Dear, NSR… Between a rock and a hard place, are you?

I have been thinking about the meltdown the editors and staff of the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) must be having, as they gathered at their water cooler this week. Michael Sean Winters dropped that the writers were gathering in Kansas City, MO, where their HQ is.

They are circling their wagons as John L. Allen, Jr. departs their pages and as they lose the column of former Jesuit Father John Dear.

Dear, as you will recall, was dismissed from the Jesuits because he failed to obey a directive to return to his province and reside in Baltimore.

Dear, to my knowledge, hasn’t been a heretic, as many Jesuits are.  [UPDATE: Dear has, in fact, called for the ordination of women.  More on that, below.] He wasn’t dismissed from the Society for graviora delicta, as was Roy Bourgeois was from the Maryknoll Fathers.  No, Dear was a peace activist.  He protested and got arrested and did his peacenik thing.  His activist role apparently took over his whole identity and, as the Jesuits recognized that and tried to rein him in, he opted for disobedience.

By the way, religious superiors will often use this technique when they need to dump a guy: they’ll give him a command that they suspect he won’t obey.  That’s how they stick it to them.  But I digress.

Dear’s case, however, brings up another point.

I am informed by religious that, in their religious community’s formation, John Dear was/is held up as an example to be imitated.  His peace activist zeal was/is exactly what was admired and proposed by those in charge of formation of postulants and novices, and even of the professed in their “ongoing formation”.

And so I ask, are religious out there going to stick up for John Dear against the Jesuits?  Will they support him in the face of the oppression from on high? From the Jesuit hierarchy?  Or, on the other hand, will they support the ultra-liberal Jesuits, who lead the way in their merry dance toward the cliff’s edge?

It seems as if religious liberals are doing nothing about it.  They are opting for silence.

The staffers of the National Schismatic Reporter haven’t stuck up for Dear, have they?  So far, I have found only a single op-ed piece by a non-staff writer, but it is thin gruel.

Where are NSR‘s writers?  Where’s they loyalty?  Where are their convictions?


In November 2004, Dear spoke at the Call to Action National Conference in Milwaukee. At Fr. Dear stated (from his own website):

“I think we need to start a…letter writing campaign to the Vatican, to get one million loving, kind, respectful letters calling for change, for the complete rejection of the just war theory, for more work for justice and peace, and for the ordination of women and married priests.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. BLB Oregon says:

    Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to publish an opinion piece that removes all doubt. As long as they aren’t printing anything they ought not, more power to that!

  2. But Father! says:

    “they’ll give him a command that they suspect he won’t obey”
    This brings to mind John Corapi, though in the fullness of time, he probably
    would have been done in by other factors.

    [I don’t have inside information on this but I suspect that Corapi’s superiors did, in fact, hope that he would obey. They didn’t ask what they asked in order to get rid of him.]

  3. Dave N. says:

    I don’t recall ever seeing criticism of Jesuits on the pages of the Fishwrap and any story that might be construed as negative about the Jesuits is simply ignored. A perfect case in point is the Oregon Province’s $166 million sex abuse settlement in 2011. Because the case involves some pretty prominent Jesuits of the variety the Fishwrap people most certainly don’t like, you’d have thought they would have jumped all over the chance to skewer a few of their “opponents.” But as far as I recall, this historic settlement, the third largest sex abuse settlement in history, was not even reported—and most certainly not at any depth (So much for the “Reporter” part.) A number of Board members are Jesuits or Jesuit syncophants.

    FW Prime directive #1: Never criticize a Jesuit, even the ones you don’t like.

  4. ctek says:

    I’m sure there’s a tractor joke in here somewhere….It just hasn’t come to me yet.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    Poor Jesuits, from Liberation Theology to gross aberrations in liturgy, to the allowance of false teachings and finally corruption at Boston College, St. Louis U., Margquette, Loyola Chicago, Gonzaga, U of San Francisco, Creighton, Georgetown and more, where liberalism reigns supreme, this order has proven to be the bete noire of the real Church.

    Pope Francis could do us all a great favor by having a complete overhaul of the order.

    Of course, Fishwrap would never criticize a group with millions of wealthy alumni at its back, let’s face it. And, all my wealthy cousins who went to Creighton and sister-in -aw who went to Marquette, all got infected with the hatred of Rome and have left the Church. It is still their faults but the influence is deep and wide. Such is the Jesuit heritage today.

  6. Supertradmum says:

    PS all the Creighton cousins are from Kansas City, MO… accident there.

  7. AdamRules247 says:

    Dear is a heretic. He’s called for the ordination of women

    [I hadn’t read that he had done that.]

  8. JonPatrick says:

    Jesuits need a complete overhaul as Supertradmum says. So what is the Vatican doing? – overhauling the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate! When will this insanity end?

  9. Iacobus M says:

    “Where are NSR‘s writers? Where’s they loyalty? Where are their convictions?”
    You can’t work with what you ain’t got! Or, as they say, there’s no honor among thieves . . .
    James Milliken

  10. yatzer says:

    Being from the Midwest, I also cannot but think first of a tractor.

  11. McCall1981 says:

    When he left the Jesuits, did he write them a Dear John letter?

  12. Nicholas Shaler says:

    Good luck on that letter writing campaign, I will pay for a pig to enter flight school when they start ordaining women. (Yay St. Anthony’s pig!)

  13. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Good grief, this man is out in left field trying to plow a furrow.

    Mr. McCall provides another “LOL” moment for me on the great wdtprs blog!


  14. Andrew says:

    Fr John Dear SJ, a staunch opponent of the death penalty, worked with Mother Teresa of Cacultta on a number of cases in the USA where individuals were on death row, trying to save their lives.

    As a prolife person myself, I am against the taking of life “from the womb, to the tomb”, and oppose capital punishment. With the Catholic Church however, I appreciate that the issue is not as black and white as say abortion or euthanasia, but in peaceful countries with modern penal systems, I reiterate what Pope John Paul and Benedict have said, there is virtually no need of it.

    Fr Dear seemed very proud that Mother Teresa worked with him on these caes, and shared on his blog, the letters she wrote to him. However “the saint of the gutters”, was deeply loyal to the Church’s magisterium, and would never have supported him in regard to those thing he mentioned at the Call to Action conference. We know that Mother Teresa even begged Pope John Paul, not to allow altar girls! What would Fr Dear think of this, when he publicly advocated the ordination of women?

    The man is obviously not all bad, as Mother Teresa obviously happy to work with him on the death penalty cases. It is such a shame that liberals in their fight for social justice, don’t seem to appreciate that the Church’s social teaching is in sync with all the other Church’s teachings and disciplines. Married and women priests is not a justice issue.

    He disobeyed a directive and was justly penalized, but it seems these other matters, were of no concern whatsoever to his Jesuit superiors. Le tus hope Pope Francis can appeal to his order, what is the right path, without in any way lessening their traditional concern, for social justice.

  15. Imagine a Church without the Jesuits, of which Fr. Dear is just the latest example of why Blessed John Paul II didn’t go far enough in the 80s.

    Instead of worrying about the tired 60s mantra of ‘social justice’ (which usually means sexual license, right to choose, forced redistribution of wealth, and the dictatorship of the ‘proletariat’…in other words a gentler, easier form of Marxism which soon turns into the other…), imagine if the Company focused its not-insignificant intellect on the rights of the Unborn, the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, and laicizing the wackos in their own ranks and becoming, again, the Pope’s foot soldiers who are faithful to the Church.

    No, they’d rather protest outside nuke plants, turn their former bastions of Catholic higher education into nothing more than privately-run 4 year daycare facilities with a Catholic veneer, and be seen as the useful idiots for whatever leftist cause is cued up by the LSM.

    Will Francis do anything about them? Not unless even by Jesuit standards, they are so far off the rails that they’re wearing headresses and strapping dynamite to their seminarians and sending them into crowds yelling “Allah akbar!” And even then, it would be doubtful.

  16. robtbrown says:

    Bryan D. Boyle says:
    Instead of worrying about the tired 60s mantra of ‘social justice’ (which usually means sexual license, right to choose, forced redistribution of wealth, and the dictatorship of the ‘proletariat’…in other words a gentler, easier form of Marxism which soon turns into the other…),


    imagine if the Company focused its not-insignificant intellect on the rights of the Unborn, the persecuted Christians in the Middle East, and laicizing the wackos in their own ranks and becoming, again, the Pope’s foot soldiers who are faithful to the Church.

    The time of Jesuit not-insignificant intellectual ability has past. Actually, since the end of Vat II, they not only have lacked quantity in vocations but also quality.

  17. wmeyer says:

    Bryan Boyle said: “Will Francis do anything about them?”

    That, indeed, is the question. Looking at the impact on the NSR of Bp. Finn (no fault to him) and his predecessors, and on the behaviors of Notre Shame and others, it seems unlikely that any local bishop will affect their attitudes and actions.

    But then, how much has the LCWR reformed, in the wake of the CDF action?

  18. tonyfernandez says:

    Rejection of Just War theory? Is he completely oblivious to the unprecedented harm that would bring upon the world? If you think there’s too much war now, imagine dumping the international law that keeps us from massacring each other.

  19. wmeyer says:

    Some observations after a bit of exploration on John Dear’s site. First, I find it interesting to note his stay in NM, relatively in the backyard of Richard Rohr. Second, I see that he seems strongly interested in Daniel Berrigan, whose dissidence was in full flower during my youth. Also, that his speech from 2004 was to Call to Action is interesting. There seems to be a fairly consistent thread of admiration for dissidents running throughout.

    Finally, and sadly, I note that his speaking schedule for the next few months is rather full, enabling him to continue to spread his misleading messages, even without the NSR.

  20. StWinefride says:

    “Imagine a Church without the Jesuits…”

    Sadly, this did happen in the 18th Century when they truly were the Pope’s foot soldiers. I have a novel by Philip Trower called “A Danger to the State” (Kindle edition available at Amazon).

    “Through a large cast of historical and fictional characters, A Danger to the State relates one of the outstanding though little known dramas of modern history. In 1773, surrendering at last to a 20 year long campaign of intrigue and calumny, Pope Clement XIV suppressed the famous Society of Jesus, founded 200 years earlier by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Just sixteen years before the French Revolution, Europe’s Catholic kings, threatening to take their countries into schism, pressured Pope Clement into destroying the strongest bulwark and the Church’s most successful band of missionaries. What lay behind this apparent act of madness? There was no popular opposition to the Jesuits, and the Kings were mainly dupes. The driving force came from the writers and thinkers of the French Enlightenment, agnostics and atheists that included a number of Europe’s leading statesman among it’s members. “Once we have destroyed the Jesuits”, wrote Voltaire, “we should have easy work with the Church…”

    Today, sadly, it’s the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate who are suffering.

    Our Lady, Queen of the Clergy, pray for the FFI!

  21. Absit invidia says:

    Boy, in that letter writing campaign he promoted, could he cram any more radical left wing ideologies in just one sentence?

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