A priest’s plea: “Please, Holy Father: Enough”

My friend Msgr. Charles Pope has a piece at the National Catholic Register which echoes what I have heard and read from many priests.  He is as vexed as many priests about some off-the-cuff remarks made by His Holiness the Pope about priests.  Francis seems to have an extremely dim view of priests. He constantly talks about them in a derogatory way.

In the same occasion when he made off the cuff remarks about the “majority” of marriages being invalid – which the Press Office attempted to walk back after the fact – the Holy Father said that priests should not be “putting our noses into the moral life of other people.” This is, of course, inconsistent with exactly what priest ought to do, must do if they are to help people avoid hell get to heaven!

Read the whole thing there, but this is Msgr. Pope’s peroration:

Thus even the “spun” remarks are unhelpful at best and divisive at worst.  His emphasis:

Please, Holy Father: Enough of these ad hoc, off-the-cuff, impromptu sessions, whether at thirty thousand feet or at ground level. Much harm through confusion has been caused by these latest remarks on marriage, cohabitation, baptism, confession, and pastoral practice. Simply cleaning the record in the official transcript is not enough; this is an era of instant reportage and lots of recording devices, tweets, and Instagrams.

Just this priest’s perspective. But I can assure you, dear reader, that the impact hits priests hard, and I cannot deny a certain weariness and discouragement at this point. I realize that such remarks of the Pope are not doctrinal, but just try and tell that to gleeful dissenters and the morally confused or misled in this world.

Let us pray for our Holy Father and for the universal Church.

I also want to direct the readership’s attention back to a post about the initiative of another priest friend, Fr. Byers.  HERE  He asks that people pray for His Holiness in a coordinated way to protect him from diabolical attacks.

May I add a request that you pray for priests?  Especially for the priests you know?  Especially for me?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Cri de Coeur, Francis, Mail from priests, Priests and Priesthood and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Peyton says:

    Please pardon my ignorance — how does one send a request (respectful, of course) to the Holy Father?

  2. Joseph-Mary says:

    I do pray for priests daily. This outspokenness on the part of Msgr. Pope may have unpleasant repercussions for him! May he be protected from on high as he speaks the truth which so many are so very hesitant to do these days.

  3. Father Bartoloma says:

    I hereby coin and copywrite a new term: “Benedexit”


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  4. Hornblower says:

    Dear Father, please be assured of my daily prayers for you (by name), priests, bishops, the pope, and the Church.

  5. yatzer says:

    I do pray for priests, every day, and for you. It is difficult enough for me, basically an old lady nobody, to avoid discouragement. I can only imagine the pressure on the faithful clergy. You guys are true warriors, deserving of whatever support the rest of us can give you. I also pray that the Pope would stop saying things that confuse and undercut. He may intend something else, but that’s what is happening.

  6. Benedict Joseph says:

    That to which we are being treated – is it beginning to be almost on a daily feed – is unpalatable at best, but mostly unbearable. Msgr. Pope writes with tact, and with far more filial respect than I can muster. God reward him.

  7. wmeyer says:

    I pray for all our priests and bishops, especially for the Pope. I also pray particularly for the strong priests who are already leading people back to the truths we all knew before the post-Conciliar wreckovation.

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Perhaps the Holy Father was inwardly savoring his memories of enjoying watching Todas las criaturas grandes y pequeñas as provincial superior back in Argentina and thinking priests should be up to their armpits in “the moral life of other people” like James Herriot desperately helping deliver a calf.

  9. kiwiinamerica says:

    Francis hates nobody more than priests.

    [We don’t know that.]

  10. Cornelius says:

    Pray for the pope? Indeed, as if that’s a novel idea, as if that’s not what we’ve been doing since Bergoglio appeared on the balcony.

    God is listening, to be sure, but He has not responded with sufficient grace for Bergoglio to be an orthodox pope, a good shepherd of His flock.

    What do we make of this? Has the Lord abandoned His Church? Are we being punished? Does God even exist, or is this whole Catholic thing a pure fable?

    I have no idea, but I confess my faith is draining away like a punctured balloon losing air.

    [It’s absurd to put your faith in “the Pope”. Popes come and go. Some of them have been saintly and some of them have been sinners. It is the Office of Peter, the Petrine Ministry, that is important. Trust the Lord.]

  11. Philomena Mary says:

    Dear Father, please be assured you are among the priests I pray for every day. Thank you for all you’ve done for me and for other souls.

  12. HeatherPA says:

    “I realize that such remarks of the Pope are not doctrinal, but just try and tell that to gleeful dissenters and the morally confused or misled in this world.”

    The above encapsulates the issue exactly, aside from the insult and offense these comments inflict.

    It is difficult as is to be a faithful Catholic in society. Add the Holy Father seemingly persecuting his own flock and shepherds in his off the cuff remarks and it adds a very heavy cross on top of the many already shouldered.

    Just remember to offer up this along with all the other stuff.

    And yes, we pray for our priests every evening during family rosary.

  13. kekeak2008 says:

    Any and all good that could come from a majority of the Pope’s unscripted comments is always diminished or overshadowed by the confusion of said comments. I pray he will soon realize that he sometimes does more harm than good. May God help us all.

  14. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    Quite aside from not being able to tell who “hates” whom, I was going to say, and will say anyway, the only group that gets ripped more often than priests by Pope Francis is lawyers. So, I understand how priests feel.

  15. TNCath says:

    I find it interesting that more and more priests are starting to publicly challenge the Holy Father.

  16. AnnTherese says:

    Of course God hears our prayers and responds in love. We tend to only like or trust those responses that match our hopes and wishes. Today we heard this psalm in Mass: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Some of the most powerful words in our holy Scriptures.

  17. PapalCount says:

    How much longer Lord? How much longer?

  18. hwriggles4 says:

    EWTN’s The World Over Live this week (June 23, 2016) had Fr. Gerald Murray, a priest and JCL from the Archdiocese of New York, voice his concerns on the latest “off the cuff” comments from Pope Francis I. Fr. Murray discussed “validity” of marriages, and this wasn’t the first time The World Over Live voiced concerns about some of the Pope’s “off the cuff” comments and the headlines that secular media outlets are carrying, thinking that Pope Francis intends to change doctrines and institute major reforms that make the Church look like a democracy. (Sidebar: I have seen one or two secular newspaper articles pertaining to the Church showing that vocations have declined a little since 2013, and weekly Mass attendance among Catholics hasn’t had a dramatic increase since 2013, so what the drive by media expected of Pope Francis I hasn’t changed anything, but I digress.)

    Anyway, I highly recommend catching the rebroadcast of EWTN’s the World Over Live, either on the radio or online. I’m glad to see the Church standing up, and I have a pastor who teaches with the Church.

    Yes, we need to pray for priests, which I do nearly every morning. Our pastor every week has an intention for vocations as well.

  19. Kensington says:

    And he’s at it again:

    The dissenting Catholics in my family eat this stuff up. It emboldens them to scoff audibly in church every time the poor priest talks about abortion or same sex marriage during a homily.

    These are flabbergasting times.

  20. Peter Stuart says:

    As one of many SSA Catholics struggling with chastity, if it wasn’t for the brave few like Monsignor Pope and you, Father Z, I don’t know where I’d be. Especially given the latest blurts from on high.

    Thank you for having our backs. You are in my prayers.

  21. Benedict Joseph says:

    Ah, tonight we have the reportage on the latest plane press conference. I’d like to think the altitude has something to do with it, but it appears not to be the case. He surely had his feet planted firmly on the planet when this scenario unfolded during the cut and paste operation producing “Amoris Laetitia.” From the May 3 Zonalocale.it Italian news report:
    “Archbishop Forte has revealed a ‘behind the scenes’ [moment] from the Synod: ‘If we speak explicitly about Communion for the divorced and remarried,’ said Archbishop Forte, reporting a ‘joke’ of Pope Francis, ‘you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, [but] do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusion’.”
    Simply dishonest and totally unreliable and entirely unacceptable.
    Who is this man?

  22. Pingback: Desastre no Lateranense – III Parte

Comments are closed.