UPDATE 4 November 2021:
From what I have heard, Fr. Jackson is now being held on federal charges. This is not a good development, as it implies that there is something more complicated than simple possession of illegal material.
A GoFundMe campaign had been set up for him and it raised a significant amount, but the campaign was axed by GoFundMe.
While we continue in a presumption of innocence, there is little to see that is positive in this case. While I believe it is good to harbor a sober, eyes-open optimism, at the same time – in my considered opinion – it is also a good idea to begin to steel ourselves for very bad news.
Please continue to offer prayers for Fr. Jax as well as for all those involved in the investigation of this case. It is important that the truth be the goal of everything that is done. We all know that that isn’t always the motive of some in either law enforcement or the legal profession… or the Church.
Originally Published on: Oct 31, 2021
I am distraught to report that Fr. James Jackson of the FSSP was recently arrested and is now detained for possession of … certain images that no one should ever have.
The FSSP issued a statement HERE.
Fr. Jackson, as I have known him, was an upstanding good priest. His book Nothing Superfluous is terrific and will continue to be terrific, all other things notwithstanding.
It kills me to read these things about any bishop or priest, but especially if I know the man.
The Devil hates all of us and wants our destruction. The Enemy’s war on us is relentless and driven with twisted but still angelic abilities. If the Enemy can bring down a bishop or priest, great harm can be done to the Faith and to souls, who can become discouraged.
In the face of this bad news, and whenever you hear of a fallen priest, our first response should be to offer prayers and penances in reparation for sins committed and also for the fallen himself.
Keep this in mind. In these USA we still have the (increasingly tenuous) presumption of innocence when crimes have been committed. While the reporting on these matters looks pretty grim, we don’t have all the facts.
It doesn’t look good but, frankly, it is not impossible that this could be a frame up, things being planted. Again, the Enemy hates priests, especially effective priests, and the Enemy has many willing human agents ready, willing and able to do such things. Anyone who thinks that such frame ups don’t happen is naive.
That said, we much let the course of justice play out now.
Also, remember that when one member of some group strays, that doesn’t mean that all members of that group are bad.
Fr. Jackson was in the Marines. His crime, if he is guilty, does not stain all Marines. Fr. Jackson is in the FSSP. His crime, if he is guilty, does not stain all members of the FSSP. Fr. Jackson is a priest. His crime, if he is guilty, does not stain every priest, though we all suffer by it.
Lastly, if some highly visible Jesuit homosexualist activist happened to be arrested for something awful, I would be writing the same thing about him right now even though he wishes ill upon me. We owe this to our brothers and sisters in charity – eyes-wide-open charity.
That said… damn…. just… damn, this is dreadful news.
O Almighty Eternal God, look upon the face of Thy Christ, and for the love of Him who is the Eternal High Priest, have pity on Thy priests. Remember, O most compassionate God, that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation which is in them by the imposition of the bishop’s hands. Keep them close to Thee, lest the Enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.
O Jesus, I pray Thee for Thy faithful and fervent priests; for Thy unfaithful and tepid priests; for Thy priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields; for Thy tempted priests; for Thy lonely and desolate priests; for Thy young priests; for Thy aged priests; for Thy sick priests, for Thy dying priests; for the souls of Thy priests in Purgatory.
But above all I commend to Thee the priests dearest to me; the priest who baptized me; the priests who absolved me from my sins; the priests at whose Masses I assisted, and who gave me Thy Body and Blood in Holy Communion; the priests who taught and instructed me, or helped and encouraged me; all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way, particularly N. O Jesus, keep them all close to Thy Heart, and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity. Amen.
+Robert C. Morlino, Bishop of Madison, 6 September 2018