostCatholic says:

    Thank you for the compliment. It’s good to know I am welcome here. I did tell a classmate, now a priest, that should I return to Catholicism I’d let him communicate me, but I’ll add you to the roster. It is a highly remote possibility. [Perhaps you will allow me to hold the paten under your chin.]

  53. Jack Hughes says:

    Father you are a staunch defender of Holy Mother Church and although I have little of Gold and Silver I shall remember you when I hear Mass tommorow, all I ask is that you would pray for me as the evil one is currently hanging around me and trying to drag me out of the Church. [Remember my quote from the letter of Peter about the lion? “Whom we resist, strong in the Faith!” I will remember you at Mass in the morning.]

  54. UncleBlobb says:

    My dear Fr. Z.,

    I picked your birthday in the poll, but I perhaps should not have. I am thinking that she may have trouble getting printed because of the lack of dirt. I also have to say that you, like the E. F. of the Latin Rite, have always had a certain amount of mystery. Somewhat like a masked superhero also. And in order to answer the Fishwrap, your own mysterious now being diminished, we have yet another beef with the other side.
    But I appreciate all your Faith, courage, scholarship, charity, and dedication to The Lord, and to us. So much hope you give! I too, will continue praying for you, and again, for those others’ conversions. May God bless you and keep you!

  55. Fr: Your online apostolate was a key part of my reversion and, eventual, Confirmation in the Faith. I will never forget your many personal kindnesses to me. Praying for me and my Dad during his recent hospitalization and stroke.Asking about me and how I was doing. How when you read a Twitter of mine expressing my horror that I’d forgotten to have a Mass said for my beloved Grandmother on the 1st anniversary of her death, you sent me a note saying you could help and turned the camera on in your Chapel so I could watch you celebrate a Requiem Mass for her soul.
    I don’t know who Ms. Zagano think she knows, but that’s the Father Zuhlsdorf I know. [shucks… T’weren’t nuthin’, m’am.]

    God bless you.

  56. thymos says:

    How sad! I mean, I’ll never get to have dinner with you, if you live in Italy. But I shall pray for you nonetheless, and for the writer of the to-be article.

  57. Marine Mom says:

    Custos, quid de nocte? Watchman, how goes the night? Keep your eyes on the Lord

  58. wchoag says:

    “If the good God sends us crosses, we resist, we complain, we murmur; we are so averse to whatever contradicts us, that we want to be always in a box of cotton: but we ought to be put into a box of thorns. It is by the Cross that we go to Heaven. Illnesses, temptations, troubles, are so many crosses which take us to Heaven. All this will soon be over. . . .” – St. Jean-Marie Baptiste Vianney, “Catechism of Suffering”

    Maneas in supplicationibus meis nunc et in hora periculae.

  59. JP Borberg says:

    I feel I should add some words of support for you (and prayers for both you and her).

    If NcR is coming after you it’s a sure sign you’re doing something significantly right. It’s not nice, but it’s still something of an honour.

    Maybe you (or the Catholic blogsphere in general) should start bestowing an award (akin to your ‘episcopal backbone’ award) to recognise anyone who has contributed to the cause of Christendom sufficiently to earn them a spittle flecked attack from the NcR. It’ll be a nice way to both support the individual and laugh and the ancient trendies.

    But lols aside, my prayers for the serious stuff. Keep up the good work.

  60. AustinCatholic says:

    Fr. Z:

    God bless you for all that you do for the defense of the Faith!

    Your blog writings are always coming up in lively conversations with my priest friends and former seminarian classmates of the Pontifical Josephinum…..we LOVE you!

    You actually have inspired me to ship a case of “SPAM” to the NCR (Fishwrap) offices in KC-St.Joseph! I’d ship tuna, but SPAM is more up their alley! [LOL! Well… okay… you did them a favor, given the economic downturn we have underway!]

    God bless you and St. Michael the Archangel protect you!

    Your fan in Austin, Texas!

  61. tianzhujiao says:

    Father Z., I am sorry to hear that you are going through this situation. Please keep St. Teresa’s prayer in mind “Nada te turbe”:

    “Let nothing disturb thee; Let nothing dismay thee; All thing pass; God never changes. Patience attains All that it strives for. He who has God Finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices.”

    You are in my prayers.

  62. smad0142 says:

    Prayers for you Father.

  63. Fr Martin Fox says:

    Hang in there Father!

    If you like, you can come and hang out in Piqua; she’ll never find you here, no one knows where it is! [You mean to say… you aren’t ascared?]

    Prayers for your intentions, Father.

  64. teaguytom says:

    I’ve been following this blog ever since I googled your name in 2008 after seeing you on some old Fox footage. This is one of the blogs I check everyday. I was there for the groundbreaking of Radio Sabina and the Zcams. I was also there when the most recent Z-chats were started on Ustream. I also learned about Mystic Monk through your posting. I hope you continue to keep the blog going, its very informative.
    PS, we need a Penjing update. Hopefully he survived the heat with his buddies. [Penjing thanks you. He too will have a post very soon.]

  65. Kathryn says:

    Prayers for you Father! Thanks so much for all you do. I have learned so much reading here.

  66. jray says:

    Praying for you, Fr. Z. Thank you so much for this wonderful blog.

  67. pm125 says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,
    May the Lord love and help you the way He did David all throughout your good, inspiring work; trials (8/14?, my guess for the one at hand); and presence (presents) for our spiritual guidance. [David… how many battles did he fight!? I think I shall turn for consolation more in the coming days to the Psalms.]

  68. Elizabeth D says:

    Well, I know my good Bishop Robert Morlino thinks Fr Z is fine since they sat next to each other all during a Gregorian Chant workshop I attended. And if somebody doesn’t think my good bishop is fine, I think they are the one with the problem.

    I sent a donation.

  69. Deacon Steve says:

    Father Z,
    About Ms. Zagano, I just spent part of the weekend watching AMC’s Mobster weekend- GoodFellas, Donnie Brasco, and so forth. So, my advice regarding her: forgetaboutit! I don’t read NCR; didn’t know she or it even existed and I’ll think I’ll keep it that way. Not suggesting we “whack” her, just pray for her and her ilk and leave the rest to God. Your blog suggest you are a fine priest and a good man so don’t sweat her or her story. Seems to me you need to save your time and energy on studying. I’m on my way to Adoration and I’ll say a pray for the both of you. God Bless. –Deacon Steve
    PS, regarding Fr. Corapi, I was just at a general medicine review and there was an interesting talk on illnesses such as manic-depression. Seems poor Fr. Corapi may fit some of the criteria for a psychiatric illness. Unfortunately it does not seem like he will allow anyone into “his world” to help him out. I’ll pray for him too.
    Oh, and thanks for being a priest!

  70. jflare says:

    You know, I’d expect this sort of thing for a military general, but for a PRIEST?? In the UNITED STATES???? And from CATHOLICS??????
    We’re in a pretty sad state when our real Men in Black must worry about their own personal safety because of..teaching, preaching, and living the Church’s actual teachings. I do hope you have adequate security around your home.

    May the Lord be with you!

    BTW, does anything change after you finish your doctorate? In terms of what you do, I mean?

  71. Seamas O Dalaigh says:


    Prayers continuing for you. It must be very distressing.

    Prayers also for the Zagano woman (but probably not the sort she’d like). May the heterodox and the disloyal be confused and confounded.

    James Daly

  72. contrarian says:

    -The new Fishwrap pic is awesome. [Vincenzo is the best!]

    -Really cool getting the bio. Dissertating! I woulda thought with your erudition that you had two or three Ph.D’s already. And a couple honorary ones to boot. Who knew?

    -I recently came to the conclusion that I spent too much time on the web. So, I cut down drastically on my browsing time. But I still check WDTPRS. It’s just too good. It makes a clean break from the internet machine impossible.

    -I’ll be joining in on the prayers for Ms. Zagano’s conversion.

  73. chonak says:

    May I take Labor Day? [“I’ll take Manhattan…”] The “research” is probably for some exposé on people who influenced the new Missal translation, so it’ll have to come out soon. When the new text is actually in use, gossiping mysteriously about the people who inspired it won’t be as interesting.

  74. Catholictothecore says:

    Fr. Z, we will continue to keep you in our prayers. No worries. This too will pass. God Bless.

    [What is really painful is that it is all so unnecessary.]

  75. janetinSanDiego says:

    Father Z, Prayers on-gong for you during this time of multiple attacks. I’ve been remembering you in every Mass for the last few months. This blog is too important for all of us…your virtual parishioners! I so appreciated your determination to stand with the faithful bishops who have been attacked. [Pray for our bishops!] Our time of “getting along” seems to be over. We have to stand up for the truth. Out here in CA, there is now a referendum to overturn the SB48 which requires gay agenda programming within the public schools system, with no “opting out” option. That will sure heat things up out here.

    For Jack Hughes and other who are fighting with ol’ smutty face, a note: Have been in one whale of a battle recently myself. My pastor and spiritual director recommended the prayers on http://www.auxiliumchristianorum.org It’s a “for real confraternity,” approved by a bishop, and the prayers are most efficacious. Those prayers + novenas and prayers to St Michael, St John Vianney, and St Padre Pio. A great first responder team.

    For the record, y’all: We have the best defender imaginable: Our Beloved Savior, Jesus! Pray, do the footwork, stay in the Sacraments, and let Jesus do the battle. He’s much better at it than I am anyway. Amen. Alleluia. Amen. Stay the course, Fr Z. We are in this with you!!!

  76. irishgirl says:

    Wow, Father Z-this woman is not very nice!
    I was glad to read your bio, though….got to know more about you.
    I’ve never met you (still wish you could come to Upstate New York sometime), but I want you to know how much I enjoy reading your blog. I’ve been doing so since I got this laptop in late 2004. I love your bird pictures, your cooking expertise, even your rants! You are never afraid to stand up for the TRUTH! (a friend from Michigan got to hear you speak at the ‘Call to Holiness Conference’ in Detroit about three years ago-boy, was I ever jealous! I said to her, ‘You’re gonna hear Father Z?’)
    When good priests like you are attacked, I remember what Our Lord said, ‘If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you’, and, ‘No servant is greater than his Master’.
    I’m part of your online flock-and WE ALL LOVE YOU! And I pray for you always! An extra Hail Mary at the end of my daily Rosary has your name on it—and Father Corapi’s as well!
    Didn’t Cardinal Ratzinger (now gloriously reigning as our Holy Father) once say that ‘if someone is attacking me, I must examine my conscience’ ? (Hope I’m quoting that right!)
    [great picture by Vincenzo, BTW]

    ‘Irishgirl’ from Upstate NY

  77. ASD says:

    Rita Skeeter

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  78. Phil_NL says:

    Be assured of many prayers, Fr. Z., including mine.

    And please never forget that, through this blog, you’re helping many on their way to salvation – I’ve surely grown in the faith thanks to it. I’d even go beyond Papa Ratzinger: the amount and intensity of attacks is likely to be proportional to the good you’re doing. Yet: In te Domine speravi, non cunfundar in aeternum. (with music like http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYKuHjzlImA for good measure)

    Also, good luck on the PhD thesis. Been there, done that – as a full-timer, and even then I was once stuck for months on end on a nasty problem. No matter, you’ll get there.

  79. pfreddys says:

    I think all your readers found this to be an interesting post. I did have a small curiosity about which diocese you were incardinated in, and what your status is in other dioceses you operate in. To be honest, I had the vague idea that you were a retired military chaplin living on a pension.
    Good luck with the Zagano article, I actually think it will so full of holes, misinformation, sloppy ecclesiology that it may actually evoke laughter from you.
    Please be assured of my prayers, and please say one for me

  80. LauraL says:

    Father, I’ve told you more than once how you helped midwife me into this great Church, for which I’ll love you forever. Through your work at COL, you saw that I (and countless others) have received a solid foundation in the Faith.

    I like the idea of the Allen exclusive. You appear to underestimate your celebrity, Father. If you were a minnow hiding under the lilypads, Zagano wouldn’t be going after you. It’s because of your apostolate on the internet and your very high visibility and influence that she’s out for dirt and destruction. I say, do it so that there’s a chance of the truth going out to strengthen the Body of Christ; because you know she’ll – well, you saw ASD’s “Rita Skeeter” observation, and that’s a pretty good comparison.

    I’ll remember you during my Office and at Mass – Continue to be circumspect in all you do – and God bless and keep you!

  81. Maxiemom says:

    As a relatively new reader, I must admit the I couldn’t figure out what you did and wondered why you you were available to jet off to do mass in NYC or other places when I know priests who can’t get a sub to fill in for their vacation. And why you were seeking financial support. Curiosity satisfied.

    Thought I must admit that sometimes, reading your blog totally confuses me as I just don’t get the topics or references. It’s almost like the followers of TLM are almost like a club that not every one can belong to. I remember it from my childhood and not fondly and have no interest in attending it. But, that’s my opinion and I respect people who prefer it and am happy that we have a choice to attend NO or TLM.

  82. Ellen says:

    Father I have been and will continue to pray for you. You have taught me so much, and rekindled my somewhat dormant devotion to beauty in the liturgy.

    Please be assured that you have lots and lots of folks at St. Blog’s who all have your back in this.

  83. Cathy says:

    Maybe you should invite her to supper!

    – But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.

    Plus, you could put some blessed salt in her soup. Might help.

  84. JoAnna says:

    Rita Skeeter, indeed! The comparison is very apt.

    St. John Vianney, pray for Fr. Z and for all priests, that they may withstand persecution and persevere to the end. Amen.

  85. Pedantic Classicist says:

    Fr. Z:

    It looks from Zagano’s schedule like she publishes blog posts, at least, every other week on Wednesday, so I vote (m) None of the above, b/c I think (following her schedule) she’ll get the piece out NEXT Wednesday, 8/17. This will happen to be the 1st anniversary of my mother’s death also, so I will be sure to remember you and Zagano in prayer while I am commemorating her passing.

    Nice. Video id quod ibi fecisti. ;) Thanks for the awesome nostalgia trip: that ad is so darn clever! Especially the ending: great direction and writing. It makes me think too of the Zagnut scene in Beetlejuice.

    [on a more pedantic note: remember, though, that it’s ad mulierEm, not mulierUm, unless you want her to be genitive and in the plural, which I don’t think any of us ever want to be (!! remember poor Calvin and his Duplicator??! ), at least not after ad…. o that crazy 3rd declension! it’s very much like that pesky ichthus (ALSO 3rd decl., though in Greek, not Latin: 50 points and a free zagnut bar for anyone who can give me the proper nom. plural of THAT one), about which I commented in my peskily pedantic manner on your own blog way back when]

    Anyway, Fr. Z, doleo quod tot difficultates tibi instant. Utinam omnia meliora tibi reddantur!! Ut pancratice semper valeas in Christo. PC

  86. PostCatholic says:

    Holding the paten under my chin you absolutely can have dibs on–no one else has asked to do that–in the very unlikely future event that I abandon my faith and return to Catholicism. I appreciate the generous sentiment behind your statement, even though I think I’ve closed the door on that part of my life and won’t be coming back.

    Also, in all sincerity I hope you meet a few liberals whose personal ethics and debate tactics are worthy of your respect. I think I know quite a few who wouldn’t resort to rummaging in your closet for skeletons because you criticized their work.

  87. paladin says:


    Father, I’ve been a some-time lurker on your blog (with the occasional comment, and even the occasional flint-on-flint sparks with some other respected commenters), but please know that you’ve been in my steady prayers. One of the hardest types of persecutions to endure, at least for me, is the “attempted death by a thousand cuts” version by which the modern-day heirs of the foes of Jeremiah try their own (somewhat inept) hands at “terror on every side” (i.e. if we have so much as a smudge of dirt upon our past, they screech like banshees, despite the curious fact that they would not stand (either in innocence or in endurance) under such scrutiny for even ten seconds). The truth will out, as they say… and you are being covered by prayer every day, whether the consolations are flowing or not! God bless and keep you, Father!

  88. Jack007 says:

    It is a an honor that the illustrious online defender of the Faith, Fr. Zuhlsdorf has consented to be the featured speaker at our annual parish fundraising banquet. What could be better? Plenty of nice people, good food and wine, wonderful orthodox priests, and Fr. Z! :-)
    I’d be happy to invite Ms. Zagano to sit at my table, but I’m afraid the sight of all that and, our HUGE Catholic families, might be too much for her “bleeding heart”. LOL

    Hopefully Father won’t mind a shameless plug or two as it draws nearer (October)?

    Meanwhile, I feel a compulsion for some chocolate, and a visit to the DONATION button! LOL
    Your faithful readers won’t let you down, Father! Let them print anything they want!

    In Jesu et Maria,
    Jack in KC

  89. pookiesmom says:

    Hang in there, Father! You are ever in my daily prayers, Mass and Holy Hour. Thank you so much for this wonderful Blog–it is the Best! First thing I go to everyday for spiritual and mental nourishment. God bless you!

  90. Charlotte Allen says:

    Oh, dear. I had a protracted Facebook exchange with Phyllis Zagano after I posted a comment to Fr. Z’s earlier blog about the lady and her critque for the Fishwrap of Bishop Finn. (You may wonder why I ever “friended” her on Facebook, but that was before I found out that she was a regular contributor to the Fishwrap, and not the conservative Catholic that she was many years ago.) At any rate, I had written in my comment that the formerly conservative Zagano had “gone off the deep end.” She took that literally, as a libellous assertion that she had gone insane and demanded an apology. No, Phyllis, you only went off the deep end figuratively!

    Then she called a priest friend of mine (I had tried to warn him by e-mail that the call was likely coming, but he picked up the phone before he read my e-mail.) According to him, she did not identify herself as a member of the press, but she did have lots of pointed questions and insinuations concerning Fr. Z. According to my friend, she alleged that Fr. Z’s faculties had expired, that he was registered in no known U.S. diocese, and that he was living with his parents (oooooh–Norman Bates!). My friend was certain that he was going to be misquoted or quoted out of context but said that fortunately he was going to be out of the country for a while, so he wouldn’t be around to read the article. Later I received another Facebook message from Phyllis with, at least in terms of my friend’s version, a garbled (and not in Fr. Z’s favor) summary of their phone conversation. After that, thank heaven, she left me alone–although I expect to hear from her as soon as this comment posts.

    Now I find out that her promised article hasn’t even run yet. Don’t keep us on tenterhooks, Fr. Z! Provide a link!

  91. Sandy says:

    There are so many of us praying for you, Father. I, too, pray for this woman’s conversion. Something in her life has filled her with this evil. When I witness this kind of evil deed, I remember the words of a neighbor many years ago. Her son was out jogging and was killed by a hit and run driver. She knew that there would be justice from the Lord for that person in the next life, the only place there is perfect justice.

  92. MissOH says:

    I picked this coming Sunday which was the closest choice to next Tuesday 8/16, which is my actual guess for when the article will appear in print. August 16 is the Feast of St. Joachim in the EF calendar and of course the day after the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
    I have been praying for you Father Z and will continue to do so. May our Lady and St. Michael the Archangel especially intercede with our Heavenly Father on your behalf. I am also making a donation. You and others are too right, those of us who support and are faithful to church teaching will be increasingly under attack and by those determined to make everyone think what is wrong is right and that if you support what is and always has been right, you are wrong.

  93. robtbrown says:

    Fr Z wrote:
    As far as my “celebret” is concerned, I can say this.

    Our mutual Swiss priest friend once said that he had a celebret for the old mass, and a praesideat for the Novus Ordo

    [LOL! I still have my old celebret from the Holy See. (I got to write it myself, as a matter of fact. A perk.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  94. nanetteclaret says:

    Fr. Z –

    Please know that you are in our prayers every morning. Jesus guaranteed the world would hate us because it hated Him first. As I have often heard, “If you aren’t taking flak, you’re not over the target.”

    I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, NCR should be called “birdcage liner.” I know it’s not as cute as “fishwrap,” but it’s certainly more descriptive. Bird poo in, bird poo on! That said, “Ms.” Zagano may think she can silence you with slander, defamation, and/or calumny, but one thing she can’t stop is your (and our) prayers for her. It will probably make her really angry to know that many, many people are praying for her. (smirk)

  95. Tom T says:

    Fr. Z,
    Interestingly enough I posted a comment not long ago about a liberal Catholic publication
    that allowed a barrage of cruel,mean, critical and downright scandalous comments about Archbishop Chaput when reporting that he was assigned to Phila. I responded with a defense and long comment praising his work and conservative defense of Catholic teaching ending with a comment that he was more than welcome here in Phila. Archdiocese, and as I posted at the time on your blog they would`nt allow the comment. I never mentioned that the publication was none other than the National Catholic Reporter. Alas, I would not be able to partake in the contest since
    I stopped reading it after that and would`nt know when the attact article is published. I am unable
    to hit the donate button right now however you are in my daily prayers. Pax

  96. TravelerWithChrist says:

    “The heavier the cross, the more certain you are doing the will of God the Father”

    I ran across this quote somewhere once, put a nice photo background with it, and promptly attached it to a magnet and on my fridge.
    It is a daily reminder as I go through each day caring for my children and living here on this place of suffering and trials.

  97. Jakub says:

    Prayers, may the Mother of God keep you under the wings of her protection…

  98. Lynne says:

    Prayers for you Father! Yours is one of my favorite blogs…

    (a Yankees fan) <- I couldn't resist…

  99. Fr_Sotelo says:

    “Our mutual Swiss priest friend once said that he had a celebret for the old mass, and a praesideat for the Novus Ordo” robtbrown.

    Okay, Dr. Brown, you are now responsible for my coffee being coughed up from me laughing so hard, although none of it got on the computer. On the other hand, I was feeling sad reading about this story, and now that comment about the “praesideat” has me laughing off and on. I have an appointment with a couple getting married soon. I hope I’m not still giggling.

    This reminds me of another afternoon, some years ago, when I was very sad about something, and I read your comment about Leonardo Boff (we won’t go into the details, but it was that joke that got yanked from COL). Later, I had to meet with the bishop, and he became annoyed that I was interrupting our talk with intermittent giggles. I said, “your Excellency, I read a joke about Fr. Leonardo Boff on the internet, which is making me laugh still, but I WON’T DARE share the details.”

    Fr. Z, people pull these hit jobs on us. This too shall pass. Your work reaches into corners you would not imagine. I personally know of a person who found your blog and from having no relationship with God is now walking in the light of Faith. [Thanks for let me know that!] In the meantime, do consider a phone chat with Dr. Brown, and ask him to recount some more of his wicked humor.

  100. Jack Hughes says:

    @Traveler with Christ

    Thankyou for the quote you provided, it has made things slightly easier, If it wasn’t for the ‘philosopher’ and the Angelic Doctor with the proof from motion along with the why and how it works then I would have been pulled outta the Church long ago.

    Requesting additional prayers from merry ole England

  101. Joe in Canada says:

    She doesn’t seem to realize that even if the Orthodox Church decided tomorrow to have deaconesses, they’d look at her cv and say ‘no thanks’.

  102. nichols says:

    You’re awesome. nuff said.

  103. Joe in Canada says:

    Perhaps I should have waited a bit longer before I posted. The woman is remarkably pro-life, and has written about that at the Fishwrap. That doesn’t excuse sneakiness such as you describe, but I still like it (her enthusiasm on the life issue). It won’t diminish my prayers for you, Father, but will incite me to stronger prayers for our sister Phyllis, too. [If she is pro-life, fine. Catholics MUST BE pro-life. She is not pro-bishop.]

  104. William Tighe says:

    How I long for the day when there will be an “Ordinatio Diaconalis” to complement and complete “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis” of 1994.

  105. JoAnna says:

    “The woman is remarkably pro-life, and has written about that at the Fishwrap. ”

    Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

  106. rayrondini says:

    I think this whole thing is absurd, really. EVERYONE knows you use PINE nuts in pesto sauce! :)

    [Yes, if you are making pesto in the style found in Genoa. But there are variations which delight the palate as well.]

  107. God bless you Fr! This spiritual mother is praying for you!

  108. s i says:

    She’s probably fuming that you beat her to the punch by posting this today. I’ll guess she writes something tomorrow because of it… I am getting low on coffee and really want to try out Mystic Monk! LOL

  109. poohbear says:

    Thank you, Father, for sharing this with us.

    I, for one, had no knowledge of what is required for a priest when outside his diocese, and I would not be surprised to learn that the average Catholic doesn’t either. Because of our lack of knowledge, papers like the above mentioned can hype the fact that a certain priest doesn’t have this or that credential and people assume its a bad thing, when, in fact, it wasn’t needed to begin with. It is sad that so many get their knowledge of the Church and her teachings from papers like the NcReporter and not from good sources like your blog and official church documents.

    My prayers for you continue on an increased basis, always including a petition to Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy, may She continue to watch over you and protect you.

  110. Pachomius says:

    Hopefully, this drivel will be published on the Greek kalends, and not a day before.

    In any case, I cannot fathom what it matters to Ms Zelotypa, nor to the public interest, whether or not you have faculties, a celebret, or anything else. If there were evidence against you, she wouldn’t find it by ringing up your acquaintances, in any case. [You are right, of course. Therefore she has some other motive as well. I hope that those whom she contacted will drop me a line with an account of her contact.]

  111. JeffTL says:

    Your are in my prayers, Father. Doesn’t even the Fishwrap have better things to do?

  112. amenamen says:

    @ s i “She’s probably fuming that you beat her to the punch”
    Here’s one you might remember … 1962 (of all years) …

  113. Traductora says:

    The press seems to have been converted into the liberal instrument of destruction in recent years, particularly where the Church is concerned. It’s horrible that you have to go through this, but on the other hand, they wouldn’t be trying to destroy you if you weren’t threatening them by doing so well, so that’s some consolation. Prayers for you and your work!

  114. Radagast the Brown says:

    Father, I have been following your blog since I began college, and I can say with confidence that your blog has brought me to be a more faithful and more knowledgeable Catholic. Before I was visiting your blog and other solid Catholic blogs I was a “regular” Catholic, that is, a lukewarm Catholic who was totally oblivious to the splendor of the rich traditions of the Roman Catholic Church, most notably the Extraordinary Form. In addition, I was almost totally unaware of the unlawful (and often subtle) liberties that my local parish priests would take with the Novus Ordo, which tended towards contemporary, community-oriented, Protestant-style worship than the actual Holy Sacrifice of the Altar which is to be observed with reverence and devotion.

    Your blog has opened my eyes to many of these things. Now that I’m aware of the beauty and splendor of the EF with all of its ineffable grandeur, I try to attend a local EF mass each Sunday. It has truly been a blessing in my life to attend such beautiful liturgies and it has done wonders for my spiritual life! And so much of my knowledge of the Church finds its beginnings with you and your blog with all of its brilliant, orthodox, and even witty observations on the liturgy and other topics.

    So in a special way I thank you, Father Z., because I am now currently applying to enter the seminary [!] and you can certainly bet that I’ll be doing my best to say the black and do the red. I stand with you, Father Z., and I will be storming Heaven with prayers for your situation as the devil tries whatever he can to use others to besmirch your reputation. Thanks again, Father, and God bless you!

    [Thank you so much for that. Sometimes I wonder why I do this. Your note really helped.]

  115. Radagast the Brown says:

    Anything to help you out, Father Z!

    P.S. I was in Rome last spring and I was hoping that your pre-JPII beatification blognic was going to happen so I could meet you in person. But that’s alright, I at least was able to be present for a truly memorable beatification of our beloved and late Pope John Paul II!

    P.P.S. Msgr. Thomas Fucinaro, a priest with whom I became well-acquainted during my time in Rome, says hello! [Hi back! I haven’t seen him for a while. Great guy and a very faithful priest.]

  116. ngf70 says:

    Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    I am one of the people who received a call from Ms. Zagano about you recently. The fact that she contacted me suggests she was devoting considerable energy to seeking information about you, even from sources as obscure as me (she got my name and number from the Church where I help coordinate celebrations of Mass in the extraordinary form and where you have recently celebrated Mass).

    In the call, Ms. Zagano was very focused on discussing your credentials. I explained that I thought you had put this information on your blog and that everything was in order. She disagreed. She told me that she had contacted the Bishop of the Diocese where you live, that she had contacted the USCCB, that she had tried to contact people in the Diocese where you are incardinated and that she had tried to find out if you had “faculties” in every Diocese where you had recently celebrated Mass. I repeated that I thought your credentials were in order and that they satisfied the requirements of this Diocese. However, she was adamant that you had a duty to obtain faculties in every Diocese where you celebrate Mass and that you had not done so. I told her that the process she described was NOT, to my understanding, the policy of this Diocese.

    In retrospect, aspects of the call I received were troubling and seem to raise ethical issues. At the beginning of the call, Ms. Zagano told me she was writing a piece about the new translation of the NO Missal. I asked her directly what publication she was writing for. She mentioned an obscure journal. She did not mention the National Catholic Reporter. [Interesting.] After our call, I discovered that the woman I spoke to was the same person who had written the NCR piece about Bishop Finn that you recently condemned. It now sounds like Ms. Zagano was not writing a piece on the new Missal translation for an obscure journal but rather a piece about you for the NCR.

    Even if we do not yet conclude that you were the target of a vendetta, it is very difficult to see how this inquiry into your credentials was fair, balanced or in any way restrained by the limits of Christian charity.


    [I hope everyone whom she contacted will write for me a summary of her call. I have been counseled to ask for them, as a matter of fact.]

  117. ljc says:

    I am a rather new seminarian who reads your blog. Because of your blog I have come to discover the riches of the Traditional Mass, which I hope to celebrate someday. I have also learned how to be prudent in expressing my love for the Extraordinary Form in my seminary and around my superiors.
    I thank you for teaching me a great deal about the sort of Priest I would like to be someday, and I thank Ms. Zagano for teaching me what sort of Priest I would NOT like to be someday

  118. John Nolan says:

    In a similar situation the great Duke of Wellington said “publish and be damned”, although when he was slandered by a man he called him out and shots were exchanged. Perhaps Ma Zagano, with her views on sexual equality, would welcome the prospect of pistols at dawn …

  119. Hidden One says:

    Fr. Z., thank you for your work.

  120. frjim4321 says:

    It sounds like what it intended is more of a “hit piece” and not real journalism. As is the case with so many religious journals and books the quality is often uneven. Someone recently gave me a copy of “Render Unto Rome,” and I am saddened by the poor quality of scholarship. It seems many of Berry’s favorite sources are NCR-types, although some of those (Allen) are pretty decent.

    I’ve had a friend smeared by the NCR and since I knew a lot about the situation I knew there were factual errors – which is often the case with the Catholic and popular media. I doubt the EWTN distorts Catholicism any less than the NCR, but clearly the skew is in the opposite direction.

    I hope this piece – whatever it is and whenever it comes out – will pass into the dustbin of forgotten pieces quickly.

  121. AnAmericanMother says:

    Whenever I have had independent knowledge of the facts, the news media always get the story wrong in some way or other. Sometimes it’s just on details; sometimes it’s the heart of the story.
    But there’s a big difference between messing up because you are unfamiliar with the story and writing to a deadline, and either setting out to do a hit piece or deliberately lying.
    There are few ordinary reporters so dead to shame and ethics that they will deliberately lie — but there are some.

  122. Blog Goliard says:

    I voted for 28th October, because that’s my birthday too.

    (It’s also Bill Gates’…though I don’t know why I’m mentioning him; he’s never answered any of my birthday e-mails with a nice pallet of shiny new Microsoft product, the jerk.)

    I’m delighted to find this out. I keep a special place in my prayer intentions for a young birthday buddy of mine–a toddler who, as it happens, also has a Z in his initials. Effective immediately, you get to join him. (I shall try not to confuse the Z in need of potty-training with the Z in need of defending from the Distorter.)

  123. Son of Trypho says:

    My predictions:
    i. The author will ask, but not answer, the question of why you are incardinated in Italy but living in the US – thereby insinuating that something irregular is going on with you.
    Ideally she would hope to find out some scandal but absent that just raising and leaving open the question will be fine for her purposes.
    ii. The author will suggest that you travel around performing Masses in dioceses where you have no formal credentials – thereby insinuating that you are some loose cannon and hoping that some bishop might start questioning exactly what you are doing etc and cause you a headache of administrative paperwork.
    iii. The author may bring up your conservative moral, political and religious views – thereby damning you in the eyes of her audience and portraying you as an extremist.
    iv. The author will bring up that you are a supporter of the EF – again damning you in the eyes of her audience but also smearing generally the EF community.
    v. The author will selectively quote from your webpage/comments and/or emails – to portray your views out of context as extreme/reactionary/strange/negative etc. I suspect a cheap shot will be made at your cooking comments at the minimum.
    vi. The author may bring up that no accounting is done of donations that you receive (whether that is true or not) – thereby calling into question your financial activities and insinuating that you are living some pampered/irregular/not suitable for clergy lifestyle. I suspect some comment about your travels, cooking, books.
    vii. Some parallel will be made to Fr Corapi – merely to associate you with a disreputable character but also I suspect to try to link up with point vi re. financial irregularities.
    viii. The author may take a cheap shot at you and ask why you appear to be doing very little when there is a priest shortage in the Church – thereby insinuating that there must be something wrong with you for this to be the case and/or that you are lazy/selfish.

    The best thing to have done would have been to publish her questions with your responses on your website before she published. That way she couldn’t distort what you actually said but would have to say unnamed sources said this or that (if she took a position other than your own) which never looks particularly reliable and/or trustworthy.

  124. amenamen says:

    @ Son of Trypho
    I agree with this. An ambush can no longer be successful once the snipers are already exposed to view, and the element of surprise is lost. I am afraid most of her fun has already been spoiled.

  125. Continued prayers for you, Father.

  126. Scott W. says:

    Alternative prediction: The sniper pre-emptively exposed to view decides to play Innocence Abused, write a piece talking about how Fr. Z thought she was going to write a hit piece, but really intended to write a balanced piece and gee-wiz, what’s with all the right-wing paranoia?

    [That may now be the case. Fine. In the meantime, I am hoping that anyone who received a phone call or email from her will will send a note to me…. or so I have been counseled to request.]

  127. CJM says:

    Father, you have been an integral part of my “reconversion” and “re-enchantment” with Catholicism [Ahhhh! Very cool. My work here is done!] and many young students in my age cohort feel the same way. You have become a household name among most of the students and professors around here so I think an interview with John Allen would be merited, but your humility is nonetheless admirable. What I can tell you is this: This Sunday after dinner there will be nearly a dozen or more students from the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology and some of the other schools here at the Graduate Theological Union who will be praying for you during our evening devotion. [That is very gracious! Thanks a million and give my personal greeting to them in that moment and my expressions of gratitude.]

  128. Luke Whittaker says:

    Your unfortunate situation with Zagano reminds me of an Abraham Lincoln story that Bishop Sheen once related to his listeners. Lincoln was entering a hospital and as he rounded the corner he accidently bumped into a young man who then fell to the ground. As the young man rose from the ground he scornfully retorted: “Why don’t you watch where you’re going you big tall lanky fool?” Mr. Lincoln then responded, “Young man, what’s bothering you on the inside?”

    I vote for the missing choice in the poll: “Zagano’s article will never see publication.”

  129. chiners says:

    Prayers for you Father. I will offer Mass for your intentions on Tuesday

    Perhaps you will remember in your prayers the priests, deacons and people of the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, many of whom are suffering at the hands of the press and some of whom are not getting the support they should from the Church.

  130. Well, she answered me. I take it as a compliment that I have been officially classified as an “angry defensive ultra-right.” May Our Mother of Sorrows pray for her.

  131. AnAmericanMother says:

    “Defensive” is a term of abuse used only by political liberals. It means that you said something they don’t like, but can’t effectively respond to.
    “Angry”? Can you say “projection”?
    And of course applying the political terms “left” and “right” to religion, because to her religion is politics.
    I swear you can’t make this stuff up.
    Don’t give it another thought. She’s obviously very hostile and confused and looking for somebody or something to unload all that free-floating emotion on, and you just happened to be standing there. Tell you what — if you’ll offer a prayer for her, I will too . . . .

  132. CatherineC says:

    Mary’s words to Juan Diego come to mind…. “Am I not here, I, who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not the source of your joy? Are you not in the hollow of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? ”

    I think it is very good for you to write about this. God bless you, Fr! I pray Mary will continue to keep you in the folds of her starry mantle:-)

  133. mike cliffson says:

    …mother, brothers, sisters, 100 for one (even in this life)
    .. with persecution.
    Oh golly, even more to pray for. Envy tibetan prayerwheels.

    [Nice spin!]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  134. Praying for you, Fr. Z! I’ll offer tonight’s rosary for you and for your protection from the snares of the devil. God bless you for all you have done to bring me and so many countless others closer to Him and to experiencing His transcendence in the liturgy.

    Know that you have much support in your trials. You have many friends (apparently, so many that Facebook won’t allow you to receive any more friend requests…) But most important, you have God. Et si Deus pro nobis quis contra nos?

  135. jules1 says:

    uffff I absolutely detest women dissenters. They will NEVER represent me as a catholic women! I say- get a life Phyllis! (preferably a real christian one).
    Don’t worry Fr Z, I’ll pray for Phyllis’ true conversion.

  136. Thank you AnAmericanMother. It never occurred to me that they think of Religion as politics, but it does make so much sense. If it is politics, they can manipulate and try twist the truth to fit their own agenda. I will pray for her and her conversion to the full truth of the Catholic Faith.
    God bless you

  137. AnAmericanMother says:

    Exactly, Catherine.
    In politics, there is no truth — there is only what the amoral political animal can persuade a majority to accept. When reason doesn’t get the political animals the desired result, they resort to bribery, treachery, character assassination, and bullying to get what they want.
    I saw this up close and personal in the Episcopal church, my former home (such as it was). The denomination was destroyed by political agitation by those who wanted to deify the politically liberal/radical goals — feminism, ‘gay rights’, extreme environmentalism, abortion, and the nanny state as a substitute for actual Christian charity. Since the ruling body of that group is run by majority vote and lay delegates, they were able to remake the denomination — regardless of truth.
    They got what they wanted, but now the denomination is bleeding members, because truth is not subject to a majority vote and politics is not religion, no matter how you try to dress it up.
    I see the usual suspects are hard at work in the Catholic Church, but they’re not making as much headway as they hoped after their triumph over the Episcopalians.
    God bless you too, and I will pray for her conversion as well. While there’s life there’s hope.

  138. Luke Whittaker says:

    Many dissenters adhere to the philosophy of Sun Tzu, whether wittingly or unwittingly. “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting”, a quote from Sun Tzu who also wrote that all war is based on deception. Progressives often advance their cause by implementing changes or making statements and then remaining silent when a dialogue is requested. It is a good strategy, but not an honest one.

    But when you have a progressive who tries to pick fights it begs the question, “Why stray from the party line?” “Projection” does seem to be the answer: The defense mechanism whereby a person subconsciously denies his or her own characteristics by ascribing them to other people. If a person imagines that a group of other people are not who they say they are and it causes say, anger, then the attribute of insincerity really lies within the imagination of that person. Hopefully the root cause of this mechanism is a healthy conscience still at work. And may conscience win out in the end.

  139. RichR says:

    I wonder if an article by Ms. Zagano will set off an avalanche of unwelcome attention focused on the doctrinal aberrations of NCR.

    It’s hard to hide the dirty laundry when you wave it from the rooftop.

  140. JuliB says:


    Like diezba – I too think of myself as a part-time online “parishioner” of yours.

    I have learned so much and sharpened my thinking skills as a result of this blog. While it was H.E. Archbishop Sheen’s TV ministry that brought me home to God and Church (after 25 years of atheism) 5 or 6 years ago, you are the priest that continues to feed me.

    Son of Trypho’s predictions are probably EXACTLY what she will write, if she writes at all. I will continue to keep you in my prayers. Perhaps with several orthodox ‘big names’ falling (Corapi, etc) she is hoping to bring you down as just like them…

  141. Thanks for your kind words. We shall see if anything comes forth from Ms. Zagano.

    In the meantime, I will probably post soon asking those who were contacted by her to drop me a line. I have been counseled to gather a list of names.

  142. Tina in Ashburn says:

    Sheesh. I feel left out. Am I the only human left not contacted by Ms. Zagano?

    I’ve been effectively offline for about 10 days so I missed all this bruhaha.
    Fr Z, so very sorry that you have to go through this. I too depend on your blog for succinct information on pertinent subjects, for intelligent information from the educated and polite comments, and I have made many friends through this blog. There is also humor and lightheartedness here. My Faith is strengthened here, my prayer life is more constant. I am grateful for the reminders to pray, for stories on saints, for various explanations on the spiritual “stuff”. …and the bird pictures and cooking demonstrations.

    Its a shame that anger against the tenets of the Catholic Church blinds so many to Its beauty. Maybe it is rooted in envy? I am confounded by how the truest friends I have are devout Catholics and friends of Our Lady. I pray that Ms. Zagano will come to know the Catholic Church AS IT REALLY IS, and the love of Its children.

    You are in my prayers Father. As a priest, you are under the special protection of Mary, and she is unbeatable!!!

  143. skull kid says:

    This was a most interesting post Father – thanks!

  144. Anglian says:

    I am sure you know this, but wanted simply to say that to many of us out here you are a constant help in troubled times; thank you Father, and may Our Lady cast her mantle over you.

  145. pinoytraddie says:

    Fr Z

    I Know this Blog because of A Fellow Traddy’s Blog(and Fellow Filipino to Boot),without It I Would still Remain A Liturgical Liberal Today!

    You Revitalized My Interest in Latin and The Gregorian Chants.

    You Even Introduced Me to the Extraordinary Form and The Ad Orientem Novus Ordo.

    I Even Read Blogs that are Similar to Yours.(Without You and My Friend,I Would be In Ignorance)

    Glory to God for Sending Me Fr John T. Zulhsdorf!!!!

    Prayers for You ,The Bishops,and Ms.Zagano!

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