Bp. Morlino (D. Madison) – super sermon to converts about “moralistic therapeutic deism”

His Excellency Most Reverend Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, gave a super sermon to converts who will enter the Church at Easter.  It was for the Rite of Election on the First Sunday of Lent.

Here is a phrase that you should pound into your heads: moralistic therapeutic deism.

That is the religion of our time.

And, he tells the converts that they are going to enter the Barque of Peter… which is a ship… a battleship, not a cruise-ship.  

He talks about the Enemy, the Devil. He never gives up.

“There’s no such thing as a Catholic who is pro-choice, or pro-gay marriage, or pro-restriction of religious freedom.”

Here is the audio:

Biretta tip to From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    The expression is not new:

    Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

  2. jhayes says:

    Charle E, Flynn, thanks for the link to the Wikipedia article. I found this definition interesting:

    “The authors find that many young people believed in several moral statutes not exclusive to any of the major world religions. It is this combination of beliefs that they label Moralistic Therapeutic Deism:

    A god exists who created and ordered the world and watches over human life on earth.

    God wants people to be good, nice, and fair to each other, as taught in the Bible and by most world religions.

    The central goal of life is to be happy and to feel good about oneself.

    God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem.

    Good people go to heaven when they die.

    These points of belief were compiled from interviews with approximately 3,000 teenagers.[5]”

  3. The Sicilian Woman says:

    The conservative blogger Rod Dreher has had several posts on Moralistic Therapeutic Deism for at least the past couple years. It’s the religion of relevancy, not Truth.

    Morlino for Pope!

  4. AdDeum says:

    WOW! The more I read (and hear) Bp Morlino, the more I like him! We definitely need more Bishops like him… and (Arch) Bishop Sample!

  5. acardnal says:

    More excellent recorded homilies of Bishop Morlino can be found here:

  6. Mary T says:

    Thanks for this! I was able to have dinner with Bishop Morlino at a conference last year, and hear him speak as well – he is simply fabulous.

  7. Joboww says:

    Thanks Father Z for the upload. Also a while back you mentioned being at the Knights of Divine Mercy and hearing an excellent talk by His Excellency, I found that the talk is now up on thier website: http://www.knightsofdivinemercy.com/audio-archive/

  8. PostCatholic says:

    You beat to the punch, Charles E Flynn. Soul Searching is a very good read.

  9. Charles E Flynn says:


    You are welcome.

    The line “God does not need to be particularly involved in one’s life except when God is needed to resolve a problem” seems to suggest that God is not on duty, but is on call.

  10. May God bless Bishop Morlino, and may he bless us by giving us more shepherds of Bishop Morlino’s directness and clarity of speech to us faithful, so that we may never lack an understanding of the truth and what is required in following our Lord.

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    I hope he keeps preaching it, because it’s not only converts that have the “moralistic therapeutic deism” belief system.

  12. Diane at Te Deum Laudamus says:

    Father Z, and anyone else interested, I’ve captured a partial transcript of the first 7 minutes or so of the homily.

    This was one of the best homilies of our time, I think. For those without time to listen, see my post for a quick read of the heart of his message.


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