Fr. Z’s Predictions for 2015

Fr. Z’s Prediction for 2015

1. The Synod of Bishops on the Family will be rigged and explosive.
2. The “AFFORDABLE” Care Act will continue to flop and to be unpopular.
3. The number of places in which Extraordinary Form (TLM) Masses are offered will continue to grow.
4. Pope Francis will be welcomed in these USA with hysterical enthusiasm.
5. Curial Reform will continue to meet significant resistance.
6. Pope Francis will release his next encyclical at the United Nations.
7. There will be more cyber-attacks on corporations and government entities.
8. Mass attendance will continue to decline.
9. Former-Father Greg Reynolds will still be excommunicated.
10. Fr. Z will still not be a Monsignor.

How did I do last year?

Fr. Z’s Predictions for 2014

1. Israel will attack Iran (still waiting for this one) [-1]
2. SCOTUS will rule in favor of the Bishops on the HHS Mandate (still waiting on this too) [-1]
3. The “AFFORDABLE” Care Act will continue to flop and be unpopular. [+1]
4. The number of places in which Extraordinary Form (TLM) Masses are offered will continue to grow. [+1]
5. The Canonization of Popes John and John Paul will see the largest crowds in history gathered in Rome. [-1]
6. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI will attend the canonization Mass. [+1]
7. Curial Reform will not make significant progress. [+1]
8. The Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will leave people wondering why they bothered. [-1]
9. Former-Father Greg Reynolds will still be excommunicated. [+1]
10. Fr. Z will still not be a Monsignor. [+1]


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. LarryW2LJ says:

    #2 seems to have affected the cost of private healthcare that I contribute to at work. I got my first pay stub for this year and am in sticker shock. The amount I contribute for health care is almost approaching the 50% mark of my take home pay.

  2. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    Fr Z, if you have your own basilicata you could be cardinal in pesto.

  3. TNCath says:

    Regarding your predictions:

    1. The results will be more damaging than the Second Vatican Council.
    2. The Affordable Care Act will go hand-in-hand with the Synod.
    3. Unless Pope Francis attempts to modify Summorum Pontificum.
    4. Yes, he’ll be welcomed with hysterical enthusiasm until he starts to scold Americans and American culture as he did the Curia on Christmas.
    5. I predict an unusual alliance among the Curia to actively conspire against the Pope’s attempts to reform them.
    6.And it will be the “best encyclical evvvuhhhh!”
    7.Yes, including the Vatican.
    8.Unless we start having Funeral Masses for our pets, since they can now go to Heaven!
    9.Don’t bet on it.
    10. Who wants it now, since you can’t even get to wear the violet cassock as choir dress?

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  4. SimonR says:


    This prediction makes me feel very uncomfortable:

    “1. The Synod of Bishops on the Family will be rigged and explosive”.

    Given how many Cardinals and Bishops have spoken out against the Kasper doctrine, I find it inconceivable that the Pope could change the well-established doctrine of the Church.

  5. Robbie says:

    Here are a few predictions of my own. Very dour ones, sadly.

    1. The popularity of Francis will only grow among the worldwide media due, almost entirely, to their view that he intends massive liberal change for the Church, especially when it come to homosexuals. Items that would have provoked backlash in the times of Benedict will simply be ignored.

    2. The next group of Cardinals named by Francis will have a decidedly liberal/progressive bent. Bruno Forte and Blase Cupich will be likely recipients while Francesco Moraglia, patriarch of Venice, and Chaput miss out again.

    3. The Synod will approve the core of the ideas offered by Kasper and that includes the controversial passages voted down at the end of the 2014 Synod and later reinserted by the Pope. It will also be the most contentious period since VII and will spark serious talk of a major split within the Church. No major cleric will break away though as Archbishop Lefebvre once did.

    4. Curial reform will move forward despite resistance. Those who lead the offices that survive are already staffed by men who support Francis’ vision and that will make the task easier. By the same token, we’ll also hear more about perceived purges as those who were considered allied with Benedict receive transfer papers.

    5. TLM communities already in operation will see their numbers swell, but more and more diocesan priests will be reluctant to begin new offerings based on a perceived hostility coming from Rome.

    6. Pope Francis will be welcomed as rockstar when he visits the US and numerous stories will be written about the emerging alliance between Francis and Obama. Some of that commentary will be accurate while some won’t.

  6. jflare says:

    I’d recommend more of a “0” on the Extraordinary Synod. I agree it drew LOTS of attention, but not attention that it needed to draw. In terms of providing input on issues that families actually need to address, the Synod was almost mute. In general, I’d say it did, indeed, make us wonder why it had been convened.

  7. ChrisRawlings says:

    I actually think the encyclical will be pretty decent. Pope Francis really isn’t a man of the political left, and I suspect that he’ll try to yank some debates regarding stewardship and culture out of the political square and into the forum of ethics and social teaching. In other words, depoliticize an issue that has been deeply politicized especially by environmentalist groups.

    I also don’t doubt that the synod will be explosive and that there will be attempts to rig the whole thing. I just don’t think they’ll get away with it. Especially now bishops and the rest of us know what is going on, and I think that people are going into the next synod pretty wide-eyed about what is going on. It is hard to pull a fast one when everyone sees it coming. But even that may not stop them from trying.

  8. RAve says:

    Re: #6. There will be record-breaking cold weather events on the very day it is released, including at the place he releases it.
    #11. Having heeded Father Z’s frequent urging that readers go to confession, numerous people who would not have otherwise been in a state of grace will die and enjoy the beatific vision, eternal rest and perpetual light.

  9. RAve says:

    #12. The term “Zisking” will catch on to describe the act of fisking done by a pithy orthodox Catholic.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  10. Gus Barbarigo says:

    4. Pope Francis will be welcomed in these USA with hysterical enthusiasm.

    In keeping with what Cardinal Burke said, about letting the bishops know that the faithful want doctrine kept intact, should Pope Francis be greeted only with hysterical welcome?

    Should there not also be respectful, non-hysterical, demonstrations in support of what was clearly attacked at the Synod Part I: Cardinal Burke and the Sacraments of Eucharist and Matrimony?

    I am reluctant to use the word “protest” in terms of the Pope (think, “Protestant”), but civil demonstrations, I believe, are in clearly order.

  11. jameeka says:

    Father Z, you may not be a Monsignor Z, but you have a blog, and you are not afraid to use it.

  12. Traductora says:

    The only one I’m not sure about is the hysterical welcome for him in the US. There has been a significant drop in visitors to Rome, and I think the people most likely to come out to see a Pope – either here or in Rome – are the more orthodox or at least practicing Catholics, many of whom are uneasy about things he has said. However, one thing that is certain is that the press will magnify the attendance and rave and gush endlessly. And I expect Obama to get in on the action.

    The Pope does seem to have a strange cult of personality going, and I recently read about a WEEKLY Italian fanzine named “Il Mio Papa.” It’s published by the Berlusconi group and edited by a layman (some of whose other opinions, from what I have read, are pro-life and good). In May, the Pope gave him an hour long interview as a kick-off, and it features puff-pieces and photos of the Pope, all with the approval of the Pope, of course.

    If Obama turns up, the only question is what happens when two cults of personality meet.

  13. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “7. Curial Reform will not make significant progress. [+1]”

    Hmm. I’d score this one a zero. If I had allowed even it, as the criteria for assessment are too vague (what is reform, what is progress, how long does it take for effects to be seen, etc.).

    Oh, and Happy New Year!

  14. suedusek says:

    On #8 for 2015: Mass attendance will continue to decline.

    I’m not entirely doubtful about Mass attendance declining, but where is it declining, and from what source do you get your statistics? Just wondering, that’s all. On Sundays our pews are pretty full. During the summer months, things get a little empty as people head to the lakes and travel, but during the school year, it’s crowded. Neighboring Catholic churches in our city have multiple Mass times and are similarly full.

    I’m from ND and things seem fine, here. Perhaps this is not the case in other parts of the country? I read often that “church attendance is declining.” Well, maybe it it. Then again, if we say it often enough, perhaps we are apt to believe it?

  15. Andrew D says:

    I hope and pray that your prediction #3 will come true. I also pray that Pope Francis will see the good that the TLM is doing by bringing people back to the Church and young men into the priesthood.

  16. RafqasRoad says:

    10. Fr. Z. is still not a Monsignor

    No, but he’s now the Bishop of Woollongong, Australia!! (our bishop turns 75 this year so will be hanging up his hat.


    11. upon his elevation to the role of Bishop, Fr. Z. will perform the TLM over half a dozen successive weeks at every church in my parish (one mass at one church per week for this grand tour), including the one only 250m up the street from me, accompanied by excellent homiletics and a bit of renaissance/Baroque liturgical music given to our parish guitarists :-) Haugan and Hass out, Vivaldi, Bird, Laws, Purcel, handal, right up to Brophey (whose TLM setting of 2013 is an awesome thing to behold, in!

    12. Attendances will be (surprisingly) large.

    13. Fr. Z. will also extend the olive branch to those less inclined towards the TLM by offering the Anglican Ordinariate use liturgy in these self same half a dozen churches.

    14. Attendances will skyrocket! Those of a certain age and mindset who might have grumbled about the new bishop’s TLM will embrace the AO form, withflow-on that only adds to the offering of the NO. Our seminary becomes fuller as a result with finally one priest per little parish church and even two in the larger and more remote parish churches to offer the mass daily and sacraments regularly.

    15. Our current parish priests who already do an admirable job now no longer exhausted by their incredibly demanding workload move from strength to strength under the orthodox guidance, care and good leadership they are receiving, not to mention the added support from more priests in said parish.

  17. Liam says:

    Don’t forget the perpetual #11! The SSPX will still not be regularized!

  18. Stephen Matthew says:

    When I first read number one, I had to double check and make sure you didn’t write:
    “will be rigged with explosives.”

  19. “5. The Canonization of Popes John and John Paul will see the largest crowds in history gathered in Rome. [-1]”
    i would have thought outside the funeral for JPII that would have been the case.How far short did it fall?

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