Hacker group with a spotty record threatens Diocese of Columbus

At the onset I direct the readers attention to Fr. Z’s Litany for the Conversion of Internet Thugs (2.0)

There is a hacking group called Anonymous – made up of people… or maybe use a person … not brave enough to furnish names and probably pretty young – are threatening the Diocese of Columbus in a gesture of pro-homosexual anti-Catholic bullying.

First, they issued a video about a week ago, which is on the site of the ABC TV affiliate in Columbus:

Then there is this:

Ah… anti-Catholic tolerance!

This looks like the work of a confused 15 year old.

You may recall that the Diocese fired a teacher at a diocesan school because the teacher publicly revealed that she is not only homosexual but in a homosexual relationship. The diocesan contracts have morality clauses. There is now a push on the part of anti-Catholic, pro-homosexual activists to force the Catholic Diocese to violate the moral tenets of Church and rehire the teacher. More HERE

You might say a prayer for and send an encouraging note to Bp. Campbell:

His Excellency
Most Rev. Frederick Campbell
Bishop of Columbus
198 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, The future and our choices, The Last Acceptable Prejudice, Throwing a Nutty and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. acardnal says:

    Not to worry. I’m sure Obama is on top of this and has instructed the Justice Dept and the FBI to investigate. Right? After all, this is religious discrimination, a civil rights violation, a hate crime.

    I saw a Tweet today presumably from a priest in the Columbus diocese who said protesters disrupted a Catholic service today.

  2. acardnal says:

    Just to be clear, I was referring to “anonymous”‘s actions not the bishop’s action in my above comment.

  3. Of course, confused 15 year olds can blow people up, or gun down lots of people.

    I note that they chose that time and place because there was an ordination going on in the Cathedral, just a stone’s throw away.

    Whether Anonymous or simply anonymous, I also note that threats have been pouring into the little school.

    Threats to places that children frequent are just plain evil.

  4. Holy Souls Hermitage: You have an excellent point. You would think that the FBI would be all over this.

  5. @Fr Z — Don’t think they’re not!

  6. JackG says:

    A couple of years ago, Anonymous hacked into a website for which I had a subscription, stole my credit card info and e-mail address and charged my account — and few thousand other people also got hit. I got my money back. I have no use for these people.

  7. Matt R says:

    Pray of course.
    But they have zero understanding of irony: using a Guy Fawkes mask while going after the Catholic Church is ironic. Just a little bit. Or maybe more.

    [Are you kidding? I doubt the teens involved in this have the slightest idea of what that mask is all about.]

  8. James Joseph says:

    ‘Zactly what immediately came to mind, “Guy Fawkes?!” Odd.

  9. Pingback: Hacker group with a spotty record threatens Diocese of Columbus | Jonah in the Heart of Nineveh

  10. McCall1981 says:

    Sent Bishop Campbell a supportive note, we should all pray for him and the diocese.

  11. CGPearson says:

    @Matt R…My very thoughts exactly. As far as these bed-wetters are concerned, that mask is just the V for Vendetta guy. They haven’t the faintest idea of what the real history behind Guy Fawkes is.

  12. Joseph Mendes says:

    The voice appears to be that of Apple’s artificial voice, Alex.

  13. frjim4321 says:


    I don’t think this helps anything.

  14. Elizabeth D says:

    The destructive and vicious anti-Catholic group Call-to-Action has also had a campaign regarding what they call “church worker rights” which means they want to force Catholic Churches to employ anti-Catholic activists and to be prevented from dismissing employees for immorality, and they are definitely on top of this story. Although it’s conceivable that teenage anarchists could think up attacking the Church for having a morality requirement for school teachers, it’s also conceivable that there is enough overlap of CTA members and anarchists that some CTA people were involved in promoting this to Anonymous.


  15. Gail F says:

    My son (16) thinks Anonymous are fantastic. “They only go after bad people who do bad things, Mom!” (YES of course we have taught him the difference between right and wrong, but so far it’s only sticking about half the time.) That is the crowd Anonymous appeals to — sophomoric kids who admire their “daring” attempts to “take down” the powerful, bad people by stealth. They hacked the Vatican last year. They use the Guy Fawkes mask because it is from the movie “V” — which is from the graphic novel (comic book series) “V for Vendetta.” The comic book is anarchist; the movie less so. Alan Moore, the graphic novel’s author — who has also become a pornographer — refused to have his name on the movie credits because he said it wasn’t anarchist enough to convey his artistic intentions. I have never gotten all the way through either but they story has to do with corrupt politicians in England and a mysterious figure wearing the Guy Fawkes mask who takes them on. The movie ends with Parliament blowing up while Queen Amidala (whatever that actress’s name is) watches, and I think a whole bunch of people put on Guy Fawkes masks because they are all joining the cause, whatever it is.

  16. Gail F says:

    Oh, and I think that might be a fake Anonymous video, especially the second one with all the footage.

  17. NBW says:

    Shouldn’t their videos be flagged on Youtube?

  18. StJude says:

    Do these idiots know Guy Fawkes was a Catholic?

    We live in creepy times. Prayers for the Columbus Diocese.

  19. Maltese says:

    Young terrorist punks.

  20. It is very easy to misunderstand what Anonymous is and what it stands for. Specifically, Anonymous does not really exist, and does not stand for anything.

    Anonymous is not really “a group”, much less a person. But what it is, is the name people use when they do certain things. When young internet ‘hacktivists’ (broadly associated with 4chan, at least originally) decide to do whatever it is they want to do, typically they will call themselves “Anonymous”. So it is less of an actual group, and more of what we mean when we talk about “black-bloc anarchists” or “the TEA Party”. It describes how they typically act and what their motivations might be.

    This is opposed to a group like, for instance, LulzSec, which is/was an actual group with identifiable members and a more or less unified set of goals.

    People calling themselves Anonymous have done a few good things, and a few very bad things, but history does not mean a lot because they do not persist as a stable group.

    Basically, anyone can claim to be Anonymous, and if they claim they are, then they are. That is why understanding them is very difficult- there is no ‘them’ to understand.

  21. AdMajoremDeiGloriam says:

    Those newly ordained priests will likely get a firsthand look at exactly what the Devil wants to do to them.

    There is a meme floating around about the irony of the Guy Fawkes mask. As Gail noted, the mask is used because of recent pop culture references. Personally, I don’t think these people know who Guy Fawkes was.

  22. Cafea Fruor says:

    So they scheduled their “Fight for Right” for 4:00 p.m. on a Friday? Those confused 15-year-old kids may very well be from one of the Columbus Catholic high schools, which I think get out around 3:30 (unless things have changed since I lived in Columbus) — they may even be from Bishop Watterson itself. Perhaps Ms. Hale was a favorite teacher of theirs or something. And they probably said 4:00 to allow just enough time to get from school to this nonsense. Of course that’s conjecture, but it is about a 20-minute drive to the Cathedral downtown from Watterson, so the timing is just about right. If I were the FBI, and if the FBI were actually concerned about this threat, I’d take a serious look at the students of Watterson as its source.

    Adults, on the other hand, are generally smart enough not to schedule anything at the tail end of the work week (and most people are still working at 4:00) if they actually want anyone to show up, unless of course, the event is a happy hour, but most of those don’t really start until the majority of the work force gets out at 5:00.

  23. Liz says:

    I also sent an email to the bishop. God bless him! The list of bishops and priests to pray for is getting so long, that I often begin to forget some in order to add more. It’s crazy, but we will continue to pray.

    You can join this novena for priests (already in progress) over at Holy Souls Hermitage: http://holysoulshermitage.com/2013/04/30/the-judas-crisis-a-special-request-for-priests-1-9-may-2013/

  24. MarcAnthony says:

    Literally every single one of my friends except maybe two or three supports gay marriage. Seriously. And of those three I’m the only one who feels really strongly about it.

    These are good people, mind you, some great people. Almost all of them pro-life. They see gay marriage as a civil rights issue, and that’s that. If you oppose it, you’re bigoted.

    Anyway, the reaction I’ve noticed by my friends to this whole scenario is rather chilling. A friend posted the original story of the teacher and got a good 20 to 30 comments talking about how horrible the school is and how “that’s why we need anti-discrimination laws” – in other words, Catholic schools should be forced to hire practicing homosexuals, because to do otherwise is an infringement on their civil rights.

    I am one of those people who is not sure if this women should have been fired or not. I tend to lean toward “not” most of the time. BUT-people’s reactions, Anonymous included, have been chilling to say the least. And yeah, Anonymous is ultra-popular among High School and college age people, and they have done good things in the past. As far as I know I’m the only one of my friends who has never really trusted them or liked them-vigilante justice of their type does more harm than good ultimately.

    Just read the comments of Yahoo articles, though. People love Anonymous. Oh, I know those comments aren’t indicative of all of America’s reaction. Of course not. But they at least have a strong following.

    At any rate, people’s reactions to this story have frightened me and I don’t think the Church in America is heading for good times any time soon.

  25. MacBride says:

    I was thinking the first video looked like a female..dressed as a male…

    It is all very sad.

  26. iPadre says:

    Anonymous is a coward. He has to hide behind a mask.

    This is only the beginning of more anti-Catholic bias. Put on the armor of God – frequent Confession, Adoration, Our Lady, study. Those who don’t live an intense Catholic life, will not survive the trial.

  27. VexillaRegis says:

    MacBride: I don’t think this person is female. He ha very big hands, is flat-chested and seems to have a rather well developed Adam’s apple. But I may be wrong.

    Nice friends she’s got, Ms Hale.

  28. Fr. Thomas Kocik says:

    “United as one. Divided by zero.”
    Divide any number by zero and you get… ERROR! An illegitimate operation

  29. The Masked Chicken says:

    Ah, script-kiddies. Gotta love ’em.

    This is just proof, positive, that intelligence does not correlate with moral goodness. There are a few really experienced older members of Anonymous who sort of direct the traffic flow, but a large portion are simply activating a script when told to which leads to a DDoS attack. It is a pity these kids don’t get involved with more uplifting pursuits, such as helping the homeless or teaching older people basic computer skills. No blistered hands for them. I sincerely doubt that any one of them has ever spent time on the street, homeless or even have children. Such experiences really sharpen the sense of what is important in life.

    No, most don’t know who Guy Fawkes was or else they would not be using a symbol of a man who, ultimately failed. Perhaps, they, the people of Anonymous, think of him as a man who, “fought the good fight,” but since that fight was for Catholicism, in this case, their intentions are deliciously ironic.

    Oh, and about using the Alex voice, shouldn’t they have used Jane?

    Personally, I would love to take on a member of Anonymous in a real discussion about theology and philosophy. Most, if they are of the gee-whiz kid type, think that Lawrence Krauss or Richard Dawkins are the height of philosophical subtly. Most have only a vague concept of right and wrong. Since not all of Anonymous is composed of Americans, one cannot only blame this on the American educational system, but, rather, a sense of entitlement among the well-off. They are entitled to tell people what they think (which, of course, is exactly what is morally right, so they will tell you). Intelligent kids often develop their own moral code and it is only later in life, if they are lucky, that they discover the difference between intelligence and wisdom. The moral law is an expression, not of intellect, but of wisdom and wisdom comes with suffering. It is, exactly, in this area, that these immature hackers lack any sort of real truth.

    They seem to forget that the principle tool of the Devil is secrecy. Indeed, they are not Anonymous, they are secret – they hide, not from a sense of love and protectiveness of others, but for the same old tired reason of every criminal – they are afraid to get caught. Every righteous act carries with it the realization that in the doing of it, one dies to self for another. Anonymous, far from dying to self, lives for the applause. Oh, they will disagree, but when something right and true has been accomplished, there is always a sense of sadness, of loss at its end, that a part of one’s life has been spent, but spent well. Ask any musician. Yes, there is a sense of elation after the concert is over, but there is also a sense that one has given away some of one’s life to the audience. It is that sense of loss that follows every concert, indeed, every moral act, that is a sign that a seed of wisdom has been planted.

    Anonymous would know nothing of that, for they will not suffer. Indeed, they dishonor the memory of Guy Fawkes, because he was willing to suffer for what he believed.

    No, these people will never go to bed hungry, even though they claim to fight for the disenfranchised. Let them know rejection; let them know how contingent life is; let them know how precious the next moment might be, then, let them come to me and tell me they have done a good thing by their actions.

    Cowards, no, more – vindictive cowards, they are. They claim to be intelligent and 733t, but they know nothing of mercy, only solving problems and getting their reward. They think in ones and zeros, good and bad, right and wrong, without understanding a thing of the fact that any sin must involve at least the number two – indeed, one cannot sin except by harming another and harm is all they know.

    They claim to do good, but I ask – whose good? They are like a God of vapor, being blown by one prevailing wind after another with no consistency. They have no claim to morality because any true morality must be, as any parent knows, consistent. Indeed, they have bought into lie after lie because they seem not to be capable of true reflective thought. They seem to let past episodes of Candid Camera be their guide to who is right and who is wrong, or, perhaps, it is who can cry the loudest or shed the most tears. Ladies and Gentlemen of Anonymous, I submit to you that the bravest men hold their tears closest to their heart. Call him God or a wise man or even a fool, but one thing Christ did not do was cry out, nor even assert his right to a fair trial – and you will never understand why. Bravery is a near-cousin of the Good and yet, you misunderstand the entire nature of bravery if you think that it is brave to demand anything for yourself. If the cause is just, you have no need to demand anything – at a suitable time, even the stones will speak in your defense. No, if your cause is just, you have one duty and one duty only – to live in the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

    Indeed, in the case at hand, who, I ask you, has been living in the truth? Who has set out to ignore what they knew, for many years, to be something that would upset the other? Who is really lying, here? Certainly, the one for whom you fight knows nothing of concern for the beliefs of others, for, after all, it was she who sought them out for a job. As long as she lives under their house, she is to obey their rules – or haven’t you learned that rule from your parents?

    Really, you have no concept of what is right or true in this situation because you are steeped in the sin of arrogance. Even a bully can add 2 + 2, so simply being intelligent is no guarantee that your point of view is correct.

    All I can say to you, as someone who has suffered much more than any single one of you, that you have not merited the privilege to be doing what you are doing. You are like the spoiled brat, Trelane, from the Star Trek episode, The Squire of Gothos. In response to you, Lt. Commander Spock said it, best:

    “I object to you. I object to intellect without discipline; I object to power without constructive purpose.”

    Take the plank from your own eyes, that you may see.

    The Chicken

    P. S. Sorry. I didn’t intend to go on.

  30. Peter Rother says:

    Masked Chicken,
    Your comment was profoundly wise, both inspired and inspiring, and not just for the concrete case at hand, but for every person who calls himself Catholic. The yoke of Christ is hard for those who do not understand it, but easy (meaning not ease, rather elegant simplicity) and compelling for those who do. Of many statements you made, I was transfixed in particular by the following: “Every righteous act carries with it the realization that in the doing of it, one dies to self for another.” Kudos to you, Sir.

  31. Denis says:

    Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but “anon” is an anagram of “onan.”

    On a side note, when you google “anagram,” at the top of the search result page you’ll find “Did you mean nag a ram?” Google has a sense of humor!

  32. The Masked Chicken says:

    Well, you see the difference between The Church and Anonymous is that we can still do our jobs without electricity :)

    Oh, a note to Fr. Z: might you consider upping your vigilance for the next few days? While I can’t be sure, Anonymous might decide to go after supporters of the Columbus Diocese or I could be paranoid. I’d say there’s a fifty/fifty chance of either one.

    The Chicken

  33. Aquino says:

    I fear that this is not the end of all the things that are to come. Hold on to your faith brothers and sisters it is the only thing that will keep you safe:

    Lord have mercy on this ignorant man, may you show him the truth, and have mercy on all us for we are also sinful just as he. Lord help us to spread the gospel by word and deed, and that this may come to pass.

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