At Crisis…. Screwtape to Wormwood on “A Certain Diocese”

At Crisis, the piece in question begins thusly.   My emphases

My dear Wormwood,

I want to applaud you with regard to the work you have undertaken in one of the Enemy’s foremost dioceses in the Americas. For far too long, that detestable place has flourished virtually unchecked by us. But since the enthronement of our beloved Pachamama in Rome, events have gone better than I expected! These humans never cease to amaze me with how easily corruptible they are.

Now let us discuss this opportunity you have with the promulgation of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes (I am claiming full credit for that mockery of a title) and the responses to the Dubia issued by our English friend who covets a red hat. These documents have certainly stirred things up worldwide, but they can be of great aid to your sowing of division in that diocese.

I highly recommend you keep whispering into the ears of the Enemy’s top man there. Thus far, you have done well exploiting his false sense of obedience to his Roman authorities. If this was a bishop formed during the Middle Ages your remonstrations would not have worked. But the Enemy’s Church is now filled with so many weak and compliant men that your task is easier to accomplish. This bishop has already restricted the Enemy’s sacraments in that detestable ancient rite. This has caused immediate dissension amongst the priests and their faithful. Confusion and anger are great weapons!

Set your sights on the so-called Traditional Latin Mass. It must be expunged from that diocese. It is offered in far too many parishes, 21 at last count. Also, more than half the priests there have taken it upon themselves to learn that Mass with all its rubrics.

Now is not the time to relax your efforts. Devoted nephew, let me remind you of our long-term goal here: the ruination of that diocese that has been a source of our angst for far too long. You know well the outcomes we desire:


You can find the rest there.



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Lighter fare, Our Catholic Identity, Si vis pacem para bellum!, The Coming Storm, The future and our choices, Traditionis custodes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. WVC says:

    Weak appeals to “fidelity to Rome” mean nothing, explain nothing, and justify nothing. And the commission of priests hand picked to make the policy in this diocese – a significant portion of them do NOT say the Latin Mass and one who does is vocal about his animosity towards the Latin Mass. One wonders if the Pope had decided to suppress African American Catholics if the bishop would have included public racists on his policy forming committee? Or if the Pope had decided to say “immigrants are causing too much division in the Church, suppress all Masses offered in Spanish” if the bishop would say, “Gotta be faithful to Rome, so too bad, migrant Catholics!”

    This is a persecution of a people. The bishop’s job is to be the shepherd to those people. Tossing them to the wolf and saying, “but the wolf told me to do that” doesn’t play well to the sheep being devoured.

    Worse, though, is that the language and tone being used reveals a complete lack of understanding of what the Latin Mass means either to the Church or to the people who support it. For us the fulcrum of reality can be found in the Latin Mass, and the bishop talks about it like it’s a decision on what color to paint the walls of his chancery. The perceived flippancy is not welcome.

  2. SperaInDeo says:

    As a resident and former seminarian from “A Certain Diocese,” I can confirm that the Bishop’s frequent appeals to “fidelity to the intentions of the Holy Father” are a cause for concern.
    He wants to do the right thing, but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that such good intention is no panacea for any ill-effect coming from a false notion of obedience. He is a good man who needs prayers, as are the priests on his commission with whom he is consulting regarding this issue.
    During the lockdown, he was notably put out by the continuing ministry of the SSPX in one corner of A Certain Diocese, a ministry which would only benefit from further (and unnecessary) restrictions on the Mass of Ages.
    One final thought: I wonder how much pressure the Nunciature or the USCCB can/do exert on this issue behind the scenes? Perhaps quite a lot, which does not bode well for Certain Dioceses ruled by company men. Pray for the bishops!

  3. MarianneF says:

    I have been told that this is my diocese…makes sense given the facts. Please pray for this bishop and for all our priests. We have awesome priests who are advising him to move closer to Tradition, but he needs supernatural courage. Please pray for us all – we can’t lose this diocese.

  4. TonyO says:

    Great adaptation of Screwtape. Of course, the parallels could have covered dozens of pages (more’s the pity).

    I don’t quite get which diocese was intended, though I suppose it might have been any number of them. There are dozens that would fit the bill (other than the 21 parishes part).

    Methinks someone needs to do a similar adaption and extend it to Francis’s beloved “clericalism” charge: is he aware that bishops implementing TC “because the Pope said do” is a fairly blatant form of clericalism? Following “because the pope said to” regardless of whether the pope’s dictum was (a) lawful, or (b) reasonable, is not according to the virtue of obedience, because unthinking obedience is CONTRARY to reasoned behavior. We are supposed to THINK about whether obedience is owed. Acting without thinking about it isn’t virtuous.

  5. WVC, thou hast writ:

    “And the commission of priests hand picked to make the policy in this diocese – a significant portion of them do NOT say the Latin Mass and one who does is vocal about his animosity towards the Latin Mass.”

    I beg your pardon, but most if not all celebrate the Traditional Mass, including the priest at the head of this commission. I can assure you, and the good Father overseeing this venue, that His Excellency is most willing to find a solution, that will not only permit the ongoing celebration of the Traditional Mass and Sacraments, but placate those in Rome who have issued a document of questionable legislative force (that being the worst kept secret about it among those involved).

    Traditional Latin Mass – Diocese of Arlington

    Stay tuned.

  6. WVC says:

    @Mr Alexander,

    I only said what others, who were in a reasonable position to have such knowledge, said to me, personally. If that is not true, then all the better, although I have no reason to suspect the person who informed me to have a cause for lying. I also do not have a list of the priests who are on the commission, so I cannot personally verify, and I’m not aware that the Diocese has made this public. If you have such a list, please post it as I would like to see it. The only name I’m actually aware of is the head of the commission, who is, as you said, a good priest.

    And I’m afraid I don’t FaceBook, so if you posted it someone on the linked site I have no way of accessing it.

    I’m waiting and hoping, but seeing as how weddings and baptisms are already suppressed, and “fidelity to Rome” and that damn “Survey of bishops” that trashed the Latin Mass are being bandied about so freely I can’t say my actual expectations are very high. I’m more than happy to be wrong.

  7. WVC, I am loathe to go into further detail here. Click on my name and you’ll know where to find me.

Comments are closed.