If there is one person who inspired me to start a Catholic blog, it's Fr. Z. His blog is a treasure trove of Catholic devotion, liturgical nuance, pastoral advice, catechesis and carefully crafted commentary on what's going on it the Church. Of course, like all of us, since the appointment of Pope Francis, it's been a little more focused on the strange things the pope does and says, but it still achieves all the other things with enough aplomb to make it a definite internet stop for any interested, faithful Catholic. 

As I have already commented, over the US election campaign it is somewhat of a travesty that the US bishops failed to articulate the evil now being visited upon the US in any sort of way. The irony is that they now seem to be astounded by what President Joe Biden in enacting and some have found a voice, others seem to be more clearly complicit in this work of great evil.

Father Z and a number of other brave priests took an appropriate stand.

I was quite surprised at the way many used this event to attack Fr. Z. The usual suspects of course (James Martin, WherePeterIs(n't)FishwrapThe Tablet - it's a list you could write before any such event with some certainty!) but I was disappointed at the line taken by the newly formed publication The Pillar.

If you look at the way Fr Z used the exorcism in relation to the election it was not partisan but concerned the conduct of the election and the probity of those charged with that conduct. It seems to me typical of the state of things in the Catholic Church at the moment where a priest so concerned with Catholic truth is removed from his home and cast out for praying, but all manner of heresy is pronounced up and down every diocese in the country and never a word is said. James Martin is a great example: he regular misinterprets scripture, makes erroneous pronouncements, even mis-genders the Holy Spirit, but he gets promoted! Even here in my own diocese priests are terrified of being seen as "orthodox", saying Mass ad orientem for example can get you into all kinds of trouble. I remember a priest in Lourdes being really upset after the diocesan Mass because he had been attacked by fellow clergy for elevating the host for too long at the consecration! However worshipping demons on the altar or regularly preaching clear heresy gets brushed under the carpet!

It seems to me that this juxtaposition alone speaks to a great evil at work in the Church.


Like, I am sure, many others, I am not surprised that it is now open news: "Fr Zed" [Fr Zuhlsdorf] is being hounded out of his current residence in the Diocese of Madison.
I have no information beyond what you can all read elsewhere on the Internet (Fr Tim; the Remnant) about who put what pressures upon whom. Nor is it my business to speculate pruriently about who may have been evil; who simply weak. The big and obvious fact is that the whole business has the fingerprints of the Enemy all over it.
At this time, it is essential ... you must all see this ... for Father to be given unqualified support. This it not the hour for "Of course I do support him but it might have been better if he hadn't ....". Our God sends us kairoi, moments of decision when it is important for each of us to be standing on the right side. Half-hearted reactions are not, as far as I can remember, much commended in Scripture. "Blessed are those who sit on fences" failed to make its way into the Beatitudes.
My brother priest John Zuhlsdorf has worked unremittingly for Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy. In season, out of season, he has informed and instructed and strengthened. Onslaughts upon his unique ministry are attacks upon things much more important than Father John himself.
And personally, I am ... let me shock you ... enough of an unreconstructed 1960s liberal to dislike anything that has suggestions about it of censorship. And these events reek of it.
I know from my own postbag how many people are distressed and feel almost broken by the current disorders in the Catholic Church; disorders, most sadly, at all levels. Particularly when they are in isolation, in a hostile parish or an almost apostate diocese, good Catholics can come very near to despair. Father has supported ... probably millions ... by giving them a sense of fellowship ... the awareness that they are not alone; that many others are with them; that a well-instructed priest is supplying needs which a local bishop or pastor is leaving unaddressed.
I hope readers will forgive me for pointing out that the laity are much less vulnerable to prelatical bullying than are the clergy. I do beg intelligent laity who have benefitted from John Zuhlsdorf's ministry to take such steps as their splendid lay-woman's or lay-man's ingenuity may suggest to them, to support this priest in his time of threats, anxieties, and sufferings.
Do not sit back feeling that others, cleverer than you and more articulate, will do what is necessary. This is the moment when precisely your God-given degree of cleverness and of articulacy is exactly what is being called for.


Please say a prayer for Father Z.



  1. Ann Couper-Johnston4 February 2021 at 10:26

    Words are running through my head along the lines of:
    Where there should be clarity, let me sow confusion,
    Where devotion, idolatry,
    Where piety, environmental concern,
    Where tradition, innovation .......

    The provenance will give you the clue as to the addressee of the doggerel ��


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