Wherein another priest rants: Liberal hypocrite priests and bishops

IMG_1363For the record, I endorse the following in its entirety.

From Fr. Dwight Longenecker (alas, still at Patheos) from some time ago, 2015, but recently spotted on Facebook – with my usual treatment:

Blowing the Whistle on Liberal Hypocrites

On various websites and papers “Catholic” writers discuss “spirituality” in reverent tones and say how much they love the church while they support abortion, same sex marriage, women’s ordination and the whole progressive agenda. They’re hypocrites. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] As Pope Francis has pointed out, a Cafeteria Catholic is not a Catholic. They say they believe one thing–the Catholic faith–but they publicly and formally renounce the Catholic Church’s teachings and they think they’re just fine in doing so. [Remember the last part of the classic Act of Faith? “I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived.”  God cannot be deceived.  These people are in serious peril.]
It gets worse. The real snakes in the grass are the liberal hypocritical priests and bishops. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] You know there’s a sort of media darling priest who smiles and writes clever books and goes on TV to give seemingly sage spiritual advice who then turns around and supports the LGBT agenda. [I have one or two in mind, yes.]
Only these priests are cagey. [That’s one word.] They know how the church works. They pose their points as “compassionate questions” and “observations” They are very smart and know how to walk the tightrope–never going too far, but all the time undermining true Catholic teaching with their talk about “listening” and “dialogue” and “acceptance” and “accompanying”.
They’re hypocrites, and the worst kind of hypocrites because they assume the outward form of being good, faithful and true Catholics better than anybody else.
They’re not true and they’re not faithful. They’re wolves in shepherd’s clothing and Our Lord spoke clearly about the rustler who comes in to the sheepfold to rob and kill.
It’s time to blow the whistle on these hypocrites and call them what they are.
But do you know what will happen if you do[Ohhhh yes.  I surely do.  I’ve been stabbed in the back by these types more than once.]
They’ll play the passive aggressive game. [Which is not how real men deal with conflict.] If you blow the whistle and declare that the emperor is naked they’ll come over all offended and hurt.
They’ll put out their bottom lip and assume the spanked puppy dog look and say, “How could you be sooo judgmental and harsh? How could you be so unaccepting?”
They’ll sneak back in with their serpentine smiles and say, “Come, let’s be friends! Let’s forgive one another! Let’s talk. We need to listen to one another more!” Which means “You listen to me. I’m going to filibuster this debate until you give in. I’m going to talk and talk and use false logic and human reasoning and emotional blackmail and spiritual bullying until I wear you down and you change your mind.”
Don’t be taken in by them. They’re hypocrites and usually they are not only hypocrites but heretics. They divide and destroy Christ’s church and imperil souls.
Here endeth the rant.

I’m Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, and I endorse this message.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    Two verses from St. Matthew’s Gospel come to mind:

    “Behold, I am sending you like sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and simple as doves.” (Matthew 10:16)

    “Therefore do not be afraid of them. Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known.” (Matthew 10:26)

    The verses around them are good, too.

    I have in the past been subject to such parish priests in the past, and given that I’m in Chicago (where I’m the only deacon named Hans), that is sadly-likely to happen again.

  2. creekman says:

    Thanks for sharing this Fr. Z! One of the best un-nuanced articles on the very real damage being done by priests and bishops promoting their mis-guided agendas. I happen to be in the same diocese as Fr. Longenecker and have witnessed exactly what he describes many times in our locale. As he says, these men often are very “cagey”. We can never relent, nor should we.

  3. ejcmartin says:

    Hmmm, who could he be referring to? We have one in our diocese of Black Cove Tickle Bite. He is always the priest who the local media (and unfortunately the bishop allows) go to for the soundbite. I always think of the Psalm “his words are smooth as butter, but war is in his heart” every time I see or hear him.

  4. Tom W says:

    um, didn’t this ‘hypothetical priest’ just get a plumb Vatican communications consultant job ?

  5. Alanmac says:

    This post is just screaming LGBT Jesuit James Martin.

  6. Antiquorum says:

    Talk about hitting the nail on the head.

    Hard as it is as a lay person trying to be faithful, I can only imagine the hell it is for faithful priests to have to deal with hypocrisy like this.

  7. Tom A. says:

    Sounds like Francis describing Francis.

  8. Benedict Joseph says:

    Without flaw.
    It needs to be slipped under a Roman door.

  9. GOR says:

    Gee, it sounds like a certain cleric much higher up in the food chain…

  10. Former Altar Boy says:

    Excellent insights (and Z-comments). How timely that just this morning I read this…

    St. Paul is speaking:
    I know quite well that when I have gone fierce wolves will invade you and will have no mercy on the flock. Even from your own ranks there will be men coming forward with a travesty of the truth on their lips to induce the disciples to follow them. -Acts 20:30

  11. Former Altar Boy says:

    And God bless priests who travel in their clericals!

  12. JARay says:

    I do so agree with you Father. 100%

  13. TonyO says:

    OK, so what do we actually do about these priests?

    If we complain to the bishop, either he is (a) just as bad and will refuse to countenance that there is even a problem; or (b) a little better but unwilling to see the problem as bad enough to take any active measures, it is just “one of those things” that you little parishioners have to accept; or (c) he is somewhat better and he agrees that there is a real problem – but he still isn’t ready to sack Fr. Fancy Liberal, and anything he does short of sacking him ends up being ignored because the liberals have taught each other (including the bishops) that if they ignore the bishop, nothing bad happens. There is no appetite in chanceries for any real punishments for liberal priests who refuse to toe the line, whether it be rubrics, sacraments, or simply teaching what the Church teaches without being misleading. (It seems like hardly 1 in 5 bishops even know Church doctrine on truly difficult subjects (capital punishment, immigration, divorce and communion), they just emote and put their own preferences in for “Church teaching”. And only about 5 out of 180 seem to be aware that the penal canons are there to be used, not quaint ancient museum pieces.

    Worse yet, at least 4/5 of the men who are being singled out for future promotions (to the bishopric) are cut from the same cloth. I don’t care how many good seminarians we are getting, if the ranks of bishops stay like they are now (and cardinals), it is hard to see how this gets any better. How do we fix these problems?

  14. YellowRoses says:

    Well, then, let us pray for these priests—and all priests for that matter.

  15. smauggie says:

    We Christians regularly find ourselves committing hypocrisy. We say believe one thing and then do another. I think it is a natural part of the human condition. For that reason I do not think hypocrisy is a sufficiently descriptive term for what these people are doing. I think we need to employ a more accurate term: sophistry.

    Instead of making statements and arguments to back up their statements, they use half-truths, moralizing and innuendo to brow-beat the reader into agreeing with their ideology. Like their fellow post-modernists they avoid using logic and clear thinking.

    Christ told the woman at the well that she had had five husbands and the one she had now was not her husband. He teaches us how to genuinely love one’s neighbor: to tell them the truth.

  16. Elizabeth M says:

    I would love to know how we are to act when confronted by one of these, whether a priest or a layperson. In either case both persons use the same tactic and the same tone of voice. Should we remain silent and when they leave, shake our heads and say a prayer for them? Or should we call them out?

    I for one am sick of their scheme and by nature would engage in argument. It always ends the same no matter what position you take and they leave looking like they’ve won and the people witnessing the discussion think the “humble all loving” person is of course, right.

    [I have suggested using good sources like the Catechism of the Catholic Church and then asking pointed questions about what the priest or bishop is saying is in conformity with it. If satisfactory answer is not forthcoming, politely ask again… again… again.]

  17. elijah408 says:

    I just graduated from a “theological” school in Chicago that is the epicenter of it all. I took your advice and put my head down and got through it. I am now a newly ordained priest ready to proclaim the Truth! The joke is on them. :)

  18. Semper Gumby says:

    Amen, amen, amen.

    “But he that perseveres to the end shall be saved.”

    Introibo ad altare Dei. Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutem meam.
    I will go in to the altar of God. To God, who giveth joy to my youth.

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