Clericalist bully in KCMO attacks the young priests cleaning up the mess he caused

Every once in a while I receive something so annoying, that it needs wider attention out of justice.

If you are not easily provoked to the sort of anger that is sin, as Paul warned us about Sunday in the Epistle (Eph 4:26), have a look at an entry on the blog of a priest of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, pastor of St. Charles Borromeo.

The reason I bring in “bully” imagery, is because the priest writer targeted concrete priests, not theoretical cases.  He hides his animus behind a smoke-screen of concern.

Fr. Don Farnan wrote a slick bit entitled “Aberrant Subculture”, about young priests in cassocks, who want Latin and to – here comes the idiot-parroting – “turn their backs on congregations” or who are “obsessing over orthodoxy”.   Smarmy, he suggests that they are “spooked by their own sexuality”, which is why they stick to the Church’s teaching on homosexual acts (he calls it “lambast the LGBT community”).  This is also a common tactic of angry “gays”, of course: accuse anyone who objects to acting on that affliction of being secretly “gay” too… how I have come to hate that twisted word now.

Get this:

Most of us, including the pope, have grown tired of this kind of clericalism that is tolerated by some bishops and encouraged by some Catholics.

He thinks he is on the safe side and can hide behind them. He’s on the virtue-signaling band-wagon.

The thing is, there are many fine young priests in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph who are doing wonderful pastoral work.  I know some of them.  They are good men and good priests.  They don’t have 60’s-and 70’s baggage about cassocks, or Latin, or being faithful to the Church’s teachings on moral issues. They have the courage to speak up rather than conform themselves to the wisdom of this world.

These young priests don’t have the 70s stuck on a loop in their brains.

If Farnan, as an older priest, who once held important roles in the diocese, has concerns about some younger priests, why did he go after them in this indirect way, with veiled references that locals will recognize – even people who are not from there will recognize? He attacked them through innuendo, publicly hinting at their identity, rather than call up a young priest privately and invite him to lunch in order to ask him, “What are you doing? What are you trying to accomplish?”

That’s what a brother would do.

That’s not how he operated.

That’s what makes us angry.

Fr. Farnan closed comments under that particular post.  I get that.  Sometimes I do that too, when I don’t have a lot of energy or I am short on time or can’t scan all the comments.  However, people can and do reach out to me with varied, respectful, charity-informed feedback.  I imagine he would welcome that too in his email. HERE

More from him about these good young priests in his diocese.  Notice the clues he drops which – if you are at all acquainted with the scene there – make it possible to identitfy individuals, thus making them targets.

A high percentage of priests ordained in this young century were home-schooled and/or come from households that hold to rigid ideologies; a significant percentage also come from unstable households in which parents were married multiple times.  Many of these priests crave structure and they administer unbending order.  Yet many of them are quickly disappointed and leave active ministry within their first ten years of priesthood; they join a religious community for a while, take a sabbatical, fall in love for the first time and marry, or do uncharacteristic or shocking acts that destroy them and devastate others.  Some are not equipped to deal with the chaos of life—theirs or those they serve, and some, after realizing that they are imperfect according to standards set by church or parents, hate themselves.  Still others build psychological walls to shelter and self-protect, much as the corporate church has habitually protected itself.

See what I mean?  From this even I – who don’t live in KCMO – am able to pick out a couple of priests whom I know personally.  I find it appalling that, for the sake of his own virtue signaling, Farnan would exploit not only a priest’s vocational questions but also personal, human crises and mortal peril.

And he dares to ride above it?  Look at his bio. His bio says he was director of vocations for some years.  I wonder how that went.  Maybe someone in KCMO can look that up.

I want to send a word of support to my priest friends in Kansas City, MO, who are clearly the target of this man’s condescending, clichè-laden diatribe, delivered probably because – as he is firmly clutching the bumper of the band-wagon – he thinks there can’t be any blowback.

It’s also potentially a passive-aggressive attack on the bishop who supports these young priests (aka The Future).  The bishop has the unenviable task of building up a body of priests for the future.  Farnan cut the knees out from under him.

Fr. Farnan is emblematic of a whole swath of priests of his time of formation and ordination.  They don’t have a clue what it is like to be a young priest in the sort of Church that men like them crafted over decades, with their feckless acquiescence to secular norms and popularity, their undermining of the Faith through appeals to “compassion” in order to excuse people in their contracepting, living together out of wedlock, never going to Confession. By their empty catechism and liturgical slop – over decades – they contributed to the demographic sink-hole into which Catholics are now falling away.

Farnan’s generation created the parishes that are dying, created the terrain in which these young men are standing up and being men and priests under the hammer blows of the Enemy whom they welcomed in through those opened windows.

Talk about “aberrant subculture”!

The fact that these young priests breathe is taken by many of their older 70’s-locked-in brethren as an indictment of their entire lives as priests.

Rather than engage, they seek to “cancel”.   Bullies.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  2. Suburbanbanshee says:

    St. Charles Borromeo, pray for us!

    And possibly, you might pray that this priest be inspired to follow the example of St. Charles Borromeo. You know, the asceticism. The kindliness. The great learning and extensive languages. A man who founded seminaries and called for more extensive education of priests.

    A man with a speech impediment who went from homeschooling directly to a canon law university, and who earned his doctorate by the age of 21. That man.

  3. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Pavia, his university, was known for being a party university with a lot of brawling, theft, murder, and other crime. So Borromeo consciously chose not to make friends with anyone while he was at the university, because he didn’t think his classmates had good character or were safe to hang out with.

    St. Charles Borromeo was born on October 2. What a nice birthday present for one’s patron saint — insulting guys who are just like him.

  4. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Father, please delete this comment and my comment about Pavia and the not making friends. Just because this other priest seems to say the homeschooled priests are standoffish, doesn’t mean they didn’t make friends.

    (Borromeo was very unusual in his university behavior, especially since he was usually a social guy. But it sounds like he was afraid of getting kidnapped, blackmailed, murdered, etc., and that sounds like a justifiable fear at that time and place, when you’re only 15.)

    (It is amazing how much more detailed the older biographies are, of saints.)

  5. Fr. Timothy Ferguson says:

    As these priests get older and older, and see that their legacy is fading before their eyes, I would expect them to get nastier and nastier.

    30 some years ago (early 90’s), I was talking with a priest who ran a “stewardship program” – he flitted about from diocese to diocese speaking about how parishes should foster giving “time, talent, and treasure,” while the emphasis was clearly on the last of those three. In the course of our conversation, I mentioned Msgr. Richard Schuler, of St. Agnes. This priest laughed a hearty laugh, and said, “Poor old Dick! He must be so depressed as he sees everything he worked to build crumbling around him.” As a wary seminarian at that time, I kept my mouth shut. But I thought to myself, Msgr. Schuler has never shown himself to be depressed. In fact, he was always gracious and jovial when I was with him. And he saw that, though things were bleak in the 80’s, what he “worked to build” would endure long past his life – the vocations to the priesthood that came from his parish or sat around his dinner table alone ensured that.

    But what the workhorse liberal priests of the 70’s and 80’s never understood is that their embrace of a tired universalist ideology was not winning the hearts and minds of the younger generation. Almost no one was following them. Of the young men entering the seminary, nearly none embraced the low ecclesiology and humanist Christology of that zeitgeist.

    Now, as they enter their dotage, some still clinging tenaciously to their positions of power and influence, they wail at the younger men who, since they disagree with them, must clearly be either evil, stupid, or crazy – or some combination of all three. Sadly, in the death throes of this generation, there will be much enduring damage done.

  6. TRW says:

    Somehow, the folks that are all about tolerance and diversity can’t stand it when the priest wears a certain article of clothing or faces a different direction when celebrating Mass. They aren’t offended when there are actual idols in St. Peter’s, mind you. They’re much too open-minded for that. But if they see a priest in a cassock, they get their panties all in a knot. I suspect that this rejection of all things deemed “rigidly orthodox” really has to do with the rejection of the sacred and holy as something set apart. Many seem to be more comfortable with the idea of a God that is immanent rather than transcendent and wholly other. Solemnity can be intimidating. It can remind us of our smallness. When people are unabashedly chatting loudly before Mass and are seemingly casual about strolling through the sanctuary, one can’t help but wonder if the virtue of religion is what is most lacking in so many parishes.
    “feckless acquiescence to secular norms”. Well said, Fr. Z. It is the secular culture at large that is aberrant. All decency and morality rejected, except for the thin veneer of social niceties.

  7. George the Last says:

    I wonder why he has four positive comments on his post but the comments are now closed. I can only imagine why. Ultimately, he just does not seem charitable. Inferring a negative motive on people who desire something different seems to put him in a position of being wrong about their motives. We should expect more of ourselves before we demand perfection from others. As a priest, he should know better.

  8. George the Last says:

    I wonder why he has four positive comments on his post but the comments are now closed. I can only imagine why. Ultimately, he just does not seem charitable. Inferring a negative motive on people who desire something different seems to put him in a position of being wrong about their motives. We should expect more of ourselves before we demand perfection from others. As a priest, he should know better.

  9. prayfatima says:

    Is he virtue signaling or accusing the young priests of virtue signaling? I’m sorry, I find that term hard to understand. I want to know, was the term “virtue signaling” made up by leftist who want to shame good people from shining their light to the world? Last I checked, it was a good thing to dress in a way that showed you care about your vocation, whatever your vocation is. Why does the older priest get bothered by that? It seems like the virtues that are shining forth from the young priests are what he feels threatened by. Just a guess. Why do they turn away from the people? I think it’s because he’s offering our prayers to God, and God isn’t sitting in the pews, He’s hanging on the cross. He’s looking toward the One he’s speaking to. Not everyone thinks of it as “the priest turned his back on me, how dare he!” I’m not a priest, but I would guess it’s more comfortable doing his work when not being looked at by everyone. Perhaps I’m wrong about that, I have no idea. Virtue signaling is a very strange concept if I’m understanding it correctly. I bet it’s a term constructed to hinder those of goodwill from showing their…goodwill. Kind of like the PC culture. And the culture that makes you feel like you can’t think independently, it’s all the same message: stay unintelligent, don’t speak your mind, don’t shine your light, just blah blah blah. I want a culture that rewards independent thought, virtue, and most of all: holiness. It seems like this man was accusing the priests of having virtue. What a sad thing if that’s the case.

  10. JakeMC says:

    That’s exactly why they came up with the word “homophobia” for those who disapprove of homosexual acts. Supposedly, we fear homosexuals because we fear latent homosexuality in ourselves.
    Our society is so saturated with sex these days that two friends of the same sex can’t share a home, perfectly innocently, without being thought of as homosexual. They’ve even appropriated a legitimate psychological term to the point that when someone asks you if the person you’re with is your “significant other,” you have to ask if he means that in the psychological sense or the popular sense!

  11. Adeodata says:

    I knew one of those cassock wearing priests in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese from the time he entered a high school seminary at the age of 14. I still think about that priest everyday since he killed himself. He was a good man.

    Being a faithful priest is hard enough. They don’t need to be bullied. A diocese divided against itself cannot stand.

    (I am not insinuating being bullied led to Fr. Harkin’s death. I was not privy to his thoughts. I just want priests like him to feel valued and supported.)

    [He killed himself because of a medication problem, not because of what Fr. Jackass insinuates.]

  12. Fr. Reader says:

    “Similarly, liturgical Latin and cassocks served a place in history as official language and ancient wardrobe but do not seem relevant today. There are numerous theories as to why guys are attracted to them. A high percentage of priests ordained in this young century were home-schooled and/or come from households that hold to rigid ideologies; a significant percentage also come from unstable households in which parents were married multiple times. “… crave structures, build psychological walls, not equipped…
    I wonder in which universe this man lives. “Numerous theories”? I can create as many “theories” as I want.
    Many of these things can be equally said of liberal priests, slightly liberal priest, and the whole range of situations. He is just shooting in all directions with the hope of hitting someone.

    I was not home-schooled, I do not come from a household with “rigid ideologies”, I do not come from an unstable household. Is he saying that I wear cassock because my father and my mother were problematic? Is he accusing them?

    I live in a country in which Catholics are less that 1% of the population, and -as I wrote before in another post- normal people like cassocks. Catholics, protestants pagans, natural religions, they like the cassock because it shows what I am, a priest. Only those who are clearly against the Church or against Christ feel angry about it. They are angry because it works. It is a very good sign. Those who are against the Church get angry when they see a cassock.
    Also those who have been indoctrinated, brain-washed, into the idea that a cassock is something evil dislike cassocks. But it does not come from their own experience, it comes from someone else implanting the idea in their heads.

  13. Catholic School Kid says:

    As I was reading your description, I immediately thought passive aggression. I included a link below that describes passive aggression. Seems today it is a pretty popular behavior, particularly among many in the church who stand against orthodoxy.

  14. Chad the Great says:


    “Virtue-Signaling” is when a leftist “S.J.W.” (“Social Justice Warrior) demonstrates their loyalty to the hive-mind. Virtue-signaling requires a leftist viewpoint to be authentically labeled as such.

    A good way to know what is and isn’t virtue-signaling, is the Facebook test. Can you see the virtue being signaled on Facebook’s main page? If not, it isn’t virtue-signaling.

    Love of country, hometown, race (for whites only), and God can never be virtue-signaling. Spreading “Environmental “Awareness,” mortifying oneself in the name of racial equalism, coming out as transgender, etc. is true virtue-signaling.

    Pope Francis virtue-signals constantly. His encyclical on environmentalism is one big virtue-signal. Same with having the Indian rite of Pachamama, and saying, “who am I to judge” in response to a question about homosexuality.

    “Social Justice,” which is also called, “Cultural Marxism,” is the current antichrist creed. It’s based on an inverted, “Great Chain of Being,” with Christian, White men on bottom, and transgendered, blue-haired, “body positive” (obese) degenerates on top.

    Essentially, because they stole and flipped the Church’s concept of social justice, they must also flip morality. Thus the opposite of the “good, beautiful, and true,” is what they glorify. Hope that helps.

  15. iamlucky13 says:

    Participation in debates will sometimes prompt the observation that assertions like “everybody knows…” are frequently an attempt to hide a lack of a solid basis for a claim, as otherwise a credible source would be cited instead of an ambiguous reference to “everybody.” Fr. Farnan used a similar phrase, “We’ve probably all heard stories about…” With experience, these kinds of statements become instinctively recognizable as reasons to question the assertion.

    That aside, my inclination is focus on how presumptuous most of what he is saying is. There is not even a hint of “who am I judge?” in his manner. His post could be almost entirely summed up as, “I don’t understand their behavior, therefore they are deviants, so let’s speculate about their hidden faults.”

    However, I have to concede one part of his post that is likely true:

    “Still others build psychological walls to shelter and self-protect.”

    So says the man vociferously attacking them from his public pedestal. I wonder if he can guess why the priests in question might put up psychological walls.

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  17. Grumpy Beggar says:

    . . . Went to read the entire article over at Fr. Faran’s blog then hurried back here to avoid the unpleasant odor : I could smell the scents of both erosion and division emanating from that article.

    But I remain extremely grateful. . . for the fact that I have never read his blog before (and will probably avoid doing so in the future).

    There is about as much logic in that article as there is in wet rag. Yet those insidious suggestions – are they simply accidental ?

    For example, in saying: “We’ve probably all heard stories about young priests spooked by their own sexuality who routinely lambaste the LGBT community from pulpits” . . . He seems to equate teaching the truth on human sexuality with lambasting the ‘LGBT community.’ We could then infer that teaching the truth about human sexuality would, somehow (in this world of 2+2=5), concomitantly prove that the one who teaches this truth is ‘spooked’ by their own sexuality (whatever the heck ‘spooked’ is supposed to imply). If the writer actually believes what he is writing, wouldn’t it then be accurate to conclude that he is not ‘spooked’ (whatever that’s supposed to mean) by his own sexuality and therefore avoids teaching the truth on human sexuality ?

    Continuing in that same paragraph of the article: ” . . . others who refuse to give communion to family members at funerals and weddings because they are in illicit or invalid marriages while the priest is engaged in his own sexual affair . . . Most of us, including the pope, have grown tired of this kind of clericalism . . . “ So may we then conclude that, it is okay for a priest to be concerned for a soul’s well-being and predisposition, particularly in regards to reception of Holy Communion, as long as that particular priest is not involved in an affair ?

    One is inclined to wonder just how often the author of that particular article is making the sacrament of Confession available to the faithful himself. Confession is the true remedy to most of those problems. When one resorts to criticizing others publicly, purely to justify one’s own position, perhaps it is time to blog less and to pray more.

    To this little ditty here: “Many of these priests crave structure. . .” , consider the alternative. Without structure there is no order. You can bring that one all the way to St. Michael .

    I had to struggle at times to try and find polite terms to use for this comment. Given that Fr Farnan seems to like using the word “clericalism” so much, I decided to check and see if Fr. John Hardon’s Modern Catholic Dictionary had a nice terse, clear definition for clericalism. . .
    Surprise ! Not only does Fr. Hardon provide a definition for “clericalism”, he goes on to describe the category which those who use the word “clericalism” as a term of reproach place themselves in.

    From Modern Catholic Dictionary; Fr. John Hardon, S.J. :

    CLERICALISM. The advocacy of exaggerated claims on the part of the clergy, especially in matters that belong to the jurisdiction of the state. More commonly it is used as a term of reproach by secularists and unfriendly critics of the Catholic Church who aim to banish all religious influence from public life.

    . . .Hmmm

  18. Gregory DiPippo says:

    Just superb. You can SMELL the fear of a revolutionary who knows his day is over in that post.

  19. teomatteo says:

    prayfatima, In my mind the term ‘virtue signaling’ is used to illuminate that a person is making it known that they have a particular virtue ex. compassionate, or sympathetic. I liken it to someone who goes out of their way to let others know that they have donated money to a cause. My example is a sister -in- law (quit going to mass because of Church teaching regarding homosexual acts) that has been very adament in using the latest and most ‘with it’ words. But some years ago we were sitting after a Thanksgiving meal and the following sunday was when the new translation of the Roman Missal was going into practice. I was excited about the new responces (i followed Fr Z with the definition of ‘consubstantial’) but as the converstaion slowed down she shook her head with pity and said, “I feel sorry for the old people” That is virtue signaling.

  20. Lurker 59 says:

    Old age often brings bitterness to the hearts of men who have not sufficiently built the virtues during their younger years. This is independent of the degree to which they have weeded out vice (or engaged in vice).

  21. KateD says:

    The individual contradicts himself by first saying “walk with the sinner” who lives outside the moral teaching of the Church and then using as a cudgel the fact that some young priests’ parents once lived outside the moral teachings of the Church. He thereby holds the child responsible for the transgressions of the parent. And finally he implies the only way to be well prepared for the priesthood is to (drum roll….) be public schooled, go to a secular college and be a debaucherous drunkard of a frat boy.

    Is it any wonder that holiness would look odd to such a worldly individual? And that he would find it difficult to understand how such a person would be able to have just as much compassion for the sinner as the next guy…maybe more.

    While Jesus did go into the public houses to retrieve Magdalenes, His lost sheep, I don’t recall the Gospels saying anything about keg stands…

    I will pray for that priest, who has obviously been bitten by the green eyed monster, that God may visit him and help him to lose the scales from his eyes and become a good and holy mentor to young priests in their nascent vocations.

  22. seekthekingdom says:

    This is from 10+ years ago but it tells you everything you need to know about the author of the blog. I’d venture a guess he hasn’t mentioned confession or hell in a sermon in a decade but I’m sure his popularity is through the roof (it’s easy to be popular when you avoid mentioning sin).

    Meanwhile in KC, our home parish won’t be allowed to celebrate the TLM.

  23. Chaswjd says:

    According to his parish website, Fr. Farnen served as his diocese’s director of vocations between 1991 and 1996. According to another site, between 1990 and 1999, the number of priests in the diocese fell from 122 to 106.

  24. prayfatima says:

    Chad the Great, that helped, thanks. Thanks also to teomateo. Seems like since these people don’t want or know how to grow in true virtue, they have to display agenda-acceptable “good” virtue-like things (at least to their group), which usually aren’t good in the true sense at all. Why do they bother to look good at all? They are after some perceived good, so why not go after the ultimate good? Why do these people settle?
    I guess it will take a conversion of heart for this priest to see his errors. He should stop zeroing in on those younger than him and start looking at those who have gone before him and made it to the heights of glory. Everything else is worthless and a waste of brainwaves and breath. Perhaps that’s the whole difficulty: to look at those who’ve gone before us, to realize that we will all die someday and some sooner than others is a scary thing to those who’ve spent their lives bullying and criticizing others and not looking closely at their own soul. But as long as someone is still alive, they can turn back to God with fervor and desire to never offend Him again! That is the great moment!

  25. Kathleen10 says:

    This is kind of tangential, but I watched a video at Lifesite today, that was illuminating. It was a video interview of Fr. Maximillian Mary, who I believe was in Hanceville, with Mother Angelica’s Carmelite nuns. He has had quite an experience, one Catholics ought to know about. Basically, Father was letting it be known he is “not suicidal”, in case anything should happen to him. He is genuinely worried. Once you hear the interview, you see why. Orders are getting these Vatican “visitations”, which are actually search and destroy missions for traditional orders. It is chilling to hear what actually goes on, but Catholic eyes need to be opened. Denial is nice to live in, but we need reality. If priests and nuns have to go through torment, who are we to say we don’t want to see it or know about it. Whatever lovely idea Catholics have about how things work, better check them at the door. I wish I could think of the Lifesite gentleman’s name who did the interview. He did a great job with it.
    Seeing how things really are, in the church, is an eye opener.

  26. Adeodata says:

    Prior to Fr. Harkins being put on the medication that led to his suicide, he was feeling anxious in conjunction with experiencing gastro-intestinal issues.

  27. summorumpontificum777 says:

    It’s utterly discouraging to read Fr. Farnan’s blog, as regurgitates the most banal and hackneyed talking points of the Catholic left. It is indeed heartbreaking to see a priest suggest that those who adhere to Church teaching on homosexuality (and basic biology) are actually confused homosexuals themselves. It’s such a pernicious heads-I-win-tails-you-lose kinda accusation. If you approve of homosexual acts, great, you’re an ally! They win. If you disapprove of homosexual acts, great, you’ve just admitted that you’re homosexual yourself. They win again!

  28. KateD says:

    Our human souls yearn for the sacred. God has written it on our hearts. We have this insatiable hunger for God. Many people do not recognize or understand this yearning, even if they have been introduced to or raised in Christianity, because we have these horribly catechised ‘c’atholic priests and catechists and laity who teach a false god, the rainbow unicorn elephant god of fairy dust and pixie farts…It’s like what they teach kids about Santa Clause. They don’t teach that he is a great and charitable saint and bishop, who lives eternally certainly in Heaven with God and the angels and saints (although as I’ve told my kids when they asked if Santa Clause was real, I’d tell them about what Saint Nicholas did historically and add that God made the world and everything in it. It would be nothing for him to have Santa Clause remain on Earth continuing his good and charitable work until the end of days…in John 22:23, “Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?” So God will do as He wills and if he wants Saint Nicholas to live in the North Pole until the Parousia and have a workshop with elves who make presents for kids and deliver them on Christmas morning in honor of the birth of His only Son, isn’t that delightful!) When the person grows up they either drink the coolaide (for which there is, culturall, great disincentive) or they “fall away” (from what they never had in the first place). But that thing in their heart persists…that yearning and so they look for it everywhere hence the contortions on the beaches of California in the early morning and at sunset and the “Buddhist Catholics”….when it was right here all along hidden under the church of nice.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth mentioning again…The cassock is a powerful reminder to those who search in the wrong places of where true spirituality is rightly ordered.

    We went to a movie in a California college town with a priest who was in his cassock. He is a true priest, a living saint. He IS a priest and never wears civies (though would I’m sure don whatever costume necessary ala Gregory Peck in the Scarlet and the Black -Free on YouTube right now, btw- should the times and his ministry require it). His priesthood is not something he dresses up as, that he picks up and lays down with a change in wardrobe. He is ALWAYS A PRIEST. So I think he doesn’t even think about it anymore. But just goes about his business. But because of the cassock, he preaches even when he doesn’t speak…even when he doesn’t intend to be preaching…even when he is going to the movies with friends. He was just walking through this down town area towards the theater and people were literally stopping in their tracks. I can see how this would make a priest feel self conscious. (HUMBLE YOURSELF)

    I watched the reactions of the college students as they caught sight of him and the huge crucifix around his neck. One girl stands out vividly in my memory. She was wearing a skimpy spaghetti strap tank top, bare midriff and daisy duke short-shorts so minuscule that you could see her cheeks. She was eating frozen yogurt, I think, and had her head back laughing. She was really working at drawing attention to herself. As her eye caught sight of Father in his cassock she stopped and her face fell, and her eyes were filled with sorrow. She looked down in shame and tried to make herself smaller and cover up. At seeing him she immediately was conscious of how far off the mark she was that day in her demeanor and in her attire. She was immediately conscientious and for the first time saw the gaggle of small children walking towards the theater. You could see that her embarrassment was amplified by the realization of the example she was setting for these little ones. I think I witnessed an instant conversion. At the very least, I doubt she committed the sins she might have that evening…at some frat party.

    Do you see how important it is? It’s really important if the objective is saving souls… And I’m sorry but the business suit clerical outfit, just doesn’t have the same impact. Because you might be a protestant, or even a female minister or some other aberration. But when you see a cassock, you immediately know this is a Man of God. Full Stop.

    So the cassock is not (only) about tradition, aesthetic, nostalgia, etc. It is a clear sign that points to God and it is thereby a means of preaching….even when the priest is not doing anything….The cassock reminds people of ultimate realities. Even when a sinner is in the midst of their hedonistic revelry, the cassock has the power to convert them with out a word being spoken or the priest realizing it has happened. How cool is that!

    This, and the use of Latin et al are the arsenal, the tools you have at your disposal to accomplish your task…shepherding souls into Heaven and serving the people of God. Why use inferior or ineffective tools when you have these powerful and proven effective ones at your disposal? You wouldn’t expect a carpenter to build you a house or even a table with just a letherman, would you? How do you expect to build the Church, the Body of Christ with inferior tools?

    (sorry for the length…brevity is the soul of wit)

  29. KateD says:

    Re: the Scarlet and the Black…I love how the Pope makes the Nazis wait on him and how they are obviously totally and ncomfortable and out of their league in his presence. Such a beautiful illustration of the difference between true authority and that which is wielded by a usurper.

    And how.

  30. Grumpy Beggar says:

    @summorumpontificum777 – Thanks for that most recent post. I think you may have clarified “spooked by their own sexuality” for me. You’re right – it is discouraging to read that blog. But while I was reading your post an additional light came on.
    You said:

    “It’s such a pernicious heads-I-win-tails-you-lose kinda accusation. If you approve of homosexual acts, great, you’re an ally! They win. If you disapprove of homosexual acts, great, you’ve just admitted that you’re homosexual yourself. They win again!”

    The really preposterous side of your latter point above, is that disapproving of homosexual acts would commonly, automatically earn the one who dares disapprove, the label of “homophobe” . . . latae sententiae. That would mean one would be a homophobe and a homosexual all at once – for disapproving of homosexual acts. How’s that for an example of fractured thought ?

    I wonder if certain bloggers ever get spooked by their own cognitive dissonance ?

  31. Semper Gumby says:

    The Bully Farnan wrote:

    “Most of us, including the pope, have grown tired of this kind of clericalism that is tolerated by some bishops and encouraged by some Catholics.”

    Well now, Farnan whines he is “tired.” Perhaps someone should get him a comfy chair. Perhaps a refreshing beverage. Maybe a pedicure while Farnan watches a Lifetime Channel movie.

    Tough. Farnan should act like a man- maybe, eventually, Farnan could be a man.

    Jesus was tired in the Garden of Gethsemane and carrying the cross. Last month in Kansas Fr. Kapaun was buried. He, too, was tired in a North Korean POW camp, yet Fr. Kapaun persisted. Farnan should lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.

    Perhaps Farnan should retire and allow men to take his place.

    “If I were a bishop, I would send round formidable, even terrifying, hit squads of bright, orthodox, and cheerful young clergy with the oil of ordination still damp upon their hands, to teach the dear old gentlemen all the things that their lecturers forgot to mention in the 1970s and 1980s; and to overhaul a radicibus the parish liturgies.”

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