Protest becomes self-parody: the jihad against @BishopMorlino of @MadisonDiocese

I’ve been watching tweets against Bp. Morlino as part of the ongoing jihad against him here in Madison.

These poor people.

Ultra-liberal Madison, by the way, was once described by a former governor of Wisconsin as “30 square miles surrounded by reality”, although it has grown to some 77 by now and the phrase has undergone revision.

Someone here who truly detests the Bishop – no one hates like a committed liberal, with all their self-righteous and humorless moral superiority – started an online petition to have him removed.

Its hostility is ironically relieved by its over-the-top rhetoric which unintentionally involves self-parody.


I admit that the first time I read the petition, I almost laughed aloud.

As I reread it, it became even more amusing, a surprise considering how far off the mark it is.

Nothing, especially the truth, facts, will deter these folks from their objective: to hurt someone.

They aim at the bishop, but they are really hurting each other.

I weighed whether or not to give this flicker any oxygen.  It’ll die soon under the burden of its own eccentricity, especially because the people who made and signed it have not the slightest clue as to what they are talking about.

However, it is also exemplary in how cliché it is.  That’s why it deserves some attention now.  It can teach us how the Left thinks and works.   Reading it is rather like… an autopsy.  It’s not pleasant, but it’s instructive.  And it’s sorta funny, in a black, morbid way.

Here is the text – try reading it aloud! – with my emphases and comments:

We are asking that His Holiness Pope Francis PP remove Robert C. Morlino from his role as Bishop of the Madison Diocese.
Bishop Morlino exerts a corrosive and corrupt [!] influence over the Diocese through his transparent attempts to influence the voting habits of its members. [If they are “transparent”, then how have they been seen?  No.. no.. I’m reading with reason.  Make popcorn and then read on!] His threats to priests amount to a violation of the Constitutional separation of church and state. [LOL!] Furthermore, he is an open and practicing bigot whose attitudes and opinions about the LGBTQI [“I”? Not sure what that is.  But wouldn’t such a limited acronym have left out some group or other?] members of his Diocese (and our beloved families) are nothing short of inhumane. His hatred and discrimination are undoubtedly a violation of Christ’s admonition to love thy neighbor. [I think she meant “our” neighbor.]
He supports guidelines instructing priests to consider whether or not[“or not”] to withhold last rights or include the life-parter [sic] of the deceased at any ecclesiastical funeral rite or service in order to minimize “the risk of scandal and confusion” when asked to conduct the funeral service of someone who is in a “notorious homosexual relationship”. [So, the writer is against “considerations”.  Only absolute, unquestioning conformity to her will is acceptable. Typical.] He encourages priests to invasively inquire into the deceased’s “gay lifestyle” and whether or not the deceased repented prior to death. He seeks to obliterate evidence of any love created in the light of Christ that does not fit into his parochial, backward, hateful mold. He cannot be a shepherd to his flock if he does not love all his sheep equally the way Christ would have. […]
Finally, it is apparent that Bishop Morlino does not have the love in his heart nor the strength of character to stop his hate-filled fixation on the intimate lives of consensual and committed adults. He tries to disguise this obsession under a veil of discrimination[… ? What does that even mean?] and deploys it at a time when loss leaves loved ones most vulnerable and in need of support. This is nothing short of evil and we’ve had enough.
Bishop Morlino’s 14 year pattern and practice of abusing his power through hateful behavior has no place in Madison, WI let alone the Catholic church.

It is for this reason that we are asking his Holiness Pope Francis PP remove Robert C. Morlino from his role as Bishop of the Madison Diocese.

This petition will be delivered to:
Pope of the Catholic Church
His Holiness, Pope Francis PP (Pope of the Catholic Church)
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Most Reverend Bernard A Hebda
Bishop of Portland ME
Most Reverend Robert P. Deeley


Look, friends, matters of death and loss of loved ones, of funerals and obsequies are serious business.  So, too, is the salvation of souls, which is the daily absorbing care of the Catholic clergy.

All of these situations are difficult. One size does not fit all situations, which is was the substance of the original guidelines sent out which sparked the controversy.  Bp. Morlino’s – and the Church’s – detractors do a grave disservice to the whole community they think they are defending when the reduce them all to a stereotype, as if they came from a mold.

Every situation deserves individual consideration rather than the thoughtless neglect which – ironically – the backers of that petition seem to advocate.

That petition….  You’ve gotta admit that, even with its ugly and vindictive intent, with its purple prose it rapidly devolves into self-parody.

That petition might have been more effective accompanied by a video of a dramatic reading of the text with simultaneous interpretive dance.


Hordes of protesters – supporters of the petition – descended on a downtown Madison church to files their grievances.  They were, of course, covered by a full camera crew from a local TV station:

Yes, that’s all of them. But they are, to be fair, representative of the folks who are so lathered about Bp. Morlino right now.  I am deeply grateful for the coverage by the TV station!  Otherwise, we might have missed it!

What can you do?

  • There is an online petition in SUPPORT of B. Morlino… HERE
  • There is also a brand new petition at the same site as the anti-Morlino petition…. HERE  I think The Remnant started it.
  • Also, let Bishop Morlino know of your support:
  • Finally, let deeds speak louder than words.  With your words of support, add a donation to the Diocese, especially for the support of priestly vocations.  HERE  – NB: Look for St. Joseph Fund

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I am so happy that you shared this. The commentary in red was the cake but the picture of the protestors was the icing!

  2. ASPM Sem says:

    The photo of the protesters looks too ridiculous to be true. How absolutely farcical.

  3. Huber says:

    Father, it is hard to not read that letter in ones head without adding the voice of Gollum from Lord of the Rings.

  4. KT127 says:

    I is Intersexual. I don’t know what that means, I don’t want to know what that means.

    I only know that because my niece decided she was gender fluid and was DFAB (designated female at birth) and gave me a list of gender neutral words to use instead of niece like sibkid (sibling’s kid) which caused my husband to muse our kids should just call her Cousin It. Which I found hilarious but told our child she couldn’t and she needed to respect her cousin’s dignity, even if her cousin didn’t.

    Her family started using “their” in place of “her” which made the family’s Christmas newsletter very confusing.

    You can’t make this stuff up……

  5. Sawyer says:

    The most current politically correct iteration of LGBTQWERTY is “LGBTQIA+”. As KT127 pointed out, the “I” stands for “intersex”, which means not being strictly male or female: perhaps androgynous, perhaps alternately identifying as one or the other sex, perhaps non-gendered (all of which are preposterous). “A” stands for “advocate” and includes those who support the other letter-identifiers but don’t identify with the other letters themselves (e.g., cisgender heterosexuals who support “marriage equality” and “gay and trans rights” — sheesh, keeping up with the ever-changing terminology is wearying). The plus sign is to include anyone who doesn’t fit the panoply of letters already in the set. Soon enough more letters will be added. I’m betting that “P” will be added someday, if the “intergenerational love” advocates and NAMBLA have their way; it’s already on its way to being changed from a disorder to a sexual orientation among mental health professionals. All society has to do is get over the ick factor, as has happened with homosexuality, and then it will be the next cause celebre, and then you’ll see TV and movie characters featured as P’s sympathetically and heroically, and then all sorts of new civil rights and laws will be created to protect and promote the special class of P’s with their “differently ordered” sexuality.

  6. byzantinesteve says:


    “Last rights” ?

    What exactly are those?

  7. Titus says:

    What on earth did the poor Bishop of Portland do to get himself roped into this mess by this lot?

  8. VeritasVereVincet says:

    Intersex is specifically used for people with physical sexual abnormalities–e.g. people who look like women but have male genitalia, people who look like men but have a female reproductive system, Klinefelter syndrome (XXY men), Turner syndrome (X women), and so on. People who cannot be clearly described as strictly male or female, thus between (inter) the sexes. They used to be called hermaphrodites. It’s quite a different issue than the rest, and I don’t really know why they’re included.

    If there’s only one A, it’s usually for Asexual–though I hear their inclusion in the community is hotly debated.

  9. Josephus Corvus says:

    That fact that they are going after the “Extraordinary Ordinary” at all is ridiculous. He is a person of integrity who definitely thinks things through and gives consideration to all sides. I remember a few years ago he was actually on Cardinal O’Malley’s side during the Senator Chappaquiddick Showcase…I mean funeral.

    The sad part is that he seems to be one of the few that are taking any of this seriously, since he is in a relatively small diocese. I would ask where the figurative (at least) leader of the Church in the US is, but unfortunately I already know as he was once my archbishop.

  10. EcclesialKnight says:

    LGBTQIA+. The new pantheon of the false gods of self.

  11. Rob in Maine says:

    I wonder why a copy is being sent to my Bishop in Maine?

  12. TonyO says:


    I have settled on my own system of letter reference for these people: KGB-NKVDQTLX. The KGB part is obvious, and appropriate insofar as these people are dictatorial totalitarians. The NKVD is less obvious but just as suitable, the NKVD was the predecessor Russian secret police before the KGB, because these types will never go away, they will just change their colors. The other letters can be anything you wish, as long as Q is in there. I sometimes wonder whether it would be even more offensive to leave out the L, but I guess it’s a toss up, as hardly anyone will actually get that far anyway.

    I would take it kindly if you were to borrow this and spread its use. Thank you.

    life-parter [sic]

    I don’t know, Father, maybe this isn’t a mistake after all. Seeing as how mortal sin destroys the life of the soul, maybe “life-parter” is actually correct! ? You never know what these people might think up.

    Hordes of protesters – supporters of the petition – descended on a downtown Madison church

    Fr. Z, you almost had me fall off my chair laughing at that picture! The hordes! Aaaiiii! Run! Run away! Well, no, walk away. Or, at least saunter casually through the area keeping an eye out for something that might trip you, and don’t stop to chat with them, anyway.

    Can I just add that these people clearly are displaced cast members of Garrison Keilor’s “Lake Wobegon”, where even the crazies are clean, groomed, and somewhat prosperous, (and, probably, Lutherans of Northern European descent). A whole different kettle of fish from crazies in NYC or LA. Or San Fran.

  13. roma247 says:

    When I saw that photo I thought for sure it was a gag, that it couldn’t really be the protesters. I was genuinely shocked when I clicked on the link and found it was legit. What a farce. Literally.

  14. bartlep says:

    The picture says it all…

  15. bartlep says:

    I (and many San Diegans) would happily trade our Bp. McElroy for your Bp. Morlino. God bless Bp. Morlino.

  16. Pingback: FRIDAY CATHOLICA EDITION – Big Pulpit

  17. Mariana2 says:

    “When I saw that photo I thought for sure it was a gag, that it couldn’t really be the protesters.”

    So did I. Something from Eccles is Saved, perhaps. Something got up by Grate-Anti Moly.

  18. jflare29 says:

    I think a better description is “damn confused and betrayed”.
    Given the rubbish that kids learn about the (lack of) merit in being a human being, I am sometimes amazed that teen suicides don’t happen more often. These people need tons of prayer and Truth.

  19. jaykay says:

    ““When I saw that photo I thought for sure it was a gag, that it couldn’t really be the protesters.”

    Yes, with that quasi-15th-century head-gear they’re wearing I was immediately reminded of the Tenniel illustration of the Queen of Hearts in “Alice in Wonderland”

    Especially the… erm… umm… lady… no, person… on the extreme left (hah!)

  20. un-ionized says:

    VeritasVereVincet, You are right about what intersex means. It upsets me that people with a physical disability or deformity are being used by people who are wicked.

  21. Elizabeth D says:

    This church is a block from my apartment and I go there every day to pray. The name is spelled differently, which could be because it was misspelled in the news report, but I wonder if this was the man dressed as a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal: He’s a political guy and a public employee, which makes sense with what can be seen in the video. I don’t see an actual religious concern in this video by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a political gesture for the super-obliging cameras. Martin Luther was someone whose religious evolution was catalyzed because his conscience was gnawed by his sins, he wasn’t someone who denied that sin is sin. This guy does not seem to be someone who thinks in terms of sin or our need of justification by God.

    There is a good book on chastity for same sex attracted individuals (and others, but it was written with Courage members in mind) by a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal:

    But even consulting Martin Luther himself might help steer the gentleman in the right direction: In a commentary on Genesis 19:4-5 (ie the men of Sodom coming to Lot’s door to inflict homosexual acts on the visitors) Luther writes: “I for my part do not enjoy dealing with this passage, because so far the ears of the Germans are innocent of and uncontaminated by this monstrous depravity; for even though disgrace, like other sins, has crept in through an ungodly soldier and a lewd merchant, still the rest of the people are unaware of what is being done in secret. The Carthusian monks deserve to be hated because they were the first to bring this terrible pollution into Germany from the monasteries of Italy.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 251-252)

    And then in the same section of his Genesis lectures, Luther refers to “the heinous conduct of the people of Sodom ” as “extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature.” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 255)

  22. LarryW2LJ says:

    Intersex, eh? I thought maybe the “I” was for incest. I hear chatter that that’s another one we will see “normalized” in the near future.

    [I think the next goal is the lowering of the age of consent. That’s probably what they want the most.]

  23. Semper Gumby says:

    Well that’s different, the protestor in the middle appears to have a Chinese New Year Dragon attached to his head.

  24. mlmc says:

    At least they got to get extra use from their Halloween costumes

  25. Kathleen10 says:

    I look at that picture and my heart kind of breaks a little, quite a lot actually. There is a lot of pain and confusion represented just there in that photo. But then I remember the children, and the fact that right now this madness is taking hold of children and young people, because this evil has infiltrated into our public schools, and has made great progress in convincing many of our young that this destruction of the sexes is good and healthy, and that to deny that makes you a horrible hater. Children don’t want to be haters, so it works so well. Children are in the crosshairs of this movement, they are the goal, in many ways, the prize. God help all children today, protect them from evil propaganda and from those who wish to corrupt them.

  26. Filipino Catholic says:

    The motto of the more vocal folks of the acronym is undoubtedly “I reject your reality and substitute my own.”

  27. Mick Mombasa says:

    I could not help laughing especially when I reached the photo which says it all. These sad, tragic people need our prayers even more than this good Bishop.

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