Read and weep: Soviet style “psych” tactics used against priests by bishops.

What I am about to post, read carefully.

Over the last few months I have been contacted by diocesan priests (and a religious) who were being sent by their bishops (superior) to be “evaluated” at one of these psych clinics for clergy.  The most (in)famous of these in these USA is St. Luke’s in Maryland.

The pattern is alarmingly similar.  The priest has some sort of dust up in the parish (or wherever).  For example, a woman gets angry because he preached about contraception, someone claims that he has “boundary issues”, somebody on the staff says that he is “cold” or “remote”.  They complain to the bishop.  The bishop tells the priest – pressures the priest – to go for “evaluation”.  With great trepidation the priest obeys (an important point).  He goes for a week or two of evaluation, at the end of which he is told that there isn’t much wrong with him.  He goes home, thinking that all is well.  Shortly thereafter, he is called in to the bishop’s office, where he is told that the clinic sent the bishop a very different assessment.   The priest is diagnosed – and it is always about the same – narcissism and borderline bi-polar.  The bishop then really puts the screws to the man to go back that clinic for “treatment”.  He is told for three months or so.  But when he gets there, and they confiscate his mobile phone and even his shaving kit, and start pumping him full of drugs and monitoring/controlling email, he is told that he’ll be there for six months.  The horror show begins.

A common characteristic of the priests: they are conservative or traditionalists.   I have a friend who was forced into one of these places and, when we could talk on the phone, he told me that I wouldn’t believe the number of conservative men there and what they were reading.   And the fact that they are conservative is important, because conservatives tend to obey.

This is one of the reasons why bishops in past have slammed down hard on conservatives but they let libs do any damn thing they want.  Even if they are slightly inclined to be conservative themselves, they are moral cowards.  They know that libs will fight them like hell and they don’t want the fight.   But they can do anything they want to conservatives because they know that they tend to obey.

There are some clergy who really do need help.   However, bishops are using this process as a way of stomping out conservative or traditionalists in their dioceses.   And I have a suspicion that this is coordinated.  Why?  In the last year, there was a period of a couple months in which several priests contacted me to tell me that they were going into the psych slammer at the order of their bishops.  Before that, I hadn’t had any such call or contact.  It suddenly started, as if some bishops had, among themselves, decided that this was a good way to get rid of troublemakers.   It is almost as if, a one of their meetings, over evening cocktails, one of them grumbled about having this really traditional priest who was spreading his ideas about Latin and Communion rails.  One of his pals, pouring another, piped up saying, “I’ll tell ya what works.  Send him to St. Lukes for ‘evaluation’.   They’ll send back something that can be used against him, one way or another. It’s expensive, but it works.”  “Hey, thanks Bill!  That’s a good idea.  I’ll also tell Fatty and Dozer.*  They’ve got these guys too.”

Rare and rare and rare as hen’s teeth are bishops who openly back their conservative priests.

Mind you… sending a guy for “treatment” is a really expensive endeavor.  A month in one of these slammers costs a diocese many 10ks of bucks (of YOUR money).   But they must figure that it is worth it, if they can intimidate priests into towing the line.   Think of the quip of Voltaire on hearing that the Brits after the Battle of Minorca shot Admiral Byng on the deck of his own ship “to motivate the others”. As he put it in Candide, “Dans ce pays-ci, il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres … In this country, it is good idea to kill an admiral once in a while to encourage the others.”

That’s what bishops are doing to priests.  Slam down hard with this “treatment” on a priest and the rest of the presbyterate will get the message.   In the long run, though it is expensive, it’s ideologically worth it.

Today I read at Dreher’s page a bit of a letter from a priest about this very topic. Dreher posted about The Kalchik Shakeup in Chicago. Kalchik was pastor at a parish where people burned an infamous “gay” banner against the wishes of Card. Blase “Rabbit Hole” Cupich. Kalchik was told that he had to get out of the parish, with minutes notice, or he would be arrested and that he was supposed to go for “evaluation”. Kalchik chose, instead, to go into hiding. I’m told that a prominent Catholic website will have an interview with Kalchik soon.

Here’s what I read at Dreher’s. Read and weep.

A parish priest e-mails:

There is nothing that the laity can do to protect priests. Bishops have total authority over us. We can certainly walk away. We can leave. But Kalchick is a great example of what happens when a priest stands up to his bishop’s agenda. He’s probably done as a priest.

He can submit to St. Luke’s and get the evaluation, but St. Luke’s has an alliance with the bishops as well. It’s the bishops who pay the bill. When a priest goes there the priest must sign a release for everything he discusses to be turned over to the bishop and the diocese. So how is he supposed to deal with any real psychological issues he might have knowing that the data is going to be sent back to the bishop and put into files or even potentially released or used against him? Point being, the priest isn’t free. It’s a coercive environment. It’s rigged against priests and the information can be used by bishops to continue to manipulate those priests for years to come, all under the guise of “I just want Fr. X to be healthy.” What they are really after is reconditioning priests to act within a particular safe metric to avoid bad publicity or cause problems. Sounds a bit Orwellian doesn’t it?

Another side of this is that bishops have to hold liability insurance on their priests and if the priests have some kind of HR problem or Occupational Problem in their parish, the insurance companies are demanding bishops send them to places like St. Luke’s for a kind of “reconditioning therapy” that they don’t actually need. The priests are not actually in any kind of need of psychological assistance, but for the Diocese to continue to have the covered with liability insurance the insurance company puts pressure on the bishop for them to demonstrate that they have taken measures to lessen liability. A St. Luke’s program of 6 months of incarceration and therapy with 5 years of outpatient programming is just such a program. All of this goes into the priest’s file and is held against him the rest of his career to be trotted out any time he gets out of line.

Notice, none of this has to do with the abuse of children. Perhaps some with moral failure or bad decisions. Maybe decisions that would cause a layperson to lose their job. But in the priesthood, you get the shame of six months of incarceration in a lock-down facility and forced psychological treatment that even these facilities know you do not need. But they participate in the sham because it’s big revenue and they are cashing in on the bishop’s need to cover their liability. This is happening in large numbers throughout the country to priests.

This whole business bothers me enormously, to the point that a couple weeks ago I had an unsettling dream about creating a haven for priests, like a prepper redoubt, in Montana or some such place. They would be funneled to the redoubt, set up like a Camaldolese community, through a kind of underground railroad. I digress.

My point is that this is a real problem. Be on the watch for it.

This is what Communists did in the former Soviet union.  If a person dissented, he must be mentally ill.  Kill or send most to the camps, but diagnose some with “sluggish schizophrenia” and “treat them”… pour encourager les autres.   Word gets around what’s in store for dissenters.

I find it interesting that Fr. Kalchik fought back. Especially in this time.

As for a priest friend of mine who was in one of these places?  After a few months of “treatment” I barely recognized his conversation, his focus was shot, and his words were slurred.

Wanna fight back?

Send your diocesan donations to the TMSM.  Money and bad press are about the only things some of these people understand.

Maybe it is time to cut off all funds and channel them only to trustworthy traditional causes.

*Long time readers may recognize the reference to “Fatty” as being Bp. Fatty McButterpants of the fictional Diocese of Libville, neighbor to the Diocese of Black Duck.  “Dozer” is the nickname of Fatty’s old classmate, Bp. Antuninu Ruspa of Pie Town, who has a penchant for demolishing traditional churches and building, if anything – he sells properties as often as possible – worship spaces that look like municipal airports or the lobbies of trendy boutique hotels.   Fatty’s loathsome and somewhat deformed dog Chester once, wisely, bit “Dozer” in the inside of the thigh, rather high up, requiring a humiliating visit to the ER and the ministrations of thick-forearmed nurse who had a lot of questions.  As it turns out, Bp. McButterpants used the psych strike on a priest of Libville, the pastor of St. Christine the Astonishing, Fr. Joe W?otrzewiszczykowycki-Brz?czyszczykiewic.  Fr. JoWo tried to get something good going at his parish for the many suffering liturgical refugees from Fr. Bruce Hugalot’s Sing A New Faith Community Into Being Faith Community.  Fr. JoWo fled to the Diocese of Black Duck, where Bp. Noble gave him a safe haven without an “evaluation”.  He often helps Msgr. Zuhlsdorf at St. Ipsidipsy in Tall Tree Circle for Solemn Masses and confessions while taking care of his own budding St. Philip Neri Oratory of Mary Cause of Our Joy.


I am always blown away by the goodness of so many of you readers.   I received this via email:

If you believe this priest’s life might be in jeopardy, we can begin with him. I live 3 hours from Chicago in ___. I work full time but am single with no obligations. I don’t have much, but I am close to a dozen home schooling families who would love to have him. […] He would be safe out in ___. I am mildly familiar with the methods of concealment; […]. I could drive to Chicago with a rental, pick him up, drive him here. Safely deposit him with people who are, shall we say, familiar with the situation in the Church.

Anyway, I sound nuts to myself writing this, but if it’s in your heart that this needs to be done, I may be able to help.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Be The Maquis, Cri de Coeur, Liberals, Mail from priests, Pò sì jiù, Priests and Priesthood, The Coming Storm, The Drill, Wherein Fr. Z Rants and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. MrsMacD says:

    So on a practical level we need a law-firm and insurance company totally dedicated to defending the Church, end of liability dictating what the Church does. Maybe we also need a counter ‘hospital’ where loyal (I hate that word conservative) Catholics can opt to check in for their evaluations, cheaper than the infamous St. Luke’s. There will always be attacks against the Church, we need faithful lawyers and insurance companies willing to fight.

    I keep coming back to the idea of all of us banding together in a certain place (if we could ever agree), we would annoy each other, sure, but maybe we would also support each other, which we need. We need to rebuild a society that has a hog in the wall. Maybe we need to restart the wall?

  2. Hidden One says:

    Sounds like St. Luke’s might just be open to a lawsuit or two….

  3. richiedel says:

    The image of Nurse Ratchet is fitting. In one scene she gets the patients all riled up in group therapy and when McMurphy realized what she did he looks at her incredulously and she looks back at him with an expression which tells him , “That’s right. And, what are you going to do about it? Nothing. That’s exactly what you’re going to do.”

    But then McMurphy strangles her later on.

  4. aquinasadmirer says:

    How can I keep my weekly offering at my parish from funding this … foolishness? How much can a bishop “tax” a parish for funds? We just had our fall festival at our solid NO (altar rail, Gregorian chant, confessions every day) parish. I hate to think that part of what we raised can be appropriated by the diocese to fund this… garbage!!

    Any recommendations as to isolate the funds to keep them funding the parish expenses?


    I never thought our Church would not only throw the Chinese faithful under the bus for the sake of appeasement, but also implement the methods of their persecutors internally – and implement them for persecuting the faithful, no less! The Vatican Bolsheviks and the Chinese Communists – a match made in… well…

    I admit I’m the only one responsible for my sins, but the excuses the actionsof my supposed “pastors” provide are a real tempation for this fallen man.

  6. Eoin OBolguidhir says:

    This is a common ploy for getting rid of other professionals as well, such as professors, employed physicians, and lawyers, as well as for excluding seminarians. Father Kalchik played this as well as he could. If you’re “asked” to go for a meeting, bring a lawyer. Don’t worry about being confrontational, because by the time the meeting is scheduled, the plan to get rid of you was long ago decided upon by whatever group of bureaucrats are in cabal against you. Try to have witnesses. Insist on a meeting in a public place, or in private place they don’t control, such as your lawyer’s office. Do what you can to record the meeting. Assume they are recording the meeting, especially if you are meeting on their turf. Insist that they stay an answer your questions, and don’t let them feign a reason for leaving after delivering some pronouncement to you. If they won’t stay, insist that you have questions they are obliged to ask and that the meeting should not be considered over until they answer your questions and agree to provide documentation (preferably to your attorney) of what is the basis for their displeasure. If they insist on a psychologic evaluation, refuse to go and state your opinion that the request is baseless and your concnern that their plan to send you might be a coërcive canard not based on anything rational.

    Like vampires, bureaucrats fear sulight and exposure. They want to get you down in some dark hole without a fight. Don’t go. Your silence will be taken to imply your agreement with their concerns, not your innocence. Make it clear from the get go that you will make it as hard and noisy a fight for as possilbe. Speak softly and smile as you say it. Have your witnesses acknowledge that you are not yelling or behaving inappropriately. One way or another, let them know that if they’re going to take you out, there will be collateral damage to them, the people right in front of you and others. Remember and don’t forget that you fate has already been decided upon. All you can do if make them back away from the fight in a way that lets you get out with your ability to get a new job intact, and they will agree to that since in gets rid of you (which is what they want) and keeps them out of the public eye (which is what they want). Get an independent psychologic evaluation from a friendly, conservative, Catholic Psychiatrist (best because it trumps further assessment by non-medical – e.g., MSW, Psy.D., Ph.D. – therapists who are more likely to be financially beholden to the bureaucrats). Your local Catholic Physicians’ Guild should be able to help point you in the right direction. Keep the evaluation secret from them until your lawyer says to bring it out. “You never went for the evaluation.” “Here’s an independent evaluation that says I’m awesome and you’re nuts for asking for any evaluation.” Make arrangements to get as far away from them as fast as you canIf you’re religious, try to transfer to a diocese. If you’re secular try to transfer to a religious house. (I’m surprised more don’t go to the SSPX, SSPV, FSSP, or where ever people are more sympathetic to tradition.) Try to get a teaching or writing gig. Anything you can get. Remind yourself again and again that you’re goose was cooked when they ring your doorbell. Offer up your suffering the injustice, the hurt, and the betrayal for the suffering souls and get on with your life, and get somewhere new and safe, at least transitionally, where you can rebuild, even if you’re older. Never go where they are sending you, never go to them without an advocate, never go without a fight.

  7. L. says:

    My former parish priest was clued into this several years ago. He was on the outs with the Vicar General because he was not cool with the VG being an active homosexual, and this put him on the outs with our Airport Bishop. They had a plan to send him to a “treatment house” in St. Louis “for a rest” but not, they said, because they thought he had any objective problem. This was after suggesting earlier that he had emotional and physical issues for which they wanted to cashier him. The cost of this didn’t bother them because the diocese is fabulously wealthy. Father’s real problems were that he was known to be a relative “conservative” and that he was known to oppose the lavender mafia. The treatment the diocese wanted to give him was directly from the “Goodbye, Good Men” playbook, but he didn’t play along. We’ll see if our new Apostolic Administrator can straighten things out.

  8. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    I can contribute to this conversation. I am not a priest, but I was likely forcibly drugged by someone associated with a government entity and one or more parishes as I entered a Catholic Chapel. The chemical was likely either in the holy water or on another object that I touched, and the chemical was then likely absorbed quickly through the skin and then distributed throughout the body. I experienced mind-altering symptoms – much like one feels when one is on “laughing gas” at the dentist; one is aware of their surroundings but not fully aware. I also felt as if I was going to lose consciousness, and thus, I panicked and went to the ER. There are multiple chemicals that can have this effect, and they can act rapidly.

    I was then likely forcibly drugged a second time at the hospital; after my pulse was taken on a particular finger at the ER, there was a new bleeding cut where the pulse oximeter was placed. My mind-altering symptoms worsened and felt like I was going to lose consciousness shortly after having my pulse taken.

    This is not a joke. Some would wrongly suggest I am mentally ill for even considering this; I am not mentally ill. I am in very good health and am very self-aware; I am also a health care professional with expertise in chemicals and their effects on the body.

    The action taken was likely above and beyond what is lawful. Some states do permit “forcible drugging”, but it is my understanding that they are required to inform the drugged person that they were drugged. I was never informed. What happened was very likely an assault or battery with chemical weapons.

  9. Sonshine135 says:

    Having a son, who is a seminarian, with a “hens tooth” for a Bishop, I am absolutely disgusted by reading this. Time to start naming names. These people are wolves in sheep’s clothing, but they are also cowards. Absolutely diabolical!

  10. ex seaxe says:

    Are these the same places as the ones to which child molesters used to be sent?


  11. L. says:

    Father, I think the haven for Priests you describe is remarkably like the Shangri La for put-upon capitalists described in Atlas Shrugged.

    [Who is Card. Galt?]

  12. JRP says:

    Just came here to say that the first part about being sent for an evaluation and getting told nothing much was a problem while the report was used as justification to show me the door was precisely my experience when they wanted me out of seminary 10 years ago.

    It was blatant, and I assumed it was par for the course Anybody who wanted to see through it would have. As nobody did, it seemed to me at the time the decision had already been made far before, despite protestations to the contrary.

  13. scotus says:

    Eoin OBolguidhir said:
    “I’m surprised more don’t go to the SSPX, SSPV, FSSP, or where ever people are more sympathetic to tradition.”
    So am I, in a way, especially regarding seminarians who are having trouble. But not all priests want to devote themselves to just saying the Traditional Latin Mass. Maybe there needs to be a similar organisation for priests who prefer to say the Novus Ordo Mass. But we can be sure that the day will be coming when the Catholic organisations (I exclude the SSPX because they are outside Vatican control) will be given the same treatment as the Franciscans of the Immaculate. It is no wonder that the Pope was very, very keen to get the SSPX back into the Church, almost at any price. And the more diocesan priests who ‘defect’ to these organisations (Is it actually possible?) the sooner that day will come. As we have seen in the situation of Fr Kalchik these people have no mercy.

  14. frjimt says:

    its not just happening to conservative vs liberal vs moderate… it is happening to anyone who steps out of their line… been happening for awhile… lets stop dividing our priesthood for surely some of that comes from the power of the evil one…

  15. WVC says:

    Obviously this is awful, and another example of how the evil people of the modern world use the system to destroy good people. The system is currently designed to give power to those who are on the side of evil.

    I recommend everyone start doing their best to be wise to the system. Sometimes direct disobedience might give the evil ones what they want, but so will direct obedience. Being indirect may not be a bad plan. One can “plan to comply” with an evaluation, but something (legitimate, of course) keeps coming up requiring appointments to be rescheduled or delayed. Having witnesses, whether they are actual lawyers or not, might also be a good idea. Having one’s phone set to record audio while inconspicuously in one’s pocket is not always a bad idea.

    Just like Fr. Z says – everyone needs to STOP, THINK, and PLAN for when the attack comes for you. It’s not just natural disasters that can destroy your life. Plan, at some point, for the system to be used against you. If you are a homeschooling parent, plan that, at some point, a social worker will knock on your door, possibly with the sheriff in tow. If you are a baker, plan for some sodomites to pay you a visit looking for cakes. If you don’t have your legal insurance in place (e.g. HSLDA), then you’d better have a plan to evade (“Oh, I’m sorry, it looks like I’m on vacation the week you want that cake.”).

    We live in the age of St. Thomas More. Prudence and knowing how and when to keep quiet are of vital importance. If you’re a parent, raising your kids is your FIRST priority, not getting into a verbal altercation with one’s bishop. If you’re a priest, knowing when to make a stand and when to lay low is what wisdom is all about. Not every fight is won by standing in ranks and marching face first into the enemy fire. Some fights, yes, but not all fights. If every conservative priest gets himself wiped out and “evaluated” tomorrow, where does that leave the parishioners looking for a good, orthodox, traditional Mass in which to worship God and bring their children closer to the Lord?

    And for Heaven’s sake, you MUST coordinate with each other. These do NOT need to be public or advertised, but there needs to be a strong, underground brotherhood of good priests – and a brotherhood that doesn’t just trust anyone, because if anyone thinks the servants of evil will not stoop to spies and plants, think again.

  16. Netmilsmom says:

    aquinasadmirer – In my area there is a tax from the Diocese on all income to the parish with the exception of The Christmas offering and the candles.
    People in my area are saving a full year to give at Christmas. I believe that if this becomes a trend, they will start taxing that as well.
    Some of us are paying utilities directly. In our area, one can pay on the bill for an address. It never hits the books because they get billed for a smaller amount. Also, people are dumping their total offerings into the candle boxes. Some are giving Priests the offerings directly in the form of gift cards. Some are going to the office and asking to buy supplies. If the parish needs toilet paper or copy paper, people are buying that and dropping it off. Ask your priest where he shops for the essentials like socks or shampoo. Give him a certificate from that store. In the olden days, we volunteered to cook, shop and clean for Priests. That’s an offering as well.

    There is no way to shield what a parish takes in from the diocese, but the idea is to keep your offerings off the parish books.

  17. Malta says:

    I would say this to Priests whose bishops ask them to go in for a mental eval. Ignore them, and appeal to the Vatican; there still are some good Bishops in the Council [Congregation… and while there are bishops who are members, there are only a couple of bishops there on most working days, and they generally don’t get into these issues. This would be mostly a problem for the Congregation for Clergy.] for the Doctrine of the Faith. What I tell my friends who are in legal trouble is this: a mere letter can stave off trouble sometimes.

    [A diocesan priest cannot generally ignore the bishop. Not a good approach, unless you are a lib, of course. They can get away with nearly anything.]

  18. Nathan says:

    This strikes me as something that good Catholic journalists might want to pursue. I’m wondering what a little sunlight on the use of psychiatric referral as a tool for persecuting traditional priests might do for helping the overall cause of cleaning out these Augean stables. Does that place in Baltimore publish an annual report with numbers of patients, key clients, etc?

    In Christ,

  19. Eoin OBolguidhir says:

    SCOTUS said:

    “Maybe there needs to be a similar organisation for priests who prefer to say the Novus Ordo Mass.”

    I wonder if something organized along the lines of the Oratorians would do it. Their canonical status seems to me to be unique these days in that they are functionally secular canons of diocese of Rome attached to semi-collegiate churches throughout the world. They can have private property, and live like a family more than like monks or mendicants. It might be nice for Priests who want to maintain the life of a parish priest and get some protection from the local ordinary. I have heard that Bishops are not to impede their Priests who are going to seek a higher state of perfection in joining a religious order. I wonder if being a secular canon would count. So collegiate churches incorporated outside the diocesan superstructure with some type of benefice attached for secular clerks or canons might be the ticket, or the Ordinariates! And some kind of Civil and Canon Law legal defense fund with lay Civil and Canon Lawyers retained to step in right away.

  20. tho says:

    The Catholic laity has no way of telling which bishop or diocese is mistreating their traditionalist, or it’s priests in general. We need a strong, well respected layman, who would publish a list of such bishops. The clergy is much too vulnerable.
    These psych shops have a terrible track record of helping anyone except themselves, in fact, whenever I see that someone has a degree in psychology, I automatically assume that they were too dumb to get in medical school. Where are our safe havens?

  21. Ultrarunner says:

    If US bishops are behaving like communist revolutionaries towards priests, it’s because American priests took an oath of obedience to them and surrendered their rights under the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution which prohibits slavery and indentured servitude. Sometimes the oath keeps a priest out of jail for molesting kids. Sometimes a priest lands in a mental institution for a trivial matter Totalitarianism cuts both ways, Comrad.

  22. Sol says:

    Eoin OBolguidhir: Some sound advice there, thanks! As a university professor, I can attest to the importance of what you are talking about: cover all your bases, because bureaucrats and managers are NOT your friends, and, if there is an issue, you will be on your own.

    On a related note: could someone please enlighten me as to what is the legal basis for the necessity to obey the bishop in this instance? Is there any part of Canon Law which says that the bishop has authority to order psych eval on a priest? I would find it surprising, since only medical professionals in the field are properly qualified to pass judgments like that. What are the bishop’s qualifications to declare that one needs a psych eval? None, unless they are licensed psych professionals. I find it incredible that the priest refusing to submit to such evaluation would be transgressing priestly obedience to the bishop.

    Certainly, refusal to submit will carry consequences, but that is not what I am wondering about here. My take on things is that the bishop simply has no right to send priests to psych eval, period.
    If there are grounds to suspect the priest is not fit for ministry, the only way one can (legally) force a priest to go for treatment is a court order. Last time I checked, Canon Law did not suspend regular common law rights and liberties.

  23. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    What would happen if conservative and traditional priests who are targeted by their bishops in this way, instead hired attorneys and arranged to have their own psych evaluations done by sympathetic and independent shrinks. Opus Dei-type shrinks. SSPX-type shrinks. They do exist. Maybe there’s could be a foundation set up by the laity to pay for this. If the independent shrink says, “this man needs help,” then that’s one thing.

    But if the independent shrink’s diagnosis is along the lines of: “apart from some minor, minor idiosyncrasies, they don’t come any more sound and solid than this man,” then the priest ought to forward copies of the dx to his attorney and to his boss, the bishop, along with a cover letter that says, “Your excellency, thanks so much for your concern about my being a whack-job. As much as I appreciate your offer to provide me with mental health help, I was so concerned that I decided to get my own mental health evaluation from an independent clinician. The results are enclosed. As you can see, I’m sound as a bell. Therefore, you’ll be pleased to know, there will be no need to submit me to further mental health evaluations.”

    “Yours (etc.),”

  24. eymard says:

    Question: If Fr. Kalchik’s faculties are removed by Cupich, can Fr. Kalchik be invited into another diocese with restoration of faculties? Could Bishop Morlino bring him in? What is the canon that determines such a case?

  25. Unwilling says:

    As a status rei data point: I am utterly devastated reading the actions analyzed by Fr Z. Overwhelmed. Bouleversé. Lachrimandus.

  26. Nicholas says:

    As someone who is discerning the priesthood, how can I know where is safe?

    I want to serve the Church, but I don’t know where I actually can.

  27. fr.ignatius says:

    This is a really important topic Fr. You are right, this is huge and the thing is, as has been mentioned in the comments, they are applying the same method to seminarians. I saw it myself though it never occurred to me in seminary.

    I think it is worth adding into the mix that bishops don’t all take this approach maliciously, I know mine didn’t, at times they think that this guy really MUST have some psychological problem because he is a nice kid, who is good natured, but just can’t seem to get on with others largely because of theological reasons, or because his devotion to the blessed sacrament or the spiritual life in some way is interpreted by those around him as odd, because it is odd, if you take typical catholic lukewarmness and unbelief as a benchmark…..

    To all you good priests receiving this unjust psychological treatment, count yourself blessed, St. John Vianney would be among you if he were alive today.

    One further point,

    If your bishop is pushing you to go for an assessment, I might suggest that you insist that you go to an independent psychologist not the church run thing. You need balls to go down that route and I didn’t have big enough balls to push this, but in hindsight it would have been helpful. In the church affiliated one the bishop and co get a huge stack of forms to fill in about you explaining what they perceive to be the problem, a huge stack, and the panel have studied this before they even meet you…. so the thing is not an impartial assessment by any means, it is loaded in some way.

    I remember in my case the bishop actually did not want to have to provide loads of info, he wanted as much as possible something impartial, but the catholic psychology institute guys will insist on this as integral to the process. It means of course they know what the person who pays the bill wants to hear.

  28. Letholdus says:

    On par with Church of Scientology intimidation tactics…

  29. Ivan says:

    “…incriminated by “justice”, for having posted this “violent” photo ([about ISIS] even if already seen and published), now the Prosecutor’s Office orders her [Marine le Pen!] to undergo a mandatory psychiatric visit; the psychiatrist will have to verify if the lady is “hit by a psychic or neuropsychiatric disorder who has abolished her capacity for discernment” in posting those images.”

    (It is hardly necessary to remember that psychiatric treatment for opponents was a specialty practiced in the Soviet Union; today it is inaugurated in Western Europe. Neither it will be limited in France.)

    Whole article in Italian:

    Do we see similarities? Needless to say…
    The Western (elite) is now really poisoned with the ideological pestilence called marxism-communism in such proportion that USSR of then, and especially now, is nothing to compering with it!

    THIS is about what Our Lady of Fatima warned us when She one century ago mentioned the “errors of Russia that will be spread….

  30. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m a middle-aged woman and my income is absolutely key. I’ve had to work hard all my adult life and there never has been enough money, I’m always behind and struggling to make it. I know what it’s like to have no money and plenty of need, but there is no way on this earth I would submit to a “psychological” abuse like this, not ever, not under any condition. Not. Under. Any. Condition. You can’t put a price on mental health, and I wouldn’t trust those people with my mental status. Oh no. No no no no. Selling pencils would be better. I don’t recall God telling His disciples they may have to get lobotomies.
    It should be astounding this is happening, but now, it is only mildly surprising. That’s bad.
    Satan has made his play. He has taken over so much of the world, and now the church is his playground as well. God has given him his time, as Pope Leo XIII saw in his vision, but God has put a limit. Time’s just about up perhaps.

    Sometimes in life you have to power through on your own. I’ve often thought life asks us to be Marines at times, even old people, they have to be tough, tougher than most because they have to survive so much. Yes we rely on God’s help but sometimes just gritting your teeth and doing things on your own is what is called for. Look at things, sort them out as best you can, and proceed. Hey, we’re just trying to get through this rotten vale of tears. We’ll do it! Sooner or later our worries will be over. We can’t fix all these problems, but we can say oh hell no, to someone trying to force us to volunteer for mental adjustment because they don’t like our theology or politics. That’s diabolical.
    We have to think outside the box, because inside the box thinking (keep attending Mass in Fatty and Dozer’s church, keep dropping that check in, keep being obedient, for priests) is just not going to work anymore. These are bizarre and unprecedented times and we’ve got to catch up and use some real ingenuity, and even then nobody has the slightest idea if it will make a bit of difference. This stuff is all outside of our control and each day anything could happen.

  31. SPWang says:

    “Send your diocesan donations to the TMSM. Money and bad press are about the only things some of these people understand.”

    This is not a silly idea. The formation, or use of a current worldwide organisation for the protection, promotion and advancement of trad inclined priests against such things highlighted above would be a step in the right direction. (Of course strict guidelines etc would need to be in place)

    Money talks and the rest walks.

    I haven’t given any money to our Parish for years even after they allowed the old Mass to be said there. I do provide physical support when needed but no money. They can get stuffed.

  32. Malta says:

    “at a conference on ‘the limits of papal authority; in Rome last month, Cardinal Raymond Burke, one of the key figures leading the charge against Francis, reminded the audience the pope’s power is not “magical.” If a pope has “deviated from the faith” he “must as a duty, be disobeyed,” said Burke.”

    We are talking about bishops here, but I WOULD counsel priests to ignore their bishop for counseling traditional priests for preaching sound doctrine. There may me a schism coming in the Church. Even Pope Benedict XVI envisioned a much smaller Church.

  33. Christine says:

    What if there was a group of lawyers and psychologists that formed something similar to the Home School Legal Defense Association but specifically for traditional priests that are being targeted by their bishops? I, personally, would be happy to commit to a regular contribution to such a group.

  34. Pingback: Cardinal “Soupy” Cupich Tries To Wrap Straight Jacket Around Faithful Priest For Burning Pervert Pennant – William M. Briggs

  35. The liberals have weaponized obedience, while exempting themselves from its strictures.

  36. teomatteo says:

    No. I am not going to believe that a bishop would use the medical profession in a way to purposely compromise another person’s integrity. That is just too diabolical to believe. I will need to have that move be exposed in a court of law before I believe it. Now, I can see how a bishop –who wants to eval. a priest’s sexual orientation and the degree that his homosexual inclination may come out and confound his vocation— may need the help of professionals. (But those ‘professional’ think homo-inclinations are normative.) We are in deeper than we imagine.

  37. Malta says:

    There is a “rat” here in Santa Fe who “told on” my Priest-friend, and now he is disbarred from saying mass here. Everyone that I know of hates a rat–a snitch–even in the FBI. He’s a brilliant man, a kind man, an honorable faithful Priest. I am beyond angry at how he has been treated for so many years.

    Tying into this most, good Priests need to be very care around the serpent-bishops lurking around. They are everywhere. My Priest-friend’s crime: preaching about Councils other than VII; he never said one word against the latter.

  38. Benedict Joseph says:

    There is not the slightest doubt in my mind that your assessment is absolutely correct. The soft science of psychology and the admonition to obedience in the face of heterodox tyranny has been going on for decades at least.
    Now that “they” are in the crosshairs, they are going to get panicked, get a bit more ruthless and less nuanced in their application of the whip. I’m seeing it in my parish against a faithful priest by a Bergoglian appointee. Trip him up anyway you can and he’ll “self-select.”

  39. The Egyptian says:

    Not to be glib, but this almost puts Dan Brown to shame, all that is missing is the assassin albino monks.
    Truly wish there was a SSPX chapel near me, I always thought that Cincinnati diocese was not to bad, I have no proof but yet I wonder, I really wonder.

  40. eymard says:

    I had asked earlier on this forum: [ Question: If Fr. Kalchik’s faculties are removed by Cupich, can Fr. Kalchik be invited into another diocese with restoration of faculties? Could Bishop Morlino bring him in? What is the canon that determines such a case? ] Surprisingly, no one responded.

    I found this: Can. 270 Excardination can be licitly granted only for just causes such as the advantage of the Church or the good of the cleric himself. It cannot be denied, however, except for evident, grave causes. A cleric who thinks he has been wronged and has found an accepting bishop, however, is permitted to make recourse against the decision.

    “just cause” & grave cause” are the flashpoints

  41. Fr. Reader says:


  42. Beltway Catholic says:

    The appearance of using mental health care punitively is beyond repugnant. It contributes to the stigmatization that makes truly needy people (including clergy) hesitant to seek the care that could help them in the spiritual life, since the intellectual and moral virtues, impeded by illness, are a necessary disposition ordered to contemplation (cf II-II, 180, 2).

    The bishops are harming people in their own flocks who suffer psychological affliction by using it to scapegoat their Machiavellian manipulations. Their dishonesty has consequences for those least of their brethren. So much for the love of the poor.

  43. Beltway Catholic says:

    “Conservative/Traditional” Catholic shrinks absolutely do exist. I know several.

  44. Ademar says:


    Regarding Cdl. Cupich’s removing Fr. Kalchik’s faculties, would the wrongness of the Cardinal’s motive ipso facto render his removal of said faculties invalid: that is, Fr. Kalchik’s faculties would remain intact even when he is in hiding or ministering in a safe haven because Cupich’s reason for removing the faculties was objectively unjust?

  45. TonyO says:

    I have an alternative idea to some of the other good ideas here. Maybe it’s not a great idea, I would welcome some feedback.

    Do some groundwork now, before you have a problem. Almost every one of you good priests know a few, or several, other really good priests in other dioceses. Reach out to them and build up a tentative “what if” back-up plan where they have and can produce a proven testimonial on your behalf. If Bishop Knocked-for-a-loop call you in to the chancery in order to order you for a psych evaluation, go ahead and go to the chancery, but bring with you a written letter to the ordinary of another diocese asking for incardination to his diocese, because you do not feel able to continue in your current diocese because the bishop is asking you to submit to a psych evaluation by an institution known far and wide for its anti-Catholic methods and results. Pretty much the same if he simply sends you a letter: send him one back with a copy of the letter to the other diocese, and say “it seems unnecessary to spend large amounts of money on a psych eval on a priest who will no longer be in his diocese. Why bother?

    Of course, nothing requires that you actually have SENT that letter to the other diocese. But here’s the catch: if your bishop won’t back down, you have to go through with it. This is why you build up a pre-set plan for solid testimonials and evidence in your favor before your bishop decides to can you: you can use the already existing evidence as an indication that the bishop’s activities are based on a biased animus against you, not on your REAL state.

    But hopefully your bishop might back down and say oh, no, we don’t need to pursue that psych eval, it was just an idea, I can see now that it wouldn’t be a help in this case….

    As I say, I don’t know if this is worthwhile. But my guess is that virtually every bishop in America feels the pinch of too few priests (with maybe 3 exceptions). So most of them would at least seriously consider taking on a priest who, very likely, IS being persecuted for reasons other than mental disease or real vices that damage his ability to be a priest. So what you priests really need to do is figure out a handful of bishops who have a reputation for being willing to buck the “old boys network” by taking in a priest from another diocese. (It doesn’t really matter THAT much if he is actually willing, if he has a reputation that makes it seem like he might be willing. Even better if there were a way to encourage rumors that he would be willing (without lying, of course), that can be spread about far and wide.)

  46. mepoindexter says:

    It’s not just the priests. We get this at the parish level. God forbid you try to be a faithful Catholic, improve our often lothesome lot. Once you get found out, you get shadow banned. You develop a thick skin. God will improve things in his own time until then you just have to slug it out.

  47. MrsAnchor says:

    Priest Holes & stop funding the Diocese’s that have corruption as High as the Bishops that oversee them. Thats what I’ve been saying since the Fr Gavancho incident….

    Ireland & France are 2 stand out illustrations of Priests being “free” as long as there were Laity to help feed, clothe etc…Above all HIDE Out.

    It’s coming ……. Wake Up and use the time we have to get this accomplished for when One Day you have a visitor

    MRE’s for an extra person, The Priest that you may just encounter…

    If the Church as We want it/know it… dwindles to disappearance. How will it thrive amongst us?

    What happened in Japan, Mexico, Middle East …This has been dealt with before…

  48. MrsAnchor says:

    Another issue w/ this Psychological Profiling….

    Why can’t these Priests visit Dr Ray Guarendi and his kind for an Evaluation/Release?

  49. aegsemje says:

    I am a NICU nurse, and was sent to an ethics class after disagreeing with the management and doctors when they allowed a baby to die when he could easily have been saved, but the millionaire parents did not want a disabled child.

    Years earlier, I was kicked out of a program to become a teacher at a Catholic college because I was too conservative. A man from the state (never knew his name) came to tell me they would never let me teach Minnesota students.

  50. I would re-iterate the importance of witnesses and legal and canonical representation! Fathers, if you are summoned to such a meeting by your V.G. or your bishop, get a civil lawyer and a canon lawyer and tell the V.G. or Bishop that you will not meet him without representation. If the party that summons you assures you that “you don’t need a lawyer” THEN YOU DEFINITELY NEED a lawyer! “Respect and obedience” is one thing, but we DO have rights under canon law as well as civil law. Many bishops / Vicars General are either ignorant of these rights or they mean merely to intimidate their priests into submission. CALL THEIR BLUFF EVERY.SINGLE.TIME!

  51. un-ionized says:

    The Egyptian, the local HQ of the order that messed with me is in your diocese. Enough said.

  52. mibethda says:

    The St. Joseph Foundation, located in San Antonio, Texas, has been assisting Catholic laymen and clergy who encounter infringement of their rights under canon law with legal advice and legal representation by their small canon law staff and associates for some 35 years. They do not charge for their services; their apostolate depends upon contributions to support the good work that they do. Their principals and staff are highly orthodox and sympathetic to Tradition. Anyone interested might view their website or their publication, Christifidelis.

  53. un-ionized says:

    Kathleen 10, spot on. Flee. The worst by far are those who affect orthodoxy and are living double lives. How I wish I could be open and public over what I’ve been put through by perverts who say their habit is a symbol of purity. Gag.

  54. un-ionized says:

    teomatteo, wake up and smell the burning fires of Hell. At a diocese near you.

  55. mibethda says:

    Fr. Totten,the rights which clergy might have vis a vis their ordinary under civil law is greatly limited in most states which recognize the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine. It is often applied in cases such as those which are the subject of the discussion here – that is not to say that there might not be a way around the doctrine with a carefully constructed claim, but it does pose a major obstacle to gaining a hearing in a civil court in many jurisdictions.

  56. Dismas says:

    @Nicholas – Well, your best bet is to make a list of those bishops that were pro-Viganò, subtract their age from 75, and accept that as the longest possible stretch of safety. The next bishop will likely be of the Cdl. Cupich kind.

    In truth nowhere is safe, and within twenty years, who knows the insanity or depravity to come. My best advice would be to be prepared for bullying from all corners by narcissists and sociopaths. Your best defenses are to document EVERYTHING and to know how to record your conversations. Triumphalistic liberals tend to dig their own graves if you let them talk long enough.

  57. Dismas says:

    @Nicholas – Well, your best bet is to make a list of those bishops that were pro-Viganò, subtract their age from 75, and accept that as the longest possible stretch of safety. The next bishop will likely be of the Cdl. Cupich kind.

    In truth nowhere is safe, and within twenty years, who knows the insanity or depravity to come. My best advice would be to be prepared for bullying from all corners by narcissists and sociopaths. Your best defenses are to document EVERYTHING and to know how to record your conversations. Triumphalistic liberals tend to dig their own graves if you let them talk long enough.

  58. LauraL says:

    We need an avenue to donate to support priests who are run out of their parishes, and might have legal fees and other horrible issues facing them. Is there a trust fund or other venue for helping?

    [Once such group is Opus Bono Sacerdotii.]

  59. Liz says:

    I heard that Opus Bono Sacerdotti is being attacked as well. They’ve been fairly quiet lately. I don’t know if it’s true or not.

  60. Cradle Catholic says:

    I communicate from time to time with Fr. Gordon MacRae who is falsely convicted on sex abuse charges.
    I mentioned to him about Fr. Kalchik, and that Cupich wanted to send him to a pyschiatrist for observation…. here is Fr. Gordon’s response:

    ” I heard a lot about the story from Fr Byers.It was not just to a psychiatrist that Cupich wanted to send him, but to the St Luke Institute in Maryland where Mons Edward Arsenault was Executive Director – a position in which he earned $160,000 per year plus expenses and benefits. Which makes one wonder why he had to embezzle another $300,000 fro this diocese to support a gay relationship. St Luke Institute has been notorious for psychoanalyzing priest-clients in accord with the outcome desired by the sending bishops. Father Kalchic was wise to decline the “offer” and flee.”

    By the way, the now liacized Edward Arsenault played a big role in the events that lead to the false conviction of Fr. MacRae. As another reader here said, maybe it’s time to scrutinize the St.Luke Institute.

  61. surritter says:

    Only a few years ago, parents who discouraged their son’s vocation to the priesthood were frowned upon — as if they were interfering with God’s will. But based on the scary things related in this post, it appears they may have been the smart parents after all…

  62. Matt says:

    Fr Z;
    Is there any possible way that Catholic Priests in these US of A could unionize, and be afforded protections against overbearing superiors and unreasonable demands?

  63. Charivari Rob says:


    Obviously they could not/would not/should not identify key clients (not individuals, and not even to the extent of saying “we’ve had patients from Diocese _____, where people could connect the dots of people known to be on “leave” or “sabbatical” from a given diocese) – conflict with HIPAA confidentiality.

    I would suggest that if this is as bad as many suspect, then a useful avenue of inquiry for investigative reporters would be Saint Luke’s must have some sort of Board – directors or trustees, probably some sort of endowment, reporting requirements, licensing requirements, regulatory…

  64. Ben Kenobi says:

    One of the most important articles here. Thank you Fr Z. As for the solutions. *sigh* SSPX isn’t the answer. It’s trading one problem for another one. Many whom were protestants in the 16th century had similar arguments vis a vis the corruption of the Church at the time and the solution, well, didn’t really amount to much helpful in the long run. Sparked off a war killing more than 30 million Christians and the Turks in Vienna.

    Much more is at stake this time. Whether the West stands or falls depends on the decisions made by the folks who are in position to make the big decisions as well as each individual. All of this was foretold. Satan has planned for a long time to try to destroy the Church and we already know how this ends. I look at what was said about the ‘abomination that causes desolation’, and I can’t help but think that those who are attempting to elevate homosexuality within the Church are doing exactly that.

    In the meantime, pray. As much as we may hope that places will ‘stay safe’, I am reminded that no such safety is guaranteed. Go to mass, go to confession. We won’t be ‘safe’ if we withdraw to wherever we believe that safety will be. Some of us are going to be called to fight, others to preserve and shelter. I believe I’ve been called to fight.

    Churchill once said that, “There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” The first salvos of a war that has been long in coming have been fired.

  65. Praelium says:

    “He is told [to go] for three months or so.” Been there, done that. For sure. Thank you for the excellent article. I appreciate the very helpful comments and analysis. Sorry this is happening in the Church. The problem is that the Jesuits, Orders and Bishops are the same as Disney, ABC and the Democratic Party : spoiled rotten kids swimming in money. The solution is to review the history of Fr. Lanteri (1759-1830). He was given a house arrest for two years by Emperor Napoleon and Lanteri’s Bishop approved of Napoleon’s action. Then Fr. Lanteri created the solution for religious, priests and laity. Pope John Paul II understood Lanteri’s solution and used it to assist the Eastern Europeans in the 1980’s. Fact: solidarity was an independent trade union that developed into a mass campaign for political change.

  66. JesusFreak84 says:

    I’m amazed a state ethics board hasn’t taken away St. Luke’s license to operate; that might be the most useful PR angle to take–other mental health facilities have been forced closed for much, MUCH less. I also hope Fr. K is in touch with the Thomas Moore Center; they’re based out of Chicago. Also starting to understand why Fr. Phillips got on the first plane to Rome…

    As to what I already meant to say before skimming the other comments, (super-agree with priests bringing lawyers, dual JD/JCD if possible, into any meetings with their Bishops, bonus witnesses are great, esp. if the bonus witness is a shrink of some stripe, bonus-bonus if you got a clean bill of mental health from them already in anticipation of this,) I think Catholics loyal to (never thought I’d use this phrase without my tongue firmly planted into my cheek, but here we are,) eternal Rome, need to start looking into things like I2P ( and Freenet, ( and only give out these “mini-sites” via trusted channels, much like how the persecuted Chinese (or the Romans in earlier centuries,) spread word about which house church to meet in. Maybe start with a friends-only Plurk from Fr. Z?

    Also, if you don’t know how crypto works, Fathers, PLEASE learn it. Don’t just trust gmail, for the love of cake. Presume any email you got from the See, your parish, etc., is being monitored. (On this note, I do think it might actually help loyal Catholic priests going forward that they’re more often going into seminary and the priesthood with pre-existing email addresses, etc. Fathers, Seminarians, DO NOT give away the passwords to these; if you feel pinned, have a family member create another address for your use.)

    Same for any lay who want to give a priest refuge. FSF has two helpful links here: (they have guides for other OSs,) and Don’t store your private keys on parish or Diocese machines; use a thumb drive that you can hide somewhere in a pinch. And if anyone has contact with ++Vigano, maybe this’ll help him, too…ugh, I hate that we are at a spot where my brain can even GO here…

    I could go into super-paranoid level here, but that would involve knowing how to check your CPU for certain features, and I think that’s enough for now for me having intended to be in bed over an hour ago. This tin-foil hat’s getting tight, alright??? D:

  67. HvonBlumenthal says:

    I fear that FSSP is under as much pressure as everyone else as they have never succeeded in obtaining their own bishop. The only non schismatic safe house seems to be sspx.

  68. Pingback: FrancisChurch Gulag – The Camp Of St. Luke… | The Deus Ex Machina Blog

  69. Gab says:

    This … this is heartbreaking.

  70. Fallibilissimo says:

    I know that the medical profession is full of abuse. However, if you’re telling us that this is widespread among different dioceses then forget the idea of a place up in the hills, forget keeping priests in your garage, forget all the secret backdoor stuff. Just stop. You need to bring in law enforcement against the medical facilities which would be doing this. C’mon, what the hell is going on here? Are we serious?
    I feel all over the place right now with what I’m hearing and reading. It’s bewildering. Everytime a prelate speaks, it seems only to make matters worse. And where the hell are secular organizations? Where’s the media? Where’s the police? Where’s law enforcement? You want to tell me there’s been psychological abuse of these priests at a massive scale, sexual pedo and pederast rings and all these organizations are “afraid” to move or act? Forget the talk of SSPX or breaking off and so on, what does that do? We need transparency, we need light, we need JOURNALISM above all. Even if you’re an atheist, out of a sense of justice you would want these kind of things looked into. It’s come to the point that I actually give more weight and credibility to the words of the now deceased mob boss “Toto Rina” then when I hear our prelates talk about these “administrative” things. And I bet I’m not the only one. Heck I might as well wish a murdering beast like that was running things, at least he’d clean up a lot of business and he’d be far more open about the prostitution rings he’d be running…and the prostitutes would likely be mostly women…
    Yeah this is upsetting and the cold shoulders the cursed omerta in the Church, it’s just mental abuse on a massive scale. Every layperson I know who’s had to work with the Vatican on matters which have nothing to do with topics of sex abuse, all come out bitter and angry for the arrogant “father knows best” attitude, plotting, intrigues and no transparency. It’s as if dealing with Church officials means you have to go through a necessary phase of mental crisis. I’m talking accountants, lawyers, doctors, heads of charitable organizations. All of them come out saying the same thing. You’d think they all knew each other and were reading from a prepared script, instead they come from different parts of the world and with different competencies.

    And why all the secrecy and cover-ups about these practices? I don’t give a flying banana skin if Vigano is a disgruntled employee and a political player getting his revenge (worst case scenario), what ticked me off is that Oath he had to take. I get big organizations ought to have secrets, but this organization is the one on earth that should have the LEAST secrets to keep! What are we hiding? If we talk are stocks going to go down? Are people going to lose their savings? Are countries going to declare war? Is the Church involved in hunting down some terrorist ISIS guy in some cave? What? What’s the big secret guys? The average guy on the street things the Vatican is run by a bunch of gay pedos, that priests are weird, that the Vatican Bank is totally corrupt, and that the whole thing is a world model for hypocrisy. I know, because I usually have to argue against these voices. So tell me, given that, what scandal are we avoiding now that it requires such secrecy and hush hush? Nobody believes the nonsense anymore. There’s no more scandal to be had, we did a great job at making sure of that! CONGRATS!
    This is ridiculous, it really is. After awhile, after the anger, the fear, the wave of emotions, the whole thing looks like a stupid circus. It’s embarrassing to watch, like a bad 2.1 IMDB rating movie.

    Hey, anybody think that since different Popes couldn’t really handle this situation, that maybe what’s needed is an ecumenical council? I don’t mean a pastoral one, or a dogmatic one but a strictly disciplinary one. Don’t call it VIII. Have it Ireland, preferably in one of those institutions where those poor kids were savaged by people who were afforded the full protection of their Bishops. Problem is, I don’t know I would even trust them coming out with good practical solutions.

    Last thing. All you good priests: there’s a lavendar mafia right? Well, what did the good guys do when they had to deal with the mafia? They wore a wire. I’m not telling you what to do, just think about it. Cell phones do the darndest things…sometimes the microphone or camera record without one knowing about it.

  71. Pingback: PopeWatch: Looney Bins for Conservative Priests – The American Catholic

  72. HvonBlumenthal says:

    To what extent do you think petitions like the one asking Card Cupich to resign make any difference? How many signatures would it take? This one seems to have collected 15 thousand. Im surprised it isn’t ten times as many.

  73. Richard A says:

    Seems to me that in a city like Chicago, with several prestigious universities, it should be possible to find a rational, Christian professor of psychology with a national reputation. Fr should make an appointment with one and get himself evaluated first. Then, when he arrives at St. Luke’s or wherever, and he already has a file with the declaration of Dr. Wingnut of Northwestern University that he is perfectly normal, it will be much more difficult for them to pronounce him wacko. If the Chicago Tribune were to learn that some group of nutjob psychos in Maryland (?) contradicted the findings of our own, nationally renowned clinical psychologist …

  74. To some points here, it is naive to believe that this is strictly a liberal v. conservative problem. It is an abuse of power problem, and it happens with “liberal” AND “conservative” bishops. Same for the sex. Look at the Society of St. John – that was a disaster! Look at the Legionaries of Christ! Not wanting to lose hope, I happen to agree with one commentator who suggested that while one may find a sane and friendly bishop today, there’s no guarantee that his successor will be of similar stock! In some sense, this feels like a waiting game. Just as the Pope seems to be “stacking” the college of cardinals with his own men, so also the appointment of local bishops seems to follow a similar pattern! I have long discouraged seminarians studying for a bishop for this very reason! Now “Goodbye Goodmen” was a valid thesis and there are times when the Lord has called a man to a diocese different than his own, but a little leaven will rise the batch – and this is true of good leaven as well as the rotten!

    Returning to the purpose of this blogpost, I know of a young priest who was falsely accused of, I don’t know what! When he was summoned, he was told that he would go to XYZ institution for evaluation. He contacted a canonist who told him to flatly refuse to go to XYZ and suggested two or three other doctors to evaluate him. When the priest insisted that he allow someone other than the diocese’ preferred institution, the bishop relented. As a result, he was given a clean record – and an investigation had shown that the accusation against him was not only groundless but also politically-motivated, and that a certain diocesan official (who still retains her position) acted in a manner which was most unethical. Having been treated in this manner, the priest has requested an indefinite leave of absence for he is not sure he wants to continue in the ministry in his diocese. The last I heard, he was working at Home Depot! My hope is that he will get over himself, and get back to the work that the Lord has called him to, but I also hope that diocesan officials will wake up soon and realize that they are killing vocations (not only those in the pipeline, but those already ordained!)

  75. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Grim irony that those in the Church who most deride the inquisition’s actions against heretics use even more intrusive tactics against men who resist heresy.

  76. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    1. It seems that the same level of secrecy that has been surrounding the abuse of young men by priests and bishops, and the cover-ups by bishops, is also to be found regarding the treatment of conservative priests by their fellow priests and by their bishops.

    It’s as if there’s a black hole between the reality of these situations on the side of the clergy and the hierarchy and the information available to the laity.

    I don’t think this is healthy. I don’t think it has ever been healthy.

    2.“In Portugal the dogma of the faith will always be preserved,” is what Our Lady told Sr. Lucia in 1941. It now occurs to me to wonder whether Our Lady’s words carried the meaning “In Portugal (among other places, Lucia, but Portugal being of particular interest to you since you’re Portuguese) (etc.) . . . ” or if their meaning was, “Of all the places in the world, in Portugal alone (etc.) . . .”

  77. robtbrown says:

    HvonBlumenthal says:

    I fear that FSSP is under as much pressure as everyone else as they have never succeeded in obtaining their own bishop. The only non schismatic safe house seems to be sspx.

    I know of no FSSP effort to obtain their own bishop.

    The Bergoglio approach is to ignore such groups, that they will wither and die–History will see to that.

  78. robtbrown says:

    Let’s try it again.

    HvonBlumenthal says:

    I fear that FSSP is under as much pressure as everyone else as they have never succeeded in obtaining their own bishop. The only non schismatic safe house seems to be sspx.

    I know of no FSSP effort to obtain their own bishop.

    The Bergoglio approach is to ignore such groups, that they will wither and die–History will see to that.

  79. Michael Haz says:

    Odd thing how a few priests who seem truly in need of therapy (Martin, Pfleger, et. al.) never seem to be rounded up and taken away……

  80. DonL says:

    Yes, it’s come to the point where resistance is necessary and yes, money is key. I believe far too much money is gifted to the Church (and under its corrupted bishops’ control) via estate transfers. What is needed is a completely lay legal/financial structure of traditional Catholics who effectively will siphon those funds off and keep them only for the purposes of enhancing God’s faith as handed down by the Apostles, which in my understanding means–never a penny to Rome.
    Securities of all kinds need to be met and wisdom and the service of knowledgeable people are needed to get it off the ground. Heavy advertising etc would be essential, but if it’s lay run, that can be its blessing. Heck, it took 30pieces of silver to seduce an early bishop into diabolical behavior, perhaps such funding as it grows might tempt them to behave better.

  81. Dismas says:

    @HvonBlumenthol – Taken to the sixth decimal, taking account for the Synodal Circus, the Feb meeting, I.d say a petition with a million signatures from the Chicago area would matter a whopping 0%.

    If getting rid of him is the goal, then I’d suggest working with, and collecting evidence.

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  83. Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons says:

    In a recent article on A. McCarrick I wrote of this growing problem of clerically abusive behaviors by Bishops, which in our clinical experience is increasing under Pope Francis.

    “In my clinical experience (over 40 years as a psychiatrist), bishops or those on their staff who are sexual heretics (rebel against the Church’s teaching on sexual morality and Humanae Vitae) attempt to laicize loyal priests who did not abuse minors or adults and whose psychological conflicts can be resolved. They also support or generate false accusations of abuse against loyal priests whom they then try to laicize. As with Cardinal McCarrick, other bishops are aware of their hostile, passive-aggressive activities against loyal priests and the Church.

    It is important to understand that priests have the right to chose the mental health professional who will evaluate them. If pressured to go into a treatment center, I highly recommend the canon lawyer, Robert Flummerfelt, JCD, JD, who is the director of Justice for Priests. He has successfully protected the ministry of many loyal priests.

    Fr. Z, I suggest you speak with him.

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  85. The Barrister says:

    I have a son in seminary, and to know that bishops can (and will, and do) go to such lengths to remove faithful priests and hobble faithful religious is difficult to bear.

  86. Eoin OBolguidhir says:

    SOL: Much obliged. The knowledge is unfortunately hard won. You are exactly right. People in administration have no interest in the truth or in goodness. They are just trying to manage people who understand things they don’t understand by claiming an expertise in “management”, which is an expertise in almost nothing at all. Take a look at McIntyre’s discussion of Weberian Bureaucracy in “After Virtue” for a much better discussion of the dynamic than I could possibly render. Theses pecolating monsters have a desperate need to keep their charade going, and hammering down any nail that sticks up a little is a good way for them to look busy and keep complaints at bay. In medicine, there are vile organizations (I’m looking at you Press-Ganey of South Bend, IN) that have courses and seminars that coach administrators how to gull, cully, diddle, and cow learned professionals with a minimum of unpleasant conflict so that they can get back to eating bacon in comfortable chairs in paneled board rooms while slapping each other on the back for doing such great work.

  87. TonyO says:

    To some points here, it is naive to believe that this is strictly a liberal v. conservative problem. It is an abuse of power problem, and it happens with “liberal” AND “conservative” bishops.

    One small point of correction, Fr. Totten: for THESE purposes, there is no such thing as a “conservative” bishop any more. Not in these United States, and probably not in western Europe.

    I don’t mean that politically: yes, for political purposes there are bishops on the leftward side of left-liberal, and bishops on the rightward edge of left-liberal, and even a small handful (yes, I mean 5 or fewer) who are SIMPLY conservative politically speaking. But that’s not what I am talking about.

    What I am getting at is that ALL men who are being selected for advancement to the bishop’s hat these days – and for 2 decades and more since – are the product of an extremely left-liberal (even, in some places, both economic, theological, and social marxist) system of education and training. This training starts in grade school, and continues through college and the seminary. It includes unspoken mantras of meaning and weight that never need to be defended at the level of conscious thought, as well as more explicit content: such as an overwhelming presumption that committee-run process is more fair and “good” than top-down authoritarian decision making [ except of course when YOU are the authoritarian in charge ;-)]. They are in sum total a picture of the feminizing of the educational establishment, squeezing out masculinity in students and valuing only conformism, pacificism, toleration of “diversity” (even when intrinsically disordered), and so on.

    There isn’t one bishop in America who is not the product of this system. He may be a relative conservative (politically) compared to someone like Cupich, but I guarantee you that not a one of them would be called conservative by 1960 standards, and not one of them is truly conservative as to methods and approaches to correcting heterodoxy and immorality in his priests. He wouldn’t have been selected by “the system” if he were. He is too much of a “let’s talk about it and see if we can ‘dialogue’ about this” and “let’s form a committee” and “what are the lawsuit risks of taking bold action?” type of guy, trained in modern-speak and modern theory of management, to be a true conservative in terms of HOW he uses the office of bishop. He is too much of a “let’s push a sex-abuse-training program on school kids in contradiction to canon law because that’s what the schools do too.”

    As for the rest: it is true that some so-called “conservative” bishops also abuse their power in the mentioned ways, although I would be willing to bet less so. It is also true that the same “conservative” bishops use the exact same approach as liberal bishops on things like “let’s make sure we move every pastor after 8 years to avoid X, Y, and Z potential “issues”.” And rely on new-speak for explaining their so-called reasons, just like the liberals. Yup.

  88. Nicholas says:

    I think that the Cardinal removing them would actually remove them. He has that authority, even if it is used unjustly.

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  91. sienese says:

    With regards to Montana and redoubts:
    I agree.

    It seems we are in a place where we need to both rebuild the Church and fight off the enemies of the Church and those who ally themselves with those enemies.

    I feel like there need to be environments for broken priests, for banished priests, for priests that have been rejected by bishops in opposition to the Catholic Faith.
    I feel like we also need a place and a process to reclaim men who have been wrongfully rejected for ordination, seminarians wrongfully booted for being “too Catholic,” and for men whose entrance into the seminary was blocked because they were suitable candidates.

    We so badly need places where being shamed for following the faith and the sense of the faith.

    I understand prudence, patience, caution, discipline and hard-headedness would be necessary to rebuild the ranks of clergy in this way, but it seems like it needs to be done. How else can trust be rebuilt – and I mean the trust amongst clerics – unless the call to faithfulness is supported by the embodiment of faith, hope and charity through the works of grace and mercy? We need that uncompromised precinct within the Church where the smoke of Satan is not allowed entrance.

    – Sienese –

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