Remember #UniteTheClans ? Wherein Fr. Z rants.


From a friend:

My German friend who attended today told me that De Mattei wanted it kept quiet as he was afraid Marx would step in and shut it down. Apparently the state and Marx work closely together.

It seems to me that that in itself would have been newsworthy.

____ Originally Published on: Jan 18, 2020

This morning my phone starts ringing from a German number.

An old friend had heard that there was going to be a protest in Munich with recitation of the Rosary against the German bishops and their nutty synodal process.  Rather like what was done in Rome before the rigged October Pachamama Synod (“walking together”).  That was Acies Ordinata.

My friend would have gladly gone to Munich to participate but he had no advance warning that it was going to take place.  He heard also that there would be a presser afterwards. He was willing and eager to go to it, even if he missed the protest.

I reached out to get some information for him, BUT, I as learned, it was sort of a secret demonstration.

A secret demonstration?

A press conference afterwards?  By whom and for whom?

I’m afraid it was merely for each other, for the people who were on the inside, in the know.

Just as I write, I see that Ed Pentin is posting on Twitter about the protest at presser.  Archbp. Viganò showed up in his FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE in a long time. 

Pentin also wrote at the National Catholic Register after the fact.

Gee whiz.  I would have liked to be there for that, to lend support.

What I am afraid that we have here, my friends, on the traditional side of things, is a self-licking ice cream cone.

And not even a well packed ice cream cone.

While looking for information on the protest in Munich by Acies Ordinata I found this.

I love that… 18 Gennaio and January 28… and it’s “It’s time for clarity and coherence!”

Problem: not only is the date screwed up, but nowhere on that single page site do you find the PLACE and the TIME of the protest.

What were they worried about?  Thugs from the German Bishops Conference?

Was it secret because Archbp. Viganò was going to be there and they were worried that someone from the Holy See might try to stick him with a radioactive needle.

Actually, that’s not outside the realm of possibility.

I now see, just now, as I refresh that screen, that the banner has been changed to a photo from that protest in front of the Theatinerkirche.

I see John Henry Weston of LifeSite.  No advance news of this on LifeSite.

I see Robert de Mattei.  Nothing on the Lepanto site.

I see the young Austrian idol thrower, Alexander Tschugguel.  Nothing at his Boniface Institute page.

I see Michael Matt.  There is a post, posted today, the day of the protest, at The Remnant.  It says…

 Representatives of the many different Catholic action groups around the world will unite in Munich, Germany today in a peaceful demonstration of silent but prayerful protest against the German Bishops’ Conference “synodal way”.

Oh really?   Many different action groups?  Who would they be?  Do they have some sort of secret handshake or decoder ring so that only they know what’s going to happen, lest anyone who doesn’t share the code might participate?  Is there a “black list”?  Are they using encrypted comms so that word doesn’t get out?  Is there some sort of purity pedigree you have to pass?

It seems to me that if you want real action, you don’t do things on the sly.

Look, I think all these people are terrific. They are dedicated Catholics.  They see that things aren’t going well.  They want to do something.

I don’t think that the self-licking ice cream cone approach is the most effective.

Things are obviously not going well in the Church.  Because our Lord underwent His Passion, the Church also must undergo her own time of torment and upheaval.  I maintain that God, who disposes all things, gave us a magnificent honor to live in these troubled times.

Because of that great gift from Our Lord, to be called into existence at this time in the history of salvation, we have to roll up our sleeves and do our part even as God showers graces on us.  The harder the times, the greater the graces.  What an honor.

Think of the honor God gave to the Jews who, with a sword in one hand and a trowel in the other, worked together under Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.  And their enemies were not as spiritually dangerous as our are today.

May I return to a theme I’ve punched at for years?

What is it about traditional and conservative Catholics that makes them atomize themselves into small groups that won’t cooperate with each other?  We obviously see some cooperation among this little group of groups in Munich.

A few months ago, the same Michael Matt of The Remnant put out a call to UNITE THE CLANS.   A great idea then.  A better ideal now.   However, it’s ironic that his post at The Remnant was called also Mission Impossible.

When Michael Matt called to Unite The Clans I was right there.  HERE

In that post, Michael wrote:

What we’ve got here are two old war horses who’ve not always seen eye-to-eye on everything over the past 25 years, but who nevertheless know Devils when we see them. Unite the clans with Father Z? You bet!  I’m proud to stand together with him against the demons attempting to destroy our beloved Church.

So when not even I have a clue something is going on, I wonder how committed they really are.

The last time that the hashtag #UniteTheClans was used on Twitter was 24 November of last year.

Meanwhile, catholic libs set aside small differences, create fronts, and roll over everyone in their path.

Why don’t Catholics work together?

It seems to me that many on our side of the spectrum are so dedicated to protecting their little wrinkle of turf that they are afraid of the success of others.

Someone is going to have to emerge as a good leader with a good vision and leadership skill to do some uniting.  It’ll have to be a layperson, I think.  As Fulton Sheen said:

“Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops.”

Let’s think of this in terms of strategy.

  • What are the threats to the Church?  Concretely?
  • What the enemies’ centers of gravity?
  • What are the measures we have to take to overcome?
  • How do we destroy, neutralize or coopt their centers of gravity?

None of that is going to happen without united action and concrete work.

Realistically… ask yourself…

  • What are we going to do if they actually start ordaining married men or women as deacons?
  • How far is too far to be pushed?  How much nonsense is enough?


  • Who are the people who will lead in the future?
  • What do I, personally, have to give up in order to make the mission work?
  • What do certain organizations have to give up in order to cooperate with others?
  • How can I help?
  • Am I complacent in what I now have?
  • Is my ego in the way of our collective success?

It tears at my heart daily to see what is going on in the Church.

Once again, I ask that people on the more conservative and traditional side of things do an examination of conscience, set aside smaller differences, and start repairing the walls together.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    What a funny picture. I’ve never seen or heard that expression before. A self licking ice cream cone…

    Anyway yes Father, you are right, people are so “dedicated to protecting their little wrinkle of turf that they are afraid of the success of others.” It might even be a form of good old fashioned jealousy. I follow Ann Barnhardt, whose name is anathema in most parts. She often collectively calls them Trad Inc. I don’t think there will be a uniting of the clans without a strong focus on prayer and more specifically the rosary. Fr. Heilman just did a postcast with Fr. Ripperger wherein he stated that he preforms binding prayers before confession because even the demons can prevent people from wanting to go to confession!

    What and eye opener! I did wonder why the door slammed unusally loud when I was trying to go confession. Thinks that make you go hmm.

    My point is that despite our best efforts, how come the division continually persists between converative and traditional Catholics? Are we not of one mind on a mirad of issues? It does make one wonder.

  2. TRW says:

    In this instance, I think it is likely that the event was intentionally kept on the down-low. There are many progressive lay groups in Germany that are well organized. It’s not a stretch to think that if the event had been publicized there very well could have been a turn-out with disproportionately greater numbers of progressive demonstrators. In the U.S, this scenario would be less likely. Sadly, much of the German laity is very much on board with the Agenda® of the German bishop’s conference.

    [“there very well could have been a turn-out with disproportionately greater numbers of progressive demonstrators”… and that would have been bad?]

  3. tho says:

    Traditionalist are devoid of a main stream press outlet, a charismatic leader, and a deep pockets source of funds. Until God sends us a true leader, who can encompass all three necessities, we are bound to hit our heads against the wall.
    A Joan of Arc would do nicely, or a Bishop Fulton Sheen would help. Until then, we must keep the faith and pray as if our lives or souls depended on it.

  4. Amerikaner says:

    I agree completely. This was a missed opportunity! I too am thinking this is more about self-appeasement that united, concrete action.

  5. Benedict Joseph says:

    You nailed it, Father Z [as usual]. I too was surprised by the article at The Remnant this morning. I thought to myself “…how did I miss that?” and admonished myself for not staying on top of things.

  6. Kate says:

    I get the point, but as a person who has tried to organize events on the local level and had to deal with the progressive backlash of that, I really understand how this happens. It can be really demoralizing and zap the energy from the event. I can’t say that I blame them at all, and looking across the attendees, it still seems that the clans are being united. Just not everyone was invited.

  7. TRW says:

    IMHO, it would have been less productive if, due to publicity prior to the event, a significantly greater number of progressive/liberal ( pro-synodal agenda) counter-protesters showed up and overshadowed the rather small gathering of conservative/traditional folks that were there. Maybe they were concerned about how the optics would play out if word got out about the event and too many progressives showed up to disrupt the event.

  8. moosix1974 says:

    Vigano was there? I don’t see a single pic of him anywhere.

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    This is such a terrific point to make, Fr. Z. As a layperson not affiliated with any group except trad Catholic, it has been a disappointment to watch as not only do we not have any leadership at all, when someone does try to step forward, they get derided down into oblivion by the other trad or conservative factions, and then the debates start over who believes what. This will make it darn near impossible to coalesce into anything meaningful, meanwhile the other side has all the power and money and organization and attack dogs, and they aren’t shy about using all of it.
    We are too fractured, like the Tower of Babel, we’re all doing what you said, defending our little turf. While the men in Rome just lay waste to Catholicism, we’re busy fighting each other and entering snark contests and it’s all very discouraging. Absolutely nothing effective can happen with our level of discord, and this must delight the other side to no end. We are like the dog chasing his tail and spins on and on and on. When the crush is on, as it is now, we end up acting less like Catholics and more just like…people. The very visible Catholics who run blogs and whatnot may need to be reminded it’s great what they do, they are doing us all a great service and we owe them, but by themselves they can’t do much. They need numbers of smelly sheep to get involved and sign on. That’s where the rest of us come in. The herd is huge, but someone’s got to lead it and take advantage of the numbers. Numbers matter.

  10. Suzanne says:

    We have a local group that’s trying to plan a way to offer the rosary, solid catechesis and fellowship – pot luck or something usually – to anyone in our diocese who wants to take part. Just in our little planning group of about 12 people, we can easily get off track and egos get involved. I watched our little group and thought, if this is what it’s like when 12 people who love the Church more than anything try to work together, what a great miracle it is that the Church has survived both friends and enemies for over 2000 years! I will pray very, very hard for true unity among Catholics.

  11. Alexander says:

    Many good points here. But respectfully I wonder if private emails to the parties mentioned in this article would have been better than a public article. The latter may do some damage to the Unite the Clans agenda. I hope we can let some disagreements slide (or at least remain private) for the greater good.

  12. Ms. M-S says:

    God bless everyone for their good intentions, but I’m afraid that the time has passed when we can express them in safety and expect to start a fire. Am I wrong to think that we have to be ready to show up for (maybe lose) little battles to play our part in the greater war?

  13. RosaryRose says:

    What we have here is a failure to communicate.

    Honestly I don’t think the leaders realize just how many people are ready and willing to help. They don’t know their influence. It is possible. I own a business. It took me a while to realize my influence.

    On communication, these things happen. When my Dad died, we called his nieces who lived five hours away. He was a big part of their childhood, their own mother had recently died and now their uncle was gone. At the funeral two days later we realized they weren’t there. None of my five brothers and sisters (or I) had called them back to say when the funeral was. No one was assigned that detail. It was painful.

    Thank goodness no one died here. This is just the first of many events to strengthen the true Catholic Church for the honor and glory of God. Let’s learn from it.

    Considering many are grass roots (no money), one-person groups, communication needs to fit that structure. Think WWII underground. Each group needs a person responsible for reaching out to the other groups, or just a certain number of others. Then those people reach out to their people, and so on.

    Or, you could just publish on your well read website or contact others who have podcasts, and they could broadcast it. LOL.

    The enemy hates humor.

    The good news is 1) never fear – Get the word out. Don’t be afraid. 2) obviously we are doing something right if the enemy is sending in demons that confuse and disorient.

    Always remember, regarding the enemy, only 1/3 of the demons fell. That means twice as many angels stayed. We can all ask our Guardian Angels to help us. Ask the Queen of the Angels to intercede.
    Pray for each other. Pray for the leaders!

    If you care about the Catholic Church, Contribute to Fr Z so that he can continue his work.

    “Forgive is our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”

  14. Hidden One says:

    I remember #Unitetheclans.

    Sometimes I wonder if some of the difficulty on the ‘trad side’ is derivative of the problem of different income sources.

    On the ‘trad side’, broasly considered, folks/entities like Michael Matt, Dr. Marshall, 1P5, LifeSiteNews, Michael Voris, Dr. Kwasnieuwski, and even Fr. Z substantially live off donations from/products sold to lay ‘traditionalists’, who move around their donations and purchases based on perceived differences in content, tone, slight theological differences, etc. Rorate Caeli is one of the rare exceptions.

    Meanwhile, folks often listed as their opposites, like Dr. Massimo Faggioli, Fr. James Martin, SJ, and Dr. Austen Ivereigh do not derive the income required to pay the bills from donations and/or products sold to a small group of people, even if they may derive some of their income from their advocacy/activism work.

    It’s a lot easier to work with other people when doing so doesn’t entail the risk of significant lost income.

    Five more successful Twitter-active Catholic professors writing and commenting for NCRep, America, La Croix, etc., in their spare time won’t appreciably diminish the income of the three men I mentioned above. Five more successful donate-for-what-I-write traditionalist blog platforms, however, might mean someone else already in the business can’t put food on their table for their family, which might be a challenge already. The threat is there, however realistic one might judge it to be.

    If the ‘traditionalists’ do get united by somebody, a lay somebody as suggested by Fr. Z., that somebody will, I think, likely have to be someone whose income is neither provided by nor threatened by their work in service to the Church.

  15. Lux de Coelo says:

    Moosix1974 – Archbishop Vigano was in disguise in a beard

  16. MitisVis says:

    At Acies Ordinata concerning the protest:
    “We are lay people from all over the world, because what is at stake is the future not only of the German Church but of the universal Church.”

    They are obviously being smart about the planning as well as sending a strong message given the large amount of media types present. They want answers but do NOT want to endanger any clerics with backlash or worse. However your rant is spot on and I can answer many of your questions if I wrote 5 pages. For instance some think the seminaries have been “cleaned up”. Seriously?? They need worker bees so the trouble has gone underground and out of sight. The good priests can be controlled after ordination by their bishop quite easily. We have a papal appointed Vatican Communications advisor promoting homosexuality worldwide.
    I would look on this protest as a good thing.

  17. Suburbanbanshee says:

    It is hard, but it isn’t that hard.

    I was just watching the new Grand Tour: Seamen special. They were in Cambodia in a floating town named Pursat, and they had footage, 22 minutes in, of a floating Catholic church and parochial school next door.

    So I looked up Pursat, and found the Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang webpage, which told me that EVERY SINGLE PRIEST in Cambodia, and all the religious except some nuns who were out of the country, got killed by Pol Pot. All the churches but three were destroyed. Most of the laypeople were killed.

    But the refugee Catholics spent their time in the camps translating the Bible into Khmer! And they went back and built from scratch — and there are actually two floating churches on that Cambodian lake, because Cambodian Catholics are not quitters!

    Everybody is making good points, but the big point is to do something.

  18. OrdoMilitaris says:

    I thank God for priests, they are so much saner than laymen who try to preach.

    As for a more Catholic approach, I want to signal, not for myself, but for those involved and want to be involved

    At Castel San Angelo, just down the Via Conciliazione from the Vatican
    At 4:30 PM
    On Feburary 7, 20202
    There will be a Rosary procession with a Statue of Our Lady
    In reparation for the sins of Blasphemy which are mounting
    throughout Italy and the Church
    The procession will proceed to the Piazza Pio XII

    All are invited.
    This is not a protest in the political sense.
    But is SURELY A HEAVENLY way of acting.

    I am not involved in this, but as a Catholic, I wanted to share it.

  19. Traductora says:

    “How far is too far to be pushed? How much nonsense is enough?”

    I think all of your questions are good, but this one particularly resounded. We keep waiting for just one more thing to happen, just one more act of destruction or betrayal, just one more lie…And all this has done is enable the evil ones to seize all the seats of power, stifle or persecute all the orthodox, and make their city of evil a virtual fortress.

    So, yes, when do we decide that this is too much, who makes the call, and who will announce the decision? It will probably come from some source we least expect, not the writers or scholars and certainly not the bishops or hierarchs. But how long, oh Lord, how long?

    [I am reminded of the Fat Man’s Laws of the House of God.  VIII. THEY CAN ALWAYS HURT YOU MORE.  In a kind of mental or spiritual situational awareness, which always involves not just looking around at one’s surroundings but also projecting forward and imagining scenarios, we have to get our heads into a place where we begin to envision the next step, when the next shoe drops.  And does anything really think another shoe won’t drop before too long?  Both #SLAPGATE and #BOOKGATE virtually assure that something wacky is right around the corner… to take our minds of the former.]

  20. Spinmamma says:

    I am not in the know and do not pretend to be wise. However, it seems to me, Dear Father Z, that protecting our outspoken clergy, especially you, and at whatever level, is of paramount importance. When I heard that Archbishop Vigano had come out of hiding for this event my heart quailed. He is in hiding for a reason. [Yes. While it is good to see him, the fact of his being seen in public now is not lost on me. Nor will it be lost on those who see him as a threat. We might redouble our prayers for his safety and health and ask our angel guardians to fog the glasses and cause to distract anyone who is trying to track him now that he has been spotted.] If your voices are silenced what shall we do? I believe the Progressives undermining the Church would like nothing better than to have our faithful clergy exiled and silenced. They never seem to rest looking for ways to make that happen. When even the Pope Emeritus is verbally savaged things have gotten very bad indeed. I do agree with Hidden One that income sources are a big part of the problem. How I wish I had the funds to donate to all worthy fighters. As it is, I must give my faithful pittances and pray for the rest.

    [Believe me. The Left doesn’t play fair or cleanly when they attack. They are really nasty.]

  21. JTH says:

    Explanation: humans are silly creatures.

  22. Adelle Cecilia says:

    Were they being secretive to try to keep Michael Voris away?

    This is all very odd.

  23. Kathleen10 says:

    It’s appreciated, what they did in Munich. All efforts large and small matter.

  24. tominrichmond says:

    Unfortunately, there are still purity tests among some on our side, whereby they do not want to be tainted by association with the less pure. Totally inconsistent with uniting the clans or whatever, but there it is. Frankly, Father, I’m surprised you made it as far as you did, given that you have not yet sufficiently renounced Francis, and all his works, and his pomps.

  25. Fr_Sotelo says:

    This trad protest had the planning and execution style of a secret society, like the Freemasons or the Illuminati. What were they thinking?

    And some of these folks like to cast aspersions on those who are not manly enough in their Faith. Pfft. This sneaky behavior couldn’t be called effeminate because that would insult feminists who are never this timid when they plan a protest.

    It’s not just leadership that is needed. It is the ability to announce boldly and show up courageously that must be first accomplished. I still don’t know why Viganò has to run and hide. Oh, that’s right, the boogeyman is after him.

    Maybe God has not blessed this moment. Perhaps there is not sufficient prayer and charity within its ranks yet, in order to elicit from the Holy Ghost an outpouring of the spiritual fortitude which is needed.

    Failure to communicate and openly invite others is not how we unite the Church for real restoration. And somebody already said it–while there is even a whiff of sede attitudes, this is all dead on arrival. The sede mindset is poison and it can be argued, how much it has already infiltrated our ranks.

  26. JustaSinner says:

    In a word: egos is the reason traditional Catholics do not coalesce. I’ve seen this in conservative politics for 30-ish years. And the Dark One exploits and LOVES this!

  27. Jones says:

    The left or the diabolical (I repeat myself) isn’t anything to fear. Especially for Catholics. We have extremely effective means of combating spiritual forces.

    Ephesians 6:11-15
    Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.

    We’ve got Fr. Rip, US Grace force, you Fr. Z. I can’t remember which post, but you mentioned how you repelled a storm that was headed your way. You saw the T.V. announcer stunned as he’d never see a storm do that before! What power! What love Christ has for us!

    Beef up those rosaries. As I said I follow Ann. She has posts about praying a full 15 decade rosary a day. There are stories about victories of the rosary breaking up impending communist rule.

    We can do something, we can win this. We have the greatest military strategist of all time with us.

    Adoration, rosaries, daily mass if possible, confession and last but certainly not lest spiritual warefare prayers.

    Be encouraged. I know I am.

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  29. Danteewoo says:

    “Self-licking ice cream cone.” An interesting image. There is a degree of self-importance about these protesters.

  30. seeker says:

    We can’t know why the event was not publicized unless the organizers speak out. I am not sure how helpful speculation is, or name calling. Meanwhile, they did a good thing, Vigano came out, there is worldwide publicity. Better to build from this than sulk it wasn’t done right. Onward.

  31. Kathleen10 says:

    Is there any real doubt about the malevolence buried in the hearts of the men who run our church right now? Or that they would hesitate to use whatever means necessary to obtain their goals?
    I certainly don’t doubt it, but feel we now probably still underestimate their black hearts and willingness to do evil, and this while we see all their dark plans and actions. They, after many years, are well into the accomplishment of their goals, they are surely foaming to get it all done. An insider getting in their way now would be in danger, especially if he knew where the bodies were buried.
    Abp. Vigano knew what he was doing to go into hiding. He should stay there.

  32. Semper Gumby says:

    Perhaps the “Bergoglio’s Book of Insults” website should be joined by the “Sotelo’s Book of Insults” website.

  33. Semper Gumby says:

    Kathleen10: Yes, unfortunately, malevolence and ignorance does characterize a certain element of the clergy and religious. Christus Vincit.

  34. Kathleen10 says:

    Amen, Semper Gumby.

  35. chantgirl says:

    “How far is too far to be pushed? How much nonsense is enough?”

    The opening salvo of this pontificate was the DESECRATION of the EUCHARIST. If we were prepared and fervent Catholics, we should have been raising hell after Amoris laetitia was promulgated! Instead we were so unprepared, comfortable, and incredulous that a sitting pope could do such a thing, that we rolled over.

    Catholics in the Middle Ages would have rioted in the streets.

    People are freaking out about the possibility of married priests and female deacons, but nothing could be worse than desecration of the Eucharist! If a priest (especially the pope) can desecrate the Eucharist under the guise of mercy, we are dealing with something truly evil.

    Are we really surprised that a man who has no problem throwing Jesus to the wolves could then throw anyone/anything else to the wolves (FFI, Chinese Catholics, his fellow priests,Cardinal Burke, Cardinal Pell, Benedict XVI, marriage, the priesthood etc)?!

  36. mo7 says:

    Could the people in the know explain why Abp. Vigano was in disguise?

  37. Fr_Sotelo says:

    “Sotelo’s Book of Insults.” Why, thank you Gumby.

    I didn’t realize that you consider my phrases to be on a par with those of Pope Francis. That’s quite the compliment! LOL

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  39. JonPatrick says:

    Concerning g what chantgirl said above about why Catholics aren’t rioting in the streets, part of the reason is our small numbers. When you consider only a small fraction of self identifying Catholics even go to Mass regularly and of those only a small number actually know their faith. What we really need to do is evangelize those around us, to challenge when we hear bad doctrine being bandied about. There is no rioting because the majority of Catholics don’t know their faith and agree with the dissenters. Look how many Catholics support abortion and contraception and who voted for Obama. This is something the much maligned Voris harps on. We need to make sure we know our faith so we can speak about it to others. One constructive thing we can do is educate ourselves. Start with the Baltimore Catechism.

  40. The Masked Chicken says:

    Chantgirl wrote:

    “Catholics in the Middle Ages would have rioted in the streets.”

    That is true, but the reason is because they held the truths of the Faith to be independent of personal opinion. There has been a long slide into the notion of truth as private or group judgment since the time of the Protestant Reformation coming to the Post-Modernism of today. All sciences, whether physical or theological, are inherently conservative, in the sense that the goal is to understand a pre-existent structure of reality. Once a piece of the picture is nailed down, science guards that truth, diligently. Yes, mistakes can be made and corrected, but the pursuit is always to obtain a clearer picture of a structure we did not create, be it the physical universe or the moral structure of God.

    Unfortunately, the idea that we decide what is truth, privately, is in direct competition to the idea of a man-independent structure of reality. Taken to its extreme, we get men who can decide that they are women, when no scientist, who can plainly observe biology, would ever assert that.

    The problem is that we live in a schizophrenic world, where even the scientist while working in his field will be objective to the point of obsession, but holds the most absurd personal beliefs. Modern psychology, with its emphasis on personality, has encouraged this principle of private judgment. It is the principle at work in footnote 351 in Amoris laetitia.

    Things can turn around by uniting the clans, to be sure, but I am not sure that the right clans are uniting. There is very little difference, really, between most conservative Catholic groups, today. It is a matter of degree, not principle (I am ignoring the Sede groups). Uniting these clans will not form a strong enough nucleus for change.

    The two clans that need to be united, I am convinced, are the physical and theological sciences – those groups that hold to an objective form of truth, or should. It is the humanities and the humanistic forms of theology, that are putting forth the idea of the private judgment of truth to the masses, that must be resisted and destroyed. Physical scientists could be doing so much more and so could the theologians who hold to objective formulations of theology as a science to crush the privatalism that is killing the West.

    Pope Francis may call such people rigid, but he misunderstands that it is not the people who are rigid, it is the structure of reality that demands an account and will not be fooled by the imaginings of man. Richard Feynman said it best when discussing the failure of the Challenger spacecraft, which the Church is coming to resemble more and more closely (my comments in brackets):

    “Finally, if we are to replace standard numerical probability usage
    with engineering judgment, why do we find such an enormous disparity
    between the management estimate [Private Judgment] and the judgment of the engineers [Objective Truth?] It would appear that, for whatever purpose, be it for internal or
    external consumption, the management of NASA [Bishops and Curia] exaggerates the
    reliability of its product [Man’s ability to judge truth], to the point of fantasy.

    They are warnings that something is wrong. The equipment is
    not operating as expected, and therefore there is a danger that it can
    operate with even wider deviations in this unexpected and not
    thoroughly understood way [see, Amoris laetitia, footnote 351, for example]. The fact that this danger did not lead to a catastrophe before is no guarantee that it will not the next time,
    unless it is completely understood. When playing Russian roulette the
    fact that the first shot got off safely is little comfort for the

    A further disadvantage of the top-down method is that, if an
    understanding of a fault is obtained, a simple fix, such as a new
    shape for the turbine housing, may be impossible to implement without
    a redesign of the entire engine.

    The slow shift toward decreasing safety factor [What constitutes a state of grace] can be seen in many examples.

    Let us make recommendations to ensure that NASA officials [Bishops and Curia] deal in a
    world of reality in understanding technological weaknesses and
    imperfections well enough to be actively trying to eliminate
    them. They must live in reality in comparing the costs and utility of
    the Shuttle [Church] to other methods of entering space [Achieving salvation]. And they must be
    realistic in making contracts, in estimating costs, and the difficulty
    of the projects. Only realistic flight schedules should be proposed,
    schedules that have a reasonable chance of being met. If in this way
    the government would not support them, then so be it. NASA owes it to
    the citizens [Pewsitters] from whom it asks support to be frank, honest, and
    informative, so that these citizens can make the wisest decisions for
    the use of their limited resources.

    For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over
    public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.“

    This is exactly the stance that all truth-loving people in religion and science should take. Both the physical and the theological sciences hold lives in the palms of their hands, and we have allowed ourselves to be fooled by our own judgments for far too long. Preventing the crash of a space shuttle or the fall of a soul into Hell really require the same thing – that people unite to seek that truth beyond themselves that corresponds to how things really are. These are the clans that must unite.

    The Chicken

  41. HvonBlumenthal says:

    I don’t understand the part of this thread which refers to Sedevacantism as if it were a major force within traditionalism. Even the SSPX has a portrait of Pope Francis in the Sacristy and a sign saying “Nomen Papae: Franciscus”

  42. Semper Gumby says:

    ““Sotelo’s Book of Insults.” Why, thank you Gumby.

    I didn’t realize that you consider my phrases to be on a par with those of Pope Francis. That’s quite the compliment! LOL”

    It appears that Sotelo desires to associate himself with celebrity. Recommended for his benefit is that he associate himself with the North American Martyrs SJ rather than Bergoglio SJ. Given the nature of his earlier diatribe, the “LOL” is unseemly frivolity. Christus Vincit.

  43. Fr_Sotelo says:


    Recommended for you: 1) this combox is for Fr. Z’s post, not mine 2) the subject here is the clans 3) don’t let me live rent free in your head. There are more interesting subjects! lol

  44. chantgirl says:

    The Masked Chicken is right. The most difficult thing for men to accept today is reality, truth.

    If I stood outside of a college with a sign which read “Truth Exists, and It can be Known”, how long would it take for someone to start an argument or altercation over it?

    Emotion rules the day. How many Catholic parents change their mind about homosexual behavior when their children come out? How many conservative Catholics couldn’t see the reality of Amoris laetitia because the truth was far too uncomfortable? How many Catholics are ready to throw out what the Church has taught for 2000 years because they can’t accept the uncomfortable idea that a pope could be wrong or perhaps sinful? How many Cardinals of the Church can’t face the possibility of an antipope, even though the Church has already had its share of them?**

    Everyone is too comfortable to ask some uncomfortable questions and possibly get some uncomfortable answers.

    **I am not making any judgments about who is or is not pope. I freely admit to not knowing, but being open to all possibilities. We pray for the pope every night, but not by name. God knows, and can applies the prayers accordingly. All I know is that something is terribly wrong. In the meantime, we pray and work, and hope.

  45. Semper Gumby says:

    Sotelo has done the Catholic Church a service, for which we are grateful. His comments here in this post, and in others over the last several months, prove that Fulton Sheen is correct:

    “Who’s going to save our Church? It’s not our bishops, it’s not our priests and it is not the religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that the priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and the religious act like religious.”

    Sotelo’s comments also serve admirably as a cautionary tale for those misguided souls- who tend to be papalotrous, of a revolutionary mindset, and who mismanage their disappointment with the world- intent on establishing a Catholic theocracy in these United States. There are many Catholics who have sworn an Oath before God to defend the Constitution. Those who think that that Oath is no longer relevant to the great majority of Catholic veterans are mistaken.

    The First Amendment is in the Constitution for a reason, so is the Second.

    Well done Sotelo, and thank you for reinforcing the relevance of Fulton Sheen and the United States Constitution.

    [Okay.. okay… if it weren’t for the fact that you are both pretty witty, and that I know that we have room for this sort of cordial exchange….]

  46. Semper Gumby says:

    TRW: Good point.

  47. Semper Gumby says:

    HvonBlumenthal: The two “sede” references by that particular commenter can be ignored. Weaponizing random ad hominem terms and installing them in an unguided delivery system is his modus operandi.

  48. Fr_Sotelo says:

    Semper Gumby,

    I’m papalatrous, revolutionary, theocratic, viewing the Constitution as irrelevant, and now “weaponizing” the term sede?

    I don’t think you quite understand the hint, when the priest author of a blog steps in and writes to you, “okay…okay…”

    Not addressing a priest respectfully as “Father” is poor manners for someone who quotes the Venerable Sheen and fantasizes that you are part of those faithful who are answering his call to “save our Church.”

    Try again, and see if you get it right. You might be suffering from the condition of being “triggered.” That doesn’t help to set the example of dispassionately exercising the 1st amendment on social media, with Christian charity ;)

    [Both of you… go to your corners for awhile, please.]

  49. Occidite says:

    Rev. & Dear Father,

    Respectfully, I don’t understand your critique of this event.

    This was organized in Europe, by Europeans. Mr. Matt and Mr. Westen were invited *by the organizers* who asked them to keep the event secret beforehand. It wasn’t their event.

    The reason for wanting secrecy beforehand was the concern that the event would be banned by the police if the diocesan authorities got wind of it and pulled strings. Not to exclude people.

    This isn’t a “self-licking ice cream cone” or a “purity” exercise. These are good people who wanted to do something good, both in the spiritual order and as an act of witness. Respectfully, they don’t deserve to be attacked like this.

    [Quod scripsi, scripsi. You are wrong about this. It doesn’t make any difference where it was held.]

  50. Just Some Guy says:


    Even a few days after you posted this, your words are still ringing loud and clear in my head. I have always been scared of the tribalism and elitism that has the potential to come about in the community of faithful Catholics. As Catholics, we are universal, by name. So never let us put one as above the other in human institutions, as all are members of Christ’s mystical body.

    I will continue to pray that we as traditional Catholics will walk outside of our bubble, and bring others to the light.

  51. robtbrown says:

    One other possibility for keeping it secret is Vigano’. If Marx is working closely with the govt, perhaps the police might have arrested him, then sent him to Rome.

    In Germany and the EU there laws that would astonish us Americans. There are laws against “discrimination” against homosexuals that could be used to arrest anyone who spoke publicly agsinst homosexuality

  52. robtbrown says:

    Just Some Guy,

    As Catholics, we are universal, by name. So never let us put one as above the other in human institutions, as all are members of Christ’s mystical body.

    Since when does being a member of one of many human institutions make someone a member of Christ’s Mystical Body?

  53. Leo D. Lion says:

    And when they shall bring you into the synagogues, and to magistrates and powers, be not solicitous how or what you shall answer, or what you shall say; For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what you must say

  54. RosaryRose says:

    The Masked Chicken – exactly!
    Chant Girl – yes!
    When Catholics start treating the Holy Eucharist for the Truth It is, Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Christ, PRESENT before us (!!!) eyes will open, fog will lift, demons will flee, souls awakened.
    Wisdom, counsel, understanding, knowledge, fortitude, piety, fear of the Lord, will abound.
    It all goes back to our rites.
    Restore the Mass.
    Let’s have more rally’s – we will have them in the USA and invite Europeans. Let’s work harder to restore the Catholic Church.
    Of course the enemy does not want the clans united, look how it would spoil the enemy’s goals.

    Thank you Father Z for your work.

  55. JumpJet says:

    I applaud the organization of this, but it reminded me of my youth and the sandlot ball game selection process. All the “cool kids” were chosen while the rest of us either sat on the sidelines or walked home…

    Playing “I’ve got a secret” really doesn’t help and makes one wonder if Mr Matt’s ” Unite the Clans” effort is open to everyone only when there is an admission charge.

  56. JumpJet says:

    What possible charge could he have been arrested for?

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