Tag Archives: Social

Why are Trads So Mean to Each Other?

And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.—Jesus Christ in St. Matthew 24:10-14

Why are traditional Catholics so mean to each other? I don’t mean people like Virginia senator Tim Kaine who described himself as a “traditional Catholic.”  By “traditional Catholic” I mean people who actually believe that the doctrine and liturgy of the Catholic Church can change by no man. So, why are trad-Catholics so mean to each other? Of course, the most common answer we all hear is: spiritual arrogance and hypocrisy.   I don’t deny there is a certain truth to this, even in my life. But on the opposite side of the coin, we also hear that trads are mean because they are reacting as the “spiritually abused children of the Church.” I don’t deny there is a certain truth to this, even in my life. But today’s blog post is neither accusation nor exoneration. It’s a new analogy that I had never heard before, and it came from a friend.

First, let us take a look at a heroic 20th century Catholic priest.  Fr. Gommar A. DePauw served as a combat medic in World War II with the 9th Belgian Infantry Hunters Regiment. He was taken prisoner by the Nazis at Dunkirk in 1940. After escaping prison camp, he returned to Belgium and was ordained a Catholic priest. Fr. DePauw’s parents had immigrated to the United States, so he followed them. He served as a priest in New York City, later studied at CUA and even taught at Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary. He eventually incardinated in the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1955. During the Second Vatican Council, he was called to Rome to serve as a peritus, meaning he was asked to be a theological advisor to bishops at the Council.

Before looking at his below letter to Pope Paul VI, it should be noted that Fr. DePauw was a combat medic who assumedly rescued both his superiors and his inferiors while fighting the Nazis. The virtue obedience ran deep in his blood stream. He never wanted to disobey his superiors as a medic or as a priest. But when he saw Catholicism being dismantled by the hierarchy in the 1960s, Fr. DePauw felt stretched on the cross between his allegiance to the pure doctrine of Christ and his desire to be obedient to the hierarchy. Notice in these 15 Aug 1967 letter excerpts to Pope Paul VI the deep respect Fr. DePauw holds for Paul VI, even as he holds Jesus Christ and His Divine Revelation higher:

Your Holiness:

I still vividly remember that December 1, 1965 evening when Your Holiness personally blessed me and my work with the traditionalist Catholics who selected me to be their spokesman ….Today’s condition of the Catholic Church is beyond the point of doctrinal heresy, factual schism, and even apostasy. It is in a state of chaos and utter collapse resulting from the systematic destruction of first our liturgical and other traditions, and now our very beliefs and morals…

In open violation of all past and present liturgical directives, the Roman Catholic Liturgy, once the envy of all other religions, has for all practical purposes been destroyed. And it gives us very little personal satisfaction to know that all those responsible for this destruction were in advance irrevocably anathematized by the still valid solemn decree of the Council of Trent: “If anyone says that the Mass ought to be celebrated in the vernacular only, let him be cursed.”(Canons of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, n. 9.)

Coercive changes have subrogated our traditional practices with the “litniks”of our Church Establishment daily intensifying their attempts to subjugate the “people of God” to becoming “Protestant” Catholics..But, not only our liturgical traditions have been destroyed. The very beliefs and morals of our Catholic heritage are now up for grabs in our so-called “Church of the Aggiornamento.” Steadily, day in and day out since Vatican II, silt has subversively been shunted in to the minds of the Roman Catholics in America.  Our “Catholic” universities, seminaries, and colleges are bluntly rejecting the religious character that justifies their existence, and their teachers of the “new theology” are calling into question, if not outright rejecting, every tenet of our doctrinal heritage ….

Your Holiness …. taking a closer look at the “Conciliar” church forced upon us in the name of Vatican II, and simply judging the tree by its fruits, we are tempted to agree with one of your own immediate collaborators in Rome who has been quoted as characterizing the recent Vatican Council as “a sinister farce acted out by a number of good-for-nothings, some of whom, despite the gold crosses on their chests, don’t even believe in the Holy Trinity or the Virgin.”

Your Holiness, if no immediate action is taken by you, the public reality of the Catholic religion will phase out very soon. Already the memory of a “real” Mass is fading away from the minds of our younger generation, while their elders are growing indifferent or bitter over a Church which, if all her former beliefs and practices were so irrelevant as to be replaced so quickly and drastically, they prefer to forget as the biggest hoax ever on record.

Your Holiness, take one last, hard look at the dying embers of your Church and ours! And decide, bluntly and honestly, whether you wish to be a Pope, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Supreme Pontiff of the one true Church, or to perpetuate your current image of the BISHOP of Rome, the first among equals, with a place of HONOR but without authority within the ranks of a so-called “college” of Bishops …..

May we, the traditionalist Catholics whose unworthy spokesman I am, help Your Holiness out of the impasse your enemies cornered you into, by humbly submitting to you the following requests:

Vatican II must be annulled.

Publicly announce via all available international public media that you are again exercising the prerogatives of the Supreme Pontiff of Christ’s One True Church, and that the interregnum of Vatican II is over ….  Maybe it was precisely the fear of this horrendous possibility that caused the Holy Ghost to have Pope John [XXIII] declare from the very start that Vatican II, unlike all previous Ecumenical Councils, was not a doctrinal Council but simply a pastoral one, thus leaving the door open for any future Pope to eradicate it from the records.

Your Holiness, when honest people commit a blunder they admit it and try to undo it as quickly as possible. Vatican II has so far produced nothing but confusion and disunity among the people of God’s Church. It takes humility and courage to admit that even a Pope, outside the realm of his infallible ex cathedra definitions, can commit a blunder. But it is this kind of humility that endears a truly great leader to his subjects. Even so, you know better than all of us together that to lose face is nothing compared to losing souls.

Rescind that falsely interpreted and abused “Collegiality” decree immediately and permanently. The burden of the Papacy cannot be shared and was never intended to be. To Peter and to him alone were given the keys of the Kingdom. Peter and Peter alone was appointed to strengthen the faith of “his brethren,” the first bishops who governed the primitive Church not just with but under Peter. Stop wearing that Bishop’s mitre and place the papal tiara back on your anointed head where it was placed the day you accepted to serve as Christ’s Vicar and Supreme Pontiff. You accepted the job; you have tasted the privileges – now, taste the responsibilities; they are the two sides of the same coin. Give us another opportunity to let the world know once again that: “HABEMUS PAPAM!” We have a Pope!

Your Holiness! If we do not receive a satisfactory answer from Your Holiness or at least are given an opportunity to discuss our requests and proposals with Your Holiness personally – within the next month, we shall consider our requests denied and our proposals rejected, and draw the sad and tragic conclusion that Our Mother the Church has temporarily abandoned the best ones of her children.  I pray to God and to His blessed Mother whose Assumption we commemorate today – and millions all over the world are joining me in this prayer – that such a dark and tragic day will never come. But, if we have no other choice, we will jealously protect the small but still burning candle of our traditional Catholic Faith, and patiently carry on our spiritual “Resistance” movement without the hoped-for papal approval ….

Your loyal and devoted son in Jesus Christ,

Fr. Gommar A. DePauw

His full letter is here.

Notice that Fr. DePauw is not asking that he become Pope. Notice that Fr. DePauw is not even asking Pope Paul VI to step down. He is asking for him to exercise his grace of office. As an ex-combat medic, Fr. DePauw simply wanted someone who would lead him into a battle for eternal souls—the souls that he wanted to rescue from Satan! Fr. DePauw would give his life for his Holy Father, and all he asks in return is not power, nor a red-hat or a special appointment from the Vatican. He only wants a spiritual father who will give his life for his flock by keeping Catholicism alive at all costs so that he can follow him into battle. Now, in 2019, Fr. DePauw’s 1967 letter now rings strangely prophetic: “Your Holiness, if no immediate action is taken by you, the public reality of the Catholic religion will phase out very soon.” We know De Fide that the Faith will remain alive in a few hearts, but there is something spooky about that phrase.

We traditional Catholics are often compared to Martin Luther. Our modernist and even neo-con accusers say about us: As Martin Luther was Sola-Scriptura, so “rad-trad Catholics” are Sola Conciliar, relying on their own interpretation of Tradition and tradition to think they know better than the current hierarchy. But Fr. De Pauw’s letter proves that he did not want to overturn the hierarchy. In fact, he clearly wanted to be a follower. People like Fr. De Pauw and many of us “rad-trads” have simply looked for the post-Conciliar Popes to rally us, to lead us, to father us under the battle standard of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Yes, there are some very strange rad-trad cults (especially in the NW of the USA and upstate NY) who live to simply critique the hierarchy. They wouldn’t be happy if Archbishop Lefebvre were raised from the dead and made Pope! But most “rad-trads” are not in that camp of sociopathic cultish complainers. In fact, most traditional Catholics have have been hungering for a leader to take a battering ram to the gates of hell. With some significant exceptions, most “rad-trad” keyboard warriors never wanted to take a battering-ram on the very hierarchy of the Church that they wanted to die with. Most of us want all nations to come to know Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church.

So, what does this have to do with why traditional Catholics are so mean to each other? I said this would not be an accusation or an exoneration. But in full disclosure, I will admit this is closer to an exoneration of traditionalists than an accusation. I was talking to a friend about why “rad-trads” are always fighting in the social media and she came up with a this brilliant analogy about what she knew about horses. (Her speciality is super-weapons for military, so she would admit her limited knowledge on horses. Thus, if any horse enthusiasts write me with corrections, I will certainly edit this paragraph.) In any case, my friend explained to me that when the male-leader of a herd of wild-horses is absent, all of the other male horses will fight and even bite each other. However, when the alpha-male returns to lead the herd, not only do the other male wild-horses obey, but they actually stop biting each other. In fact, the band of male wild-horses not only stops fighting, but they fall into hierarchical order themselves!

Does this remind you of the debates that Latin Mass Catholics have on line all the time? Look:  We recognize the post-Conciliar Popes as Popes. But it seems that most modern Popes have been concerned with showing the world (and the flesh and the devil) that they don’t have to be so afraid of Catholics. Catholics are not so different from you! It’s like the message is:  We too believe in a better world and progressive humanity! Same with the bishops. Now that the Western hierarchy has moved past the 1970s social justice kick, the “conservative ones” now want to show the Western world that we’re essentially hipster Protestants, tacking on the Eucharist and Our Lady.  Perhaps this helps maintain the “conservative” title in order to keep Republican neo-con Catholics in giving their big money. A message has now become one of damage control: We are not all child-molestors. We are not all believers in the Inquisition. We are not all against gays. We want Jesus to reign in all hearts (but let’s not talk about Him as King of Nations.)

All the while, the rad-trad men who actually believe in the Social Reign of Christ the King keep studying St. Thomas Aquinas, and biting each other on line and in-person. We debate each other with vicious teeth on whether it is permitted to go to an SSPX Mass. We debate each other with hateful spite on who is the true reigning Pope. The women even debate each other on how long dresses need to be, all the while maintaining satanic hatred under their breath while using pious feminine modest language.  Just this past week a rad-trad called me in a private email: “compromised Bergoglian clergy.” Just this past week, a famous non-rad trad but conservative neo-con leader of the Catholic world (who is usually hailed as being on his way to “canonization” at his own enormous conferences) sent me a private message on Facebook:  “You, You need to shut the hell up on social media.” 

Some of it is arrogance. Some of it is woundedness. But I propose today that a large part of it is that we need a leader and a father. We miss a Pope who cares for us and wants to conquer the entire world for Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church. We will indeed fall into line under an alpha-male Pope.  Scratch that: Most of us will fall into line under the alpha-male Pope who holds traditional dogma and liturgy. But note well that it’s not just us looking for our rad-trad tendencies to finally be rubber-stamped in a letter red seal so that we can feel our socially awkward time machine to the 18th century or 1950s has been vindicated.  It’s more that a future Pope will make Catholicism one again where there will be only one Mass and one dogma, and those who hold to this will no longer be called “schismatic.” The only thing to be debated will be truly speculative theology.  Even for that, I see that for wild-horses to stop biting each other on speculative theology, we will need an alpha male at the very head of the flock who will take the battering-ram not to us traditionalists, but straight to the gates of hell that Christ said would never prevail against the Church. (Mt 16:18)

I blogged here on the two possibilities of the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart either being the return of Jesus Christ or the era of peace being the move from this fifth age of the Church to the sixth age of the Church, an era described by many prophets and saints as “an era of peace” that would have the Great Council to hammer out more heresies than any council in the past, ruled over by “The Great Monarch” and “The Great Pope.” When you read the ancient prophesies of that “Great Pope” you see a man who is an alpha-male leader, a man who will not care for ecumenism. He will not conquer for his religion like a Muslim Sultan, but he will be a man of compassion who will lead martyrs to shed their blood in peace and charity for the furthering of the only Gospel under Heaven on Earth, the Holy Catholic Church.

Remember from the analogy above that the male wild-horses not only respect their new leader. They stop biting each other. They not only stop biting each other. They actually fall into a hierarchy or order of obedience and rank themselves. Until that alpha-male wild-horse Papa lead us into that peace, I simply suggest that rad-trads first stop biting each other and secondly meditate on these Scripture verses:

For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.—Gal 5:14-15

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.—Titus 3:3-7

Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, and not frightened in anything by your opponents. This is a clear sign to them of their destruction, but of your salvation, and that from God.—Phil 1:27-28

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.—John 13:34-35

On Sedevacantism

Prior to the current and lively discussion on the actual validity of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation from the Papacy, there was (and is) a group of Catholics called sedevacantists who believe that the Chair of Peter has been empty for nearly 50 years, due to putatively-changed doctrine.  “Sedes” (pronounced sed-ayz) as they are nicknamed in the traditional world, believe that the last valid Pope was Pope Pius XII. Some even deny the validity of his papacy and some even deny the validity his predecessors, going back centuries.  Sedevacantism is Latin for “empty chair,” in reference to the Roman Chair of Peter.  They have very good arguments for their positions, many of which I can not counter.   (For those unfamiliar with this debate, yes—there are actually Catholics who make me look like an ultra-liberal!)

In any case, I have a good friend looking at the sedevacantists. Here is an email I wrote to him to discourage him from joining them. It was only after I hit “send” that I decided it was worth a blog-post, published with his permission, but no names of course:

D,

You write “I simply don’t know what to do at this point.” My answer: Nothing. There’s an old phrase in Canon Law that is: impossibile non tenetur which means one is not held to the impossible in the Catholic life. In other words, God has not made life to be an intellectual riddle that is impossible to solve except for being solved by a few sedevacantists with their big book of old Pope quotes. I fully understand the difference between God’s positive will and His permissive will for this current Church crisis. But both types of providence still fall under God’s sovereignty. If that were not the case, then the only people to be saved would be sedevacantists because they have figured out God’s post V2 code.

It’s all intellectual for them, and really, it’s all intellectual for your quotes to me this past week. Yeah, they are pretty air-tight. So maybe they are totally correct. But sedes are so miserable and mean, that even if they were correct, I’m pretty sure I would not want to go to heaven with them. If only the miserable and mean who have finally cracked the intellectual code of Pope Paul IV and the 1917 code of canon law are going to heaven, then we are all held to the impossible by God and we are essentially nothing more than 5point Calvinists (who the sedes all remind me of.) Also, remember the sedes don’t really have charity (just try to counter me on this!) and if faith without charity means nothing for salvation (1 Cor 13) then no one is going to heaven…in which case every single person is in an impossible situation…and Satan has beat us all into despair via a mind game.

You will never beat Satan at mind games in quoting canon law. I believe sedes are following Satan because Satan can quote Councils and Popes as well as Satan quoted Scripture to Jesus in the desert. But Satan quoted Scripture without obedience and charity. As Calvinists live Sola Scriptura without obedience or charity, so also sedes are Sola Conciliar without obedience or charity.

Every family that goes sede is because the man gets wrapped up into endless syllogisms. I have never met a sede family where the woman, in total love, has a deep understanding of the Church. It is always the mind games of very, very intellectual men who is led by some spirit to lead their whole family into sedevacantism. And their arguments are usually air-tight. But again, Satan can quote Scripture and Popes perfectly.

Be very, very careful to not look at only all your endless arguments but to do St. Ignatius of Loyola’s discernment of spirits. More or less, St. Ignatius teaches that the one gift of the Holy Ghost that Satan can not simulate is peace. Peace is deeper than a feeling. If you are called to lead your family to sedevacantism, you will have an overwhelming peace of the Holy Ghost. (And remember that numerous Popes have set St. Ignatius’ discernment of spirits as the gold standard of retreats and decision making.)

But you will never have peace in sedevacantism, as evidenced by the fact you have never met a peaceful sedevacantist. They are all so jumpy. I used to think they acted neurotic, but now I see that from a secular point of view (not theological) they all act mildly psychotic. There is no peace there. Have you ever met a joyful, peaceful, inspiring sedevacantist?

If you say “No, but that doesn’t matter in the face of all their arguments” then you are left with this:

We are all then called to this Catholic-Calvinism or Sola Conciliar Catholicism of anger, where God has (in His permissive will) wired the universe as a horrible riddle where only loveless sedes are saved and where the average Catholic (who can not read hundreds of pages of 14th century Popes every week to figure out the truth) has a goal of SALVATION HELD TO THE IMPOSSIBLE.

Sounds like a pretty good pathway to despair made perfectly by Satan, if you ask me.

“The Office” Catholics

The Office is not a particularly edifying TV show and I would not recommend it for its secular world view.   I’ve never seen the UK version of The Office and I’ve only seen a few episodes of the American version.  Still, it struck me this week that the personalities (not the religious or political views) but the personalities of The Office characters seem to reflect the very personalities attracted to various movements of American Catholicism in the 21st century.

Notice equal-opportunity target-practice below:

 

JPII Catholics≈Jim

These are the young Catholics who want to make Catholicism look relevant. Jim Halpert is no neo-conservative on the TV show, but his personality is exactly what young neo-conservative Catholics like to be: cool but accessible.  Perhaps he is even hip, at least when compared with the stranger breeds who surround him.

 

Baby boomer Catholics≈Phyllis

Again, Phyllis Vance is not a Catholic in the TV show, but Wikia’s “The Office” describes her as “very depressed, lacks self-esteem and is somewhat eccentric.” Yes, baby-boomer Catholics represent.  Add a dash of harmless SJW in there, and you got it.

 

charismatics≈Erin

Cheerful and shallow

 

Traditionalists≈Angela and Dwight

The skin-tone screams “homeschooling-mommy-blogger.”

Dwight Schrute does not go to the Latin Mass, but he has what all Latin-Mass-men must come equipped with: weapons and conspiracy-theories.

 

Ex-Catholics≈Michael

Michael Scott thinks he’s figured out something no one else has, but really, he has not.

 

Priests

Oscar Martinez SJ?

A Priest’s Thoughts on Cyberbullying

This subtitle is The 7 Hidden Dangers of Smartphones for Teens.  The first of these seven is indeed cyberbullying.  Simply read the first one if you were lured-in by the title of this blog post.

Recently, I was at a large family’s home. The kids were all out back blowing bubbles. The older kids, being about 10 years old, twirled foot-long wands out of their dish soap to create bubbles about six inches in diameter. The youngest brother who was playing bubbles with them was only five years old. He simply couldn’t help himself from popping his older sisters’ bubbles.  I told him: “Just make your own.” He looked at me with a smile of pure-gold and said, “Yes, sir.” He then tried so hard for the next five minutes to obey me and his sisters’ pleas for longer bubble-longevity. He cranked out a few smaller bubbles.  Still, he ended up running back to pop their bigger bubbles. He simply couldn’t help himself! His sisters and I were laughing at how he tried but failed.

The above bubble-story is true, but it could also be an analogy for something more serious that is happening to teens everywhere: To tell a teenager to avoid bad things and bad people on a smartphone is akin to telling a five year old not to pop giant bubbles. They just can’t do it. Many good parents have handed over a smartphone to their kids, covering their tracks with overly-moralized instructions. The weak ones are addicted by the end of the day. The strong ones are exhausted by the end of the day. I have worked with many families that range from non-Catholic to devout Catholic. Yet almost all these parents make same mistake: Parents give their teen (or worse, a child) a smartphone by explaining internet safety. It’s a nice start, but it fails to understand that the real dangers lurk not in who your kids’ search for, but who is searching for your kids.

1) Cyberbullying. Growing up, I weighed 2/3 of what my friends weighed, so I got bullied occasionally on the playground. But I always had a way out. Cyberbullying targets do not have a way out. Cyberbullying is making fun of someone on social media. It is particularly harmful because of the backdrop of loneliness and isolation in families today. Global broadcasting against them on social media makes teens feel like the whole world is against them. This is obviously devastating to their social lives and psyches. Many teens are targeted for cyberbullying, but one that I will always remember is Kiana. Kiana was a cheerleader in my home state of Colorado. She was bullied online by “friends” who were jealous of her. They repeatedly made fun of her weight and told her to hang herself. Eventually, she obeyed their instructions and she hung herself. Her Dad found her barely alive. She was airlifted from the southern suburbs to Denver Children’s Hospital. She survived, but with severe brain damage, secondary to lack of oxygen before her father found her. This is her today:

Someone snapped that picture of us all, about two years after the tragedy. Kiana was not raised Catholic, but we still met later through mutual friends. I never expected to use the above picture for a blog post, but her mother gave me permission to write about this when I told her my concern about teens and technology. After coming out of the hospital, Kiana and her family got a Colorado law passed against cyberbullying. Subsequently, Kiana has told her story to Denver News stations.  Thus, this blog is not revealing anything private.

Of course, the reason we are all smiling in that picture is because Kiana is alive, and because she is a beautiful child of God. Her parents are wonderful and loving people. We all wish she had never been cyberbullied, but the whole family is attempting to overcome the tragedy in making a conscious efforts to live as the phrase says: “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”

I never asked her parents if the cyberbullying happened on a smartphone or a desktop, and that is irrelevant to this post. In fact, I am not judging parents as wonderful as the parents of Kiana. I am simply writing this so that my readers might know that even the best kids from the best families get cyberbullied. Kiana was a cheerleader in a nice suburb of Denver and yet probably no one knew she was getting cyberbullied. Readers might protest: “But my kids have never told me anything like that.” Exactly. They don’t tell anyone, for they are embarrassed to share. And then they hurt themselves. I recently asked a friend who works at a pediatric ICU if he has seen anything like teen suicides. He told me he had seen innumerable teen suicide attempts, some as young as 8 years old, sometimes by hanging. Of course, Satan is behind this hatred of our children. But on a natural level, I think that a lot has changed in America since I left Emergency Medical Services in 2004. In those days, I was only seeing adult suicides, never child suicides.

But nowadays, the loneliness and isolation of social media locks kids into a world that they cannot escape from. Since they can not escape from the virtual world without escaping from the real world, they do just that: They escape from the real world by committing suicide. Few of the parents of these suicides thought that their kids had a problem. Even the best kids in the world tend to hide their deepest feelings of inadequacy from their parents. Sometimes, kids simply believe that their parents are too busy. Or, sometimes parents see a little depression but remove themselves from the parent-role under the false pretext of inadequacy themselves. Maybe parents are afraid that they don’t have answers as brilliant as Dr. Phil. But the key to success is not having great answers. Simply “good” answers will do. In fact, the key to success is even more simple: Turn off the phones and turn your families on. Just be there for your kids. Just listen to them, even if you have lame answers. That’s all your kids are looking for, anyway. You can’t do that if you’re all looking at your own private device.  Get rid of the smartphones if you want to avoid cyberbullying.

2) Pornography  According to Covenant Eyes,  90% of boys and 60 percent of girls are exposed to Internet porn by age 18.  According to InternetSafety101, searches for “teen porn” tripled to 500,000a day (!) from 2005 to 2013. A single site released their 2015 statistics, which state that a total of 4.3 billion hours of porn was watched there in 2015. Do you realize the difference between a million and a billion? It would take you about a week to count to a million.  It would take you over 30 years to count to one billion!   Now, 4.3 billion hours of porn were watched at one porn site in 2015.  There are only 7 billion people on this planet. That means that on average, every human being on this planet spent 40 minutes of his year on that single porn site. Of course, not everyone is looking at pornography, but a disproportionate number of those people using porn are teenagers. From great families. It’s so simple: If you give your kids a black-porn machine to keep in their pocket and bed, they will use it. If they don’t search for porn, porn will find them. I don’t know why this happens to teens and even children more than adults, but they are so susceptible to getting found by bad websites. Why gamble with your kids’ souls? That is exactly what you are doing if you give them a smartphone. (If you or someone you love is addicted to porn, scroll to the bottom of my blog post here to read some heavy-duty advice on to come off porn quickly and effectively.)

3) Sexting: Something “good kids” would never do, or maybe just sometimes: This is another term I did not learn until I was a priest, but this is when boyfriends and girlfriends text semi-nude or full-nude pictures to each other. Sometimes it’s just a body part. Besides being a mortal sin, here’s another reason to avoid it: Even the images that self-destruct after being sent can be saved by the recipient if he knows how to do a “screen save.” Another teen can save those forever, or embarrass the sender by putting it on the internet. Many boyfriends have embarrassed their ex-girlfriends this way, leading to more suicides of these poor girls (and sometimes boys.) Again, I promise you that your kids are not “too good” to get into this stuff. Some flip phones don’t have the ability to send pictures, so go for a flip-phone instead. (Funny we all grew up without flip-phones and even went to universities without them.)

4) Trafficking and kidnapping is a real danger to even the best kids on social media. Traffickers find kids, especially girls, through social media. See HERE and HERE and HERE to see how and why. Although social media can lead to outright kidnapping in other countries, the means in the United States are more subtle: Most traffickers in the United States lure in lonely girls through what those in the rescue movement call “Loverboy syndrome.” For example, a 24 year old male acts like he is the only one who understands a lonely 14 year old girl. She falls in love with him. He brings her to a hotel where her life is history. Other kids are trapped by traffickers through a job application or modeling job that they do not tell their parents about. Others teens find a “sugar daddy” to pay online for something they need, but the transaction must be done in person. Of course, the child is kidnapped at that first meeting.  This doesn’t just happen to “those types of families.”

“But my kid would never…” There are thousands of child sex-slaves in the United States. None of those kids had planned sex-slavery as a life. I once asked the FBI director of child cyber crimes in Chicago what it felt like to put away a criminal into prison. I thought he would give a tough guy answer to me about “throwing away the key.” Instead, he simple said: “It’s like taking a spoonful of water out of Lake Michigan.” In other words, he meant that there is an endless list of men abusing children, and one criminal behind bars makes almost no difference. But you can make a difference by not letting your kids on social media until they are 18.

5) Multi-tasking on devices destroys brain-matter.The University of Tokyo reports that “higher media multi-tasking activity is associated with smaller gray-matter density in the anterior cingulate cortex.”  Another study at the University of London “found that participants who multitasked during cognitive tasks experienced IQ score declines that were similar to what they’d expect if they had smoked marijuana.” (emphasis mine)  Larry Kim at the Observer notes that “a study from the University of Sussex ran MRI scans on the brains of individuals who spent time on multiple devices at once (texting while watching TV, for example). The MRI scans showed that subjects who multitasked more often had less brain density in the anterior cingulate cortex. That’s the area responsible for empathy and emotional control.”

It’s a good thing that none of your teens text while watching TV! Otherwise we might start to see a nation of kids with a lower IQ and lower empathy.  Marijuana and smartphones will lead the next generation of teens to create a world that looks like Idiocracy or any of the other dystopian films that are turning out to be strangely prophetic in a secular sort of way.

6) Smartphone Isolation and Self-Injury. As mentioned above, using multiple devices may reduce “emotional control.”  Usually self-injury means cutting oneself, but there are other forms, including burning. I have discovered in my priesthood that it is usually not suicidal.  At least 7% of University students do some form of self-injury according to the National Institute of Health study here.  But I have also read on self-injury websites that up to 25% of all University women in the United States do some form of self-injury.   I think it is closer to the latter.  Of course, I would never blog about anything confessional, but I can share a conversation that I had with a teenage boy when I was running a youth group from when I was a seminarian (before I was a priest.) I asked this 12 or 13 year old boy why he cut his arms up. I will never forget his answer. He said: “Because I can’t talk to anyone about anything.”

Indeed, his cut arms were pressure-release valves for his interior frustration of having no one to talk to. No friends. No parents who cared. It’s like the Goo-Goo Dolls line, “You bleed just to know you’re alive.”   If the anterior cingulate cortex of the brain is harmed by devices’ overuse and  that is the area responsible for empathy and emotional control, then the conclusion is obvious:  Isolated children with smartphones will not be able to control their emotions.  But they can control a knife on their arms.  Again, this is not suicidal.  It is an exterior manifestation of interior frustration that could sometimes (but not always) be alleviated by putting down the video games and getting outside to just play.  At the very least, turn off the phones and turn on life. That is the only answer.

7) You don’t need a smartphone and neither do your kids.  Remember Pascal’s wager on the existence of God? If God exists and you believe, you get heaven. If not, you get hell. If God doesn’t exist and you believe, you lose a little fun on earth. If not, you only gain a little fun on earth. Apply a wager like that to your kid having a smartphone: If you give your kid a smartphone and she fails at temptation, she is addicted or stalked or cyberbullied. If she navigates temptation well with her smartphone, she is exhausted at the end of the day (but still dumber) and slightly more popular with the social status of having an iPhone.

However, If you don’t give your kid a smartphone and she protests, then she is correct about some increasing mild social pressure to have a smartphone or inability to complete a certain internet homework assignments on the go (yeah right.)  If you refrain from smartphones in your family and she turns out psychologically and spiritually balanced, it means (from the six things I listed above) that she endured mild social ostracizing (for not having a smartphone) all for the sake of being:  Not cyberbullied, not addicted to pornography, not sexting boys you never met, not getting trafficked into sex-slavery, and…she lives with a lesser chance of cutting her arms.

Is the wager worth it?  Why bring your kids into the near-occasion of sin, and then tell them to avoid sin?

As I finished this article, I thought of renaming it “Why no one needs a smartphone.” We adults also need to ask if our soul in heaven is worth constant connectivity on earth. In 2003, I had one of the first phones with email and internet. The next year was my first year in seminary, so we had to give up all technology. In 2005, I got a simple flip phone, which I used all through the next five years. In fact, I used a flip phone for the first five years of my priesthood. I have been a priest seven years. The past two years I got a smartphone only for my blogging, videos and podcasts. My point is this: If I can go as an active priest until I am 36 with a flip phone, and still be available for emergencies, then most people don’t need a smartphone. In fact, I look forward to the day that I get rid of mine all together.

“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out.”—Mt 5:29. This is not to be taken literally, except for the fact that sin functions like addiction, and addiction can only be broken by a self-discipline so serious that it often feels like a violence to the soul. “From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force.”—Mt 11:12. Like any act of violent warfare, one can never negotiate with a terrorist, and this is true in spiritual warfare too. It might lead to many fights in the house to rid the family of smartphones, but addicted kids are crying out for discipline and boundaries, even if his or her initial response speaks to the contrary. Even if it leads to temporary arguments on homework assignments that can only be completed with a smart phone (yeah right) I still would hold on to this: No education or social status is worth your kids’ souls, bodies, or mental health.

In fact, if that smartphone causes you adults to sin, remember that no psuedo-availability to your job could possibly be worth the loss of your own soul. “If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.”

The Image of God in the Human Face

St. Louis De Montfort teaches that Lucifer and all the angels were given a preview that one day, a creature would contain more glory than the angels. That creature is the Blessed Virgin Mary. So infuriated was Satan that a creature would be higher than him, that Lucifer (now Satan) led a third of the angels to rebel against God. St. Michael ejected the rebel spirits to the earth. So, eons later, Satan went to pursue Mary and her child: “And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.”—Apocalypse 12:13

Both before and after Satan’s failure at spiritually overcoming the woman and the child, he decided to turn against the image and likeness of God on earth—man and woman. Like Mary, we are each born with God’s image upon our souls. Unlike Mary, we are born without God’s likeness, due to original sin. However, baptism restores God’s likeness in us, bringing us to be children of God in both His image and likeness. This spiritual reality is so Trinitarian that St. Francis of Assisi used to genuflect before newly-baptized babies. The soul reflects God, even in a Triune nature (intellect, memory and will.) Physically, however, there is something in the human face that also reflects the glory of God:

This is a child born to a couple that I married in my University ministry.  He was made in God’s image and likeness, but his likeness was remade the day of his baptism because this was lost after this most-important event of creation:  “And God made man, according to the image of God he made him, male and female he made them.”—Genesis 1:27. The word in the Greek Septuagint (Septuagint being the Old Testament translation from Hebrew to Greek done by 70 elders) uses the words according to the image of God as three words even more power-packed and short in the Greek, κατ᾿ εἰκόνα Θεοῦ. When εἰκόνα is written in Latin letters it becomes eikona, where we get the word “icon.” Man and woman are icons of God. Satan hates a face like that.

Suffering under Nazi Germany, an Austrian couple, Erik and Christiane Von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, wrote a book called Moscow 1979. In it, a bishop in Russia talks to a dead body, but that dead body becomes possessed by Satan. Satan explains through that body his actual tactic for reaching humanity in 20th century:

I am not mean! I’m only radical. ‘Radical’ – that is to say ‘from the roots.’ And sex is the root of all life. Nothing pleases me more than to turn the natural instinct for creation of new bodies and souls into the vilest filth. I hate those human beings who are allowed to take part in God’s creation. At least it is some consolation for me if human beings play tricks on God …if experimental biology is victorious over the curse of Eve, cheating women out of the joy of suffering for the sake of a new being. I don’t want the Creation! And if I’m not able to exterminate it, at least I can twist it, smear it, distort it!

I’m not using this picture for shock-value. But I have to be very honest: I used to see people in circles like this as the enemy of the Catholic Church. Oh sure, I admitted that God loved them, but I saw them as the enemy in a culture war. Now, as things get so twisted, I see they are deceived. How prophetic that in 1940 those Austrians saw that “experimental biology” would be the goal of Satan in communism and secularism: “And if I’m not able to exterminate it, at least I can twist it, smear it, distort it!”

This gang member is obviously deceived by Satan. No, beauty is not in the eyes of the beholder.  There is objectivity to beauty, as there is truth.  And what I see is boys-become-semi-men who were so abused (not necessarily sexually, but in some way abused) finishing the job of twisting what the Ugly One had begun against them.  Yet, they don’t know to whom they belong as hostages. Or maybe they do, since many gang members add satanic tattoos.  But still they are hostages, and Jesus told St. Faustina: The greater the sinner, the greater he has a right to my mercy.

A young woman from an Eastern-block country recently wrote me about her conversion from atheism to Catholicism. She told me how many tears she has wept for what Communism did to not only her country, but what Communism has done to her new-found Catholic Church. One particularly sad story was the story of an 18 year old homosexual man in the rural area of her country.  When he failed at chastity, the rural priests helped him back up, and again when needed.  He was succeeding, albeit with difficulty.  Then, he moved to a large city in “middle-Europe” as she calls it.  There, in that large city, he found a Catholic priest with very different advice than he had ever heard: The priest told him that he could continue his homosexual behavior, as long as it is done “in good faith.”

Now the young man has AIDS. He no longer goes to Church and lives with his boyfriend.

Jesus is infinite Truth and Jesus is infinite Mercy, so please, you priests who are telling gay men and women that they don’t have to live chastity: You are killing people. Not just spiritually as we “trads” say, but now we have proof you are killing people physically. The outcome of your trashing of Catholic teaching is not only hell (which I can’t prove outside of Divine Revelation) but AIDS (which the above story proves.) When we distort Christian doctrine, we distort peoples’ souls and bodies.  Jesus and the Catholic Church have the best plan for every person on the planet, so please stop discriminating and show some compassion for the image and likeness of God that He died to restore. Jesus was disfigured on the cross so that none of the above disfigurement would ever have to happen.  Thus, we priests have no right to sacrifice our children on the altar of popularity. They are God’s children, made in His image and likeness.

The Over-Intellectualization of the Catholic Faith

I have only been a priest for seven years. About halfway through that period, I switched from the Novus Ordo to the Traditional Latin Mass and sacraments. It was also during this time that I stopped saying a line that I was famous for in seminary: “We do not have a crisis of sacraments. We have a crisis of catechesis.” I used to say this because I knew how many people received Holy Communion in this country without knowing Who they were receiving. In fact, I put my money where my mouth was:  As a young priest, I taught a Eucharistic class just off-campus of Colorado State University, a school with 33,000 students. I called my class “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” after this excellent book by Dr. Brandt Pitre. Most weeks I had about 50 CSU students attending that class. Their hunger and faithfulness was my proof that “we do not have a crisis of sacraments but a crisis of catechesis.” And the students responded with fervor and a greater Eucharistic love.

Programs like Catholic Formed now flood the American parishes of younger priests and more orthodox older pastors. Formed is a new video program of catechesis designed to invite the ordinary Sunday Catholic into a deeper formation of video catechesis. These movies include good information on the sacraments, moral teaching, salvation history and Catholic Church history. Formed features the common lineup of orthodox lay Catholic celebrities who have gained their fame in apologetics and chastity topics. They really do a good job at tackling our current crisis of catechesis. But do we really have a crisis of catechesis instead of the sacraments as I had said for most of my priesthood?

Since switching to the Traditional Latin Mass, I have seen that most of our modern catechetical methods are geared exclusively towards the intellect. For example, the average rich, suburban American parish now has a small handful of devoted Catholics who would not have believed in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist had they not read a Scott Hahn book. And God bless Scott Hahn for his great intellectual work.

But notice that in the previous paragraph I purposely used the word “rich, suburban parish.” By and large, these are the decent parishes which (thankfully!) have moved past the 1970s catechesis of exclusively-social-justice materials.  Formed and That Man is You and Scott Hahn “book clubs” are all great for budding intellectuals who don’t have to work 80 hours a week on a Louisiana oil barge. But what happens to the run-of-the-mill poor Catholic? How does the blue collar worker (who might be too busy to read a book by Tim Staples) receive catechesis on the sacraments?

The answer is that for thousands of years, the catechesis happened by kneeling at Holy Mass.  I do not mean that Mass is enough to catechize ourselves.  I mean that the serious Catholic learned and prayed during the week as best he could.  Then on Sunday, everything he learned or offered was forged in a mysterious and powerful ritual that incorporated all his senses, his intellect, his will. He would have have to kneel for most of the Mass. There was no question in his mind that he had to be “set apart” in baptism and grace to do something as strange as receive Holy Communion, even in poor mission countries of the illiterate.  He might wonder:  Why did he have to kneel at an altar rail? He stuck his tongue out while the priest blessed him with the Son of God. If not a sign of the majesty of God…if not a sign of the chasm between Creator and creature…this ritual was simply too weird for a non-Catholic to approach the ancient ritual! In other words, the Traditional Latin Mass engenders catechesis because it engenders automatic reverence and intimacy (or total rejection if one finds it “weird.”) The average illiterate Catholic learned that Jesus was truly present by simply attending Mass. He did not need a book tailored to a bourgeois intellectual group to tell us the Mass is still “valid” even if it doesn’t appear to be so:


It would take a PhD from the University of Dallas to accurately explain how this this is the sacrifice of Calvary.

On the other hand, an exhausted marine is easily forced to his knees with his head down at the Traditional Latin Mass in Saipan during the Pacific Theatre of World War II:

My sister and her husband are raising their children in a Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church. My niece began prostrating at the age of 18 months at the right time of the Divine Liturgy. She had learned by a full-body experience that she is not God. She learns to adore God and to prostrate before him even before she learns the term “transubstantiation” (a term she may never learn in the East.) But she already knows that her Mom is not allowed to hand out the Holy Eucharist in that Divine Liturgy.  There is an iconostasis separating everyone from the Holy of Holies, the Eucharist.  That teaches a lot.

For nearly 2,000 years, the ancient liturgies of both East and West had catechesis built-in in a way that was not hyper-intellectualized. Catholicism needs to be accessible to the illiterate (as much as to the Christendom College grad student.) The above picture of the soldiers kneeling for the Traditional Latin Mass is the perfect example of this. Catechesis was a full-body experience of the majesty of God. For centuries, Catholic learning was done in all five senses: The sight of the priest facing God, the smells of the incense, the sounds of angelic Gregorian chant. Yes, all of these can be done in the Novus Ordo, but it is not just the externals of the Mass.  Rather, I am talking about the substance of tradition that was passed on within every sacrament, and substituted only 50 years ago. For example, when I used to do the new anointing of the sick, I put a little oil put on the head and then I moved on to the next hospital room. Now, in extreme unction, I anoint the mouth, the nose, the ears, the eyes, the feet, the hands and the forehead. It’s not my personal catechesis of the sacrament. It is required in the rite, probably anointing all those body parts since the time that St. James wrote about it in the Bible.

Everything in these sacraments (which can be traced back to the 6th century at the latest) taught man and woman that there exists a chasm between Creator and creature. The illiterate Catholic learned about the majesty of God and the evil of his own sin by simply hearing that he had to have his sins forgiven, those he had committed with his eyes, ears, hands, even nose, as the old rite extreme unction strangely says. (What sins can be committed by smell!?)  And yet, it is not strange. It is beautiful, for the ancient prayers for the commendation of the dying call more frequently on God’s mercy than anything I have seen in the new anointing books.

Yes, the rich Catholics of America now have a library of books by Steubenville grads. And I like these books. But they are all a replacement of what Catholicism taught by it’s very nature: A full-bodied, full-person experience of the majesty of God. The intellectual side was not as emphasized. The reason the Novus Ordo rites invite an over-intellectualization of the Catholic faith is first of all because the author of these rites, Archbishop Bugnini, actually consulted with five or six Protestants to write it. (Remember, faith for Protestants is a Credal and emotional act, where for Catholics, the Faith is best summarized in the book of Romans as “the obedience of faith.”) But because the new rites do not carry much physical actions, the lacunae must be filled by lay apologists. God bless them, but they should know that their jobs are concessionary existences for what we priests and the ancient rites used to carry in our very being.

Maybe the best would be to keep producing the Steubenville books but return to all the 1962 sacraments.  That way, the new presentation practiced by the Church Fathers could be forged in the very sacraments of the Church Fathers (erroneously named the “Tridentine Mass,” since the Traditional Latin Mass was nearly-fully crystallized between 350 AD and 380 AD.)  By contrast, the changes of the past 50 years to the liturgy present us some sad challenges, especially since we live in a era that has little time for intellectual or aesthetical learning on the mysteries of God:

The challenge becomes more difficult because one of the peculiarities of the old rite is that it makes itself accessible only slowly—unless the uninitiated newcomer to this ancient pattern of worship is a religious genius. One has never ‘learned everything there is to learn’ about the Roman Rite, because in its very origin and essence this enduring and truly extraordinary form is hermetic, presupposing arcane discipline and rigorous initiation…The great damage caused by the liturgical revolution after Vatican II consists above all in the way in which the Church lost the conviction with which all Catholics—illiterate goatherds, maids and laborers, Descartes and Pascal—naturally took part in the Church’s sacred worship. Up until then, the rite was among the riches of the poor, who, through it, entered into a world that was otherwise closed to them. They experienced in the old Mass the life to come as well as life in the present, an experience of which only artists and mystics are otherwise capable.”—Martin Mosebach, Return to Form, Crisis Magazine.

I experienced what Mosebach writes about during my mission trips to poor nations around the world. During my second trip to India, I lived with some lay American missionaries in Kolkata. One night, a mix of Americans and Indians were having a conversation about the Catholic Church. A 45 year old Indian was very thankful that Vatican II opened to Indians a deeper understanding of the Mass, now that they understood the language of the service. When posed with the question “Why do you go to Holy Mass?” he and I both agreed that most young Catholics from both the United States and India would say “To receive Jesus in the Eucharist.” We were both content that this is a better answer than the 1970s answer: “I go to Mass because of the community.”

However, I then reminded my new Indian friend about the history of Indian Catholicism. I reminded him about the missions of St. Francis Xavier and I said: “Any of your ancestors evangelized by St. Francis Xavier would have described the Mass with one word that your friends and my missionary friends would not use: Sacrifice. An illiterate 16th century Indian farmer or a little girl in Chicago in the 1940s Catholic school system would give the same description: ‘The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.’ Why wouldn’t your friends or my missionary friends in the United States use that word ’sacrifice’?”  I suspect that the absence of this term (even among relatively-orthdox young Catholics) is because the New Mass no longer looks like a Jewish priest at a Jewish sacrifice. It no longer feels like that. That is why people think they have to receive Holy Communion at Mass, no matter what, even if they’re in mortal sin.  The True Presence is all they have.

I don’t mean to downplay the beauty of the answer, “The True Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.” But the liturgical reality of “sacrifice” is still of supreme importance to the most proletariat of Sunday-Mass goers. Current liturgical theology maintains that the Eucharist is confected by the priest, but rarely is it mentioned by even orthodox CCD teachers that this happens within the very sacrifice of Calvary re-presented. Never have I heard it mentioned from a “JPII-generation Catholic” or even a professor at my seminary what constitutes the nature of the sacrifice of the Mass:  The separation of the body and blood of Jesus, under the species of the double consecration of bread and wine.  In fact, one “very conservative” nun who taught us sacramental theology mocked this theology as merely devotional.  She did not want to hear me point out that this was what was taught by everyone from St. Gregory Nazienzen to the Council of Trent to Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Even if you don’t remember the above reasons for why the Mass is a sacrifice, remember this: Sacrifice is key to explaining the Mass. You can’t just say “Jesus is really present in the Eucharist.” Why? Because the presence of God without sacrifice is Protestantism. The Franciscan University grads will talk all day about the Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but rarely will they speak of the sacrifice of the Mass. Perhaps that is why their divorce rate is the nearly the same as they rest of the nation: They want presence without sacrifice. 1

Our Faith is founded on the Holy Sacrifice of Calvary, which is the same as the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. For somewhere between 1500 years and 2000 years, Western Rites Catholics were always seen kneeling for about 75% of the duration of the Mass. All this kneeling taught something important to their children, children who could be found worshipping on their knees throughout the old Roman Empires, in Los Angeles in 1925 or off a river in Goa in 1540. Yes, children would have knelt before a sacrifice of Calvary that took place at the hands of St. Francis Xavier who baptized hundreds of thousands with those very same hands.  They knew Who was in his hands was somehow even greater than the saint, for the saint himself would kneel before the King of Kings (even if a Jesuit comrade to follow him would not kneel before the Eucharist five hundred years later.)

The conversation with that 45 year old Indian man continued in some different directions that night. About 20 minutes after the above conversation, he started explaining to me how important religion is in India. He said whenever there is a religious event, dizzying myriads of worshippers show up: Be it Hindu, be it Muslim, Be it Sikh, Be it Christian, there are hundreds of thousands or even millions of people who come to worship in pilgrimage. He told me about how 100,000 Catholics will frequently show up at a devotional event that has only one altar. Thus, the 8am Mass (on that single altar) will be in Tamil for 10,000 Catholics. The 9am Mass will be in Bengali for another 10,000 pilgrims. The 10am Mass will be in Hindi and the noon Mass will be in English. The 45 year old Indian had just forgotten about our mild debate on Vatican II just 20 minutes earlier, but I wanted to gently bring him back to that discussion on Vatican II. So, I broached the subject lightly by asking him: “And what did all Indian Catholics do before Vatican II?” The good Indian man hung his head a little. He quietly replied: “We all worshipped together.”


  1. I brought this well-repeated but undocumented statistic of FUS divorce to a friend who used to work for the development department of Franciscan University of Steubenville. I immediately believed he would balk at it, but to my surprise, he admitted it was true. To this day, I do not have statistics to back this up. However, several reputable sources have told me that this is true. This means that the national divorce rate is about 50%. The national Catholic divorce rate is about 50%. The divorce rate for FUS would therefore also be about 50%. However, this was told to me about 10 years ago, so I hope things have changed. I imagine that the rate has lessened, since most FUS grads are at least intellectually (there’s that word again!) against contraception.  But for Catholics who live a life without contraception, the divorce rate is 3% in all studies averaged.  That 3% is the average of numerous studies that are all statistically significant, including large populations sampled.