Wherein Fr. Z offers one of the hardest posts he has ever written – UPDATED WITH YOUR COMMENTS

This foreword was written after I wrote the rest, as forewords usually are.  This is one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written.  It was physically uncomfortable to hack this out, and I had to stop several times and walk around before taking up the sword again.  I suppose I will hesitate a few times and pray a bit before I hit that PUBLISH button.

One of our comments, under another post, mentions the website of a priest, Fr. Edwin Palka, who explains why some priests have not blown the whistle on homosexual priests and homosexual priest predators.  Frankly, his post put some steel into my fingers.

Priests can set discouraging examples for their brethren.  They can also set good example for encouragement.

What he wrote is grisly.  It is also true.   He opens the Ugly Box to let a little purifying sunshine in.  I will do the same, and in the same vein.

Folks, I know that you are really angry.  The depth of ugly you see in the news is often not nearly as deep as the ugly that some priests see.  You are surely and rightly angry.  Do you think that we priests are not?

I have to remind myself that when Our Lord cursed the fig tree before His Passion, that wasn’t the model that we priests should employ when it comes to homosexual predator priests.

And let’s be clear.  This scandal is about HOMOSEXUALITY.

Some of these homosexual predators are, I think, possessed.   Think about it.  If you know anything about demonic activity, and this is something that lay people should not get too involved with, then you know that certain demons specialize in certain kinds of sins.  They will attach themselves like spiritual lampreys to the souls of people who commit them and also to the places where the sins were committed.  Once a demon gets hold, they claim the right to be there, until the layers of their connection are broken one by one.  That’s what exorcism rites do: they break the legalistic claims of the Enemy to be there.

Homosexual sins are particularly grave and their demonic force is concomitantly vile.  And these sins also involve the young or those who are subject to the authority or power of the predator.  Millstones are not enough.   If you wonder about the Lord and capital punishment, HE spoke of the millstone before the Church did.

That’s the supernatural side.  There is also the natural side.  It seems to me that men with these strong disordered inclinations don’t… how to put this… act like other men.  They think differently, they work out differences differently.  I know, I know.  But that’s my sense of things.  It’s hard to articulate.

To explain another issue, I have a couple of anecdotes.

First, way back when, as a seminarian, I remember the pastor of my parish telling us young guys not to write our name in our breviaries or prayer books.  He explained that were we to lose the book, someone could claim that it was found in a “house of assignation”.   Some of the guys thought that was funny.  I didn’t.  My folks were cops.  I grew up hearing about and seeing photos of the ugliest human circumstances imaginable. I figured out “blackmail” and “compromise” waaaaay back.   Also, if you talk to cops who have been on the job for a while, they will confirm that male on male “violence” is among the worst that they see.  Ask cops if you know any pretty well.  Ask ER docs and nurses what they see come in and how it was inflicted.   Here’s a not so little factoid for you: In Italian, a derogatory term for a homosexual male is “froccio”, which etymologically comes from Latin ferox, “savage”.  Are all that way?  No.  Of course not.  But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t those who are.

Next, still as a seminarian, over breakfast a then-auxiliary bishop told me that when he reported on something to the archbishop, he was shut down: “If I know about it, I might have to do something about it!”  Then the auxiliary said, “Remember, John, there are old women of both sexes.”  That would be confirmed countless times in the next years.  When I went to the seminary rector to complain about the things I was hearing through the walls, their treatment of me only worsened and I got thrown out the second time.  That’s how I got to Rome.

In Rome, because I was in the unusual position of curial work and seminary, because of my youth, etc., I was subtly warned of certain well-placed people who would offer this or that, to open this door, to invite into that circle, to climb more quickly, to gain some favors, etc.  I was being warned, mainly, about two groups, the Mafia and homosexuals.  Both groups – along with Masons, but I think they were in both these other tribes – wanted insiders, and I was perceived at the time as having the potential to be advanced.  Sure enough, every once in a while I would get an invitation, a gift out of the blue, a strong suggestion that X might be a good choice to get ahead.  Years later I read of one of them, a gentiluomo di Sua Santità, found tied up with his head bashed in and homosexual porno video in the VCR.  I had met him at the Lateran University, where he for some reason was taking courses along with the seminarians.  My “gaydar” is strong, so this guy didn’t get far with me.  But some of my classmates….

As a priest, I quickly figured out that, if you were on the wrong side of things, you would be subtly and not so subtly targeted for persecution, of course, but also for compromise, be it homosexual, heterosexual, money, drugs, ambition, whatever your weakness might be.  They would set honey traps for you.

If you think about it, if you try to think like the Enemy, doesn’t that make sense?  If you can’t get someone to join you in your slime, but you suspect he has your number, you try to get something on him.  Many years ago now, a woman told me about a meeting she went to of some pro-choice feminist organization or other.  She said that one of the things they talked about, after the more public meeting was over, was figuring out which one of them could target for seduction certain priests in the diocese who were overtly preaching against contraception and abortion.  One of them would do it or they could hire hookers and set honey traps.

It’s classic spycraft, really.  Compromise the guy to shut him up.

The problem is, most priests are compassionate guys who, when faced with a woman in distress, might let their guard down.   Face facts.  Women, who are wired in certain ways, think differently than men.  They can wrap guys around their lipstick case if they aren’t wary, and men often are not wary enough.   Some tears and a little GBH can work wonders on the naive.  That technique goes for the “gay” predators as well. This is one reason why I think that homosexual predators of young men think differently, apart from the help of the demons in their heads.

Also, as a priest, there are the truly sacrilegious ways that some of these agents of Hell will work to shut up priests who don’t and won’t putt from the ruff.  They use the Seal of the confessional against the solid non-queer priest confessor.  They go to confession to a good confessor to bind him by the Seal.  Of course that is pretty underhanded, satanic even.  It is a horrible sacrilege.  A lot of good priests know that if they hear something in the confessional they must never ever talk about it.  They don’t know what to do, and, in prudence, they clam up about their brethren.  This is one reason why the Church’s law discourages a superior of hearing the confessions of those under his authority.

I know guys who simply couldn’t take it anymore and quit.   There have been moments when I’ve thought about it myself.  But then my cold Prussian fury and stubbornness flares and, I’m sure, the grace to stick it out for whatever I am destined to do or endure.

Dear readers… this is all out war.   It is war on every level, human and supernatural.   The Enemy of the soul is a really good general, a relentless and malevolent tactician of destruction of souls and long view strategist   The Enemy preys on human weakness.  War is horrible, vicious and seriously ugly.  Spiritual war is worse than material.

Even now, I was texting with a friend about this new wave of dreck.  He wrote:

These bastards have not only violated countless innocents and stained the Catholic name. They have set in motion the process that will lead good men to suffer greatly to defend celibacy and the seal of confession. It would be so easy to feed a few certified perverts to the secular justice and gain time to ascertain the facts on all others. Because, make no mistake, innocents will be accused and it will be IMPOSSIBLE to talk about burden of the proof without accusations of cover up. Innocents will have again to pay the price of reform the hard way.

They will show good will by targeting the good guys. They’ll find a degenerate in an otherwise sound group and, there, fixed!

The media, and of course bishops, are downplaying the distinctive tract of all these stories, the vice of most offenders. CNN even presents it with a pic of a woman crying.

It will be again a case of white heterosexual Christian men raping women and even when boys are involved it will be only because of a) power b) celibacy 3) culture of secrecy protecting power via seal of confession.

Which is in fact what happened, only it’s the sodomite modus operandi to protect themselves and strengthen their grip over power positions within the Church.

As I have written before, I do not buy the claims that a high number of priests are homosexual.  But I do indeed buy that that percentage is higher among those who have power.  The Boys Club perpetuated itself by grooming with preferential treatment of certain likely fellows.  They made sure that they went to Rome, which could help a future career, or they got the chance at higher studies, the key role in the chancery, the roles that would be good on the CV when it was time to submit a terna.   Mind you, that wasn’t all bishops or seminarians or priests.  Don’t look cross-eyed at a guy sent to Rome.  These days, I am sure that in the vast majority of cases, its because the guy has potential to serve the Church well and that’s the best place to realize the potential.

Do not.. do NOT.. slip into the trap that I see in news stories and fuming posts with sloppy language about how, “These bishops and priests!  They all failed us!”   No.  They did not all fail you.  Some did.  They’re failures were galactic and all priests are suffering the fallout.  But don’t turn your wrath and blame on every priest and bishop.  That would surely make the Devil grin.  That’s the objective, after all.  Through some attack them all.

Tables are turning on Satan’s plans.  However, when you wonder about all this stuff going on, remember that the Enemy plays the long game.

Your calls for short term retribution or for instant action etc. will have their own repercussions down the road.  For example, even as many people call for the resignation and removal of this or that bishop, cardinal, etc., keep in mind that there is only one guy, in the human sphere, who signs off on the new bishops and cardinals.  Try to picture the results over time if you get what you ask for.

Finally, please take this to heart. 

This is a primarily a supernatural battle that is being fought right now.  The bloody trenches and killing alleys are directly through the ranks of the Church’s priests, and they directly involve matters intimately tied into the very center of the Church’s core, priesthood and sacraments like Penance.

No priest, no Eucharist, no Church.

This war involves human weakness, identity perversion, and also demonic possession.  Hence, our response has to involve all of these dimensions.

Priests and bishops….  

Please start saying Masses and having devotions for reparation and for deliverance from the assaults of the Enemy.  We have tried and true spiritual weapons, if only we would dust them off, polish them up, and use them.   Enough of this mealy-mouthed excuse making and temporizing.  Enough of this rubbish about all the really important things that fill the clerical day, like committees and meetings.   If you are going to have a meeting, meet about how we have to do reparation, who will be unlocking the church for Exposition and Rosaries and Novena and CONFESSIONS.

Priests and bishops, for the love of all that is Holy, use your mighty spiritual weapons given by Orders and Holy Church’s own authoritative, tried and true Tradition.

And, I’ll say it again and again and again… the Devil HATES LATIN.   Let’s stop fooling around.  Put the .22 long rifle away and start with the .50 cal already.  The time for the MaDeuce of our sacred liturgical worship is NOW.  Extraordinary Form, brothers.  Stop fooling around.  If you Latins out there don’t know and can’t use your whole Latin Rite, then.. who the hell are you, anyway?  C’mon guys!

Meanwhile, I am implementing the personal plan I’ve been cobbling together from my convictions, experiences, resolves.  I have to be willing to stay on the Cross.  Please pray for me that I will stay up there.  In spite of my weakness, as a sinner among sinners, I will do my best to adapt, improvise and overcome the obstacles that I am sure will now hammer on me for this post.

You can send me email about this and I might post some of it.  But the combox is CLOSED.

Mary, Queen of the Clergy, protect me and my brethren.  If the hour of the Chalice is upon us, ask your Son the High Priest to make our wristbones strong for the nail, our footbones strong for the spike.  As crowned Queen of Angels, bid for us mighty helpers from the celestial choirs, who know God’s will for us even as they contemplate God’s face.  As Virgin Theotokos, tell Joseph your most chaste spouse which priests need his most urgent aid.  How can he refuse your request to show himself, their Terror, to those demons who beset your sons, your priests and bishops?  New Eve Queen, place your foot over the feet of your priests that they will trample the nahash in the vineyard and in their lonely oilpress gardens. Put your maternal hand on their shoulder as they unworthily stumble along, sinners, in their daily calvaries. Mary, Queen of the Clergy, protect me and my brethren.

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary…

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Clerical Sexual Abuse, Cri de Coeur, Hard-Identity Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Pingback: FRIDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  2. I have kept the combox closed, but I said that I would post some of your feedback.

    Your feedback has surprised me.

    Here is a sample.  I’ll anonymize.

    Today’s Blogs

    were incredibly helpful. Just returned from a TLM in downtown DC that gave me much hope for the future.

    I will pray for you before I retire this evening.

    Father Z., am offering prayers and fasting for our priests and bishops and for the entire Church, that God may bless and strengthen the men who are already on the right path; that He may convict and convert those who have gone over to the Evil One, and that he would lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of His mercy.

    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Have mercy on us.
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Have mercy on us.
    Immaculate Heart of Mary! Pray for us.

    And quoting Sir Winston Churchill, one of our mottoes must become: ”
    “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ”

    I love you, Father, and kneel before you in awe and gratitude.

    Today’s Blogs

    were incredibly helpful. Just returned from a TLM in downtown DC that gave me much hope for the future.

    I will pray for you before I retire this evening.

    Father Z., am offering prayers and fasting for our priests and bishops and for the entire Church, that God may bless and strengthen the men who are already on the right path; that He may convict and convert those who have gone over to the Evil One, and that he would lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of His mercy.

    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Have mercy on us.
    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus! Have mercy on us.
    Immaculate Heart of Mary! Pray for us.

    And quoting Sir Winston Churchill, one of our mottoes must become: ”
    “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. ”


    Praying in Latin and Holy Water

    Suggest to your readers to Google: ite missa est st eugene paris youtube videos. I follow all of the Masses using my missal and use Holy Water in every room of our home daily. My daily Rosary intention is for ALL priests.
    God bless you Father and may our Blessed Mother keep you safe from the evil one.


    Father Z., I hope you know how I mean what about to say: I’m a cradle Catholic of 63 years of age, who grew up with two abusive, mentally ill parents – one very depressed and neglectful, the other a controlling rageaholic (may God have mercy on their souls), and have struggled with mental illness myself, who has also been married for 31 years to a once-actively alcoholic and drug-addicted husband (who thank God as of today has been clean and sober for 12 years) . . . who has a mentally ill brother with whom most of the family is . . . not close, (including me), and who, up until twelve years ago was caught up in lustful thoughts and actions – always however staying close to the Sacraments – weekly Confession. But the agony of the hold this vice had on me at times made me have thoughts that maybe it would be better if I weren’t alive anymore . . . in short, on a number of occasions,”I’ve been to the edge, and there I’ve stood and looked down . . . ” (- Van Halen), and thanks be to the grace of God have come out on the other side . . . have learned it becomes necessary . . .

    . . . to build a little hermitage within one’s own heart, which looking out upon Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance on an altar, with candles burning, and in complete, holy and utter silence, and peace, no distractions, cares, or concerns of any kind allowed in – whether temporal or spiritual concerns, whether worldly or ecclesial – and there to reside with Jesus always. And from there to operate as I go about the business of attending to the duties of my state in life. While always keeping my eyes upon His Divine Majesty.

    “As the eyes of a handmaiden are fixed upon the hands of her mistress, so my eyes are fixed upon You, O God!”

    Father, I don’t know any other way to survive in this world! And it’s so important that when certain dreadful, horrible, soul-blistering events unfold, not to allow one’s eyes to become fixed – mesmerized – on the horror in which one is immersed, but to stay in the little hermitage, to keep one’s eyes fixed on the tabernacle lamp and the Sacred Host in the Monstrance contained within the Sanctuary of one’s own heart.

    May God and Our Lady continue to bless you and all priests, Father.

    I’ll be brief:
    After the winnowing fire is applied to the “deserving” clergy, are we pew-Catholics willing to have our clergy apply the winnowing fire of teaching the unvarnished truths to us and to have them expect (demand) that our own winnowing lead to true repentance and amendment. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Else, the renewed Clergy are faced again with the daily sadness of a flock still uninterested in admitting and amending its own errant ways.

    May God bless you and you fellow Clergy.

    Dear Fr. Z
    Thank you for your blog and for your recent comments on the scandal.
    You hit the mark!
    Just a few thoughts on what can do to help:

    1- Their is a wonderful group called seven sisters. You probably already know about them. It is simple, there are seven ladies who each take a day of the week and make a holy hour for their priest.

    2- there is a lot of talk about the need for doing penance, but I don’t see much action. I’d love to be part of a group of priests who fast together. We had a group of parishioners in the last parish I was in and it was called Hungry for Christ. They fasted each Friday and some did Ember Days. It was done very simply using email. If you know of any such groups for priests or any priests that are interested in doing some type of penance, please count me in.

    3- the devil is undermining trust in Our Lord by the failure of many bishops. Devotion to Divine Mercy “Jesus, I trust in You” is a good response.

    If you have read this far, may God reward you!
    Love your blog!
    Please keep up the good work!
    You are Awesome!!!

    [I just learned about the Seven Sisters group recently.  It is very interesting.]

    In these sad days, it would be encouraging to see bishops leading some outward, public demonstrations of penance and/or reparation, rather than offering mere statements of sadness from their chancery offices.

    The Rituale Romanum’s “Procession in Time of Any Tribulation” (basically the Rogation Days procession with a few extra prayers added) seems appropriate to our situation. I think it would be really positive to see bishops genuinely leading their people in acts of reparation for the sins of priest- and bishop-abusers, as well as the sins of bishops who covered for them.

    It would have been nice if bishops did these things before immediately talking about new policies and processes and bishops’ conference meetings and review boards.

    As you always say, meno chiacchere, piu processioni.

    Eucharistic Procession Lafayette

    Some good news! This was an all-day Eucharistic procession on the Feast of the Assumption that began in Abbeville, LA and processed by boat on the Vermilion River towards Lafayette. From there, a foot procession continued through the city streets and ended with Holy Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist. Check the link below.


    Just finished your “hardest post.”

    First, thank you. It is very well done and much needed.

    Second, for what it’s worth, what you describe tracks with my experience in the Orthodox Church. While some of our priests have addressed the issue of homosexuality among the clergy, they tend to do so as cultural warriors rather than pastors. While they are aware of the cultural/political dimension of the issue but less sensitive to the demonic dimension of the problem

    But demonic it is.

    We–Catholic and Orthodox Christians–a common pastoral problem and a common spiritual enemy. I wonder beyond our personal prayers if there isn’t more we can do for each other personally and for our respective Churches. Any ideas?

    What matters most is we are both facing a common enemy.

    My archbishop is asking all his priests to offer a monthly Mass in reparation. But I suspect even more than that is needed….
    Yes, I think that these perpetrators and those who covered up the evil are possessed by demons. I have no doubt. These men have no faith and no heart. A diabolical narcissism is what they have. Those who live in fine mansions and strut about….that is not a shepherd leading a humble flock.

    I believe I owe you an apology. I was very skeptical of your following, and as an orthodox but post-Vatican 2 style Catholic, I was also very skeptical of your “obsession” with the Latin mass. I thought you were sketchy because you seemed to be an expatriate from your own diocese, and part of some obscure, foreign diocese. You had an Amazon wish list requesting guns, and you always seemed to be traveling the world. I thought you were living the high life. When I sent you an email questioning you, I was even blocked from your site!
    Further confirmation of my opinion of you, I thought.

    But the revelation of the clerical sex scandals has reversed my opinion of you. Reading about how orthodox and conservative seminarians and priests were targeted, I understand exactly why you are are not affiliated with a Minnesota or Wisconsin diocese. Hearing about the dirty tactics of the gay, clerical subculture, I understand your need to be cautious and protect yourself. I understand why you would be defensive and skeptical of anyone who questioned your priestly “credentials.”

    It’s funny, I was thinking all of this before I even visited you site today and read your latest post—in which you basically confirm the reasons for my “change of heart.” I had a similar change of heart regarding the Church Militant website. I thought they were scandalmongers who had no place criticizing bishops! Oh, how I was wrong. There is far more work to be done than simply publicizing the problem, but I am grateful that they have not shied away from the revealing the “skeletons” in our closet.

    Please continue fighting for our Church and be assured of my prayers for faithful priests like yourself. Thank you for being willing to risk your “reputation” and clerical “career” in order to stand up for the Truth.

    Pray for us laity too. I teach high school theology, so I am with you in the battle. Our local priests are heavily involved in our school, and I worry that they may face resistance now.

    Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you
    Fr Z please don’t ever stop writing such beautiful, clear and authentic posts. Additionally, I learned the devil hates Latin. That will now be added to my spiritual armour.



    I am praying for you and for all the good priests who are fighting for the One True Church. I pray that you stay up on your cross. It’s really a selfish prayer, because I know you’re bearing our crosses for us up there too. The beauty of it is overwhelming. Thank God Almighty for His priests!

    Thank you for your post.

    Thank you for your fiat, fortitude and friendship.

    Be assured of my daily prayers with ever increasing caliber.


    What can the lay people do to help and support the clergy during this very difficult time?

    I apologize for the vehemence of my comments regarding failures of the Episcopacy. I realize my comments were ill constructed and did not convey the fullness of my thoughts. It’s been my belief (for a while) that modern Bishops and Cardinals have, on many occasions failed their priests and the laity. WE laity owe a lot of care and consideration, support and respect to priests. For example, it bothers me immensely that the retirement funds for many priests are inadequate, so when I can donate to augment those retirement funds I do so. I hate the idea that Seminaries are oftentimes places of abuse and neglect. When priests do their jobs they oftentimes do not get the support they require. I cannot change those facts other than to write in support of good priests. Ultimately, there is no need to restate my original contention as to where and why certain members of the Church Hierarchy failed… rather it is to apologize for tarring everyone in the hierarchy with the same crimes, or the same degree of culpability. I know there are good and even GREAT Bishops…. and I pray they will be empowered to continue their efforts

    I read your post a little while ago. I don’t think I’ve ever read a blog post more horrifying, or more beautiful. For whatever little it’s worth, you and your faithful brothers have my prayers.

    God bless you, Father. Great monograph. And — not for any expectation of credit — know you are mentioned by name in my daily prayers, have been for years, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    On behalf of my family, thank you. I’ve just finished reading out loud to my wife your “hardest post.” While you’ve opened your robe a bit, (yes, terrible reference, given these times), your open heart and sincerity has given me hope for the future of our Church. It has also lessened significantly, my urge to beat the bloody hell out of certain ecclesiastical persons.

    As a former rodeo cowboy, I learned very young that when God hands you a mentor, it’s wise to keep him/her close at hand. Your blog has fulfilled my family’s need for Catholic clarification, sanity, and confessional motivation.

    I will offer up my suffering for you.

    If I may say so, Fr, I have been immensely relieved by your commentary within the hard posting. Over the past two weeks, I’ve been reading plenty on the internet, essentially screeching about the ills that have been let loose in the Church. If I am angry about the abuse scandals, I have been almost AS angered by the attitudes I’ve read. Far too many people seem to have only the very poorest notions of how difficult it may be to separate genuinely evil people from those who are or were merely naive, foolish, or ….Lord, I hate to say this…easily used. I have, frankly, been thinking back to the Salem witch trials a few too many times.
    I am immensely relieved to read your cautionary note to all of us to keep our heads screwed on straight. We have a great deal of need to avoid beginning a reckless rampage right now.

    Well Father, you went and did it this time. It’s 3am and I just read your post. I have always regarded your head on a swivel with great admiration. Your ability to say what you mean without painting a target on your back has been exemplary and quite impressive. I know you felt what many of us feel, the gates have been kicked down and the dogs are loose. The good faithful are scattering and confused and with your priestly concern you said what many need to hear, must hear almost. I understand your decision and the calamity you have opened yourself to, and want to let you know it is worth whatever develops.
    And I can spot others in the comments that have fought the good fight and feel the same.

    I was so taken by your courage I open the last bottle of Scottish Ale I brewed last year and salute you. Your friend is right, the innocent will be attacked without remorse.
    Everything I’m seeing from the lack of papal response to the brazen silence just paves the way for the next phase which will be to annihilate the good wherever in the church.
    This is the beginning of the end game and the reaction is going to be vicious. In that regard you will do well under our Lady’s mantle, and I always include good priests in my rosary for their protection.
    But suffer we all will, and I hope your excellent post firms up the good folks for what’s coming, or at least gets them in the right attitude. I know many say we just continue doing the right thing and the Lord will provide what we need, but I don’t think it’s going to be that simple. The lion is real and we are going to pay a heavy price. Let’s hope we can support and encourage each other with our Lord’s and Lady’s help. Or at least vent some frustration at the shooting range.

    Father – I wrote you earlier this week about my frustration with the newest scandal. Sadly, last night, after a discussion about the matter with my parents, it hit closer to home than I ever imagined.

    I was baptized by a priest who was a member of my family. A priest in the family was a major point of pride. When he died years ago, I was 12, and I cried at his bedside.

    Last night, my dad sent me a list of accused priests, which includes our family priest. Dad had known for a while, but only shared the information now because he thought I should know. This priest is accused of grooming andmolesting a kid who was my age when I cried at his bedside. Despite his victim’s efforts at the time, church leaders never held him accountable.

    It was a total shock. You might think I’d be despondent and crushed.
    Nope. I’m not giving up. The devil infiltrated my FAMILY. Now it’s personal. He messed with the wrong Catholic. If Satan thinks this is going to make me less devout and cause me to fall away, he’s got another thing coming. I feel emboldened and strong – ready to take on the evil. This morning I attended Mass and said a rosary for this priest’s accuser and the priest’s soul, and I ask that you keep them in your prayers as well. I pray the rest of the Church is filled with militant spirit, as I am at this moment. Lock-and-load those rosaries; it’s time for war.

    Dear Father Z, I just read your “hard” post. I want to say thank you for sticking it out with grace and good humor. Your blog is an oasis of sanity amidst the nuttiness online and lukewarmness here in NOman’s land. Thank you again. I continue to pray daily for you and all our good priests.

    Thank you for your difficult-to-read post on these horrible scandals.

    Please, tell us laity to pray and to FAST. Seriously. Daily fasts. We must be in concerted penance – these demons can only be driven out by prayer and fasting!

    I am practicing what I am preaching by much fasting (and I am a very reluctant, lazy, infrequent faster. If I can, surely others can, as they are probably much stronger than I!)

    Father, It occurred to me how much a blessing your work has been to me and helping me keep the faith and stay strong in it. For awhile I had languished in the Novus Ordo, seeing hopeful sings with Pope Benedict that perhaps tradition would return and stretch itself back out.
    Obviously those days are past and things are even more dire now. But in the last year, I have decided – and surely thank to your good writing and direction – to attend Traditional masses unless otherwise necessary to attend Novus Ordo. Not because I “hate” N.O. but because I recognized it was not doing for my soul what was needed – silence, reverence, mystery, or as Pope Benedict called it the “Other” of God.
    It’s seeking out what’s BEST is what pleases God (this coming all after a vaguely Catholic, hippy dippy Catholic upbringing in the barren 1980s). And while there are many lights along the way that have helped me in this, your work is definitely chief amongst those lights reflecting the true Light of Christ. I hope and can help strengthen at least one more faithful Catholic somewhere in my life (at the least I see fruits in my children so far) and of course any success on that front is also due to the seeds you have helped plant in your outpost on the web.

    Allow to express my admiration and gratitude for your priesthood and your very public ministry. Faithful Catholics put up with such a boatload of assininity from the church of nice; to have your example and testimony is a welcome balm. I pray you continue your courageous witness to truth in charity. I will continue to pray for you and your intentions in my daily offering of the rosary. May God bless you abundantly.


  3. More feedback:

    Fr. Z,

    Thank you for your recent post.

    Strangely enough, as it’s odd and I don’t quite understand yet, it makes me want to be a priest again and return to the seminary.

    Miserere nos Domine.

    Thank you for your priestly service. Prayers for you and all priests and bishops. They. Will. Not. Win.

    Dear Father Z,

    Thank you for all this truly hard work you do.

    I have read and re-read your recent posts. Discussed it with my husband. It’s just about crushing to think about it all… and yet somehow here we are, with our same old work to do, probably more important than ever. Can’t be crushed.

    And I think it must be many times worse for all of the good priests in our lives. It’s hard to even think about. I am so sorry you and they have had to deal with all of this. And whatever is coming.

    I am glad you think seminaries have improved. A son of a friend is entering seminary in ___ this fall. I do hope he will be safe and it will be good thing for him. If you could please pray for __ D___, I would appreciate it.

    It also throws a priest friend’s frustrations and prayer requests after being sent to Rome for more education into an even uglier light than I imagined. I do hope he comes through unscathed and strong for what needs to happen. Please pray for him too.  [Don’t worry too much.  A lot of guys find it really hard to be overseas for that long, even though I called the North American College and the priests’ house there, “living on Rome rather than living in Rome”.  Many guys struggle with real home-sickness.]

    Please pray for us and our five young children. We homeschool. We go to the TLM. We are trying. It is quite a discouraging time.

    I kind of wonder, bringing some of your frequent themes together – if the church addresses this situation for what it really is (homosexual) the world will freak out so much more than it would have in the first round of all this. It’s so accepted now. So then Catholics get painted as “hate” people, etc etc. So that makes me and my crew of kids not just the typical object of disdain (do they not know how that happens? Who does that?) but possibly a target for worse? Same but worse for priests of course. I could see this going quite badly. Then again, if they don’t actually address it, it just goes on and on, and is it’s own disaster. Maybe they drag it out and it’s spectacularly both. Its like watching a train wreck. If I think about it too much, it’s hard to do what needs doing… i am trying to put that concern into prayer…

    If in my spare time, I could do a self defense training of some kind, what do you suggest? I don’t know where to start. My impression is some of those martial arts things have some eastern thought stuff to them and aren’t too ladylike an activity. And my body isn’t what it once was, after five kids, though I am working on getting stronger again (in other words, I don’t want to injure myself!) What is quick and effective, a good use of time? Any different suggestions for my husband (fairly healthy 39yo)?

    Thank you so much for all you do. I am praying for strength for you, as you requested. You are a tremendous blessing to so many of us.

    Please know that as lay people far away discuss this we are speaking of you with appreciation. Your impact is huge. You need our prayers all the more for holding that position. I can’t imagine it. Thank you.


  4. More feedback:

    Thank you for your brutal honesty. It is what is necessary, has always been necessary or you end up where we are now.

    Based on your post, do you think it is not a good idea for the laity to show up at the USCCB meeting in November? I and some of my friends from Omaha (home of Cupich) had planned to go. What if we don sackcloth & ashes, and kneel there praying the rosary?

    We are so devastated and want to show the USCCB that they can’t continue “monkey business” as usual.

    And we can all publicly repent of our own sins like contraception, fornication, and abortion that have contributed to this.

    [Sure.  Show up!  If enough people were outside, clearly praying and doing penance and looking at these bishops with fixed icy stares as they walked by, then, heck yeah, some might wonder what’s up.]

    It may have been the hardest post but it was one of your best posts.

    Keep up the good work with your blog, keep fighting the good fight. We laity want good priests and you do have our prayer support. As you say, it’s a case of no priests, no Eucharist, no Church. For those of us on this side of Where The Altar Rail Ought To Be, that’s the bottom line. We must defend and support our good priests, and dump the bad ones, because the Church is the only place you can get the Eucharist, and everything that implies in Catholic thought.

    Don’t be disheartened, Fr. Zed. You have a lot of blog followers and there is a lot of prayer support for you and all priests standing for the good.

    Your posts are keeping me going during this time of severe trial. I want to do all I can to support you and other faithful priests! Satan will not win. With you as a firm guide, I feel confident that we laity can–and will–do all we can. Thank you for your priesthood and your ministry to all of us! You are in my prayers.

    Thank you for your post. As I read it, tears streaming from my eyes, I resolved to pray harder for you and all of our Good Shepards. I am a lazy member of the Faithful and think that God has graced the ordained at Ordination enough, they don’t need ne to pray for them; but no. You guys NEED us! Our prayers, hope, love, mercy, help. Please be assured of my little prayers. My Confirmation Saint cut her hair short, carried a big standard and was persecuted by English Bishops but she prevailed. She picked me Father, I still don’t know why, but be assured of our prayers. My sister and her family are praying a reparation novena to the Holy Face of Jesus for this war. Be Not Afraid! As our dear John Paul the Great reminds us again and again! He stood on the dark abyss, looked into the black void of Communisum and shouted, “PRAISED BE JESUS CHRIST!” May we all follow his courage and beg his intercession.

    Sin and despair NEVER EVER have the last word. Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will triumph. We love you Father; we won’t give up, neither will you.

    Your Little Daughter in Christ,

    Thank you for this message. The Devil is definitely trying to destroy the Church, but the church is Jesus Christ and He alone will not allow this is happen. Sadly there is so much evil in this world today, but there are so many good priests and bishops. We as Catholics need to pray and fast. I will definitely pray !! God Bless you!!

    [Yes, there are indeed good bishops!   Please, everyone, I implore you to remember that there are good bishops.]

    “And, I’ll say it again and again and again… the Devil HATES LATIN. Let’s stop fooling around. Put the .22 long rifle away and start with the .50 cal already. The time for the MaDeuce of our sacred liturgical worship is NOW. Extraordinary Form, brothers. Stop fooling around. If you Latins out there don’t know and can’t use your whole Latin Rite, then.. who the hell are you, anyway? C’mon guys!”

    Fr Z this your latest post in right on! I am Roman Catholic belong now to Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic. Could not take all the confusion going on. I m sure this is happening in more Catholic Rite churches and not just Roman Catholic. Thank you for encouraging your brother priests….YOU ARE IN MY PRAYERS….please pray for those Laity that are up against the wall with this as well. Mother of God protect the clergy….

    [Easterners understand better than we Latins about struggling to maintain identity.  I am glad you get why I use such stark language.  But it’s true, isn’t it?   If a Latin Church, Roman priest, does not know his own Rite well enough to be able to work with it, then what does that mean for his identity as a Roman Catholic priest?  Right?  Imagine being in a surgical theater and the surgeon suddenly stops his work because he finally arrived at the kidney… which he didn’t study because, heck, he didn’t do endocrinology.  Can you imagine a university given a degree to someone in, say, French Lit, who didn’t know any French and could only read Baudelaire and Hugo and Voltaire in translation?  My heavens!  It’s CRAZY.]

    Just wanted to tell you you in particular are in my prayers daily and the other good and true shepherds of the Church as well. Courage, dear Father. Your digital flock loves you and has immense gratitude for your encouragement and example.


  5. More from you…

    Thank you for your thoughts on the current scandal in our beloved Church. I appreciate your forthrightness and agony on this topic. I’m sure it took you a couple hours to compose this.

    I agree with your premise that it is the SIN of homosexuality,and demonic, and not what others claim it to be. Whatever that is called is an imaginative illusion and not Godly. God bless you and all other good clerics who shepherd us under such duress.

    Father Z may the Lord continue to bless you,, I took my sister to her first reconciliation rosary and mass in 40 plus years on the Assumption and her husband Non catholic made sure she saw the news that has ripped our church once again so she doubts her move to be again a practicing catholic.. I told her also that this infiltration was a devils plans and we are letting him win. I know that it is a seal that keeps the lips closed and some bishops but could we do as other countries do where they expose the sickness in the church and then have open group discussions which eventually forces those that defend the wrong to get agitated and makes others aware by their actions.. I guess more charismatic services with a great exercist would help. Thanks fo ryou article and I am gonna share with her so after all this time we don’t loose her

    God will shower blessings on you for the courage it took to write that post of 17 August. And we lay people will be praying for you “on the cross.” Many of us are on a cross of our own, suffering in various ways from the demonic “spirit” of the Council, so we have some understanding of what you are going through.

    My wife saw your posting and shared it with me. Been sensing these issues for some time now, perceiving them as through a heavy mist.

    Asking prayer for full renewal, to see and hear clearly. And, letting you know I am keeping you in mind as well during my morning prayer litany including all our religious, and all pastors and ministers serving God’s Church.

    I would like you to either post or send an email to me with your personal plan that you referenced in your post on 17 August 2018.

    [Thanks for that, but I think I will keep it to myself.]

    I am so very grateful to you Fr. Z, for all of your courageous posts, you have been a great source of inspiration for me since my conversion in 2005. I want to tell you that I am praying daily for you, and for all priests, as I am entering into a new phase of life called retirement and my intention is to live a life now dedicated to prayer, penance, and reparation. There is much more that I could say, but I’ll leave it there. In humility and gratitude, I thank you again for your prayers for us and for your Fiat to our Lord in your priesthood and the work you do on this blog. Signed an appreciative beneficiary

    Amen and you are in my prayers. Father Palka is my pastor and confessor. It might be the time for White Martyrs…

    [Give him my best.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  6. More:

    Hi Father,

    Thank you for this very brave post. You are quite right about this.

    One point that adds to what you say is made by this FSSP priest in his sermon (31 mins): please search on YT for “Church in Crisis: Spiritual Contraception” (it wouldn’t let me post the link…)

    In short, we need to look into ourselves to see how much we believe and how much we are honestly loving God and His Church. It is because we have all failed miserably at this that God is chastising us, giving us what we want…

    My family and I are praying and doing penance for you and your brother priests. We need to do more! Yes indeed we need strong writs and feet to hold the nails…Oh Lord give us the strength to endure what MUST come….

    I found your comments to be excellent and thank you for your frankness. I just don’t understand about Latin being preferred. You say the devil hates Latin. Sure would love to know more about that.

    Thank you so much!! God bless you!!

    Thank you Father for your post. So true and honest. I have been praying and offering sacrifices constantly for our priests. I know Mary is keeping you all under her mantle and pray for you all to obtain the graces you need in the times ahead. Know That I will continue to pray and sacrifice. Thank you for being a priest of Christ, for your sacrifices, for the truth and for whatever they desire of you in the coming times.

    Dear Priest of great courage,

    As Father Palka put steel into your fingers, the mortifying insights you have shared with the laity put steel into my fingers to pray fervently and fast for all the Religious within our Mother Church.

    May God bless and protect you.

    I’m not a Latin Mass person and I think your post was very helpful. I think Tuesday and Friday fasts from meat, daily rosaries and/or divine mercy chaplets are needed now. An army of the laity to fight for the graces needed by priests to be holy and faithful priests. I also recognize the incredible power of signs and symbols so think wearing black on Fridays would be helpful as a sacrifice and a sign to all of the battle we are in: denying ourselves, carrying our crosses, laying our lives down for souls.

    I think the situation in the United States could be a perfect springboard to reintroduce the Leonine prayers at the end of mass.

    I am commenting on your post from 8/17/18 entitled “Wherein Fr. Z offers one of the hardest posts he has ever written”.

    One important point made by your anonymous friend is that “They will show good will by targeting the good guys”.

    The Alinsky-ites, Soroses and other evil liberals conquer a society by conquering powerful positions.

    You can be sure that Alinsky-ites, Masons, etc. are found in the ranks of law enforcement, the FBI, etc.

    And, as one liberal chillingly but honestly stated, “the intelligence community has six ways from Sunday” to set up a person or get back at a person.

    In my own diocese I believe there has been a uniting of gravely evil liberal clergy with gravely evil liberal laity, and some of those lay persons apparently have powerful positions in law enforcement.

    So, a priest must also be on the look out for set ups and conspiracies to commit entrapment from law enforcement posing as allies in the Church. It is not always the case that law enforcement can be trusted.

    In other words, the law enforcement “Mafia” and homosexuals will likely unite eventually if they have not already done so. This is something to be on the look out for.

    Fr Z, I thank the Lord for your priesthood, and for the wonderful witness you and Fr Heilman provide. Holy Mother Church needs her brave and faithful knights now more than ever. Thank you for stepping up! I have resolved to pray St Michael’s prayer for the protection of all faithful clergy, and for true contrition for the wayward. Ave Maria

    I am from Minnesota and we live in Las Vegas, attending EF Mass. Just wanted to tell you THANK YOU for your holy priesthood and example. I will be praying for you. Keep leading us Father. We need you.

    Finally, perhaps you could share this thought, if you find it worthy:

    It would be a tremendous gift to the Church if any of the Bishops who have concealed abuse cases publicly declared their guilt and asked pardon. I mean, that the guilty themselves announce it, rather than have the names dribbled out in report after report, or worse still by the accusations of their brother bishops.

    It would be a miracle, and a sign of the power of the Holy Spirit, if even one of these leaders stepped forward and said, “I did this, I am sorry, I will face the consequences of my actions.”

    Yes I am aware it is an impractical, romantic dream, but I pray for such a miracle.

    I remember you in prayer particularly when offering the Rosary for priests, which I do as I drive to work.


  7. Pingback: Catholic Priests Speak Out: Faithful Priests ‘Blackmailed,’ ‘Bullied’ - NewsMax

  8. More feedback:

    Father Z, You have been a great consolation to me through the past
    several months. I am a new convert, received on Easter Sunday 2016
    from a very fundamentalist Baptist background. I have had a hard time
    reconciling that both “The Roman Catholic Church is the Church Founded
    by Christ” and “There Have Been Grave and Demonic Forces at Work in
    the Hierarchy of the Church” are true. Having come out of
    Protestantism, I can see the Protestantization of the the Mass in the
    Novus Rite. I am blessed beyond measure that my Priest and Confessor
    is one of the “good” ones. He keeps our Sunday NO Mass a High Mass and
    as close to the Ancient Rite as possible, offers First Friday
    Adoration, offers a monthly First Saturday Tridentine Mass, reinstated
    the Leonine Prayers After Mass 3 years ago, and is not afraid to stand
    up and give hard hitting, tough love homilies. He speaks out against
    contraception, abortion and fornication in all of its forms, including
    homosexual. Because he is a very traditional and “Vatican I” minded
    priest, he has found himself on the less favorable side of our
    decidedly more liberal Bishop. I pray for him daily as I pray for you.
    The Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen told us that it would be the
    laity that would save the church. I believe that comment was made with
    something like this in mind. He was a brilliant and prescient man.
    Please know, there are many who while hurting and suffering
    disillusionment, also understand that the good, solid, godly priests
    need our prayers more than ever. I have committed to praying the 54
    Day Rosary Novena for our nation, but also for our Church. I have been
    keeping close to Our Lady and resting under her mantle. This may well
    be the beginning of the end, but we know that Her Immaculate Heart
    will triumph and the Christ, our Savior and King will win. Courage,
    Father. You are not alone, ever.

    Father I suddenly broke into tears reading your article. I offer my
    prayers for your courage. I am at a loss as to what else to do. Thank
    you. This whole mess is so scary.

    [Do not let your heart be troubled.   This whole is really a demonstration of the fact that this is truly CHRIST’s Church!   The Enemy wouldn’t bother with it if it weren’t.  We will prevail in the end.   It won’t be easy and there will be casualties, as in any war.  We shall prevail!]

    Thank you for everything you do, especially in this spiritual siege
    we’ve all been going through with the abuse scandal. Just in case you
    have not seen it yet, I’ve included a link to Father John Lankeit’s
    homily today: https://youtu.be/cu6W51ER-cI

    Listening to him, I wept with sorrow and with hope. In this siege, we
    do have some embers of hope – Father Lankeit brings to mind Tolkien’s

    “From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
    A light from the shadows shall spring;”

    We are praying and offering sacrifices for you and for Father Lankeit,
    for all like-minded priests and clerics, and for the suffering Church,
    especially the victims. Keep the Faith – we know Who wins, we know
    that our Redeemer Liveth.

    On your theme of reparation, Bp. Burbidge of Arlington, VA, wrote to
    all his priests asking them for the following: 1. Monthly mass for
    reparation, 2. Weekly mortification on Fridays, and 3. Daily Rosary
    intention to our Lady, queen of Clergy, … We were told this during
    our Sunday homily today.

    You say this is solely a homosexual problem. [If you are going to disagree with something I wrote, then pick something that I, in fact, wrote.  I never said this is “solely” a homosexual problem.]
    How do you explain the incidences described in the PA report about a
    priest who raped a teen girl and then paid for her abortion, and
    similar stories?

    This is not a homosexual problem. It is a predator problem.  [It doesn’t have to be one or the other.  It can be both.]

    Thank you for your blog! I am an Oblate of the soon-to-be Abbey of Our
    Lady of Ephesus in Gower, Mo. we pray for priests—and I will pray
    for your work and protection. You are a shining light of hope for all
    of us. Keep up the good work…

  9. Pingback: Summary of Some Responses to the Clerical Abuse Crisis – The Prodigal Catholic Blog

Comments are closed.