Today I saw a video posted by Church Militant of a panel discussion with 9 priests who have been “cancelled”.    Some of it was pretty rough… at least for me to watch.

One of the things that I heard is the claim that there are “hundreds” of priests who have been sidelined, cancelled.

I believe it.   I know quite a few as it is and I am sure that’s a drop in the bucket.

One of the things that popped into my head as I listened, would be to post – on this blog – a comment or letter from cancelled priests, completely anonymized.   They could send, for example, a note of 400 words.


Something like that,  A kind of Catholic priestly samizdat.

Just thinking aloud.   It could give a cancelled priest a chance to be heard on something, for example, what he would have preached on Sunday had his bishop allowed, or something about his situation or the state of the Church, etc.   Without giving himself up, that is.

Friends, this is a problem.  It is a symptom of something systemic.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    It was an extraordinary presentation. Nine courageous men. The only regret about it is that the panel was not composed of nine courageous bishops.

  2. So then WDTPRS could be repurposed to stand for “What does the priest really say?”

  3. MarianneF says:

    Father, not sure if you know about this…you probably do. Please tell us how we can support our priests. https://www.yorechildren.com/blog/2021/6/10/yj56hzxhn2o9vcamxdb8umah4ge07f

    And I would ask for prayers for my brother, Michael, who is being ordained on Saturday.

  4. Gregg the Obscure says:

    i know two priests who were cancelled. both of them under 40 years old and from my limited knowledge seemingly very promising. they are in my prayers every day.

  5. ArthurH says:

    Although all true believers know–KNOW– how it all will end, that is sometimes hard too see when we are losing so badly today.

    Note every priest in that incredible group of 9 is equally credible as to the causes of his being harassed, but that does not mean each has not gotten a raw deal.

    We are losing, badly losing, and it will get worse– turning around surely not in what is left of my lifetime, already past my expected sell-by date. I only pray my grandkids get to see it.

    Pray for them all and all the other good priests. They will be sacrificed but as at the start: The blood of martyrs…..

  6. Someone with access to P. J. Kenedy’s Official Catholic Directory could possibly come up with a rough estimate of the number of cancelled priests, based on the number “on leave,” “without assignment,” or similar categories. It would take some tedious, careful reading between the lines, but it may be doable.

  7. Chrisc says:

    I know of at least one diocesan priest, who was a good and faithful man, that this happened to. A priest under a McCarrick…protege?.. from my limited experience, whatever number is totalled among diocesan clergy, double or triple it for religious.

    As testified to on the show, often an order will work as a gang to put pressure on good bishops not to do anything. They can exert leverage, like abandoning a series of parishes and nursing homes all because the bishop decided to pick on one of them. Orders act like gangs in a prison meanwhile diocesan priests are left to be preyed upon in gen/pop, picked off one by one, toyed with, threatened with retribution if they even mention how much they don’t like getting mistreated.

  8. CanukFrank says:

    The Magnificent Nine! Wonderful, perhaps this is the start of something bigger? As more people become aware of and share information about situations across thier dioceses, through a “clearing house” like Church Militant, the more the momentum builds. However this ends, other ‘cancelled priests’ and the laity will have a new sense of confidence in their power.

  9. JustaSinner says:

    Can a cancelled priest go to another Diocese and start over? I mean with the grave shortage of priests, if I were a more pragmatic and traditionalistic bishop, I might find myself stocking my parishes with these ‘castaway’ priests. Hmmm, then at least one priest per parish, maybe multiple priests like in the old days. Imagine how that’d work out for the laity. Priests available for, oh, things like confessions, many Sunday Mass times, counseling to about to fall away parishioners. You know, the really OUT THERE things priests might, could, maybe do.
    Just ruminating…

  10. NBW says:

    May God Bless and protect all the priests that are being harassed and cancelled. I hope that many more come forward and expose the corruption.

  11. Burton1990 says:

    Christ was supreme intelligence, He was Love at its most pure. Most endowed with heavenly insights. He had perfect vision of how to correct man’s errors and yet he lived in silence for some 30 years. IS that not the carpenter’s son? Hidden from the world. Upon His death, who amongst them had impeccable holiness to guide the Church? Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth and yet, she remains hidden choosing instead God’s will that the Church grow from the followers of Christ. Their humble and lowly states. Perhaps Archdeacon Boudon has lit a fire beneath me but I dare say that if God has placed these men under the obedience of their Bishops and those same Bishops have not asked them to commit crimes or sin then they are obliged, knowing for a fact that this is God’s will, that they should be silenced. Do we not consider that their silence, turned into suffering, can become a most sublime gift to the Church Militant. After all, it is not the priest who brings order to society, it is Christ and Christ alone. I believe they risk committing a serious fault by charging and trumpeting their horns against the hierarchy that God has put in place. Would they but accept with joy the knowledge they now posses, that they know without a doubt what God’s will is for them at this moment. Silence

  12. Kathleen10 says:

    We can’t help but notice that the secular world too often mirrors the religious world, the world of the church. Obama had his unfortunate ascension on the world stage, and Francis as well in that era. Two men who signify a dramatic shift toward something far different than what we had up to that point. We now see the purge in the military, good men and women must be removed, our new government says, as “extremists”. They do not tow the party line, they are dangerous to the cause. So we see in the church, the purge of good men, who are now considered “too rigid”, they must go.
    I was on a website yesterday, no doubt filled with people who are shell-shocked and tired of the world and just want to live good Catholic lives. But the level of pretense now found in Catholic circles, people are living fantasy lives, living an illusion, that all is well and things are what they were. How long can people live a fantasy of their own making. At some point it is pure cowardice. It’s time to look at things squarely. When good men are kicked out, it’s for a purpose, an evil regime is taking over. Why toss rose petals for them.

  13. SanSan says:

    Church Militant gives dear and holy priests a “platform” so that they can be heard. I pray that the USCCB were aware of this Vortex and that truly Holy Shepherds speak up! May God bless and protect our faithful clergy. The Laity needs to support their faithful priests.

  14. Dan Millette says:

    Deep down I think we’re all just waiting for Fr. Heilman to take the next fall.

    We, the laity, must fight for, and support, such priests. Ironically, they may be our saving grace in the end. I think of England in the late 16th century. The persecution of Catholics was effective, and many were losing hope, to say nothing of faith. Enter the Jesuits. Campion alone boosted the morale of the Catholics in England, to say nothing of all the other heroic martyrs.

    If persecution continues to rise in our day (which it will), we have no Jesuits who will come to lead us through. But maybe, just maybe, we will have a small army of cancelled priests to take their place.

    God alone knows.

  15. Ave Maria says:

    I have known one of the 9 for 20 years. A good and holy priest. Even in seminary he documented untoward things but did his best to lay low until ordained and then made his documentations available. He fell afoul of the lavender mafia and they are extremely vindictive and bishops who are either weak or a member of that mafia will not stop their persecution until the priest is destroyed.

  16. ArthurH says:

    San San is correct: CM has a program to have these suppressed priests speak out anonymously, and a mechanism to vet/collect their stories for reporting out to all. The program is called “The New Catacombs.”–check it out on CM website.

  17. JustaSinner says: Can a cancelled priest go to another Diocese and start over?

    Probably those priests just get tarred as rebels and troublemakers. What bishop wants a troublemaker in his diocese?

  18. GregB says:

    There do get be times where it looks like faithfulness is the only unforgiveable sin, and that some people are trying to turn the Church into the church of Cain.

  19. Adelle Cecilia says:

    “…what he would have preached on Sunday had his bishop allowed…”

    One of our parish’s permanent deacons was silenced from certain subjects because people complained it was too “difficult” to hear (abortion, sacramental marriage, etc).

    He asks for prayers and for the bishop to commute such that he may return to speaking truth in this time of confusion.

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