20 02, 2024

15 Signs of a Toxic Spiritual Director

By |2024-02-20T14:33:43+00:00February 20th, 2024|Theology|

Recently, a friend emailed me her concerns surrounding a traditional Catholic priest our age who insists he must be the director of various women we know.  We agreed he manifests at least half of the following 15 signs of toxic-religion as seen in PsycheCentral: It begins with dichotomous thinking, dividing people into two parts. Those who agree with the narcissists beliefs and those who don’t. Interestingly, only the narcissist is the judge and jury of who belongs on which side. Your opinion is insignificant. Then the narcissist makes fun of, belittles, and shows prejudice towards other beliefs. This tactic is done to remind you that if you change your views, [...]

19 12, 2023

“They Will Put You Out of the Synagogues.”—John 16:2

By |2023-12-19T16:05:06+00:00December 19th, 2023|Theology|

Jesus said, I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor Me.—John 16:1-3. What is interesting about Our Lord's above prediction for the coming persecution against His Apostles in Acts of the Apostles is that the Jewish leaders who would kick them out of "the synagogues" would do so because they would believe "they are offering service to God."  In other words, the religious leaders who [...]

30 11, 2023

A “Springtime” of Vocations

By |2023-11-30T14:32:41+00:00November 30th, 2023|Theology|

I found a website called Christendom Restoration that graphed vocations before and after the Council, as seen above.  It used very advanced calculus on the growth of American seminarians versus years, such as S(t)=47247.8e -0.0846t and S(year) = 47247.8e -0.0846(year-1965) in order to reveal only significant statistics.  The above chart shows the Pre-Conciliar and Post-Conciliar Growth functions of seminarians in the United States.  As you can see, it uses "Springtime" in a sarcastic sense for what has happened since 1965. Earlier this year. Fr. Z posted the above graph.  Notice again that American priests were on the rise until Vatican II.  After that, it tanked... ...not so for tradition in [...]

16 11, 2023

A 60 Year Old Pastor’s View of Priesthood in America.

By |2023-11-16T13:04:55+00:00November 16th, 2023|Theology|

My article earlier this week is called Are Young Priests More Orthodox? In it, I explained that young guys enter seminary pretty conservative, but slowly become more liberal after ordination. I asked a 58-year-old Catholic Priest friend in the South of the United States for feedback. (He belongs to a different Southern diocese than the one featured in the picture above.)  I half-expected him to tell me I was too cynical, so I was surprised that he texted back 21 points much more critical of the American bishops' interactions with their priests than anything written in my blog two days ago. I asked him if I could use it in [...]

14 11, 2023

Are Young Priests More Orthodox?

By |2023-11-15T10:57:34+00:00November 14th, 2023|Theology|

Are young priests more orthodox than previous generations? The good news is the answer is "yes," as proven in the below study.  But this means only one of two things:  Either younger priests are truly more conservative than older priests -or- the diocesan priesthood in America liberalizes many or most. The above is a picture of the Theological College, the Catholic seminary producing priests across the street from Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington DC.  One of the research groups at CUA is called The Catholic Project which recently published a study on how American Catholic priests self-identify as either orthodox or progressive.  The title of the study is [...]

16 05, 2023

One of the Original “Canceled Priests”

By |2023-05-19T18:05:11+00:00May 16th, 2023|Theology|

The top left is the late Fr. Enrique Tomas Rueda and the top right is the late Bishop Bonaventure Broderick.  Both are, in some sense, among the original "canceled priests."  I re-publish this tragic but inspiring account of Fr. Rueda written with the permission of Remnant Newspaper. Tu Es Sacerdos in Aeternum—by Thomas Ryan I hadn’t heard from Fr. Rueda in at least two months when an email message, forwarded multiple times, showed up in my inbox last month indicating he’d died. In time, I would learn there was some rather bizarre news associated with that of Father’s passing. Fr. Enrique Tomas Rueda was a native of Havana, Cuba. In fact, he’d [...]

4 04, 2023

The Maniturgium On the Mother of a Priest

By |2023-04-20T04:39:37+00:00April 4th, 2023|Life|

My mother died yesterday.  Her name is Claire Nix and her maiden name is Donnelly.  She was 100% Irish but born and raised on the South Side of Chicago.  I'm going to write more about her death later this week. When referring to death, the Apostle Paul says someone "fell asleep in the Lord."  That might sound like overly-pious language to most Catholics today, but it is more theologically accurate if we really believe Christ has conquered death, as we know He did on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.  We especially are reminded that "Christ has trampled down death by death" during Holy Week, as the Eastern Rite Liturgies exclaim. [...]

28 02, 2023

What Happened to All the Good Priests?

By |2023-02-28T04:59:49+00:00February 28th, 2023|Theology|

Several years ago I was at a dinner in Florida and a bunch of us were discussing Church history in the 20th century, especially the state of the priesthood.  It was a light-hearted discussion about the topic, "What happened to all the good priests in the 20th century?"  After typical answers for awhile, an older Polish gentleman chimed in, "Maybe they all died in the World Wars."  The levity departed from the room at the profundity of his answer.  Everyone got silent because he seemed to have said something unexpected, but accurate.  Even the man who said it seemed surprised at the potential accuracy that had just come out of [...]

3 02, 2022

Clone Protocol 66

By |2022-01-31T00:52:48+00:00February 3rd, 2022|Theology|

This is going to be my nerdiest blog-post to-date, but it gets to the priesthood and the current Church crisis. Despite the abysmal acting, I have to admit that I really like the Star Wars prequels (released 1999-2005.)  In the third of those three, Revenge of the Sith, Chancellor Palpatine orders "Clone Protocol 66" or "Order 66" (see above picture) and Wookieepedia describes it: "Order 66, also known as Clone Protocol 66, was a top-secret order identifying all Jedi as traitors to the Galactic Republic and, therefore, subject to summary execution by the Grand Army of the Republic. The order was programmed into the Grand Army clone troopers through behavioral modification [...]

21 10, 2021

Are Diocesan Priests “Self-Employed”?

By |2021-10-17T13:28:32+00:00October 21st, 2021|Theology|

There's a lot of talk of bishops being the "spiritual fathers" to their priests.  I like that idea a lot, but let's see if it's true. In 1997 in Connecticut, there was a priestly scandal in Bridgeport that was brought to light several years before the "summer of shame" in the nearly-neighboring Archdiocese of Boston.   The Hartfort Courant ran the story of an accused priest titled The Priest as Independent Contractor and I'll include the first 135 words here: More should be expected from a man of the cloth than Bridgeport Roman Catholic Bishop Edward M. Egan delivered earlier this month at a federal trial in New Haven.  Bishop [...]

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