For decades, the mantra among good priests has been: “Don’t Attract Attention.”
Whether or not one agrees with such a mentality in general, here’s a quick snapshot of why one might adopt such a position, lifted from events of just the past few months:
- Priest rejects mask mandate – FSSP muzzles him
- Priest denounces Democratic platform and Church corruption – bishop rebukes him and threatens sanctions
- Priest warns against BLM communists – bishop suspends him
- Priest denounces Church corruption – bishop suspends him
Priests fostering the above kind of “division” are regarded as so dangerous by their superiors that they must be silenced immediately. Dissent will not be tolerated.
Dissent from liberalism, that is.
Public dissent from Catholic faith and morals, however – the kind on display among pro-abort “Catholic” politicians and nearly every nominally “Catholic” institution in this country – will get a free pass. This is why the single greatest roadblock to the Church’s earthly flourishing is not a low Catholic birthrate, a toxic Western culture, or even the ascendant masonic health-technocracy of our time – it’s the bishops.
This is also why, at this point, many have given up any earthly hope that there will be a resurrection of apostolic zeal in the Catholic episcopate during our lifetime. Is this a reasonable position? It seems so, even leaving aside the continuing waterfall of corruption, heresy, and scandal that bishops remain engaged in or silent about (complicity in both cases). The clearest “proof” for such a position remains the worship of idols that occurred in the Vatican Gardens last October, when not one bishop could be found on earth to denounce that horror with public outrage, much less take corrective action.
So at this point, hoping for the emergence of a zealous Catholic episcopate seems like hoping in a dead Lazarus to emerge from the tomb, but without Christ’s assurance that it will be so.
This is why many layfolk have shifted their summons to righteousness to the ranks of priests, particularly those of “traditional” commitment. It seems certain that there will be no resurrection of the apostolic spirit in the hierarchy until an organized priest-led resistance finds a voice. The dynamic is exactly backwards, of course: priests acting justly and then exhorting their own superiors is not how it is supposed to work. But then, the Church’s earthly aspect is in an unprecedentedly disordered state at the moment.
PRIESTS: The tactic of “keeping quiet and waiting for baddies to retire,” apart from being an insult to Our Lord and a scandal to the little ones, will not serve much longer in the face of the globalists’ new gods, who have grown very hungry of late. More hammers are coming, and clerical platitudes about “the Lord sorting it out” would seem to betray a (deeply ahistorical) pietism, spiritualism, and quietism unworthy of the dignity of the ordained. Should we cease praying that Our Lord’s Kingdom come on earth? Should Christ and Holy Mother Church be left unguarded by force of arms, contrary to the practice of so many prior centuries? Would you rather us seek only an interior enlightenment, the virtual solace of a conquered people?
In any event, our operating assumption at WOR is that CancelChurch will reign supreme until priests will openly say and do otherwise, charitably refusing the unjust direction of superiors as needed, and summoning them to right action instead. The episcopal knife in the back that may result will be no martyrdom, but it may at least serve to surgically remove from priests any craven human respect, and demonstrate that they have chests. More importantly, it will repair the many dishonors made to His Majesty, lately treated by most Catholics as our Non-Essential, Livestreamable Sacrifice, while thousands of evangelical Protestants put us to shame by publicly defying state worship bans in California.
Still, practically speaking, layfolk oughtn’t set their hopes on such dutiful goodness from their priests. If Church history is any indicator, there will be no public clerical resistance to the dominant state and its compliant bishops, soon to assert still more control over our lives and the worship of God. No, it will likely take several years of violent suppression of the faithful before anything like a “Church militant” will be found among the ranks of the clergy again.
Meanwhile, the laity must pray for the grace to serve manfully and be equal to the coming task. For, if our priests will not shoulder the plow, it falls to us. Organize and assemble. Act with conviction. Doing nothing to defend the sacred runs the grave risk today that there will be nothing to defend tomorrow. While we look with longing to our true homeland, taking strength above all from unseen allies, if we would hold the Church’s social doctrine, we should also hold it up with our actions.
If you are a lay person old enough to read this, be advised: If you love Christ and His Bride, if you seek the honor and glory of God in the public sphere, you will have no recourse in civil or canonical law in the continuing storm. Pray and prepare as such.
Find each other. Help each other. We have miles to go before we sleep.
Qui non habet, vendat tunicam suam et emat gladium.
“He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.”
We need an underground orthodox Catholic Church with Archbishop Vigano or someone like him as its leader. If we had this Catholics who are outraged at the effectively anti-Catholic Church we now have would have a place to go or at least a place to find the Truth of the orthodox Catholicism.
Let us pray that such an underground orthodox Catholic Church will emerge soon. And pray hard for Archbishop Vigano that he would be willing to become its leader.
I happen to be a priest and religious who has found himself out of ministry for something I said. It was not a well prepared sermon but the furore has meant I am still out of ministry after a year and four months. I have just been told I have at least another nine months to go before that situation will change. I don’t mind because I like where I am and frankly having been dragged through the fire I am in no hurry to go back. The experience has left me shaken It isn’t just the fear of trouble from bishops or superiors, it is fear of how the media and the internet can blow the situation way out of all proportion. (Read Jon Ronson’s “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” and you will understand something of what I am writing about). Cases like mine will give other clergy second thoughts.
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May God bless you, Father. You are living proof of what we see among so many priest Saints of centuries past: that they were not well loved in their own time.
John of the Cross could stand as representative of so many others; men persecuted by their own superiors and brethren, who died in relative obscurity to prove again that conformity to the Cross is more meritorious than preaching it.
We pray that the “second thoughts” other priests may have upon seeing your example is to ponder what they truly signed up for, and whom they vowed first to serve. “We must obey God, rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
Know of our gratitude and daily prayers for you!
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Look at the picture above of the friar preaching and exhorting the people. He stands in front of the bishop. Whether or not we trust our bishops, we must support them and preach not on their behalf, but on behalf of Christ. If they disagree, they have the right to take us down. The laity also has the right to take issue with that. But we priests do stand in front. The Bishop is a priest, and be assured his authority is great, even if he fails at certain things. No need for a priest to rush into controversy. The Spirit will open our mouths in His due time, as God promised, and then we will, for love of God, pay the price that must be paid. Why even today I preached a fiery sermon on this subject of reform. I was one taken down a few rungs a couple of years ago for the same thing, and I am now of minimal rank. So it will be and has always been. Those who are of the system and who are clever easily may gain rank, but prudence has not elevated them, God has. Because of this thought that their own prudence elevated them, they fear to speak, after all they did not attain to high position on account of preaching hard truths. God only calls some bishops to speak out, others to hold down the fort. There are some however who act wrongly, or who are purely of the world, and they do the work of perdition. This betrayal is God’s will, but that does not cancel their culpability. Many shepherds are afraid, but this does not mean they are incapable. They need encouragement against Mammon. They have the obligation to speak against evil in politics, like St. John Chrysostom did. However some shepherds “believe in a form of God but not the power thereof.” If these pastors fail in this duty, those who are earnest believers will speak and God will make sure they are heard. Even the mute stones would cry out if need be. Christ never preached on politics, since he was calling all men to himself. But he never taught not to mix politics and religion, only to render unto Caesar, nor did he teach that religion is a private affair to be kept out of the public forum. Would He have been crucified if that were the case? Priests who are so bold will be disciplined, but by the power of God they will continue to speak the truth….The key is holiness in the priest, and the knowledge that it’s God’s Church, not the clergy’s, and that Christ reigns. So they must be holy, for without animating charity, without that holiness, the priest’s words, no matter how true, will not reform the Church.