Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fr. Z Jumps the Shark


Pope Francis just publicly endorsed contraception to avoid creating "undesirable" people.

Yeah. He did.

It was while he was on an airplane. Don't tell me you're surprised.

One of the most prominent quasi-traditionalist bloggers, Fr. Z, responded thus:
Next, and this is important, I remind everyone that the Roman Pontiff doesn’t teach doctrine on faith and morals through off-hand comments to journalists ON AN AIRPLANE RIDE! So, relax about the contraception comment. It was meaningless.
Well, by some accounts, there has only been one unquestionably infallible pronouncement by a pope in the last 100+ years. So does that mean that anything and everything else that any pope has said in the last 100+ years has been meaningless?

Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?

This surreal and sinister dance has to stop.

This cowardice has to stop.

Or do we not give a flying fig about the souls that will be lost to hell because of all this?


Or do we not give a flying fig about the middle-finger continually flaunted in Christ's face from the chair of St. Peter?


Okay, fine. Let's all just read Jean Paul Sartre and eat jam cakes.  


  1. "So, relax about the contraception comment. It was meaningless."
    Conclusion: Everything Pope Francis says is meaningless as well as what every other Pope has said. Right Fr. Z?!

  2. If you can't fight him off, just lie back and enjoy it.

  3. But remember Fr. Z readers, the SSPX is "not in full communion" with ... this. You should only attend an SSPX chapel if it is an "absolute necessity." Or something.

    1. It is "absolutely necessery" I am and support the FSSPX, for the salvation of my soul.

  4. Father Z jumped the shark for me a long time ago and everything he has to say is meaningless, especially regarding the SSPX. Unless of yourself you want to know what a priest is having for dinner or what birds are flying by his feeder.

  5. God bless you abundantly. Well said.

  6. I respect Fr. Z because of his priesthood but the bottom line is that he likes his current living arrangements. He has said many times in many subtle ways that going too far will get a priest shipped off to a crap assignment. Fr. Z. is only going to go so far no matter what horror falls from the pope's lips. Father is a bound man which is why I say priests shouldn't blog on current events.

  7. Wow, the comments on that article.

    1. Father Z has blocked my two IP addresses. I can only read his blog from the office. And it's now the weekend...

    2. I am glad that I am not the only one who has been blocked by Father Z. A few years ago I took him to task for announcing that we only had to attend Mass once on a weekend where the Saturday was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I found out later we were required to go both days. I called him on it and he was not pleased. All that worship God did not get because he told us wrongly.

    3. It's a pity when "comment moderation" transmogrifies an otherwise decent blog (regardless of disagreements with the blogger) into an echo chamber. Jumped the shark indeed.

    4. You're not missing much, Oakes. It's all Thank you, Father for showing me why I can't believe my lyin' eyes.

      It's a pitiable spectacle. Good Catholics are now reduced to making minute, squinting parsings of papal utterances, searching for that one comma or conditional that will allow them to extract the barest Catholic sense from them. Could anyone three years ago have imagined us lowered to this state? And our head-patting betters treat all this as routine, perfectly normal, nothing to see here, umpteen things to know and share!

      It's ominous to see Fr Z wielding Mark Shea's ban-hammer. Given that he previously allowed some relatively robust discussion in his comments section, it may indicate that the situation is reaching a critical point. Which could be good or bad news, but given our experience under this papacy, I wouldn't place bets on the upside.

  8. I think the Pope was saying that viruses are like rapists, which makes total sense and obviously doesn't lead to any problems whatsoever.

    I like Fr. Z! What's he supposed to do, storm the Vatican?! (pretty sure that would mean he's on the same side as ISIS)

  9. The Brick By Brick Bund is Bunk on the latest B.S. from this barmecide.

    His rhetoric is revolutionary but he can not deliver the doctrinal changes his revolutionary rhetoric suggests he will deliver and, so, eventually, even secular man will come to understand he is like a carnival barker who does not own the Circus and can not change its essence.

    Our Pope and Our Cross is a radical revolutionary whose Creed is less and less mysterious over time and his Creed is not the Creed of the One True Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church as far as ABS can determine.

    ABS thins he is an unfaithful servant who haughtiness gives lie to his putative humility.

    Were he truly a humble cleric, he would control his personal passions, proclivities, prejudices and actualise the duties of his Divinely-Constituted office but he never had any intention of doing so and that is why he was elected Pope.

    The conclave was teeming with radicals (chosen by John Paul II and Benedict) who knew who he was and what he had for an agenda - the same anthropocentric politicising swamps he wallowed in while in Argentina.

    Men keep wondering when the Princes will reign-in he who now reigns when the plain and simple truth is, they agree with him.

  10. Just over at blog "Et cum spiritu tuo". Author puts this papal debacle thusly: "It is all crashing down at once. God have mercy on us sinners. This is our Lent, folks. It will not end March 27th."

  11. This is a truly scandalous and dangerous line of thinking, but maybe it is not without some basis. Recall the drunkenness of Noah, where his sons covered Noah's drunkeness. Perhaps it is akin to covering the shame of Noah? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Fr. Z's comment is incredibly naive- OR just a case of preferential ignorance. Everything the Pope says matters; he's the Pope for crying out loud!! It doesn't matter if he spends 2 hours on puppies, butterflies, flowers, kittens, and sunny days and slips in 5 minutes of heresy at the end. If I have a bowl of 200 m & ms and 15 are deadly poison, would any right thinking person say that's a safe bowl to snack out of? As St. Paul says in Galatians 5:9 "A little leaven corrupteth the whole lump."

  12. Just in case there was even a shadow of a doubt:

  13. Well, it is true that the comment is meaningless as far as the Magisterial office. It certainly isn't meaningless as far as the damage it will cause, however.

  14. I don't have anything to say about Fr. Z's contribution to this. However, I am not sure that Francis endorsed contraception here. What he was contrasting was the absolute evil of abortion with attempts to avoid pregnancy, full stop. Some of those attempts would be both licit and even holy, while others would be immoral, such as, for example, contraception in the normal way in which it is carried out here in the West. He says, "Don’t confuse the evil of avoiding pregnancy by itself, with abortion." What follows is an explanation of abortion as absolutely evil. What immediately follows that is: "On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil." So, in context, the pope is clearly contrasting abortion with avoiding pregnancy. And, as knowledgeable Catholics, we know the difference in kind between moral and immoral instances of avoiding pregnancy.

    The problem is that Francis uses a very unfortunate example of what he thinks is a moral instance of avoiding pregnancy. It is my understanding that Paul VI endorsed the presence of contraceptives in the systems of chaste nuns who were in imminent danger of rape in this particular region of Africa at the time. Such an endorsement would then be the application of a theological opinion, since it was generally accepted by theologians at the time. Whether or not such use is in fact immoral is a separate issue from what Francis was trying to say on the plane. It is clear to me that he was contrasting abortion with avoidance of pregnancy, and that he used the unfortunate example of the nuns as a way of highlighting the distinction with his customary dramatic flair. The full quote about avoiding pregnancy is: "On the other hand, avoiding pregnancy is not an absolute evil. In certain cases, as in this one, or in the one I mentioned of Blessed Paul VI, it was clear." So he concludes by shoring up his case that avoiding pregnancy in the zika case can be moral by comparing it with the Paul VI example. This is indeed where the problem is with his statement (because, in fact, it is not at all clear that the Africa instance wasn't immoral), but he is using a case of contraception that he thinks was licit to shore up a case of avoiding pregnancy which he also sees as licit. He is not endorsing contraception per se; he is endorsing licit instances of avoiding pregnancy.

  15. I've been ill since yesterday over this pope's comments on contraception. You see, I have bypassed a career doing what I was trained to do and what I desire to do--to work in family practice as a nurse practitioner--because it is, alas, not feasible to avoid writing prescriptions for birth control in that role. As an employee (which is what I would have to be for a few years before striking out on my own) I will have to participate in that evil.

    So, rather than do that, I have accepted a position in orthopedics.

    I feel like the biggest chump on the planet right now.


    1. I'm so sorry. That's not the way it should be.

    2. I'm sorry too. I imagine many of the mothers and fathers now deemed "rabbits" wonder the same thing as they look around the crowded dinner table while their childless friends leave for vacation.
      I am taken aback by the restricted comments in priestly blogs these days, but surely it restricts one, to be a priest-blogger. It would be wonderful if all priests spoke out on this nightmare papacy, but I was hoping for more of the Cardinal/Bishop hue and cry, and if nothing happens after the synod report, what petite hope I have left will vanish. This is hard to deal with, but I admit seeing sycophancy or fear is perhaps ever harder. I certainly do not believe Fr. Z is a sycophant (no evidence of that) but fear seems reasonable. One senses a climate of fear throughout the church these days, no doubt with good reason.

  16. Yes I read that post. I was about to leave a comment, too- but there was warning that the comments were being strictly monitored and don't come here if you just want to bash the pope. That was the end of my comment. I had to bite my tongue. Guess that's why there were only 4 comments. Really.
    Ok, ok! My comment: I was telling my brother about Bella Dodd, the communist who came back to the Catholic Church through Bp Fulton Sheen. She denounced communism and thus testified during the McCarthy hearings. At some point later she revealed that Catholic Church, a high priority target for the communists, was infiltrated with some 1100 seminarians in the 1930s. My brother's first question was- were any of them sent to Argentina?

  17. One of the "clerics on the web" I have reservations about is Fr. Z. The LORD's wheat is being sifted.

  18. I left a simple and mild comment asking how this is meaningless and it was deleted.

    I mentioned that my few faithful students at the school where I teach Theology were more confused than ever by this Pope by this statement.

  19. I agree that it is something to be concerned about that the pope basically agreed to abortion. If the pope said this, it is evident that this is what he really thinks. What the pope says, no matter where he is, scandalizes others because Catholics aren't supposed to agree with contraception on any level because it is murder (Thou shalt not kill). To see someone who is a Catholic who is in a high position (the highest position in the Catholic Church) is just totally wrong and sends the wrong message to Catholics and non-Catholics.

  20. Father Zuhlsdorf wants also to treat Pope Michael as still a layman "until ordination and consecration are proven".

    There was material on it on the internet, including the "episcopal lineage" feature on Pope Michael's wikipedia article.

    Then it disappeared.

    But "Pope Francis" ... no, he can't be criticised as a heretic.

    I feel he has a double standard.

    He has on his blog this quote:

    Thought food…

    The Catholic Church is the exponent of Reality. It is true. Its doctrines in matters large and small are statements of what is. . . .My conclusion – and that of all men who have ever once seen it – is the faith. Corporate, organized, a personality, teaching. A thing, not a theory. It.”

    Hilaire Belloc to G.K. Chesterton

    Well, if the Catholic Church is, as he rightly says, exponent of reality, he is not dealing as if part of it.