The man at the top right is Jack Posobiec.  He is a 35 year old husband and father and a Traditional Latin Mass Catholic.  He learned Mandarin and lived in China working for the US Chamber of Commerce.  He was also in the Navy including several tours as well as serving for the Office of Naval Intelligence.  Jack now has 1.4M followers on Twitter, mostly conservatives like him.  Recently, on a podcast, he was describing tactics of the Chinese communists, including “struggle sessions.”  In a “struggle session,” a person convicted of thought crimes against communism was frequently to incriminate himself by confessing the “sins” against a state in a struggle-session.  (Notice the “thought-crimes” convict is expected to struggle not so much against the communist state as against his past self.)

The man at the top left is Fr. Huber who was recently placed on a three month sabbatical for refusing to wear a face-mask at Mass. Fr. Huber defended himself, saying that the priest at Mass is the spiritual representation of God and you don’t cover up God at Mass.  (I’m sure a battery of other false pretenses will soon be proffered against him from his diocese, as this looks pretty bad.)  In any case, I don’t want to repeat what dozens of conservative websites have said in defense of the priest—with whom I have never communicated, by the way.  But what I think most lay people will miss in how sneaky is the vocabulary against him: “The sabbatical will allow him to continue to discern how the Lord is calling him to exercise his priestly ministry.”

Many priests are getting put on the shelf by their bishops for doing the right thing.  But because these priests are doing the right thing (like refusing to wear the mask at Mass) the diocese frequently has to cover up such “sabbaticals” either by rifling through an old file to gin up a flurry of past complaints about his preaching or they must use very pious language to wag the finger and say “Now, you go pray about what you did.”  For example, when a superior of mine was once lying about me, he finished his public letter about me thus, “I ask each of you not to be mad or upset with Fr. Nix, but instead we must always act with compassion and caring.”  Or, consider the decree on 8 July 2021 that came against my friend for simply preaching like salvation-of-souls was actually a thing: “Father James Altman is invited to begin, at a date to be established in mutual agreement by himself and our Vicar for Clergy, a 30 day spiritual retreat to give him the possibility to spiritually heal and recharge…”

What’s wrong with such language?  Why not send a priest on a long retreat to recover after a big public battle?  The fact is that such behavior is not only effeminate and manipulative to a brother priest, but these retreats are even starting to look like “self-incriminating struggle sessions.”  It seems that only conservative priests are targeted with the psychological torture of these overnight removals that inevitably go public.  I mean, why aren’t criminal priests removed so rapidly with flowery, pious language?   Bishops never seem to have the answers to these questions.  Still, they should should pay close attention to the second half of CCC 2148 that reads:  “It is also blasphemous to make use of God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God’s name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion.”