Goals for Faithful Catholics in this time of confusion

A theologian friend feeds me stuff which I occasionally share here with some editing and editorializing.


Cardinal Raymond Burke gave a talk in Rome on May 7. I couldn’t attend, but the great organization, Voice of the Family, who ran the event, have made the speech and a video of it available.  HERE

In his talk, Cardinal Burke had this challenge for all of us:

“I think of so many faithful who express to me their profound concerns for the Church in the present time, when there seems to be so much confusion about fundamental dogmatic and moral truths. In responding to their concerns, I urge them to deepen their understanding of the constant teaching and discipline of the Church and to make their voices heard, [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] so that the shepherds of the flock may understand the urgent need to announce again with clarity and courage the truths of the faith and to apply again with charity and firmness the discipline needed to safeguard the same truths.”

It seems to me that what Cardinal Burke is calling for is two-fold. [NB] The faithful (clergy and laity) should first educate themselves about fundamental dogmatic and moral truths, and secondly they should speak up to bishops in favor of clear, faithful teaching. Let your bishops hear from you. Kasperite bishops have to hear that their line is not shared by the faithful, and Catholic bishops have to hear our support. Generally speaking, conservatives in the Catholic Church are not as good at organizing as are liberals. We need to turn this around.

That last point needs to be underscored. Libs organize better, they show up, they know how to use the system, they work work work work work for their goals. And it is seems that the “Olympian Middle” is veering more and more into the liberal camp as they test the breezes.

One thing I have called for and desired for years here in the Catholic blogosphere is for a halt to the petty squabbling that can prevent those of a more traditional bent to close ranks and create a more united front.

Some of you know who I mean.

Isn’t it time?


See Fr. John Hunwicke’s post HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    During the Prussian war when many in France were gripped with a fear of the future a French Saint was asked “What scares you the most?” her response “Bad Catholics”

    Saint Bernadette – Lourdes.

  2. Tricia says:

    I have already started writing to clergy members. I figure if they hear from heterodox Catholics, they should hear from faithful ones, too. I also think bishops and priests who stand up for the faith need our encouragement.

  3. anilwang says:

    I don’t think liberals organize better. [I think they are.] I think it’s more practical. All liberals need to do is to side with allies in the world against the Church and convince faithful but less zealous Catholics that compromise is temporary and no big deal since more zealous Catholics can pick up the slack (e.g. It’s Rome’s job to be orthodox, I’m just doing the best I can). Traditionalists have a harder job. They not only have to preserve what was handed down, they need to convince less zealous Catholics (including themselves at times) that even an iota is a big deal and that we are our brother’s keeper. They also have to battle with other traditionalists over priorities of restoration, and what is a “tradition of God” versus a “tradition of man” along with with preferences in style (e.g. the classic Dominican versus Franciscan versus Jesuit rivalry).

    I don’t know what the answer is but I do think that the “do whatever you can and proceed forward with vigor with whatever sticks” approach along with “wedge issues” that liberals use has to be a part of the strategy. If it’s impossible to get people to read the Bible or the Catechism or pro-life but there’s a strong Marian devotion, then that needs to be expanded and used as a launching pad for introducing the other areas. The same can be said for the other areas.

  4. Papabile says:

    I think most of us know who you mean, Father.

  5. mike cliffson says:

    Secular parallel: if you follow Mark Steyn, worth reading in my opinion, you will have read interalia that at his evidence to Senator Cruz’s subcommittee, before your primaries got going , Mark observed that the totalitarian Dem Senators on the subcommittee made the running , despite having neither the chair nor the majority because their Rep counterparts couldn’t be bothered to attend, whereas they did, and furthered their agenda therebye.
    also missing are, numerically considered, vast WWII style battlefleets of prayer: where are the numerous and wellmanned convents of contemplative nuns and other religious of my youth? Where the family rosaries ?(yeah and mea culpa, its an uphill job with the offspring) And with more priests unless I am mistaken practically anything had masses. Fewer priests equals fewer masses.
    Almighty God isn t a machine to need our numbered input, but on general principles we oughtn’t to chance it.

  6. Gail F says:

    You are entirely right. The Left is very, very, very good at organizing. It’s a well-oiled machine and those opposed are at least 10 years behind, probably more. It’s not just letter-writing and phone call campaigns — it’s institutional. From lobbyists to PR people to groups that have experience with mobilization… they have all of that and much more. Some of it has been in place for decades and has been working for decades. Our folks are independent and do things in a small way. Vigor only goes so far when a coalition of allied groups — all of them used to helping each other and, in many cases, not particularly choosy about what they support (or say they support) as long as it’s all on the same “side” — mobilizes. Anyone who thinks this isn’t the case hasn’t gone up against it. How do you think the “gay marriage” campaign was so suddenly and spectacularly successful? How many people even KNOW about the huge push for euthanasia and “physician-assisted suicide” that’s about to start? What you’ve seen so far is just a taste. Some of these pro-suicide groups have been active for decades; they’ve changed their names and gathered allies as they discovered what people find palatable, what people will respond to, etc. They are about to launch a lot of proposed legislation in a lot of states at once.
    Anyway… liberals in the Church are able to bring these skills to Church issues. They come across as organized, intelligent people who know what they are doing and have numbers behind them. People who disagree often come across as shrill, angry crazies you don’t even WANT to agree with. When you are someone making a lot of decisions at the same time, with limited time to investigate, who gets listened to? Often, it’s the organized people who say they have numbers (and dollars) behind them.

  7. xsosdid says:

    The problem isn’t organization (though I agree liberals have a diabolical facility for it). We don’t need organization because we are on the side of the angels. We need to fight the devil and his influence on our imaginations which he uses to divide us. We distance ourselves from those we find “nutty” or “over the top”. We need to understand what is effective: Listen to Fr Rosica rant about the “cesspool of hatred”. He is attacking because he needs to further marginalize certain elements. He wants us to be afraid of associating with them. But he is showing us where they are afraid: it is losing their control over the cultural narrative. They know that some of the more, shall we say “provocative” claims and accusations against the group in charge right now has the power to start a fire that they cannot put out.
    In short, too many on our side are afraid to…hagan lio !!

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  8. Augustine says:

    Read the works of the Italian communist Antonio Gramsci, the creator of cultural Marxism and the strategies to influence the culture without its realizing that it’s slowly but surely becoming socialist. The problem is that, since he died in the 30s, we are not just a decade behind, but over 80 years!

  9. HeatherPA says:

    Our priest has really turned it up this year and made very clear homilies with straightforward talk about the dark cloud over society and what is evil that is being pushed under the “tolerance” banner. He has lost some families to other lukewarm parishes because of his honest homilies and their offense at being taught from the Catechism.

    I wrote to the Bishop weeks ago and thanked him for our priest. Anyone who has a good priest needs to do this, especially because the disgruntled parishioners are surely writing to the Bishops and complaining. Balance the scales.

    Not only does hearing the truth from the pulpit set us free, it calms the storm of relativism that tries to stir inside when we are bombarded hourly with the sheer audacity of what society tries to force as normal.

    Today we found out the Disney animated sequel “Finding Dory” will feature a lesbian couple, therefore a film we were looking forward to taking our little ones to is now a film we won’t be seeing as a family.

  10. Maineman1 says:

    I think what is needed is a total global collapse of modern Catholicism, a widespread loss of hundreds of millions of people who don’t even believe in the faith. Even better would be the peaceful departure of countless clergy who don’t even appear to adhere to the Faith. The restoration of the Church will probably require the passage of countless decades, if not a century or longer. It is going to be a theological Darwinism.

  11. louiseyvette says:

    “Hagan lio!” does not sit well with faithful Catholics, because it is naturally *immodest.* That’s it. I’m not trying to make excuses, but just pointing out the main reason – imo – that we are not as vocal etc. That said, obviously, we must find a way to challenge the evil happening in our beloved Church and somehow make our leaders listen. I have tried to do this for decades now, with minimal effect.

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  13. taffymycat says:

    the truth about all liberals in any line of work or thought is that they just never give up. perseverance is a good quality unfortunately that is the only thing good about liberals and satan. neither ever gives up.

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