Wherein Fr. Z responds to some frustrated readers

My mailbox is filling with notes of disgust from readers who ask for my reaction to something posted at the Fishwrap (aka National Sodomitic Reporter) and about some other news items today.

How to put it…?

[No.  Nope.  I can’t write that.]

You might head over to Crisis to read the amazing Anthony Esolen’s entry today: The Uses of Disgust

It’s not a pleasant thing to ingest, his essay, but neither are most medicines.

Thank you, professor, for encapsulating what many of us feel right now.


In case you missed it – HERE


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Cri de Coeur, Liberals, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. SaintJude6 says:

    Are you sure it was at the Fishwrap and not at National catholic Register? Because they actually had to pull a piece by Shimek about those evil ultraconservative Catholic bloggers.


  2. Jacob says:

    Shimek’s blog post at National Catholic Reporter is cached at Google.

  3. Janol says:

    re: John Paul Shimek article
    NCRegister: “Editors’ note: This post has been removed. The original text was posted without authorization and bypassed any editorial review. The blog did not reflect the Register’s editorial views.”

    Here is a link to the readers’ comments:

  4. chantgirl says:

    Yeah, the Shimek piece was a sophomoric hit piece which implied that “ultra conservative” Catholics are terrorists. Shimek can’t wait for the day when all of us are driven from the Church:

    However, the most disgusting thing in Catholic news this morning is Cupich’s appointment to the Congregation of Bishops. So much for the biological solution. It is enough to tempt one to despair or rage. Thankfully, I have confession and Adoration tonight.

  5. SaintJude6 says:

    Vox Cantoris has the full Shimek article posted at his site. You, Fr. Z, are one of the bloggers to whom people think he may be referring. But he conveniently stuck with an ambiguous “they.” The Register claims it was posted without authorization. Someone asked if it was also sent out through their authorized twitter feed without authorization.
    That publication has certainly gone downhill quickly. Pentin is the only one there worth reading.

    [Sorry, but I don’t think that name has ever crossed my radar.]

  6. Deo Credo says:

    Not knowing what Father Z was talking about I actually headed over to fishwrap to see what was going on. I glanced over the headlines, quickly scanned an article about my buddy Blaise and read a few of the comments. I now feel as though I visited a sordid red light district. I want a shower and confession. Why do these people call themselves catholic when they clearly don’t believe anything the church teaches. My son saw me looking and said with a shocked look, “Dad. You read the national catholic reporter?” My frenzied denials and claims of doing research for Father Z were of no avail. I think I’m on his watch list now. Sigh

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  7. benedetta says:

    It’s so easy for any one group or elitist media spokesperson to claim righteousness with the “they” being all completely wrong who should be shunned. One can rant, if one wants, but it doesn’t further the progress, the charity, or the communion, for anyone, ranteur or rantees…(?). All the same, I was thinking this morning (before I saw any of this, that or the other things anywhere): if you gut of sacred scripture, and of tradition, then, what are you left with? The pure modernism as the gestalt forwards I guess. I like modernism just as much as the next aesthete and ideologue, and it’s good I’m not in charge of anything powerful or important, but it’s pretty obvious why it’s not a good and solid means forward for animating our communion. Cheers to that dude, I don’t know who he is but he sure sounds super angry. Who knows what is going on in his life. To the anger I sure can relate, and I’m sure there is enough of the blame to be spread round and round and round amongst all the self-identifying splinter or not groups around. And yet the Church is our family. So I’ll keep him in prayer surely.

  8. un-ionized says:

    I guess the reason people were surprised was that this was at the National Catholic Register (the good guys) and not the National Catholic Reporter. Guess somebody was asleep at the switch. But it was deleted anyway.

    [They haven’t entirely slipped into the Olympian Middle yet.]

  9. HeatherPA says:

    The tweets about the Shimek article under its posting on the Register Twitter were gold. One woman posted screenshots of some of the man’s FB posts and they are foul, like the above article by Anthony Esolen describes. He (Shimek) needs a lot of prayers.

    [He’s had his 5 minutes in the spotlight.]

  10. HeatherPA says:

    Ugh, I saw that announcement today too.
    Pray, hope, and don’t worry, as St. Pio advises, though I know it is so much easier to say than do.

  11. Athelstan says:

    National Catholic Register bloggers come and go, but the latest appointment to the Congregation for Bishops will likely have a long lasting impact on American episcopal appointments – the news item I presume Father Zed is referring to. The Jadot Era may now be in reruns.

    Hard times are at hand, and there’s no sugarcoating it. But not for us are the counsels of despair. Pray, mortify, and redouble your efforts to build your apostolate of tradition, both at home and at the altar; more spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Help may not always be readily forthcoming from above, but success speaks for itself. We know what works, and what doesn’t. And we know the outcome of the story, even if we will not live to see it – in this world, anyway.

  12. chantgirl says:

    Who knows? Maybe I was wrong and Fr. Z was really referring to Cardinal Schonborn’s comments about AL?

    “All previous magisterial statements concerning marriage and the family now have to be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia, Schönborn stressed, and just as today the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) must be interpreted in the light of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).”


    That’s pretty disgusting, and also, just plain wrong. New papal teaching must be read in the light of everything that came before, and if it can’t be squared, we have a problem.

    Anyone know of a good Catholic news? I feel punch-drunk. We’re now playing the “which bad news if Fr. Z referring to” game, lol.

  13. LarryW2LJ says:

    I keep wondering when I’m going to wake up from the nightmare.

  14. Mike says:

    There are traitors and collaborators in every war, disheartening as it is to have to be reminded of it. Victory over the Enemy is nonetheless assured but requires that we meet them on the battlefield and not retreat. Our Lady of Lepanto, pray for us!

  15. TNCath says:

    I just read “The Uses of Disgust,” and I would encourage everyone to do likewise. It is not an easy read, but it is nonetheless precisely what is going on in our Church and in our world. It’s too bad it couldn’t be circulated to the U.S. Bishops–or at least Archbishop Cupich and Cardinal Schonborn.

  16. Ivan Tomas says:

    “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our assembling to meet him, we beg you, brethren, not to be quickly shaken in mind or excited, either by spirit or by word, or by letter purporting to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.

    Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”

    (2 Thessalonians 2)

  17. Uxixu says:

    I’ve been engaging in relatively mild apologetics at the Fishwrap but must have finally offended too many heretics since I’m now banned for gently asking someone why they remain Catholic if they don’t agree with any of the teaching or the hierarchy. Poor souls.

  18. Augustine says:

    Discussing a fish wrapper is a distraction from Francis’ diatribe that could nothing but motivate such animus: http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1914940-francisco-no-tengo-ningun-problema-con-macri-es-una-persona-noble

  19. ncstevem says:

    Based on his FB posts, it appears that Miss Shimek likes the boys.

  20. HeatherPA says:

    Fr. Martin, SJ, of America Magazine had this gem on his Twitter feed today.
    “Gospel: How often do you ask for the help of the Holy Spirit, the breath, the “ruah” of God? Call on her in time of need. Count on her help.”

    Sigh. Come, Lord Jesus.

  21. Aquinas Gal says:

    Esolen’s line: “You take pride in it. You put it on parade.” made me think of those awful “gay pride” parades that put indecency on the streets.

  22. yatzer says:

    Does this reflect on the Catechism, since I believe Cardinal Schoenborn had oversight of it? I’m confused. Again.

  23. JuliB says:

    I had to send the NCR the following comment:
    “Oh my. I just read the vile hit piece by JP Shimek. I’ve donated to EWTN over the years, so pleased with its faithful stance. But it seems this guy has written something so contrary to the orthodox position of NCR.

    So you took it down because it hadn’t been reviewed. My question is why do you have someone working for you who would even think this way?

    I’d hate to see what he would have written about Mother Angelica in her day.

    I have a subscription, and while I’m not going to cancel it, I doubt I will be renewing it.”

  24. Bill says:

    How are we to know which of Pope Francis’ teachings are infallible? Where can we find a catalog of magisterial, infallible Church teaching?

    The article What Are Extraordinary Magisterium and Ordinary Magisterium? (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/what-are-extraordinary-magisterium-and-ordinary-ma.html) indicates that there have only been “… two ex cathedra pronouncements in 2,000 years ..” and thus the vast majority of infallible teachings result from Ordinary Magisterium communications.

    Since infallible ordinary teaching must be “… consistent, constant and universal as well as “…never [promulgating] a new doctrine” ..” it would seem that a number of Pope Francis’ communications would not qualify.

    Which ones? Who gets to decide?

  25. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Bill,

    There are a few sources that might be of use in determining infallible statements. For the understanding of what constitutes the Ordinary and Extraordinary Magisterium, I recommend Ed Feser’s blog post:


    Beyond that, one might consult some of the following references:

    1. Denzinger:


    2. The Church Teaches:


    3. Ludwig Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma:


    4. Papal Encyclicals, Online:


    5. There are, also, good references for Patristic sources, such as Jurgens (Faith of the Early Church Fathers), and Migne (Patrologia, if you read Latin or Greek) and the 39 volume English translations of Migne (The Church Fathers).

    The Chicken

  26. robtbrown says:


    I don’t know of anything Francis has said that anyone would wonder about whether it was infallible.

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