What priests – and you too – will have to deal with

I spotted this on Twitter. It’s not just the anti-Catholicism that comes from the outside that troubles us. More troubling is the anti-Catholicism from within. It has ever been so, since Judas sold the Lord.

I am struck by the fact that the 1st Reading in the Novus Ordo for this coming 4th Sunday of Easter, from Acts 13, shows what happens when Paul and Barnabas preach the truth.   In that time the Gentiles were eager to hear and accept the Good News but, in this particular community, the Jews were not.  So the Jewish resisters used a long-tested technique to disrupt the truth being preached.   Namely…

The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this
and glorified the word of the Lord.
All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread
through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers
and the leading men of the city,
stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas,
and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them,
and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit.

Recently I had to deal with a situation in which a few people squawked about something to powers that be and then everyone had to run in circles to placate them, leaving those who had to do the work left holding the bag.

But “clericalism” is the big problem, right?

There are different kinds of clericalism, as Fr. Longenecker and I have recently written about.  Here’s another kind… the clericalism of the spineless cleric, who caves into a small pressure group with fear and then forces the rest to comply.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
    St. Athanasius, Council of Nicaea, AD 325 attributed.

    On one hand, they claim a lack of new vocations, on the other hand, good and faithful priests are consistently thrown under the bus by weak-willed and cowardly bishops. Wonder when they will connect the dots?

  2. bartlep says:

    I’m so sorry that good priests have to suffer from such evil. But the demons are ever present.

    I just watched Fr. Rippenger’s The Level’s of Spiritual Warfare and it was very revealing.


  3. bartlep says:

    Typo — it is Fr. Chad Ripperger…

  4. Gab says:

    For some time now, in saying the Daily Prayer for Priests that has the imprimatur of +Robert C. Morlino, I insert an extra line, after “O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests”, and pray for Thy persecuted priests and the persecuting priests. (I hope this is okay).

  5. Marissa says:

    They stirred up Susannah from the Temple Council?

  6. GregB says:

    With the way that some members of the hierarchy act, faithful Catholics seem to be being placed into the same position as that of Uriah the Hittite.

  7. Benedict Joseph says:

    The operative abuse is theological abuse.

  8. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Gab writes:

    “The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
    St. Athanasius, Council of Nicaea, AD 325 attributed.

    Gab, “attributed” is a way of saying that something was invented out of thin air and is now passed around the internet as a hoax. In all the documents we possess of Athanasius, he never came close to saying anything about the “skulls of bishops.”

    The likelihood is that such comments are lifted from the sermons of anti-Catholic preachers in post-Elizabethan England. They had something of a fetish for the “bones of priests” and the “skulls of bishops.”

  9. OldProfK says:

    I am trying in the spirit of charity to understand what the bishop was thinking.
    I got nothin’….

  10. Gab says:

    Fr Sotelo, thank you for correcting me.

  11. robtbrown says:

    Fr Sotelo,

    I use the phrase “the road to hell is paved with miters”.

    Without attribution

  12. robtbrown says:

    Mt 19:12. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others–and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

    It seems there are people who think eunuch is a synonym of sodomite.

  13. robtbrown says:

    The bishop’s reaction reminds me of what a friend, a European priest, told me.

    When JPII was pope, some bishops spoke about abortion. When BXVI was pope, the same spoke about liturgy. Now that Francis is pope, they speak about the poor.

    If Batman becomes pope, they will speak about bats.

  14. William Tighe says:

    On the alleged quotation, “the floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops,” see:


    It seems that the alleged quotation was coined by John Wesley, who fathered it upon St. John Chrysostom.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  15. John21 says:

    Eight parishes. The solution to this? Look in the history books and copy what we were doing as a Church just less than a century ago when seminaries were full and Mass attendance was high and steady!

    I’m not educated on Catholic demographics in the U.S., but are we headed towards “Dutch scenario?“ Will it get that bad over here?

  16. Fr_Sotelo says:

    William Tighe. You wrote: “It seems that the alleged quotation was coined by John Wesley, who fathered it upon St. John Chrysostom.”

    The correct statement would be that if John Wesley said this, “he did not father it upon St. John Chrysostom.” Rather, I would say, “Who THOUGHT he fathered it upon St. John Chrysostom.”

    We know in the relevant section of Chrysostom, the Saint warns the faithful of the obedience, love, and respect they owe to bishops, because the bishop’s office is beset with spiritual dangers which he undertakes for love of the faithful.

    And as I suspected, one must go to Protestant Reformation preaching (Wesley is a good example) in order to find such quotes. Besides Wesley, there are many sermons in Protestant England which are far harsher, and describe hell as the most fitting location for the Roman hierarchy and clergy.

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