Fishwrap is afraid of the “Credo” priests letter

Michael Sean Winters at the National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap) is upset that over 800 priests and some bishops signed a letter asking that traditional Catholic doctrine be upheld at the next Synod of Bishops.

It’s strange simply to write that.

I can’t help shake the thought that Fishwrap/MSW is not as concerned about marriage as he is about the other stuff that came up at the synod.

Furthermore, and this is a hoot, MSW thinks the bishops and priests should withdraw their signatures from the petition.


All the more reason for priests and bishops to sign.   If MSW doesn’t like it, it is probably good for the Church.

Father, follow this link HERE.  Go sign.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The comments over at NCR are revealing to me– some of them are truly sad. I forget sometimes about the catholics who are trying to make the Church in their own image.

    Do people honestly believe that the western world is better with 1. more divorce 2. homes with 8 televisions and 1.9 children (if it is decided that children are ‘wanted’ at all) 3. no connection of the reception of the Holy Eucharist with the rest of our moral lives 4. believing God made humanity with two genders for no apparent reason. — All the while an impotent church asking people to believe in what it teaches–at this moment– until the spirit blows again.

    I wish I could have signed the CREDO petition in 100pt font.

  2. robtbrown says:

    Welcome to the bizarre world of liberals. They promote their perfidy by claiming that doctrine is the oppression of the masses by a few powerful bishops. When they discover that they are not supported by those not in power, they change their MO.

  3. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s quite funny that he writes : “To assert that the Church’s teaching regarding marriage is “unchanging” is simply wrong. It changed, or as it is more accurately described, it developed, quite dramatically at the Council of Trent

    To try and claim that Trent might somehow “justify” changes in doctrine is patently absurd !!!

    Trent Session 24 :

    … ungodly men of this age, raving madly, have not only formed false ideas concerning this venerable sacrament, but, introducing in conformity with their habit under the pretext of the Gospel a carnal liberty, have by word and writing asserted, not without great harm to the faithful of Christ, many things that are foreign to the teaching of the Catholic Church and to the usage approved of since the times of the Apostles …

    Can. 5. If anyone says that the bond of matrimony can be dissolved on account of heresy or irksome cohabitation, or by reason of the voluntary absence of one of the parties, let him be anathema.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  4. The real howler is when Mr. Winters said, “I am dumbfounded by this crass political ploy to put pressure on the synod” (emphasis added).

    Apparently, Mr. Winters has never read the paper that publishes his column.

  5. Maynardus says:

    Whenever I hear about faithful and courageous priests and bishops being criticized I recall two essential truths:

    “Beware, for by their enemies thou shalt know them”

    “Truly, a day spent irritating the likes of the Fishwrappers is never a day wasted”

  6. Gerard Plourde says:

    In this time of preparation for the next Synod, I pray that we all expereience a strengthened faith to know that God will not abandon His Church and ask that we unite in prayer, petitioning that the members of the Synod will be guided by the Holy Spirit so that the Church’s mission to speak truth and bring salvation to all of us sinners may be fortified.

  7. benedetta says:

    At this point in time my own sense is that folks like Fishwrap etc are scared not to animate hatred towards other Catholics…if they had been strong enough to resist what this is about they would have, long ago, on principles of civil rights, tolerance, supporting the poor and marginalized…no matter the talk of their themes in the final analysis they were unable to do what was necessary with courage to be true to those convictions. The results we now see are sadly all too predictable. The effects of their disunity with poor and marginalized believers, a betrayal at the hands of the clearly violent of course are ultimately limited and only go so far. It may provide their allies with some booty in the short term however it is not true power or life. I am praying for them.

  8. Woody79 says:

    We reap what we sow.

  9. Latin Mass Type says:

    Interesting comments over there. I could only take so much, though. The shrillness of some of the comments is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Or the sound of a meat saw.

    At least MSW admitted that he could not bother himself to contact the retired bishops who signed…okay, fine. He most likely would have felt really stupid approaching Bishop Finn anyway.

    And then we have the recent stories castigating Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, wherein NCR puts much credence in their exclusive quotes from retired priests…?

    I find among the signatures the names of priests I admire very much, including my own confessor.

    As Fr. Z states, they (Fishwrapians) are very afraid.

  10. benedetta says:

    And yet, none of us, not a one, need be afraid…we know not the day, nor the hour…we could be called home at any time as the news of every single day well establishes. Fear is useless whether on the part of the fishwrap or anyone else. What is needed is faith. To leap to it, without delay. We’d best prepare ourselves for any eventuality in the sacrament of confession. Let fishwrap do what it does and let us continue with courage and trust with the grace the sacraments impart to us. No one need live paralyzed in fear. We are stronger than that…

    No one need sell our fellows for coin or whatever the craving may be. But if we lack fortitude, we have a Saviour who is trustworthy.

  11. McCall1981 says:

    The recent comments by Cards Erdo and Pell (that the Synod is going to re-affirm traditional teachings) probably have the fishwrappers feeling a bit nervous too.

  12. Grumpy Beggar says:

    From the OP ; Fr Z says:
    “I can’t help shake the thought that Fishwrap/MSW is not as concerned about marriage as he is about the other stuff that came up at the synod.”

    I find myself comfortably consonant with that notion/suspicion – particularly considering that the current garbage legislation in various countries which is forcing the general public to kowtow and view the world through gay-tinted glasses and which has hijacked the word “equality” (among others) always began . . . as/with “dialogue”.
    A rough approximation of the recurring pattern may be expressed as :
    Dialogue . . .Debate . . . Draft Legislation . . . Decree . . . Done . . . ( Dohhh !) – That’s how the gay militants always do it . . . cranking up the big propaganda machine via the media during the entire process.

    From the Fishwrap article :
    “It is obvious how this petition fulfills the first half of the Holy Father’s request, to speak forthrightly, but it is unclear to me how the signatories of this petition intend to ‘listen with humility.’ Petitions are one way conveyors of a stance or an opinion. There is no dialogue, no listening.”

    Ummm , if they hadn’t been “listening” back in the Synod of October 2014, then I wonder how they ever could have come to the conclusion that the Synod was being hijacked/manipulated and that confusion was being spread ? It doesn’t appear to me that they weren’t “listening” . . . truer to say they may have been the only ones who were paying close attention. Furthermore, the Petition is being promulgated and signed with the benefit of hindsight. . . A couple of snippets from the Petitions :

    “Following the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome in October 2014 much confusion has arisen concerning Catholic moral teaching. In this situation we wish, as Catholic priests, to re-state our unwavering fidelity to the traditional doctrines . . .

    We urge all those who will participate in the second Synod in October 2015 to make a clear and firm proclamation of the Church’s unchanging moral teaching, so that confusion may be removed, and faith confirmed.”

    Several deep post-synodal insights shared by Cardinal Burke on how the Synod was “manipulated”:

    Pointing to bishops whose statements in favor of homosexuality have gone
    ‘undisciplined,” Cardinal Burke said it was evident that “confusion is spreading, really, in an alarming way,” in the Church. And the confusion is having adverse effects. “I hear it myself: I hear it from Catholics, I hear it from bishops,” he said. “People are claiming now, for instance, that the Church has changed her teaching with regard to sexual relations outside of marriage, with regard to the intrinsic evil of homosexual acts.”

    Cardinal Burke noted that while previously the “authority of the Church prohibited certain discussions,” now Catholics feel free to dispute even settled Catholic teaching such as that forbidding contraception.

    Speaking of manipulation at October’s Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, Cardinal Burke said, “It’s clear to me that there were individuals who obviously had a very strong influence on the synod process who were pushing an agenda which has nothing to do with the truth about marriage as Our Lord Himself teaches it to us, as it is handed down to us in the Church.” He explained further, “That agenda had to do with trying to justify extra-marital sexual relations and sexual acts between persons of the same sex and, in a way, clearly to relativize and even to obscure the beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage as a faithful, indissoluble, procreative union of one man and one woman.”

    One of the frequent lines at the Synod from those who were suggesting change was that the change was merely pastoral and never doctrinal. For Cardinal Burke however, that “simply is a false distinction.” “There cannot be anything that’s truly pastorally sound which is not doctrinally sound,” he added. “And so to say that we’re just making pastoral changes that have nothing to do with doctrine is false.”

    The Church isn’t some society that everyone lives in and votes in ; although both the Church’s enemies from within and from without would love everyone to see the Church that way. Neither should a debate within the Church be framed to accord an advantage to dissenters – which that article at Fishwrap surely seems to imply. Dissenters look to obscure the truth and create confusion in an attempt to soothe their own troubled consciences. True debate within the indefectible Catholic Church , comes from those who give their assent of faith first.

    I also agree that it’s a “hoot” that “SMW thinks the bishops and priests should withdraw their signatures from the petition” . . . Heck , why stop there ? Why not go for the whole 9 yards and get them to recant on their Baptismal promises too , while they’re at it ?

  13. greg3064 says:

    Michael Sean Winters is not the subtlest concern troll.

  14. iamlucky13 says:

    “How is this petition, in form if not content, any different from the full page ad in the San Francisco Chronicle calling for the removal of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone?”

    This is obtuse to the point of dishonesty. The answer is very clear. One informs the Synod fathers that large numbers of priests do indeed recognize the goodness of the Church’s teaching on marriage, asks them to be strong in defending the truth, and renews their pledge to help teach these truths clearly. The other asks Pope Francis to punish a bishop for allowing one of his pastors to make a pastoral decision that was fully within the authority that Pope Francis allows him, for not allowing the teachers to work for him to publicly contradict the teachings they’re hired to convey, and most absurdly, for distributing examinations of conscience. Those are the actual reasons they gave, although obviously they worded them much differently.

    The differences don’t stop there, because while one is a public petition addressed and delivered to the Synod but shared with other Catholics through Catholic publications so that they may also be encouraged to live out the teachings of Christ faithfully, the other pretends to be addressed to Pope Francis despite actually and very deliberately (they supposedly paid over $50,000 for their chosen delivery method) being delivered to a group of people that is 80% non-Catholic, making it clear that the actual intention was to generate scandal.

    Form, content, and audience are all completely different

    Also, I want to add something to JabbaPapa’s excellent post:
    “To try and claim that Trent might somehow “justify” changes in doctrine is patently absurd !!!”

    It is also important to be clear that there is an absolutely critical difference between a change that expands upon what has already been taught, and a change that contradicts what has already been taught. One recognizes that the fullness of truth was not delivered to the Church in the instant of its founding. The other requires us to believe we can not depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in its teaching.

  15. Brian Cannon says:

    I do not think reducing a whole bunch of people to a label like “fishwrappers” is particularly useful. Don’t you think there would be very honest and prayerful people included in such a broad swipe? Such a practice does not strike me as particularly charitable. It also makes me wonder if you are legitimately interested in effectively leading people towards conversion or if you are more satisfied with telling people to get off your lawn.

  16. frjim4321 says:

    I do not think reducing a whole bunch of people to a label like “fishwrappers” is particularly useful. Don’t you think there would be very honest and prayerful people included in such a broad swipe? Such a practice does not strike me as particularly charitable. It also makes me wonder if you are legitimately interested in effectively leading people towards conversion or if you are more satisfied with telling people to get off your lawn. Brian

    Nicely put.

    If wanderer critiqued the AUSCP I don’t think that would necessarily mean they were “afraid” of the AUSCP.

  17. Grumpy Beggar says:

    @Brian Cannon
    Hi Brian Cannon.
    There is some history which really should to be taken into consideration. An alternate name seemed to be a not-so-uncharitable interim solution since several bishops have pointed out that the particular publication in question isn’t at all Catholic ; that it should not be made available to parishoners in their dioceses; that it undermines the Catholic faith. Pretty hard to imagine a publication could be doing all that by accident.

    What you perceive as a “broad swipe” is something I actually employ myself from time to time to avoid inordinately focusing on the author of a particular piece – I will alternate and refer to the organization they work for as well – just so a critique doesn’t stay too focused on an individual. And according to the title of the post, the critique in this case is more aimed at what is said – not so much at the sayer . Yet one will find wrinkles periodically of personal reference which have a little zip to them. But if you scrutinize those referential wrinkles, they are usually an expression of perplexity as to, “What could he have been thinking when he wrote that”, or “Can he actually believe what he writes?”

    To be blunt, the people in charge of that organization have been thumbing their dorsal fins at the bishop and the Catholic church for more than a good while :

    “. . . In contrast to these positive, faithful Catholic media outlets located in the Kansas City-Saint Joseph diocese, Bishop Finn examined the National Catholic Reporter.

    “I have received letters and other complaints about NCR from the beginning of my time here,” said Bishop Finn, who was consecrated the diocese’s coadjutor in May, 2004.

    He continued, “In the last months I have been deluged with emails and other correspondence from Catholics concerned about the editorial stances of the Reporter: officially condemning Church teaching on the ordination of women, insistent undermining of Church teaching on artificial contraception and sexual morality in general, lionizing dissident theologies while rejecting established Magisterial teaching, and a litany of other issues.”

    . . . Bishop Charles Helmsing in October of 1968 issued a condemnation of the National Catholic Reporter and asked the publishers to remove the name ‘Catholic’ from their title – to no avail.”
    EWTN ; Bishop: National Catholic Reporter Undermines Church Teaching

    They’ve had plenty of time to take the false premise out of their name, but they choose not to.

    So there isn’t really any way we who comment on Fr Z’s blog could call them “Catholic” and be acting in good faith. Some type of alternate name was needed since not everyone is crazy about writing it this way :
    National Catholic Reporter , and National Catholic Ravenous Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing seems to be a little lengthy .

    I believe it may be just as, if not more pertinent to also take the time to view it from the perspective of how National Catholic Reporter is “interested in effectively” “misleading” people” , drawing them away from conversion by preaching error publicly through their (mis)using the media.

    Apart from the obvious, that is, *i*h*r*p’s potential and tendency to lead souls away from the truth and into sin, if one scrolls down the RH column of this blog enough to a spot where Fr. Z has posted some of what others say about him , one discovers MSW’s comments appearing there:

    “Father John Zuhlsdorf is a crank”
    “Father Zuhlsdorf drives me crazy”
    – Michael Sean Winters

    All things considered , as far as “crazy cranks” go , I believe Fr. Z to be a rather good-natured one . . . when he can afford to be .

    Maybe you or someone else could hang the bell on the fish. Maybe someone can come up with a new name that is more . . . what ?

  18. Bea says:

    I guess Sean Winters thinks it is heretical and political to defend what the Church has always taught.
    I don’t know how he mixed politics with dogma. Apples and oranges?
    Being heretical towards heretics is laudable.
    Reminds me of Joan Chittister’s quote at an LA teachers conference some years ago: “The heresy of today is the dogma of tomorrow” Go figure.

  19. chantgirl says:

    Add a Bishop to the tally :)

  20. Elizabeth D says:

    Bishop Bruskewitz signed!

  21. Random Friar says:

    Allow me to offer Mr. Winters a different point of view: this letter is not so much for the synodal bishops, as it is for the benefit of Christ’s faithful.

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