QUAERITUR: New bishop against Traditional Latin Mass, persecutes priests.

From a reader (edited):

I just read your post about a group approaching the local ordinary for the Latin Mass wherein you recommend skipping this step and going directly to (able and) willing priests. We here in the diocese … have done that, hoping the situation would be more promising now that [the previous bishop] is retired. Well, his successor is no better, and the priests I’ve talked to who are deeply interested in the traditional Mass … are afraid to offer it on their own initiative for fear of “repercussions” from the Bishop. I don’t know what that would entail. If its banishment to the sticks, that already happened when they received their latest assignments. What can I tell these priests? I’m just a layman, so I know my perspective is skewed on this point, but I can’t imagine any penalty outweighing the opportunity to celebrate the traditional liturgy. Please help! Any word of advice is welcome.

First, Summorum Pontificum is the law of the land. We can and should use its provisions.   Bishops can’t repress Summorum Pontificum.

As I have written before, we have the provisions, we have the vision. It is time to take the training wheels off and ride the damn bike!

Going on, everyone who is interested in the old forms, priests and laity alike, must get involved with corporal works of mercy. Be involved. If you are involved, be more involved.

Moreover, be prudent in the way you talk and act toward ecclesial authority when trying to obtain what you want. Be cordial, not aggressive, joyful rather than defensive. Trads can be their own worst enemy.

On a different level, persevere and resist oppression. Be the Maquis!

If your local bishop is hostile or indifferent, or the chancery people are (which is the more likely scenario), then sneak around them. Get to know priests who want these good and holy things and give them private support. Get materials into the hands of priests. Pay for them to get training. Pony up so they can travel to a workshop for their “retreat” and “continuing education” and “vacation”. Organize ad hoc or even private Masses if need be.

You may have to be maquisards in your diocese for a while.

Please pardon me while I continue to mix a bunch of metaphors.

It is often said that every diocese has a Siberia. Priests have to be willing to go to Siberia and people will have to be willing to dog-sled there. Siberia isn’t the only downside of what a hostile bishop can do to a priest. There is a phrase I learned from the “Fat Man’s Rules” in The House of God: They can always hurt you more.

We have to be willing to be hurt a lot more.

We are in a transition period right now. The deck is shifting beneath our feet as the winds shift. The wind isn’t on our best quarter any longer, I’m afraid. It’s backing and we are going to have batten down and run before the wind under close-reefed top-sails. Committed ideological liberals are emboldened right now. They think they have the big mo.  They are sending the fleet out.  They are going to try to dismantle everything Benedict ever did and a lot of what John Paul II did too. The liberal-tepids, seeing the way the wind is blowing, will follow them. To use more nautical imagery, they have the weather gauge and they will eat the wind from our sails if we aren’t diligent and smart. Moderate conservatives will drift towards them. We can see it happening already, even in the blogosphere. What we need, however, is hard-identity Catholicism. That means traditional forms and teachings. Alas, liberals have everyone convinced that only liberals care for the poor. In the book I just read on Francis (HERE), the author’s starting point was that conservative/traditionalists don’t care about “the poor”. It is a premise they simply expect everyone to accept without question. This trope is going to be ever on their lips and pens and keyboards in the foreseeable future.

So, perhaps we need two tracks. We have to press on and persevere: drive forward and use those provisions in law which Benedict put in place.  At the same time, correct the course and defeat every liberal accusation flung in your teeth (“conservatives hate the poor… all traddies are bilious and angry… traditionalists don’t participate in the life of the parish… this is only nostalgia…” blah blah blah…).

Do NOT give up for a minute. We have the provisions of law and we have the inspiration of both Francis and Benedict. We will not be guilty of pitting the one Pope against the other. Claim for yourselves hard-identity Catholicism and true concern for works of mercy. If there is a lack of focus also… also… on works of mercy, then apply correctives. The Francis Phenomenon and his call for a greater focus on “the poor”, is in no way harmful. But be ready: liberals will use “the poor” as a weapon against all things Benedictine or traditional (e.g., “the poor” respond only to flappy-happy easily understood worship).  Here’s an idea: traditionalists should create alliances with and reach out to the Hispanic community!  Create common bonds and unity within our common liturgical tradition that doesn’t favor.  As I look around, in these USA the traditional movement looks pretty “anglo”.

True Catholic identity includes true ecumenism, true inculturation, true “preferential option for the poor”, true charisms and prophetic evangelization. It has to include, as a sine qua non, true sacred liturgical worship.

Here is a take away point: Hard-identity Catholicism is not just about what form Sunday Mass is in. It involves all of life. Use this time of transition to develop a new sail plan and course corrections.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Francis, Hard-Identity Catholicism, Liberals, New Evangelization, Our Catholic Identity, SUMMORUM PONTIFICUM, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Theodore says:

    Fr Z, thanks for the pointers. And a House of God quote for the win. That book got me (and countless other physicians) through my residency in Internal Medicine.

  2. tstracey says:

    This was a very good post. Getting involved is VERY important. Being the people who solve problems and contribute, rather than being an insular ghetto is the best advice I’ve ever heard regarding the TLM. The more problems you can solve: with the parish, deanery, diocese, etc. the more friends you will win. Also, money talks. In some diocese resources are sparse so it is hard to for a diocese or parish to contribute their funds to something which seems “experimental.” If a TLM group can prove to contribute, not only to their interests, but also to the interests of the parish/diocese, that also makes it harder for a pastor or bishop to say no. Finally, be cordial and forgiving. It is tough to be a bishop. Even if you’re requests are not met right away, keep building your case and keep praying.


  3. Jim R says:

    This post made me think of Admiral Farragut’s famous quote at the Battle of Mobile Bay: “Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead!”

  4. mamajen says:

    Banishment to the sticks is not the worst that can happen, unfortunately. Our old bishop, on his way out, insisted on merging parishes and the priests had to reapply for jobs. Despite the “priest shortage” we always hear about, two relatively young and capable priests were not reassigned at all. One of them was known for enforcing rules regarding divorcees, the other was similarly orthodox and trying to implement the TLM. Thankfully under a new bishop the latter was able to come back and is now happily offering a weekly TLM in the diocese. Sometimes, when all else fails, you just have to pray and be patient I guess.

  5. AvantiBev says:

    Mamajen: You are very sweet and very young, but we 50+ year olds have been praying and patient for far too long.
    As for this crap about “conservatives don’t want care for the poor”, I thank God I am 50-something because I remember when kids in this country of all races could be expected to live in a 2 parent MARRIED household. Then the double-whammy of “caring” for the poor hit them with the Sexual Revolution and Great Society programs which took a sledgehammer to the Black families and continued to liberate Caucasians from their marital vows and those pesky old notions of chastity. And I remember parents being told NOT to prevent little Cassie from bringing her boyfriend home for sleepovers. All done in the name of tolerance and openness and all destined to lead to huge poverty increases.
    Nothing will ensure your daughter and grandkids live in poverty more certainly than her getting pregnant before marriage, not finishing high school, or shacking up with a succession of aimless boy-toys. Let’s stop acting like abortion is the problem. Abortion is ONE of the symptoms of this disease which afflicts a society no longer protected by the white blood cells of shame, shunning and stigma. Tough love. THAT would be real CARING for the poor and everyone else in this society.

    [Not only right, this is great writing.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  6. Nan says:

    There’s a priest in my diocese who was told to shut up and go to Siberia, which he did. Siberia now has many visitors, [LOL!]full house for Mass and long confession lines.

  7. Gus Barbarigo says:

    At a TLM in New York City, the woman in the pew in front of me (about middle-age or a little younger, with a young boy with her), had an excellent TLM-Spanish missal, replete with pictures and what appeared to be explanations of the TLM; she seemed very interested in what was happening.

    Maybe all publishing houses, especially TAN Books, those that provide TLM missals, etc., should try to have all publications in Spanish as well as English. Maybe TLM parishes can co-sponsor events in Hispanic neighborhoods, or reach out to (or look for) Spanish speaking seminarians/priests to get the word out.

    I’m seeing objects like candles with images of the Sacred Heart (today is a First Friday!), Our Lady of Guadalupe, etc. at places like Target: I suppose they are there for the Hispanic population (I hope they’re not some hipster’s idea of kitsch). Maybe newly immigrated peoples are more open to “smells and bells,” iconography, and other things we more-trad-minded people like.

    So I think there is a “market” out there for hard-identity Catholicism with Spanish-speaking immigrants; let’s reach out to them before they are submerged in the MSM sewer.

  8. Nan, I am wondering if you belong to the same parish I attend. My pastor was sent to Siberia, but he didn’t shut up. ? My dogs are always ready for the 90 mile round trip, and others slide in from a longer distance than we travel; many of them.

  9. James C says:

    “Alas, liberals have everyone convinced that only liberals care for the poor. In the book I just read on Francis (HERE), the author’s starting point was that conservative/traditionalists don’t care about ‘the poor’.

    Father, you are more right than you know. Did you see the appalling, bigoted attack a so-called “journalist” in Brighton has made on poor Fr. Ray Blake? Alas, all the big papers have run with it! It’s got to be one of the most sickening hit pieces I’ve ever seen against a priest.


  10. lizaanne says:

    Here is a link to a talk given by Alex Begin from the Latin Liturgy Association, presents his fascinating talk on how the Latin liturgy was brought to Detroit.

    It might give some good pointers to those who are looking to do this in their own city.

    Website for LLA: http://www.latinliturgy.com/


  11. Acanthaster says:

    I love the nautical imagery…so much emotion/imagination can be conjured up with the sea as a starting point! I also love it because as you were writing, the dream of St. John Bosco came to mind…

    All the enemy ships move to attack it, and they try in every way to stop it and to sink it: some with books and writings or inflammable materials, of which they are full; others with firearms, with rifles and with rams. The battle rages ever more relentlessly. The enemy prows thrust violently, but their efforts and impact prove useless. They make attempts in vain and waste all their labor and ammunition; the big ship goes safely and smoothly on its way. Sometimes it happens that, struck by formidable blows, it gets large, deep gaps in its sides; but no sooner is the harm done that a gentle breeze blows from the two columns and the cracks close up and the gaps are stopped immediately.

    “Meanwhile, the guns of the assailants are blown up, the rifles and other arms and prows are broken; many ships are shattered and sink into the sea. Then, the frenzied enemies strive to fight hand to hand, with fists, with blows, with blasphemy and with curses.

    “Suddenly the Pope falls gravely wounded. Immediately, those who are with him run to help him and they lift him up. A second time the Pope is struck, he falls again and dies. A shout of victory and joy rings out amongst the enemies; from their ships an unspeakable mockery arises.

    “But hardly is the Pontiff dead than another takes his place. The pilots, having met together, have elected the Pope so promptly that the news of the death of the Pope coincides with the news of the election of the successor. The adversaries begin to lose courage.

    “The new Pope, putting the enemy to rout and overcoming every obstacle, guides the ship right up to the two columns and comes to rest between them; he makes it fast with a light chain that hangs from the bow to an anchor of the column on which stands the Host; and with another light chain which hangs from the stern, he fastens it at the opposite end to another anchor hanging from the column on which stands the Immaculate Virgin.”

    Let’s go there, also…The Eucharist and the Immaculate Virgin – such necessary pillars!

  12. wolfeken says:

    Priests: Just Do It!

    There is no better example than the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, on how to overcome a hostile bishop and not ruin your priestly career. From 1969 until 2006, the traditional Latin Mass was “banned” there despite the 1984 and 1988 papal indults and many requests from priests and laymen. In 2006 two locations were permitted (in the same diocesan document that allowed female altar boys in the diocese) on Sunday afternoons.

    No other TLM was permitted, despite repeated requests. Even a traditional nuptial Mass was denied by the bishop there after (!) Summorum Pontificum was issued but before it was implemented.

    Then came Pope Benedict’s motu proprio. Twelve of the 68 parishes (18 percent) in the Diocese of Arlington currently offer the TLM: http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/worship/worship_celebrations.aspx

    Some of the priests now offering public TLMs were the ones making the requests that were denied just six years ago. Some of them have worked hard enough to get promoted to pastor or even diocesan-level positions.

    Be Not Afraid. Just do it, priests.

  13. chantgirl says:

    Fr, you forgot one of the Trads’ favorite tactics- breed the liberals out of the majority. We counted 22 pregnant women in our Institute parish this month, and many who have babies. In 20 years’ time, the demographics in the Church will have shifted greatly.

  14. Rellis says:

    A simple way to implement Latino outreach is one I’ve never seen. Has anyone else?

    The idea is the following: use the provision of SP and UE that allows for vernacular readings at Low Mass. Now, do these readings in Spanish. Do a brief sermon in Spanish. Do the prayers after Low Mass in Spanish. Advertise this reverent Mass for Latinos in Spanish in their neighborhoods.

    Can you imagine the good this would do? Can you imagine the press it would generate both on and off the Internet if it’s marketed properly?

    Just a thought.

  15. MarkG says:

    What are some of the larger US cities without at least one TLM on Sunday mornings? I’m just curious.

    One thing I’ve never understood about bishops is why they don’t want to allow TLMs. While TLMs are packed with standing room only, the percentage of people attending TLMs is very small compared to the number of people attending the new Mass. So it wouldn’t make a significant impact people-wise or money-wise, and it would keep the peace.

    Locally, we have 5 places with 9 Sunday masses total. If every mass were full, which they are, that would be less than 3,000 people attending total.

    The closest new Mass parish to me, seats over 2,000, has like 7 or more Sunday Masses with over 10,000 attending, and the collection plate is like $70,000 per week. And this is just one parish of many.

    So, I’m not sure what they are afraid of?

  16. About Latin-Spanish missals . . .

    The Coalition Ecclesia Dei ( http://www.ecclesiadei.org/ )–publisher of the ubiquitous Latin-English “red booklet missal” that’s seen at virtually every TLM in this country–also offers a Latin-Spanish version. In most areas of the U.S. every TLM community should have them available in both English and Spanish.

    Incidentally, a new view of just how popular these excellent 64-page missalettes are . . . Our TLM community has purchased several hundred copies (at about $2.50 each in bulk) over the years. But an any given time we probably have less than 100 left, a few having been purchased from us for a nominal donation, but most of those missing having just walked out the door after Mass, but sometimes returning for subsequent Masses. I think of this as a particularly cost-effective contribution to “the new evangelization”.

  17. the_ox says:


    Get involved with corporal works of mercy. Be involved. If you are involved, be more involved.

    Moreover, be prudent in the way you talk and act toward ecclesial authority when trying to obtain what you want. Be cordial, not aggressive, joyful rather than defensive. Trads can be their own worst enemy.

    I have witnessed first hand how a bunch of insular, uninvolved, demanding and mean-spirited traddies have set back their own cause to the stone age. I myself have moved from being supportive of the trad cause to being against it because the continual and thoughtless demands on local priests and single minded focus on what liturgical things they want – with little regard to ANYTHING else.

    [Sorry, friend, but that reaction is also a little mean-spirited. Trads can do better, and you can help them to do better.]

  18. Supertradmum says:

    Father Z, years ago, an ambitious single man, had the free TLM Mass kits from the SSPX sent to at least six of the priests in the diocese, a diocese where there was no TLM. Not only were the priests grateful, but all ended up going to St. John Cantius for training and now take turns saying the TLM at the assigned parish, which has only one Mass, but weekly.

    I do not know if those kits are still available, [Good point.] but the priests were interested by the contents of the little boxes which arrived at their door. Just a thought is to either find out if those are still easy to obtain, or put out some money and buy set-up kits for those priests who signal an interest. None of these priests got Latin in the seminary.

  19. SemperFi, I wonder whether some may think you most fortunate to live in a diocese where it’s only a 90-mile round trip to Siberia.

  20. everett says:

    What Henry said. In my diocese Siberia might be as much as a 300-mile one-way trip, and that kind of distance certainly isn’t uncommon in the Western US. Thankfully our new Bishop returned a couple of priests from exile in the past year or two.

  21. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Sometimes a priest just can’t make that leap to the EF and uses a harsh bishop as an excuse.

    In other cases, the priest has to give a well presented case to his bishop of how such a Mass will be implemented, with examples of other other pastoral initiatives going on in the diocese. Of course, some bishops will get mad. So what? Work with that. See the bishop as a brother who needs to be convinced that this is not your pet project, but something that you will see through. Remember that other priests have started special Masses, only to leave them or even take off without providing for their pastoral continuation. Yes, bishops have been burned and then left to deal with the aftermath. So they do get jaded–and new EF Masses are no exception.

    The priest also has to be guided by prudence. “Telling” the bishop that you’re going to cancel a busy OF Mass for 50 people who want the EF Mass isn’t prudent.

  22. Speravi says:

    Continue to be supportive and affirming of these priests (even if they don’t begin/resume offering the TLM right away). Sometimes priests in this situation are being put in a weird qualm of conscience wherein they are made to FEEL that they are sinning (disobedience) by doing what the Church has given them the express right to do (offer the TLM). These priests will have to deal with this situation at their own pace and both according to the judgment of their own conscience and the virtues of prudence and fortitude. Support them, encourage them, and pray for them. You could even give stipends to have Masses said for these priests, for the bishop, or for the resolution of the situation according to the will of God.

  23. Precentrix says:


    I think they’re still available, but only within the USA to my knowledge (which is disappointing for the rest of us).

  24. Supertradmum says:

    Precentrix, Ah, interesting.

  25. @ Henry Edwards

    Hi Mr. Henry, I suppose there are quite a few who drive many more miles than we do. Until there was a TLM offered in the neighboring Diocese, a friend of mine, a widow and her three children, made a 6 hour round trip to Siberia.

  26. av8er says:

    Fr. Z – “Here is a take away point: Hard-identity Catholicism is not just about what form Sunday Mass is in. It involves all of life. Use this time of transition to develop a new sail plan and course corrections.”

    Could not agree more. If the liberal, but faithful, to heterodox can enter and claim a hold of parish office staff positions, CCD teachers, RCIA, etc and steer the parish to their liking, why then can’t we? To continue the analogy, we need to board that ship, get control of the Con, stop the wheel from the hard turn to port, and start headed to starboard. But, we can’t go flying our colors or they will turn and run. [We need more cutting out expeditions.]

    As for Hispanic outreach, I think its a great a idea. I live on the border and most of the priests in our diocese are not from here (the US). They’ve been to seminary in other countries south of the border and do not seem to have a huge interest in the TLM. The ACTS retreats (like a shorter Crusillo) are very active here. My opinion is that it will take the laity to bring this to the priests. A possible suggestion is that since half the Masses are in Spanish and Half in English on a given Sunday , they can do one or two in Latin and cut down their work load.

  27. acardnal says:

    wofleken, I appreciate your comment. I lived in the Arlington Diocese for 24 years and really miss the orthodoxy there and the increasing implementation of the TLM/EF Mass there.

    I am now under the auspices of his Excellency the Great Bishop Morlino of Madison and support everything he has been doing to bring his diocese back under the auspices of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.

  28. robtbrown says:

    There is a simple strategy for a priest who wants to use the 1962 Missal but is blocked by the bishop. He simply tells the bishop that he is considering joining the FSSP and wants to spend some time with them–that will make it clear that he is serious.

  29. EXCHIEF says:

    I don’t mean to take issue with you Father (especially since you are now a fellow ham :) ) BUT if a Bishop (like mine for instance) and his key clergy in the Chancery Office are dead set against the TLM they will (and do) find devious ways to suppress it irrespective of what any Pope or any document such as SP says. I think you would have to agree that (and I can only speak for this country) there is widespread disobedience of Rome’s directives on the part of the majority of Bishops. Unless and until there is a return to an understanding of what obedience is and unless and until there are consequences for disobedience there will continue to be efforts to thwart directives from Rome. You offer advice which theoretically makes sense. I live and work in the real world where actions result in reactions and when it comes to a Priest in this Diocese taking it upon himself (with reasonable support from the laity) to offer the TLM I can guarantee you the reaction will not be pleasant. Our diocese is large and rural. With very few exceptions every parish is in Siberia. The majority of our Priests are from foreign countries and the intimidation technique used to discourage them from deviating from “the party line” (and the TLM is such a deviation) is to tell them they will be sent back to their home countries. Without foreign Priests at least half of the parishes in this Diocese would close. The Bishop frankly doesn’t care. It’s his way or the highway and his way is opposed to “that Latin stuff”.

    [Thus my use of the word: Maquis!]

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  31. Cavaliere says:

    Why do people (not you Fr. Z) always think of “banishment to the sticks” as a pejorative? [Why do people amke unfounded assumptions about what I think?] What is wrong with the ‘sticks’? Are people there not worthy of good priests and a sacramental life. I know a priest brought from the ‘sticks’ to the chancery, he would much prefer the ‘sticks.’ I remember another priest taken from a thriving parish and sent out of town to do hospital ministry. Were those people not worthy of a good priest? Perhaps they have even a greater need. It caused a great uproar when it happened but ask this priest and it was one of the best things to happen to him, and many traditionalists whom he has much more freedom to serve.

    I read a biography of a Jesuit priest who wanted to go to the Soviet Union to minister to Catholics there. It was just prior to WWII and his superiors wouldn’t let him go although they did send him to Poland. From there he was eventually smuggled into Russia, captured, spent years in prison in Moscow before being convicted as a spy and sent to a Siberian hard labor camp. It is one of the most incredible stories and Fr. Walter Ciszek’s cause has been opened for canonization. Read what he did for all his fellow prisoners and one might get a different view of what a priest being in “the sticks” is all about.

  32. mamajen says:


    There is nothing wrong with “the sticks”. My family once found an amazing priest out in “the sticks” and we used to drive out to his parish sometimes for mass–it was a nice car ride for us. The people who lived out there loved him. The banishment part is what’s wrong. Some bishops use it as a punishment, and it stems the spread of traditionalism in favor of modernism. Yes, the people in “the sticks” can benefit from good priests just as anyone else. They shouldn’t be the only ones to get the good priests. If a priest is transferred in the normal course of things, so be it. He shouldn’t view it as a step down, or be angry. But, there are bishops who do use it as a punishment and a means to control the “flavor” of the diocese, and that’s what’s frustrating.

  33. Cavaliere says:

    @mamajen, yes it can be frustrating and it is wrong on behalf of a Bishop to “punish” a priest by sending him to an outlying parish because the priest supports the TLM and such. However, as the saying goes, God draws straight with crooked lines. But church history is replete with saints who have suffered the wrongdoing of their superiors. In the secular world we worker bees don’t suffer injustice in job transfers, terminations, not getting promotions or raises and so on? Our only response is to accept these things as God’s will and use them as opportunities to grow in grace and holiness. If a priest were to be punished for his “traditional” tendencies I have no doubt that faithful acceptance of such a decision would not only benefit him but the Church. His martyrdom of sorts would bear much fruit for the good of the Church and himself. I don’t want to imply it wouldn’t be a difficult choice. But is it an easy choice for a young couple to forgo birth control and accept the burden and blessing of a large family? For a husband to commute a long distance to work and/or work a second job to provide for his family in the current unjust economy? I say, do what is right and trust in God.

  34. mamajen says:


    I missed that your responded to me. No, I don’t think we ought to be doormats and just quietly pray and be patient and wait in all cases, but in the case of our diocese people had been letter-writing, begging, pleading, fasting, etc. to no avail. One parish that was closed and appealed actually got a favorable response from Rome, and the diocese still refused to unlock the doors. There’s only so much you can do before you just have to assume that God has a bigger plan and hope that it works out in your favor eventually. I know that it’s a terrible burden to try to keep one’s faith while having to accept a mediocre mass, especially if you’ve experienced better and had it yanked away. I completely agree with what you said.

  35. The Masked Chicken says:

    I always thought that saying, “Pretty, please, with sugar on top,” was supposed to work :(

    The larger the number of priests who decide to say the EF, the less likely the bishop will be to retaliate. He can’t send everyone to the gulag. The real problem is not the bishops. It is that not enough priests have recognized the intrinsic worth of the EF.

    The Chicken

  36. mamajen says:

    Good point, Chicken!

  37. ray from mn says:

    A friend of mine has a parish where he regular celebrates the EF. And many of his parishioners don’t like that and have complained to the bishop, even though nt friend hasn’t changed the times of the OF Mass.

    Those complainers don’t even appreciate the fact that most of the attendees at the EF Masses are from outside the parish and contribute to the parish on a per capita basis two to three times what the regular parishioners contribute.

    Basically, some OF attendees hate that anybody could have a choice with respect to the Mass they attend. I personally believe that those haters are also “pro-choice” with respect to abortion.

    Until we start naming the names of bishop and busybodies, nothing will change, people. But I’m guilty too. I don’t want my friend to be hurt or punished.

  38. Fr_Sotelo says:


    In some cases, the priest in question is seen as demanding, complaining, and not a very hard worker. If he goes to the bishop and proposes that he may spend time with the FSSP, the Bishop may respond:

    “Really?! Can I help you with that? Buy you the plane ticket? Oh, and if they’re willing to take you, let me know right away so I facilitate the process. God may very well be calling you to that life!” LOL.

    Threats to leave the diocese work more in the case of the priest who is liked, seen as busting his chops to attend to people, and is an all around asset. I know a priest who wanted to leave his diocese and the bishop said “NO.” He was depressed and I told him that his bishop was paying him a high compliment.

  39. robtbrown says:


    I understand your point.

    I’m not talking about a priest bluffing the bishop, but rather one whose frustrated desire to use the 1962 Missal is enough to cause him to go to the FSSP.

    A similar situation could concern a bishop who, thinking of closing a parish, might be able to save it by turning it over to the FSSP or Inst of Christ the King. Would he prefer closing it to having a parish or oratory that exclusively uses the 1962 Missal?

  40. robtbrown says:

    Also to Fr S:

    We both know that there are pastors who don’t want geographic parishioners going somewhere else and will complain to the bishop.

  41. Cavaliere says:

    Why do people (not you Fr. Z) always think of “banishment to the sticks” as a pejorative? [Why do people amke unfounded assumptions about what I think?]

    Mea culpa, it was not my intention to ascribe to you a particular viewpoint. Rather I was attempting to exclude you from those whom I do know that do think it is a pejorative as I do not know your particular opinion on the matter.

  42. Palladio says:

    “It is that not enough priests have recognized the intrinsic worth of the EF.” I think the problem is far worse than that, and I am not sure I would attribute the problem to priests, anyway, not to young priests. Where is the problem of ignorance of the EF NOT a problem? The problem of reverent worship? How is it, for instance, that seminaries are NOT requiring training in the EF? There seems to me no end to the source of the problem.

  43. RobW says:

    Father, thank you for being a true shepherd and looking out for the flock. God bless you and may our Lady watch over you.

  44. Trisagion says:

    Loved the nautical imagery, Fr Z, but please let this old sailor correct one thing: you can’t run to windward. Running involves sailing with the wind abaft the beam and so, inevitable, travelling to leeward. [Indeed. That was a mistake left from revision. I meant, “run before the wind”, of course. Threefold praise for that nice catch.]

    Otherwise…absolutely spot on. Loved the Maquis analogy.

    [Be The Maquis!]

  45. ejcmartin says:

    Please pray for a young priest in our diocese who is being persecuted preaching the truth. Unbelievably he is being removed from his parish because the powers that be find he is too divisive in what he preaches. All this while a representative from the diocese is soon to make a presentation “who am I to judge” a discussion on what Francis’ recent comments on the plane back from Rio means for those who feel left out of the Church. (Funny I went back to the diocesan website while writing this and they have changed the descriptive notes in the announcement to something a lot more nebulous.)

  46. The FSSP still has “kits” for priests HERE.

  47. RobW says:

    “The church will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning.

    She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes . . . she will lose many of her social privileges. . . As a small society, [the Church] will make much bigger demands on the initiative of her individual members….

    It will be hard-going for the Church, for the process of crystallization and clarification will cost her much valuable energy. It will make her poor and cause her to become the Church of the meek . . . The process will be long and wearisome as was the road from the false progressivism on the eve of the French Revolution — when a bishop might be thought smart if he made fun of dogmas and even insinuated that the existence of God was by no means certain . . . But when the trial of this sifting is past, a great power will flow from a more spiritualized and simplified Church. Men in a totally planned world will find themselves unspeakably lonely. If they have completely lost sight of God, they will feel the whole horror of their poverty. Then they will discover the little flock of believers as something wholly new. They will discover it as a hope that is meant for them, an answer for which they have always been searching in secret.

    And so it seems certain to me that the Church is facing very hard times. The real crisis has scarcely begun. We will have to count on terrific upheavals. But I am equally certain about what will remain at the end: not the Church of the political cult, which is dead already, but the Church of faith. She may well no longer be the dominant social power to the extent that she was until recently; but she will enjoy a fresh blossoming and be seen as man’s home, where he will find life and hope beyond death.”–Pope Benedict XVI

  48. RobW says:

    …originally written in 1969 by theologian Joseph Ratzinger and was included in his book Faith and the Future published by Ignatius Press in 2009.

  49. Stumbler but trying says:

    The beauty of the traditional Mass and the beauty of service is one wonderful idea. Let’s hope many more TLM parishioners will take your advice and be examples of true discipleship to others in and out of the Church. Sadly, I have yet to see that but I remain hopeful especially here in Los Angeles.

    If only Archbishop Gomez would pay more attention to the liturgy here in L.A. In my beloved parish, (been there since I was a kid) I am seeing more shoddy liturgies with horrible out of tune choirs, sloppy altar servers, (they have kids serving who have yet to be able to receive Holy Communion) at Mass. Yet, the priests are very well liked and the eight Masses are full.
    I dislike being distracted but I am praying too that this be remedied.

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