Wherein the rejected Fr. Z shares his pain with the readership

Even after last year’s bitter experience being rejected by the LCWR,  I – eternal optimist that I am – once again applied for media credentials for their annual assembly.

The LCWR sisters will assemble in Nashville from 12-15 August.

Yes, I sent in my application again.  And even though more people read my blog each day than the whole circulation of some Catholic periodicals, once again I was rejected.

I am dejected because I was rejected.

Here is what I received:

Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

We have reviewed your media credential application for the 2014 LCWR Assembly.

We find you do not meet the credentialing criteria of the posted Media Coverage Policy ( https://lcwr.org/sites/default/files/page/files/lcwr_media_coverage_policy_2014.pdf ).

I invite you to check the LCWR website since we will post some public statements on the assembly activities and events.


Sister Annmarie Sanders, IHM
Associate Director for Communications
Leadership Conference of Women Religious
8808 Cameron Street
Silver Spring, MD  20910

So, what’s really going on here?  LCWR will give outlets such as the National Schismatic Reporter credentials, so they can preach to their fans, to the already converted.  But they won’t be open and dialogue with those who are not already carrying their water for them?  Is that it?

How can they claim to be prophetic if they are so closed off and defensive?

Where’s the transparency?  What are they afraid of?

Are they afraid of not being able to control their news?  Are they afraid of reaching out?

Since I am now, once again, inconsolable, I place myself in your hands, dear readers.  Only you can pick me back up again.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Lighter fare, Magisterium of Nuns, Women Religious and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. andia says:

    Hugs, if you are feelling huggy. and prayers. I wish I could change their minds. Would a letter writing campaign help?

  2. catholiccomelately says:

    Father Z, perhaps the Fishwrap might lend you temporary credentials as an Op-Ed stringer!?!

    [hmmm… now there’s a thought…]

  3. Eliane says:

    I note that no filming or photography is permitted during “Eucharistic liturgies.” I wonder why.

  4. murtheol says:

    Well here’s a pick-me-up, Fr. Z. Your readers would be adrift in bumpf without your long years of study and hard work. We all benefit from your labor and Wednesday, August 6, 2014, would be poorer without you.

  5. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Do you think Rebekkah (sp) Fabina would have any better luck, since she does – after all- work for a TV news outlet?

  6. benedetta says:

    I’m imploring the Father Z readership to not leave him in this terrible state. Give till it hurts, y’all…

  7. WMBriggs says:

    How about a happy song?

    Farewell and adieu to you, fair rebel Sisters,
    Farewell and adieu to you, Sisters of Nay;

    For I’m under Orders
    For to remain e’er faithful,
    And I may ne’er see you fair Sisters again.


    I’ll pray and I’ll plead, like a true Christian Priest,
    I’ll plead and I’ll pray for your rebel Souls;
    Until I can dialogue
    At the Leadership Conference,
    For Conscious Evolution is full of holes.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  8. disco says:

    Maybe if you enclosed a wallet sized photo of yourself wearing a Cosby sweater they’d approve you?

    [Ratz! Maybe next year.]

  9. yatzer says:

    I read the pdf about credentials. It does seem unduly restrictive, although I don’t know what that sort of thing usually looks like. My condolences.

  10. Mojoron says:

    Can’t record or photograph their “Eucharistic Liturgies.” Hmmm, that says a lot right there. [They must be planning secret rites.]

    As far as your low spirit Father, a good pint of Chimay beer and a Padrom Family Reserve would do you well.

  11. Sonshine135 says:

    Once again, the LCWR proves they are not open to dialogue. Their dialogue is really nothing more than monologue with a party that disagrees with them having no say in the matter. I suppose the CDF has given them a very long rope to hang themselves, yet their lack of having a valid and well supported opposition blog like this one should prove once and for all that they have no interest in reconciling their beliefs with authentic Catholic teaching. It is all very schismatic and Protestant.

  12. Dimitri_Cavalli says:

    1) So much for “opennes.”

    2) What you should have done is approach the American Spectator, Weekly Standard, National Review, Catholic News Agency, Inside the Vatican, Zenit, Alteia, National Catholic Register, Catholic World Report, etc. and ask if you could cover the conference on their behalf as a freelancer and ask them to arrange press credentials.

    Even if they would still say no, the LCWR would look bad.

    [I write for The Catholic Herald in England. It is the best Catholic weekly in the UK.]

  13. gracie says:

    Dear Fr. Z,

    Life’s short; eternity’s long.

    When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.

    There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    It’s always darkest before the dawn.

    Every time it rains, it rains pennies from heaven.

    So anytime you’re getting low, ‘Stead of lettin’ go, just remember that ant.

    And . . .

    Keep your funny side up, up, let your laughter come through, do!
    Stand up on your legs, be like two fried eggs, keep your sunny side up!

  14. Doug R says:

    Well…while I’m sure that they’ve made exceptions for other people who do meet their doctrinal criteria, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that you don’t meet their criteria for “who may request credentials.” That being said, I’m also certain that these were NOT the criteria they used to exclude you.

    I have to agree with the previous comment though; next year, ask the Catholic Herald to arrange the press credentials for you, or freelance for another publication that will do the same.

  15. KM Edwards says:

    I feel your pain Father. For this depth of wound, I suggest the following:
    3 shot glasses lined up in a row – one for the Father, the other for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost.
    Fill each to 2/3 with Johnny Walker Scotch – Blue label would add a real touch of grace to this cure
    Top up the remaining 1/3 with Grand Marnier
    Drink all 3 in quick succession.
    That Holy Trinity cocktail guarantees immediate smiles, hard as that may be to fathom …

  16. Charlie Cahill says:

    I wonder…have they refused others? Any way to find out?..Perhaps you could ‘team up’ with a paper from Canada or be its reporter?..Methinks they don’t want YOU as you are a press reporter for the UK paper and I suspect registered as belonging to the UK Catholic paper.
    Whatever have you done to them?

  17. matt_morrow says:

    Father it’s on posts like these that you need to ask for donations, when everyone is feeling bad and in the giving mood. Nothing says I care deeply about your loss like some donations.

  18. lh says:

    Maybe if you registered as Sr. Zuhlsdorfina they’d let you in.

  19. teejay329 says:

    Fr. Z…
    Take heart!
    They reject you because they are fearful and know the truth…deep down. Those of us who promote your site and read daily for inspiration and education are enlightened. Just the other day a friend of mine who has two sons in college was saying how she promotes your ministry to them. She was frustrated that they had very few masculine role models in their life, aside from their father. But, she said that you are an excellent one for them, showing them that it takes strong men to be priests and she was impressed by your conservative teachings, support for our military and our 2nd Amendment rights. I think her comment was “He’s a man’s man and makes no apologies!”
    Hope that puts some salve on the wound.
    Although, with all that being said, I really would LOVE to hear your first hand reporting from that liberal quagmire…

  20. KM Edwards says:

    @ lh
    No, but Fr/Mother Zuhlsdorfina might … :-)

  21. Widukind says:

    Just a thought … what about going incognito? You could dress up as
    a modern sister – stretch pants, anti-nuke sweatshirt, and a really bad
    wig. For sure, they would let you in as a kindred spirit. They might even
    let you preside! You really would not be far off, as you would truly be one of the gals,
    in that you are partaking of their costume party, just as they are.
    If they can put on the “habit” of a good nun to show off to the public, then
    where is the deception on your part? As it is said, a show pony may be
    dressed up, but underneath its still an ass.

  22. incredulous says:

    One article from you would get you in. The title: “My Conversion”

    It would go something like this: Dear beloved of the Church, I realize my brain has been controlling my actions rather than allowing my emotions to prevail. I was listening to Michael Voris and realized that I was precisely his vision of the hated type of patriarchal man who conflicted with the softer, more pastoral Church that we, as The One Body ™ rightfully are owed.

    I’ve been too harsh and demanding insisting that we relyi on old doctrine that is no longer applicable now that we are into the sixth generation of the iPhone and have demonstrably evolved as a people. I now find that premarital sex, adultery and self-love all share the same thing with the Sacramental form of marriage. That is, Our Savior wants us to be happy. So, if it makes you happy, then that’s what He wants.

    Being happy with strangers or even those you know well might lead to unwanted zygotes and other monocellular objects. So, I think it should be a choice to terminate the unwanted mass say at least for the first 15 or 20 months of gestation. Catholics talk a lot about free will. So, they really promote the concept of choice in how one addresses bonafide health issues such as a zygote showing up at the wrong time. To that end, I understand that acne can be effectively treated with synthetic oral contraceptives, so I would endorse the Government School system start distributing them to 1st graders.

    Next, getting back to being happy, I now believe that any object of your happiness should be fair game to marry. Even if there are a few objects, He wants you to be happy.

    I know realize that having a male mind that tends to see things in a bipolar fashion (truth versus lies) or that doesn’t accommodate all the Shades of Gray and that a different mix of chromosomes is required. So, I now think that chimpanzees should be allowed the sacrament of Holy Orders. Who’s to say that a one of our evolutionary ancestors didn’t actually give birth to a founder of the church, anyway?

    It’s probably better just to deputize the entire congregation (including the bongo player and the electric bass guitar player) to offer the Bloodless Sacrifice as a communal commune.

    I do hope the beloved Sisters at LCWR now allow me entry to their open and transparent meeting.

  23. benedetta says:

    I guess when they sing “All Are Welcome” or paste it across their literature it’s not meant to be taken literally Father. It’s more of an, “all are welcome, in this sect” sort of an experience.

  24. Thomas S says:


    Maybe some dreamcatcher earrings would complete the ensemble.

  25. Titus says:

    August 12–15, eh? In Nashville? How fortunate that I will be out of town. Perhaps we’ll see the arriving delegates in the airport.

  26. tim says:

    Father, does the Wanderer not count as a general distribution religious publication? how about having Bishop Morlino give you credentials for the Madison Diocesan paper?

  27. MarkG says:

    @Father Z:

    If you are going to be in Nashville, I have a couple of suggestions for historic Churches that you may want to visit or offer a TLM in:

    Assumption Church

    St Mary of the Seven Sorrows (was the Cathedral before Civil War)

  28. tim says:

    Maybe they can hold next year’s conference in Mosul?

  29. Kerry says:

    On their pdf, wymyn is mispelled several times.

  30. Bea says:

    It is a badge of honor to be rejected by them.

    Kudos to you

  31. mariadevotee says:

    Do they need some seminarians to assist with the Sacrifice of the Mass?? We have 30ish available. (Maybe more, I lose count) With their own cassocks, lace surplice and paten, skilled in gracefully going from under the hand to under the chin as needed. Then again, maybe they are tied up talking to classes run by the Dominican Sisters of St Cecilia about the beauty and joy of serving God with an undivided heart.

  32. jflare says:

    I’ll give them credit for this much at least: They know who they can preach to and who not.
    Somehow, given the disgust that their ideas receive from the blogosphere at large, I think it exceedingly unlikely that they’d extend invitations past non-traditional media.
    For all that I detest their ideas, they know very well that bloggers would nail them to the wall.
    They don’t want that debate to happen if they can help it.

  33. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Just how are they using that noun and those modifiers – “General circulation religious publications”? Obviously blogs ‘make public generally’. Are they paper-bound (as they seem airwave-bound)? No ‘new media’ at all? Or are any other solely online ‘publishers/publications’ admitted? Did you mention your formal connection with the Herald to them? Or must the Herald indeed do that themselves? The link is not clear about that to me: perhaps a polite follow-up request for more detail as to the motivation of their decision is in order!

  34. I’m very tickled at the thought of Fr Z turning up in drag. Kind of horrified at the same time, though. Especially at the dreamcatcher earrings, which are so 1980s – Father would need some smart real pearl single studs if he wants to blend in properly. And some kind of twin set pants suit. They’re not so frumpy any more, these nuns.

    Father, if I ever hold a conference, you will be invited as keynote speaker. There will be business class flights, good hotel accommodation, and plenty of beer and bacon.

  35. PS You can also wear your own clothes.

  36. Andrew D says:

    Father Z: I think you are the victim of sex discrimination here. The LCWR has rejected you because you’re a male – and a white male at that! Maybe if you call up Eric Holder, he can get the Justice Department to launch an investigation and pressure the LCWR to be more tolerant and respectful of gender diversity.

  37. asophist says:

    Given my vast circle of acquaintance (I belong to a number of local do-good, volunteer organizations) I was once slightly acquainted with a middle-aged woman who was a practising Wiccan (e.g., witch), who said and wrote “Blessings” upon parting from people or upon closing her missives. Having seen literature written by her cohorts on a few occasions, they all did the same. Once, in passing, I looked at a book purporting to be by a witch; the book’s introduction closed with the same word, “Blessings”. What does that say about nuns who do the same? I’m just sayin’.

  38. jlong says:

    The Nashville Dominicans of Saint Cecilia, in their full habit and veil, should attend the event and form a prayer vigil to bring their sisters in Christ back to the fullness of the faith.

  39. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: the salutation or closer of “Blessings” — As usual, the Wiccans stole this from mainstream Christianity and Catholicism, so you can’t really imply anything. OTOH, there are a lot of more dignified ways for religious to close their official letters, so it seems a bit dismissive to use an informal closer, particularly when delivering “bad news.”

    Re: Nashville — Oh, come on, meeting organizers, do you want to beclown yourselves, or are you out to encourage defectors to escape your hotel? There’s probably more Nashville Dominicans in formation than most of your member orders have members.

  40. APX says:

    Maybe you could sneak in disguised as a giant fluffy Jesus puppet.

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