Fr. Z muses and rants

There is an especially awful story about clergy in Rome circulating right now.

Once upon a time, I was walking under the colonnade of St. Peter’s Square with an especially well-placed curial official, nay rather, institution.

I asked him if it were true that Masons (the European style Masons, not the US style) had infiltrated the Church and the Roman Curia.

He stopped and looked around. He leaned in, lowered his voice, and said, “Yes. But they are not the ones people talk about.”

Many years ago, also in Rome, I stayed for a while at the Czech College. They were almost paranoid when it came to outsiders. Eventually, someone told me that when they did some renovations of rooms, they found listening devices planted in the walls. They had been infiltrated by seminarians that were actually working for government agencies.

Also in Rome, I lived for a couple summers at a Ukrainian Catholic residence when my own place was under renovation. Some of these old guys had survived Stalin. There was a concern that KGB plants would manage to get in.

For a long time in certain circles there was a great concern that Masons, communists and homosexuals had systematically infiltrated the Church for the purpose of eventually attaining high positions and influence and so under mine or twist the Church and her mission from within.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you may be sputtering, “You don’t believe any of this, do you? Even though you obviously hate Vatican II, do you buy this stuff?”

I do buy it, yes.

But when I hear about scandalous stories involving Church figures, I tend to shrug. They are only the very edge of a slimy underbelly.  Sin isn’t rare.

On the other hand…

There are those who hate the Church with as much hate as we love the Church. They are organized, they have a great resources, they have a Dark Prince. Dreadful liberal publications and websites, and even the blitherings of some priests and bishops, are only shadows of the deeper agenda flickered out on the back of the cave for popular consumption by barely witting dupes.

Deeper enemies, like our own beautiful missionaries and martyrs of ages past, are willing to set aside their appetites, put on a facade, and endure for patient years for the sake of a long term plan.

Yes, I buy it. I have seen manifestations of communist, Masonic, and especially homosexual networking in the Church both in the USA and in Rome. It would be stupidly naive to think that it isn’t present. In the USA, Masonic and communist? Maybe not so much.  Elsewhere, yes.  The other thing?  Ohhhh, yes.

Those agents will probably go to Hell.  Let us remember that the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church.

However, Our Lord did not promise that Hell would not prevail in these USA or, in the Roman Curia, in any other particular place.

When you hear awful stories, do not become discouraged.

We are nearing some kind of turning point. I think it is time to press forward HARD and with courage to renew our Holy Church’s liturgical worship, the best, clean antidote.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Cri de Coeur, Liberals, Our Catholic Identity, Pò sì jiù, The future and our choices, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. McCall1981 says:

    I wonder what kind of turning point we are nearing?

  2. Liz says:

    Thank you, Fr. Z.

  3. Matt R says:

    First, I am going to Confession tomorrow….just a reminder for everyone else!

  4. Liz says:

    I mean for reminding us not to become discouraged!

  5. inexcels says:

    The world gets stranger with every passing day. Sometimes it feels a little surreal going about my daily routine while knowing about all the rampant evil lurking in the shadows. But it’s not like one can simply abdicate one’s responsibilities, so keep calm and carry on I suppose.

  6. tgarcia2 says:

    I don’t really understand the hate towards the Masons (perhaps I need to research it more) but, there’s a difference between the US and European ones? Never figured that.

    As far as homosexual priests…all we can do is pray for them to do what is needed in regards to their orientation.

  7. Bella Dodd, who worked for the Communist Party in the New York teachers’ unions and who afterward returned to the Catholic Church under the direction of Ven. Fulton Sheen, said that the Soviets planted agents in the seminaries back in the ’30s; and Alice von Hildebrand said that Dodd once told her and her husband, Dietrich, that when she was an active party member, she dealt with four cardinals in the Vatican who were working for the Communists (Latin Mass Magazine interview with Alice von Hildebrand, “Present at the Demolition,” Summer, 2001). Dr. von Hildebrand commented in that same interview on the naivete of Americans when it comes to the idea of conspiracies, and points out that the Evil One has conspired against the Church from the very beginning.

    I feel as if a great boil is being lanced.

  8. StWinefride says:

    All I can say is… Thank You, Father!

  9. tgarcia2, read Humanum genus by Pope Leo XIII on Freemasonry. The hatred is actually on the side of the Masons.

    Masons in the United States give the appearance of being more benign, and, in the case of individual Masons, may in fact not personally feel an animus against the Church; but neither the organization itself nor the principles upon which it is founded are benign, and Catholics are forbidden to join.

  10. Ganganelli says:

    Pope Francis doesn’t seem likely to do anything about “communists” and “masons”. Heck, this is the pope who condemned savage capitalism.

  11. majuscule says:

    Thank you, Father Z, and may God bless you and all our faithful priests.

  12. Jean Marie says:

    Miss Anita,
    “I feel as if a great boil is being lanced.” Absolutely! Evil is reaching a climax. I also believe that Obama’s ultimate purpose is to draw unto his person everything that is wicked in America and draw it all to a head. The only thing that remains is how will Our Lord lance it?

  13. Bob B. says:

    Everything does seem stacked against Catholicism at the present time. The Supreme Court decisions, the fake-catholic politicians, not being able to pray in public schools unless you’re Muslim in Michigan, the latest word from the SSPX indicates a “definitive break of talks with the Catholic Church,” and the lying and spying is enough to play upon the mind for a long time.

  14. NBW says:

    Thank you Fr. Z. for giving hope in trying times. The homosexual networking is not new to the Church. St Peter Damian wrote “Liber Gomorrhianus” asking the Pope to take steps to stop the spread of homosexual practices among the clergy this was around 1000 AD. I like what Ms. Moore said: ” I feel as if a great boil is being lanced.” I hope this happens and allows the Church to heal.

  15. Priam1184 says:

    Thank you Father. It makes me feel less crazy to hear you say these things. This is a troubled time and a confused age, and it is the fruit of work that has gone on in the shadows and in dark corners for centuries now. The world, as you say, is turning though and things will change. It remains only for those who believe to endure as Our Lord endured.

  16. mamajen says:

    I don’t for a second doubt that this type of stuff does go on, and it’s very worrying. However, something about this latest story just seems odd to me, and I can’t accept it at face value. The priest is seeking revenge against people who are trying to keep pedophiles out of the Church by outing other pedophiles? Weird. I suppose the scandal would be damaging, or maybe he just has this attitude that if he can’t get his job back, none of the other guilty parties should be able to have theirs either. It just seems an odd way of seeking vengeance, and we know that false accusations are a big problem.

    In any case, I’m praying that Pope Francis can root out much of this evil. Even if this particular story turns out to be bogus, I have no doubt that people within the Church are working against the Church.

  17. Simon Cotton says:

    The Devil is very active in holy places.

  18. moon1234 says:

    Mr. Guido Del Rose was the official escort for the U. S. National Pilgrim Virgin Statue of Our Lady of Fatima, touring the United States and promoting the message of Fatima for decades. He gave a private talk on this very topic back in 1991 and how freemasonry and other groups are attempting to undermine the Church.

    Take a listen to this private talk he gave in 1991. Much of what he says is VERY prophetic:

  19. Legisperitus says:

    Ganganelli: Don’t give up on Pope Francis. Remember that classical liberalism is an outgrowth of Protestantism that has only ever had at best an uneasy alliance with the Catholic Church.

  20. av8er says:

    Thanks Fr. Z. Especially the last paragraph. We need standard bearers in this war like you and Michael Voris.

  21. jenne says:

    I get the impression this boil gets lancer by the blood of martyrdom. The Pope is exhorting us to live this way. Whatever way the Lord brings this to conclusion will need martyrs. Thank you Fr Z! Beautiful liturgies that bring me closer to an encounter with Christ is most necessary. I appreciate what you do and will use that Amazon button in gratitude. Saw your wish list. Will wait till you get back stateside.

  22. Thank you, Father. Somehow, the knowledge of conspiracies against the Church makes me a little more bold in my fighting. Maybe it’s just the adventurer in me, but the more I know that evil really does lurk in the shadows, the more I want to deal with it.
    Instead of just predicting and preparing for red martyrdom, though, let us remember that the white martyrdom is already here. If we can use the everyday verbal, social, and media persecution to prepare for the physical persecution, so much the better.
    Reading about the Elizabethan-era persecution is a great source of joy and inspiration, with all the lay Catholic martyrs as well as those who lost everything but life, in a police state with probably as many spies as the Communists or the Masons.

  23. Konstantin says:

    Thank you Father for speaking out, so many people would usually brush this off as conspiracy nonsense. I think it is time for every good priest to tell what they know unless real prudence, not cowardice, would demand silence.

    I think two great patrons for our time are Saint Ezequiel Moreno OAR (+1906) Bishop of Pasto in Columbia and the Servant of God Vital Maria Goncalves de Oliveira OFM Cap, Bishop of Receife, Brazil (+1877). Good Spanish read about Moreno here:

    Saint Ezequiel was an Augustinian friar, missionary priest in the Philippines and Columbia, missionary Bishop, diocesan Bishop and the great Hammer of Liberalism in Columbia. He stood up for the Church, and those that hated Catholicism hated him. In his last will, he wrote that he didn’t regret speaking out so much, the only thing he regreted was not having spoken out more. He ordered a sign to be put up at his lying in state that said “Liberalism is a sin”.

    Dom Vital fought against Freemasons in his Diocese and was put into jail by the Imperial Government of Brazil, among whose members were powerful Freemasons. He died at the age of 33, there were rumors that he was poisoned. Here’s a good article about him:

  24. iPadre says:

    Very well said! People need to study history. This isn’t the only time we were faced with people who were corrupted or intentionally entered Priesthood & Religious Life to destroy the Church. For those with a strong stomach and trust in God, read the Rite of Sodomy. Despite all of us sinners, the Church goes on – “The gates of hell” will never prevail, despite all of us, sinners. Pray, fast, offer sacrifices, Our Lady told us at Fatima and Lourdes. But she was repeating the words of her Son. We can make a difference. On faithful Catholic is a light in the darkness, many faithful Catholics, and even one alone, make a difference!

  25. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Ganganelli,

    “savage capitalism” is (trivially) bad, because, after all, otherwise it would not be savage. Also, there certainly is such a thing. Whether or not Pope Francis was proportionate in condemning it, which actual examples he meant and whether he was right in meaning them, are other questions.

    But surely you won’t think that to fight against communists, you must embrace what styles itself the opposite? (And is not necessarily really. Communism, as has been pointed out, is what you get when you add a state-monopoly to the most radical capitalism.)

    As to masons, am I right that they are so often among the bourgeois, upper and middle class, “hard working” etc., with the top-hat being the holy emblem of citizenship and all that? Why, then, would it be hard to be anti-mason if you are anti-savage-capitalism?

    As to the general topic,
    I don’t deny there are evil-intentioned conspiracies. But the even greater problem is the well-intentioned (!), but thoroughly ill-informed Fifth Column.

  26. I would also like to add my thanks, Fr. Zuhlsdorf, for being willing to talk about this openly, when so many in the mainstream Catholic media would prefer to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist.

  27. The Astronomer says:

    “mamajen says:
    However, something about this latest story just seems odd to me, and I can’t accept it at face value. The priest is seeking revenge against people who are trying to keep pedophiles out of the Church by outing other pedophiles?”

    My own brother is an active homosexual and he’s told me many times NOTHING will get their blood boiling against another homosexual than thinking ‘something they deserve (professional advancement, or in this case reinstatement to the priesthood) has been denied them by one of their own.’ Loyalty to fellow homosexuals goes right out the window when this happens. I have to believe this happens among homosexual priests as well.

  28. Robbie says:

    Freemasonry was and is a scourge on the Church. It was present during VCII and it remains present today.

  29. pfhawkins says:

    How can Holy Church’s liturgical worship be renewed when her worship has been entrusted to sodomites?

  30. Deo volente says:


    Judas was present at the Last Supper at which the Holy Eucharist was instituted! Christ knew well of the “son of perdition.” So it has always been and always will be. We must storm heaven for our priests, for our Holy Father and to ask God to “deliver us from Evil” (and that is a quote directly from the prayer which Christ asked us to pray, the Pater Noster…). Thanks Fr. Z. for your thoughts!


  31. Time to redouble our prayers, sacrifices and sacramental participation in and for Holy Mother Church ~ Mother Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.
    “originally inspired by a meditation of Saint Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon and martyred in 202) based on the parallel made by Saint Paul between Adam and Christ. Saint Irenaeus, in turn, made a comparison between Eve and Mary, saying: ‘Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it’.” (

    St. Irenaeus, pray for us.

  32. pfhawkins says:

    @Deo Volente

    I agree. We have no cause for despair. My question was strictly about tactics.

  33. John Weidner says:

    Just a minor point, that “gates of Hell” phrase comes from the days of siege warfare. The gate of a town or fortress was a weak point, and was the typical spot to attack. The phrase does not mean “Hell won’t defeat us.” It means we are attacking Hell, and we are going to batter-down the gates, and we won’t be stopped.

  34. mamajen says:

    @The Astronomer

    If the people who denied him his return to employment and the people whom he has accused are one and the same, then it makes sense. If not, it’s rather puzzling. Either way I’m sure the desire for vengeance is great.

    I just think we need to be very careful of rumors. This guy could be playing the “gay lobby” news to his advantage in order to falsely accuse and get ousted the people who would do something about it. The Vatican’s problems will not be easy to unravel.

  35. mamajen says:


    I feel the same way. Knowing these problems exist emboldens me, and pushes me to drag myself to confession. I was recently feeling very angsty about my decision to change parishes, because I worried about how some people would feel. But things like this are like a slap upside the head, and I’ve realized I don’t have time for other people’s feelings that stand in the way of my family’s salvation. I feel at peace now.

  36. Dennis Martin says:

    For John Weidner,

    With respect, I think it’s a distinction without a difference. Yes, the phrase means that hell cannot successfully resist the Church. But that also means that the besieged (Hell) cannot defeat the Church [‘s attack or besieging].

    In some circumstances this image of a besieged Hell unable to hold out against attackers would be different from an attacking Hell unable to win against its attackee (the Church).

    But since Hell and the Church are total opposites and since good and evil are indeed truly Black and White (sorry, all you PoMo advocates of sophisticated grayscale morals), the imagery says

    1. the Church is on the offensive, not the defensive. God is on the offensive against evil, God is not backed into a corner, besieged by Evil.

    2. It’s a battle to the end, there is no middle ground.

    The attackee is also, in the salvation-history struggle, also the attacker and vice versa. And the Victory is assured.

    Therefore, to say that Hell’s gates cannot hold out against the Church is also to say that Hell cannot defeat the Church. Which is more or less what everyone who cites this phrase in support of Catholic ecclesiology has always asserted.

    Thank you for pointing out the underlying reality of the metaphor our Lord used. But I’m not sure that, in the end, it makes a huge difference.

  37. Priam1184 says:

    This particular ex-priest might have an agenda of vengeance and this may have been an influence on him to come forward like this, but it is important to remember that his revenge wouldn’t be very sweet for him or very effective if all he was spewing out was a pack of lies. And come on people, open your eyes: do you doubt that this behavior is entirely and 100% possible among our current crop of clerics and prelates?

  38. John Weidner says:

    Dennis Martin,
    True. But I often see a kind of wimpy defeatist flavor in the common usage. “We are sure to get beat-up, except God will somehow save us in the end. Until then let’s wall off the big ugly world from our little safe-zone parishes.”
    This is related, I think, to the question of why fewer men are in churches than women. (Do a count next Sunday. You will see.) Men respond to dauntless courage, and to boldness, and pugnacity.

  39. Johnno says:

    Dennis Martin –

    There is a difference.

    The gates of Hell will not prevail so long as the Church is on the offensive. This implies a Church taking action to combat evil. It means Catholics getting off their butts to do somthing as if their lives and souls depended on it and are on the line.

    But for a long time now, there are those Catholics who’ve taken a Pollyanna attitude towards the presence of evil in the world and amongst us.

    The phrase that Hell won’t prevail over the Church is thrown out there by many in a dismissive “What me worry?” manner as an excuse to do nothing and let evil foster because God promised He’d come to the rescue like a magical talisman and protect His Church so let’s not get too hasty about taking care of the evil in our midst and just ignore it. This is naievite and the sin of putting God to the test.

    What after all is the criteria that Hell won’t prevail ULTIMATELY against the Church? After all, the Church throughout the entire planet can be eliminated and the whole remaining host of humanity can worship the devil safe for one solitary human being, the Pope, and God can still technically turn it around and therefore the Church twould still triumph wouldn’t it? But what sort of victory will that be? And why are you ignoring our Lord’s challenging questions asking us that when He returns whether or not He will find faith on Earth? Why are you ignoring our Lord’s warnings that only a few out of the masses are saved?

    Would ultimate victory for the Church mean the same scenario as that of Noah’s Ark? The overwhelming majority of mankind lost save for the few on board that ark? Is that the victory you want? What guarantee is there that you and I or our loved ones are on board the Ark – The Church? After all, will not the generals of God’s Church be dragged out and asked to make an accounting for their efforts and failures? Is the watchdog rewarded for letting the fox into the hen house because after all the master will fix everything afterwards?

    The problem with the Church today is that it’s clergy & laity, it’s generals and infantrymen, forgot their place and are now politicians and hippies beliving the infalliable State will protect them and love them. The enemy has not forgetten that this is actually a full scale war however, and is delighted.

    The bishops ought to start reading more of Sun Tzu and less of the Democrat’s guide to taking care of Mother Earth.

  40. mamajen says:

    It seems that the accusing priest has been arrested for libel. Can’t find a link in English, but here:

  41. The_Scott says:

    Thanks for the link, mamajen.

    While I’m not doubting that this story is possible, and I’m sure it is happening somewhere in the world (Kyrie eleison…), I became EXTREMELY suspicious of it when the MSM did not mention a peep of it. You’d think CNN, CBS, MSNBC, and others, would be salivating and jumping all over at this type of story…

    I also find it suspicious that, yesterday around 5 PM Rome time, Voris (from whom I got the initial report) said three people, including a monsignor, were formally put under investigation for the sex ring. And the very next day, three people, including a monsignor, were arrested for entirely different reasons that had nothing to do with any sex ring.

  42. Deirdre Mundy says:

    I have no doubt that the ‘Magesterium of Nuns’ is in it for the long haul. For example, in my community, we have a DRE who belongs to one of the ‘completely off the deep end’ groups of sisters.

    Her program includes: 1. Pulling out every child from PreK through grade 5 for the entire Liturgy of the Word to “increase understanding.” Which means kids are learning that the Gospel and Homily are more fun when Sister reads them. Hey! It’s pretty dumb that Father can be a priest and sister can’t when sister is so much cooler than Father!

    2. Delaying confession until 5th grade, so it coincides with ‘graduation’ from elementary school. The Vatican calls this spiritual abuse and it’s a flagrant violation of canon law. Meanwhile, kids learn that sin isn’t really important and that confession is a once-in-a-long-while thing, not a regular thing. And, frankly, if we hold off forming their consciences until 10 or 11, we’ve lost them.

    3. Making community service the focus of prep for confirmation, which occurs at the end of high school. Message: You earn sacraments through your actions AND Confirmation is like ‘graduating’–you just move on after that.

    Her campaign to undermine the church has worked– kids leave home and leave the church. At first, I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt and assumed she was just ignorant of Church teaching on the catechesis of children, but it’s become clear that she’s deliberately thought through all these moves.

    BUT people will follow nuns anywhere. And the ‘community of women in the Benedictine tradition’ types who don’t mention the Church or the Eucharist anywhere on their websites but have Reiki workshops and invite heretics to give retreats KNOW that. And they use it to undermine the Church.

  43. mrsmontoya says:

    Thank you Father Z.
    I agree the signs point to times of great trial in the near future. There is a book titled “Hidden and Triumphant” about Russian Orthodox iconographers during Soviet-era Russian. I thought of it today, and of something I read about the Russian Orthodox Church’s survival through the 20th Century. I think we can learn much from them, and gain hope from their experience. Prayers for you, all clergy and religious, and all the faithful.

  44. liquidpaw says:

    Pray hard for Holy Father to act quickly, forcefully. Unfortunately, major house cleaning not so likely, given that the Holy Father definitely has significant information on several of the bad apples from his briefings with the Holy Father Emeritus. I mean, lets be real. When men like Cardinal Mahoney and many others of his nature are able to fearlessly and vocally promote heretical teachings (not to mention condone heinous actions) without any hint of being silenced or disciplined, what do we really expect His Holiness to do regarding anything else? So far, a whole lot of nothing has been done, and it will truly require miraculous intervention for that to change under Pope Francis.

  45. liquidpaw says:

    Unless you see Cardinals Ranjith and Burke and men of their caliber being summonsed for advice and help with their leadership to straighten this mess out, don’t anyone hold your breath…hold on to your Rosary tight. A massive onslaught of prayer is the only hope for the necessary change in the immediate future.

  46. yatzer says:

    I wish I were not personally so inclined to wimpishness. That cocoon looks really good, but I am trying to figure out how to be faithful anyhow.

  47. “I think it is time to press forward HARD and with courage to renew our Holy Church’s liturgical worship, the best, clean antidote.”

    But I wonder how many bishops and cardinals agree, and realize that without a determined emphasis on liturgical reform, talk of the new evangelization may result in little more than pious prattle.

  48. Pingback: Friday Free-For-All: CALM DOWN, The House Will Not Disappoint on Immigration! | Nice Deb

  49. doanli says:

    Such a discouraging week.

    I cannot even go to YouTube now without seeing the homosexual agenda. (They have a rainbow heart next to their name.) Cannot watch TV shows I like because there are homosexual couples. I do not hate any homosexuals personally, at all, but I am so sick and tired of their agenda being forced upon me everywhere I turn. I’m even avoiding FaceBook because of all the crowing from the pro-“gay” crowd about this week’s USSC decisions. I’m really feeling like we’re a minority right now, and yet how did this all happen in our lifetimes? How did we let it? I’m sick at the number of CATHOLICS here in the USA who support this, and this President’s agenda. (Or treat “gay marriage” and induced abortions as no big deals, we’ll keep on voting for Democrats anyways…it’s like they turn a blind eye towards it as long as they get their Medicare, Social Security, etc.)

    I had to vent, and thank you, Fr Z, for allowing me to do it. I’m so discouraged that it’s gotten me very depressed. Maybe that’s why I am fighting against allowing myself to become a lukewarm Catholic again. I know the Lord will ultimately win, but at what cost? I’m thinking of these souls, my soul with this rotten culture all around me, my son’s, my family’s, my friends’….where will they ultimately end up?

  50. Catholictothecore says:

    Okay, that’s it. Fr. Z. is not allowed to watch any more horror movies or read mystery novels. It’s comedy from now on.

    I just wanted to lighten it up a bit.

    It doesn’t do anyone any good to read this and feel helpless. Neither am I undermining what you’re reporting, Fr. Z. You know Rome and the Catholic Church better than the rest of us put together. We need all the faithful Catholics and the fallen away/lapsed Catholics to return and fight the evil that has permeated the Catholic Church. With God’s grace anything is possible and doable. We have to continue praying.

  51. netokor says:

    Doanli, give your discouragement to the Lord. He will bear it for you. Without Him we can do nothing. The world hated him first, but, as He said, we must take courage as He has overcome the world.

  52. Sandy says:

    Thank you, Father Z, for your honesty. Miss Anita, right on! We need more von Hildebrands, and they are both heroes of mine. I hope it’s not verboten to mention AA1025, which I read many years ago. It lends credence to this discussion about evil people being planted in the Church decades ago. My understanding is that even our Intelligence communities were aware of it. As for Masonry, why would there have been a powerful encyclical against it, if it were not evil?! God is in control, however! Hold on to our precious Mother Mary!

  53. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I’m really feeling like we’re a minority right now, and yet how did this all happen in our lifetimes? How did we let it?”

    Unfortunately, the major problem, on all sides, was in trusting the wrong people. Back in the 1960’s the laity, most of whom had, at most a CCD education of the faith, thought they were supposed to trust their pastors. The pastors thought they were supposed to trust their bishops (although, some of them knew the score). The bishops thought they were supposed to trust the interpretation of Vatican II given by what they thought were well-meaning, informed prelates and theologians (although many more of them knew the score). Many of the Council Fathers thought they were supposed to trust that the documents they wrote were clear enough to be read, properly (although, it now seems, that a non-negligible fraction knew, otherwise).

    I have to hold the laity the least responsible for the current mess up until the apologetics Renaissance of the early 1990’s, when, with the rise of the Internet and the Catholic convert movement, eyes should have started to open. I hold the most responsible those who, essentially, deconstructed Vatican II into a Council of Ambiguity and their minions who, knowing that in ambiguity, anything goes, implemented their own perverse ideologies.

    The laity did not let this happen. Indeed, what could they have, reasonably, done to stop it, except, of course, become saints? What could priests have done, reasonably, except striven for holiness.

    Let me be blunt: the current problem is almost, entirely, a top-down management problem. Popes are given ecclesiatical power for a reason. It should have been used, sooner, louder, clearer. The minute it became clear that some things about Vatican II were unclear, they should have been clarified. There should have been no reason for an SSPX.

    People in power waited too long. That is the blunt, painful message. The cleansing of the curia is too little, too late, for this generation, and sadly, for the current world. So much for Vatican II’s enthusiasm to show the world the great treasures of the Church’s wisdom! How many people, here (raise your hands), realize that Vatican II was not written for this generation? It belongs to the future. It will be a perfect set of documents for a Church that has become separated from the world and a world that is falling into despair, but it is not for now.

    Now, we little ones must pray, sacrifice, give alms (especially, to the innocent poor), fast, and be above reproach, for we will be hauled, sooner rather than later, into courts to give witness. The martyrs of old had it easy compared to what we will suffer. Who needs to throw you to the lions? In many cases, this will not be a martyrdom of blood. It will be a martyrdom of the mind. Few reading this know the arsenal of weapons available to break the unsuspecting person. Did you know that there is a certain type of anti-depressant that tends to have, as a side-effect, the ability to make people unusually compliant? There are other drugs, as well. There is the constant bombardment of light and sound that can interfere with sleep. This will not be people being thrown into the lion’s den. The types of tortures that man has become adept at through the improper use of science would make even the lions stay away.

    I’m sure that everyone is looking forward to their, “Viva, Cristo Rey,” moment, but it will not happen that way. It will be closer to, “death by a thousand cuts.” What we lay people and priests need to do is to learn to speak slowly, calmly, and clearly, without debate, about what the truth is. We need, most of all, most urgently, of all, to be people of integrity – of uniformity from our heads to our toes in how we act, how we think, how we believe about God. This word will not see the Gospel, again, for many years, if we, lowly little one, do not become living Gospels, ourselves, now. Get Catholic friends. Do not try to go this, alone. Be joyful about God. Make the world envious about what you have that they don’t. God is an abstract idea to the world, to be bought and sold in the bazaars of the mind. It cannot be that way, for us. God must be real. God must be alive. God must, most of all, be here and he can only be here to the rest of the world if he is here, with us.

    Learn Latin, learn Greek, if you want, but most of all, learn the authentic language of love – learn to love God and neighbor with the same unemotionalism and clarity of a Latin conjugation. The world knows nothing of love. Confound it, as Christ confounded it, by your self-control, by you living beatitude.

    I feel as if I am writing to a thousand generations into the future to let them know that we, we happy few, we band of brothers, had their best wishes at heart. If we have any consolation in our knowledge of Christ, let us bequeath it to them as a gift, hidden in the burning heart of Jesus. When, at last, mankind will have emerged from the onslaught to come, when they have, at last turned back to God, they will, then, find our love in his.

    You have everything to live for and everything to die for. In the end, only the Christian knows that they are one and the same.

    The Chicken

  54. LarryW2LJ says:

    Thanks, Fr. Z,

    Almost like you can read minds. But I would suspect that you are very in tune with your followers.

    It’s been a very tough week, and any more, it seems the “Smoke of Satan” has become a full fledged fog.

    So what are we to do when some of our leaders are weak and show us spines of butter? We stand up, like adults and say “No” to the spoiled, misbehaving children who want to walk the wide road instead of the narrow one. And we accept the consequences for following in our Lord’s footsteps and we carry our crosses like He carried His.

  55. The_Scott says:

    So this is kind of big news, if accurate. This comes from the same link that mamajen posted earlier. It has been updated in the meantime with some pretty big pieces of information.

    This is a Google translation (I promise I’ll try to learn Italian!) of certain parts of the article, so it may not be that smooth:

    “”I WOULD HAVE WANTED TO KILL” – So said in a wiretap with his mother, quoted sentences in the order of arrest. A hatred so strong towards priests and monsignori “he accused to have it stuck in the court case in which he was involved for child prostitution,” to the point that if he had the financial resources they would “get killed and they would not even know why.” Not only that, he also wanted as much money as compensation “because the acts for which he was sentenced to five years – he said – they were not real.” Under review by the attorney positions of all the people of whom Poggi has served to confirm his allegations, for which could take the offense of making false statements or obstruction of justice….

    WANTED TO BLACKMAIL THE POPE – He wanted to organize “a real sordid ‘plotted’ in order ‘to cause a scandal with potentially global resonance for the involvement of the closest collaborators of the Roman Curia and, indirectly, of the Supreme Pontiff called upon to assess the pressing demands of Poggi who did not hesitate to show substantial extortion intentions toward the Pope, in order to obtain the return to the clerical state, “said the investigating judge, who called it” burns out “the resentment of the former prelate, ready to hire some killer to kill his enemies.”

    The above from here:

    On another website, it states that:
    “During the investigation [it was] also revealed that Poggi has planned to build false witness evidence concerning abuse of minors committed by persons whom he denounced, in order to further substantiate his statements. The man has also tried to influence some people he cites as witnesses so that, summoned by the court to be heard as a person informed of the facts, fornissero a version consistent with the framework outlined by him in the complaint. Poggi was imprisoned in Regina Coeli.”

    From here:

    I don’t know how accurate these are…but it’s something.

  56. Kathleen10 says:

    Ugh, what a discouraging week. A real stinker. It’s just awful. For my part I am taking up the piano again so I don’t have to watch tv anymore. I’m buying a self-teaching program and that will keep me busy. I plan on quasi-activism combined with retreat from reality as a life plan. Yes, the crowing of the “victors” and their supporters is insufferable. I too, feel stunned at what our country has become in a span of ten years, with the ones since Obama a surreal kind of downward spiral. From 1960 or so until now, 50 years, and I guess that’s enough time to collapse a culture. I guess we were blessed to have seen better times when we were younger and grow up in a better culture. God help children growing up now, and that is the part that hurts the most. The children. The idea that someone will teach them evil and call it good is almost too much to bear. God, not the children.
    Yes thank you, Fr. Z., and the good priests who post here, ipadre and all. You give me hope, and I thank you. I also appreciate the insights Fr. Z. As someone aptly put it, we hear so little about these things, and yet we know. It’s helpful to hear someone talk about it openly! Perhaps in our imaginings and trying to connect dots we may make it worse than it is, if that’s possible. Anyway all the comments give me hope. This is a community and it’s a place for solace.
    I agree something’s coming. Maybe that’s because I can’t imagine the Good Lord leaving us in this newly developed Hell Hole we used to call our beautiful United States.

  57. Bea says:

    Why am I not surprised?

    Prayer, Penance and Fasting are our best fighting tools.
    Frequent Sacraments, too, of course.

    John 15: [18] If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you. [19] If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

    White martyrdom may soon become Red martyrdom. A cause to rejoice: that we are one with Christ, even in suffering.

  58. StWinefride says:

    The Masked Chicken: “Let me be blunt: the current problem is almost, entirely, a top-down management problem….People in power waited too long. That is the blunt, painful message”.

    A few quotes about the Third Secret of Fatima:

    Cardinal Mario Luigi Ciappi:
    In the Third Secret it is foretold, among other things, that the great apostasy in the Church will begin at the top.

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on why the Third Secret has not been released: (

    Because, according to the judgement of the Popes, it adds nothing (literally: ‘nothing different’) to what a Christian must know concerning what derives from Revelation: i.e., a radical call for conversion; the absolute importance of history; the dangers threatening the faith and the life of the Christian, and therefore of the world. And then the importance of the ‘novissimi’ (the last events at the end of time). If it is not made public – at least for the time being – it is in order to prevent religious prophecy from being mistaken for a quest for the sensational (literally: ‘for sensationalism’). But the things contained in this ‘Third Secret’ correspond to what has been announced in Scripture and has been said again and again in many other Marian apparitions, first of all that of Fatima in what is already known of what its message contains. Conversion and penitence are the essential conditions for ‘salvation’.” Jesus Magazine, 11 November 1984

    Father Joaquin Alonso, for sixteen years was the official archivist of Fatima. Before his death in 1981, Father Alonso stated the following important conclusions concerning the Third Secret: (

    It is therefore completely probable that the text makes concrete references to the crisis of faith within the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves [and the] internal struggles in the very bosom of the Church and of grave pastoral negligence by the upper hierarchy.
    In the period preceding the great triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, terrible things are to happen. These form the content of the third part of the Secret. What are they? If ‘in Portugal the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved,’ … it can be clearly deduced from this that in other parts of the Church these dogmas are going to become obscure or even lost altogether.
    Thus it is quite possible that in this intermediate period which is in question (after 1960 and before the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary), the text makes concrete references to the crisis of the Faith of the Church and to the negligence of the pastors themselves.
    Does the unpublished text speak of concrete circumstances? It is very possible that it speaks not only of a real crisis of the faith in the Church during this in-between period, but like the secret of La Salette, for example, there are more concrete references to the internal struggles of Catholics or to the fall of priests and religious. Perhaps it even refers to the failures of the upper hierarchy of the Church. For that matter, none of this is foreign to other communications Sister Lucy has had on this subject.

    Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  59. jflare says:

    I’ve watched a few Vortex episodes this week that first informed us of a problem BIG news item coming, then we learned about the gay sex ring. I guess I should be furious and horrified, but in the end, mostly I’m simply relieved.
    I think part of my reaction may be because..this ultimately strikes me as the latest chapter in the same old story. Ultimately, whether it’s communists, masons, homosexuals, gays, or whomever, the story always comes out the same: Somebody hates the Church, executes a plan to bring the Church to its knees from the inside, then ultimately winds up being exposed for..whatever..and the whole deck of conspiring cards comes tumbling down. Rapidly!
    I remember being moderately depressed as i read “The Family”, a story by Mario Puzo about Alexander VI. Oddly, painful though that story may be, it gives me good cause to think that such things as severe sin and corruption in the Church..happen. ..And God, Himself, still wins in the end.

    I couldn’t help but think, after watching that last episode of the Vortex, that it’s good for this to be coming out now. Oh, the mainstream media likely will ultimately have a heyday with it, they always seem to relish anything they may use to trash the Church. I can’t help but think though, that sooner or later, we’ll wind up learning about..something..involving a cleric, and that something will cause some of us to look at..something else..within the last several years and say, well, THAT makes sense now.

    I also found myself thinking that, it’s good for this to be coming out now, not later, because those involved may have a greater opportunity for repentance. An angrier part of me might insist that if a prelate suffered hell for eternity because of this, maybe he’d be getting what he deserved, but.. well, I can’t help but realize that priests, no matter their rank, have human souls too. ..I’m not so very different from these men in that way…. I simply cannot imagine being eager to see any person suffer hell for eternity. Not even the worst of sinners.

    So I hope that some of those involved in this mess will repent of their sins. Any other alternative simply seems too ghastly for me to contemplate.

  60. Therese says:

    The voice of reason: thanks, Chicken.

  61. capebretoner says:

    My thanks to The Chicken as well. That comment helped me put things into perspective. StWinefride added the gravy with the follow up.

  62. happyCatholic says:

    My thanks, too, to The Chicken, to Father Z, and to all the little “band of brothers” here; I am grateful for this website. Born in 1960, I was one of the little ones grievously wounded by the chaos, yet also was graced from God to never have much of a rebellious bent, so while muddied in thinking, I never formally left the Faith or really even its practice as I understood it.

    The Catholic apologetics boom in the 1990s (and as the Hahns were my first encounter with it via Father Paul Marx of Human Life International, I will always be indebted to these Catholic converts. Prior to that, the only concrete help I received was via a letter from the late Father Robert Fox, who actually took the time to personally write me even though he did not know me) helped me gain sure footing, as later would the internet; had these things been in place when I was growing up, my life would have been very different. Masked Chicken: your post helps illuminate why I experienced some of what I did (and I have read The Wanderer for years now; also illuminating on this topic) . Such spiritual carnage and loss.

    Yet, I have always, always loved the Church and the priceless jewel of her source and summit, our Eucharistic Lord. Father Z’s initial post made my blood run cold for her, for I love her. May God grant us all the graces of perseverance and final perseverance. And Masked Chicken, your allusions to future means of martyrdom/compliance are chilling. Any further insight on any ways to be prepared and bear witness to the end are appreciated. These are matters far beyond my daily experience or expertise.

    Echoing StWinefride’s post: Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

  63. Father K says:

    According to Damien Thompson in his Telegraph blog, the Pope may well appoint Archbishop Piero Marini as prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. That will certainly be a turning point, but not in any good direction.

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