Wherein Jesuit Fr Thomas Reese kicks in a goal for the other team

Archlib Jesuit (tautology?) Fr. Thomas Reese at RNS has perhaps scored an auto-goal (aka own goal).

In a plaintive mewl, Reese laments the cool reception and, I suppose, implied resistance to Francis.  “It’s the beginning of the end!”

Get this:

I wonder if he stopped and read that paragraph aloud to himself before click the SEND button.

Still, Reese isn’t wrong.

My time with seminarians and young priests informs me that, when Francis is mentioned, they become quiet and show a respectful demeanor.  They perk up considerably at the mention of John Paul II and, especially, Benedict.

The plural of anecdote is “data”.

Meanwhile, please suppose the


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Ariseyedead says:

    How unicornian are laity that are “encouraged to come to church because they like Francis” these days?

    Also, Reese uses the word celibate in that tweet. Why do I think that word doesn’t mean what he thinks it means, if you know what I mean?

  2. teomatteo says:

    The seminarians’ reaction reminds me of when early in this pope’s pontificate when his ‘colors’ were becoming evident I would have a line for my more liberal family members. I would offer to them this observation, “Pope Benedict- I noticed -attracts the more intellectual, well read kinda catholics and this new Pope .. how do I say? the more simple, less educated – less bookish kinda of people. ” The look on their faces… priceless.

  3. Geoffrey says:

    “They perk up considerably at the mention of John Paul II and, especially, Benedict…”

    Ah! The elusive JPII-Benedict XVI generation! I had such hopes!

    I have to disagree somewhat, as in my neck of the woods, such seminarians / young priests are often ostracized if they are too orthodox, whereas foreign-born seminarians / young priests seem to be of the Pope Francis variety… at least publicly. Time will tell…

  4. Lurker 59 says:

    I find it interesting that the line is “who support Francis AND want to be celibate”. The implication seems to be that the seminarian supporters of Francis DON’T want to be celibate or that those who desire celibacy DON’T support Francis. And does Fr. Reese really have to scratch his head as to why that is?

    Query: Is it also not the case that laity, who didn’t come to church (notice it is not come to Mass) during BVI, but now do because of Francis is also a bit like finding a unicorn?

  5. Chrisc says:

    Between this and the blatant acknowledgement that the TLM cannot be allowed to exist on its own because priests and the laity will choose it, is there a remote chance Fr. Reese, SJ is a double agent?

  6. donato2 says:

    The context of the tweet is a concern on Fr. Reese’s part that time is short for ramming liberal “reform” through. The suppression of the TLM is at the very top of the liberals’ remaining “to do” list. Fr. Reese previously opined that children and young people should not be allowed to attend the TLM. I recall reading a rumor somewhere that the impending edict against the TLM may include a proviso that the TLM cannot be said by any priest under a certain age. It ordinarily would be hard to believe that the Vatican would do anything so heavy-handed. The hallmark of this Pontificate however is heavy-handed authoritarianism and Pope Francis has personally expressed animus against the young who are attracted to the TLM. For these reasons I would not rule out the possibility that there is truth to the rumor that younger priests will be barred from saying the TLM.

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  8. Semper Gumby says:

    Reese SJ wrote: “Finding young candidates for the priesthood, meanwhile, who support Francis and want to be celibate is like looking for Catholic unicorns.”

    Which has clearly created fear, rage and envy in the Vatican.

    “As a result, the laity who are encouraged to come to church because they like Francis are unlikely to find him in their parishes or dioceses.”

    One wonders if Reese SJ has heard of Jesus Christ. It seems the attraction of church then is not the reverence due to God, but a pagan-lovin’ tree-huggin’ cult and the FrancisPrinzip. That will not end well. Christus Vincit

  9. KateD says:


  10. KateD says:

    Oops, I thought you said tauntology.

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