Fr. Blake on faithful clerics’ fear of vicious liberal reprisals

Let’s be clear about something.  There is nothing more vicious than a liberal.  For over 30 years I dealt with this first hand and I have the ecclesial scars on my back and in my heart to prove it.

My friend Fr. Ray Blake, PP of Brighton, has a stupendous post today about FEAR.   HERE  He was asked to sign the Correctio Filialis and he writes openly about his fear of reprisals if he does so.

He is right to be afraid.  The question is, how shall we move forward, intelligently, and do the right thing even though we are in peril?

Here is some of Fr. Blake’s piece with my usual additions.

To Sign or Not to Sign

I have been asked to sign the Filial Correction, I signed the letter of the 45 academics and pastors last year, and almost immediately found Cardinal Nichols’ tanks parked on my lawn to inform me of his displeasure, which was quite mild unlike other lay signatories, who were sacked from their jobs in Catholic institutions for their pains, Dr. Josef Seifertis being the most high profile. I admit it, I am afraid to sign and I know other priests who share my fear. Many of those who might have signed have in the last four years have a certain fear about their place in the Church.

Rome and those surrounding the Pontiff have certainly become more vicious in defending him, never ever engaging in intellectual arguments, merely attacking like ravenous wolves or child bullies those who pose questions. The climate is bad throughout the Church, in Rome it is positively toxic. [I can attest that this is true.  Rome is like… a WWI field full of trenches with creeping yellow gas.] Under Francis the Vatican has become a place of fear and arbitrary oppression, there was a public glimpse of that in the sacking of Cdl Mueller by the Pope, and earlier in the dismissal of a couple of priests from the CDF and amongst laymen of Libero Milone, former Auditor General and many others. It is not just in theology that 2+2=5, or whatever number the Pope chooses that day, it extends to morality and ordinary human decency, ultimately it is a serious attack on the rationality of the Catholic faith and intellectual rigour. [In the name of being “pastoral” and “compassionate”.]

The abusive attacks on any one who asks legitimate filial questions or even of people like Cardinal Burke and the other “Dubia Cardinas” or even Cdls Sarah or Mueller  by the likes Austen Ivereigh, Rosica or Spadaro [Wile E., Beans, etc.] merely echo the statements of the notoriously immoderate Cardinal Madriaga the senior member of the Pope’s Council of Nine or the shocking insults always aimed at faithful Catholics by the Pope himself. Let us not even go to the shenanigans and manipulation surrounding the Synod on the Family

The men who rule the Church are not even in the worldly sense good, as the former Prefect of the CDF has said “power has become more important than truth”. It would be easy to dwell on the gay chem-sex parties hosted in the Vatican City itself and the advancement of those with a gay agenda, which produces apparently no reaction, not even a dismissal. In the matter of financial mismanagement and corruption, there appears to be window dressing masking inaction, John Allen seems to think this is the big issue above others. In fact, maybe because Francis centralises and 2+2 = whatever he decides, many of those in Rome suggest things have never been worse, a ‘kingdom of brigands’ as one former Nuncio described it.

Dioceses are not Rome but they do reflect Rome, Cardinals and bishops intimidate clergy and others who are faithful, if Francis has done anything it is to highlight a deep rift in the Church, marked by the quite extraordinary rise of an Ultramontane/Liberal faction against those who are faithful. Many bishops, who are often chosen for not for fidelity to Christ nor depth of learning nor moral fibre, not even their pastoral abilities but for their admin skills are quite happy to side with that faction which has power at the moment, moving Vicar of Bray-like from convinced Wojtylaians to Ratzingerians to Bergoglianians.


Read the rest over there.

I don’t get all misty-eyed about the nobility and romance of Pickett’s long uphill advance under artillery and rifle fire.  That was a knuckle-headed defeat that turned the tide not just of a battle but, arguably, of a war.  Heck, you can even win a battle and yet fail to achieve your desired outcome, as Pyrrhus found out when he took self-defeating casualties in his victory against the Romans at Heraclea.

Right now, however, one thing is for sure: people are still talking about the Correctio Filialis.  That’s a win for truth and for souls.

People are still talking about the Dubia.  That’s a win.

What we have to figure out is what tactics to adopt to achieve our long-term strategic goals.

The Dubia… the Correctio… are these stages in, say, a Catholic Salt March?

The moderation queue is ON.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    The unjust persecution against the FFI with no charges against them but some nebulous ‘drift’ thing, has not been forgotten either. Many friaries are closed now. The numbers are depleted. The sisters had to send home their postulants and cannot accept vocations, third order in Italy is suppressed and so on. Faithfulness, prayer, love for Our Lady are charges that could indeed be leveled against them and for this they are hated in modernist corrupt ‘rome’.

  2. Johannes de Silentio says:

    Frs. Z and Blake: thank you both for your witness. Your daily web work is courageous in itself.
    What was it that Kierkegaard said? “If a man in truth wills the Good, then he must be willing to suffer all for the Good.”

  3. chantgirl says:

    But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
    Matthew 10:33

    If the attack on marriage, confession, the priesthood, the Church’s moral edifice, and the Eucharist is not enough to speak up, what will be? Do you not fear God more than men?

    I am ashamed to see priests, the Fathers of the Church, hiding behind the women and children, the laity. Many of us have had to take hits for our beliefs. In my own family, my husband took a 30% pay cut and lost his health insurance to escape a workplace which was pornographic. The Lord has provided for us in other ways, but even if He hadn’t, doing the right thing shouldn’t depend on having a safety net. We have a priest in the family who has been punished in various ways due to speaking out. None of us have had to endure the guillotine or drawing and quartering. If so few priests are willing to speak out now, when physical martyrdom is not even on the table, I wonder how few will when physical martyrdom is actually a possibility?

    There are many of us who would gladly house and feed a priest who is punished for doing the right thing.

  4. Mike says:

    I just had a discussion with a friend who thinks the Correctio was imprudent as it has caused the many who won’t read it to think the Pope is a heretic. I told him there are worse things than scandal, and that this scandal has another source.

  5. FL_Catholic says:

    Mike, your friend is obviously starting from the false premise that Francis is not a heretic. After all of the blasphemous words and deeds the man has done, after all the heresies he has spread in AL, after all he has done and is doing to try to rehabilitate and celebrate Martin Luther (even to the point of being accused of holding Modernist and Lutheran views, both of which are heresies!), its safe to conclude that the man is a heretic. He’s also an anti-Pope, but that’s a separate issue.

  6. Kerry says:

    The Pope’s Council of Nine?
    The Nine have left Minas Morgul? …crossing the River Tiber on Midsummer’s Eve, disguised as theologians in black?

    [Hmmm… undead wraiths enslaved by the Dark Lord. Could you be overstating things a little?]

  7. Kerry says:

    Um, “German theologians…”

  8. Mike says:

    The vicious desperation of the peddlers of lies reminds us that we are one day closer to the triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart. Through her intercession may we be emboldened to reclaim the Faith and reignite the Great Commission.

    Souls are in the balance. We must not let them be lost forever to the Enemy.

  9. Dirk1973 says:

    I wonder, how long will it take until cardinal Sarah is sacked? It would surprise me if he makes it till next year. This is unprecedented, not even the Borgias went this far. The Vatican is wiping out all these men simply because they defend the 2000 years old magisterium? This rift will only widen and ultimately lead to schism. Pope Emeritus, Benedictus XVI, was so afraid of creating a schism, that’s probably why he didn’t impose a big liturgical reform all at once because he knew the dangers of a schism and history has shown they are extremely hard to fix. But pope Francis doesn’t seem to worry although he’s leading millions of souls into the abyss. God help us!

  10. Mike says:

    Well, FL, I see your main point, but you’re going a lot than the Correctio did!

  11. Mike says:

    Further, that is, than the original 62.

  12. pelerin says:

    I am so confused. Fr Ray writes on his blog that he wishes he could sign but prudence tells him not too. Fr George Byers writes on his blog the reasons why he does not wish to sign. Both are priests whom I deeply respect. Being a Catholic fifty years ago was a lot simpler!

  13. FL_Catholic says:

    Mike, I agree that I am, and its taken me years to get to this point but reality eventually smacked me in the face enough times that I had to acknowledge it. We live in an unprecedented time in Church history. We have reigning over us the man who could have been one of the greatest Popes but instead has become the worst Pope in history for what he has allowed to happen. Benedict truly believes the error that he can bifurcate the papacy by his own decree into separate contemplative and active roles, which is impossible. Thus invalidating his resignation in canon law due to substantial error. He has then allowed a heretic to take over and run the Church illegally in his stead, watching the Barque “take on water from all sides” as he puts it, and sits on his hands and does not use his power as the true Vicar of Christ to put a stop to it. Only Our Holy Lady, the Undoer of Knots and Queen of the Church can fix this diabolical mess!

  14. Kerry says:

    Yes Father. Nine, yes. Wraiths, not at all. I withdraw the jest.

  15. Unwilling says:

    I used to say that the universal literacy (economically essential to the means of technological production ) render demagogic illusions obsolete as a means of control. But here we read a blog post that “should” drive the lurkers from shaken foundations, and… nothing!

  16. TonyO says:

    It doesn’t bother me much if people are willing to discuss and examine the question of whether Pope Francis has issued something that is – or has the effect of being – heretical. Such questions can be settled on objective basis (heh – as long as you still believe in objective truth and so on, unlike the modernists!).

    There is quite a lot more riding on it to call Francis a heretic himself. Due to explicit papal documents from days of yore, if a pope were to be a heretic, he would cease to be pope by the mere fact alone, not in virtue of any DECLARATION or any act of censure by anybody. Yet, because the ordinary means of establishing clearly that someone IS IN FACT a heretic lies in putting them through an evaluation by his superiors, and (ultimately) by the Vatican organs of the Church, we could never really have such a definitive process occur to show forth clearly and definitively that the pope is a heretic. We would inevitably be left with many thinking he is and many others thinking he is not. Chaos.

    As a result, anyone in the hierarchy, or holds any sort of authority in the Church, who is going around suggesting that the Pope is a heretic has, also, a grave duty to reflect on the danger of internal chaos that these suggestions can bring, at at least attempt to mitigate them insofar as they might be mitigated. Are there procedures that might be undertaken to establish definitively the issue? What would be the consequences? How would we deal with the need to select a new pope? (Or, would that not really be necessary?) What would happen to the people of good will who are not convinced that the pope is a heretic, and so are convinced they are obliged to follow him to the extent they can?

    Whatever the difficulties of living in a Church where the pope is bent on issuing problematic “teaching”, it is not clear that we improve matters by ending up with a pope and an anti-pope issuing thousands of excommunications at each others’ followers, etc. THINK about the consequences before you say these things.

  17. Barnacle says:

    I don’t understand this fear of schism thing: surely it is better to have a clear-cut schism where everyone can assess the differences and pick a side rather than this infernal to-ing and fro-ing causing internal confusion and squabbling which is such a dreadful witness to the outside world?

  18. Gerhard says:

    The Dr Siefert dismissal case shows that those in authority in the Church don’t give a hoot about right reason, due process, procedural fairness, substantive and natural justice. Arbitrary dictatorship is the order of the day. Never has there been a more rapid descent into Barbarism.

  19. Gerhard says:

    All you liberal dissenters reading this: Engage with the arguments, stupid! Well, come on then! What are you waiting for???? They won’t go away, you know….

  20. CharlesG says:

    I recall during the last conclave some priest commentator, maybe on EWTN but I don’t recall the details, saying the Church was at peace without serious doctrinal divisions. I remember even then thinking “wha…?”, but I never would have believed just how wrong he would be shown to be in the ensuing years of this pontificate.

  21. Fr. Reader says:

    “I don’t understand this fear of schism thing: surely it is better to have a clear-cut schism where everyone can assess the differences and pick a side rather than this infernal to-ing and fro-ing causing internal confusion and squabbling which is such a dreadful witness to the outside world?”
    I perceive you are not from Latin America. Or Asia. Or Rome. Are you from Germany? Switzerland? Is it really surely better?
    Please take a look at the answers of Christ to those asking him. Are they always clear-cut? Sometimes they are, but not always.

  22. Pingback: FRIDAY CATHOLICA EDITION | Big Pulpit

  23. tioedong says:

    I pray for you and others who try to defend the faith, but I wonder: if the clergy folds because they are afraid of being tolled on twitter (or being sent to the boondocks by their bishops), what will they do if a real test comes?
    Michael O’Brien’s book Eclipse of the Sun is prophetic about what is going on.

  24. Pingback: PopeWatch: Fear – The American Catholic

  25. Cornelius says:

    Concur. Clarity is better than a false unity that obfuscates error.

  26. Luminis says:

    Nothing brings me as much sadness as what is happening in our beloved Catholic Church. For several years I have been observing all if these things.

    Oh Sorrowful Mother pray for us.

  27. Traditium says:

    My degree of concern for the Church has gone up higher still upon reading Fr. Blake’s piece and your analysis.

  28. Lepidus says:

    It is sad, really, that with all of this occurring, the non-liberals will again not learn the lesson they are being taught. At some point, when the conservatives have power again, they will do as they have always done – support what they believe but let the rest float along. You will never hear of a liberal worrying about his job for signing a letter. Fr. Z. has reported many an instance of a conservative seminarian hiding his cassock or learning Latin in secret for fear of retribution, [Where have I reported, “reported many an instance of a conservative seminarian hiding his cassock or learning Latin in secret for fear of retribution”.] but with only extremely rare examples, do you ever hear of a liberal priest being assigned to Timbuktu when a conservative bishop takes over? Our side needs to start paying attention.

  29. DavidR says:


    Amen, sister. To the clergy I would say “If you think this is bad, wait until your particular judgement.”

  30. Semper Gumby says:

    Thank you for this Fr. Blake, and for your priestly service.

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