Sunday, August 31, 2014

Something about Fr. Z ...

He's a good confessor.

Actually, he's a very good priest.  I especially love a priest who loves the Sacrament of Penance.  Father can rightly claim good success for his blog because he has used it to encourage so many to go to confession - and it appears not a few have, some after many years of being away.  I've known priests who were not that dedicated to confession.  I've known priests who weren't especially good confessors.  Fr. Z is both dedicated and good.

Today he has another very good post on confession.  It's very encouraging, especially for anyone who struggles with habitual sin or addiction.
Finally, don’t be discouraged.  God works wondrous things through fragile and erring priests: you obtained absolution for your sins!  Now, be of good cheer.  Even though you have a long road ahead, you are pointed in the right direction. - Read the post here.
As St. John of the Cross once said: "[T]he holier the confessor, the gentler he is, and the less he is scandalized at other people's faults, because he understands man's weak condition better." (Source)


  1. Terry, you are so positive and encouraging. You have been there for me more than once when I was getting so discouraged on my own blog and I will always be grateful to you for that. I am sure I need to learn many lessons from you, and I mean that sincerely.

    But lately, I have been having a lot of problems with some of Father Z's posts. Father Z is great at things like encouraging people to go to confession. But he posts some things that seem very divisive to me. I did not like his recent post in which he was very demeaning and condescending about the peace soccer game in Brazil that Pope Francis was behind. Last December he couldn't understand why Adam Shaw of Fox News was fired from his job at Catholic News Service for writing an article saying Pope Francis is the Obama of the Catholic Church.

    This is what Father Z wrote about that:

    "Criticize the Pope and you are gone?

    Criticize the Pope – in that way – and you are gone?"

    I would like to have your reaction to this blog post:

    Father Z has tremendous influence among Catholics who read Catholic blogs, especially traditionalists. But I don't think he is always as loyal to Church hierarchy as he should be.

    Just wondering what you think. Thanks.

  2. I saw that - it was a rather condescending tone about the soccer match. Sometimes I wonder if he gets himself a little to steeped in the negativity online and reactions against the pope. It is so easy to be infected by all that one reads online and in emails. He really should know better since he lived in Rome and knows how the gossip flows. It has to be an insecure life being on his own as he is - although he appears to have some accountability with the bishop of La Crosse. Anyway - the traditionalist defensive/negative/conspiratorial attitude has an influence. I'm sure Fr. Z has regrets at times.

    I'll check out the Skellmeyer post.

    Thanks - you do a great job BTW.

  3. I read what Skellmeyer had to say. He's not 'wrong' in his opinion, although I disagree that Fr. Z is like Corapi - Fr. Z is not dishonest and though he's found a way to support himself, he's not living the high life. As I mentioned, he is accountable to the local bishop, has a real assignment, and he really does work for the Church. He's an advocate of the EF but he's not exactly a big T trad. He's Roman Catholic. His mentor, Monsignor Schuller was a Vatican II guy - he celebrated the OF Mass beautifully and ensured the parish followed the reforms - not the aberrations. Fr. Z was mentored under his tutelage. Within that milieu was at times a defensive spirit to preserve the 'faith' within the context of a very liberal archdiocese. The atmosphere could become critical and negative due to constant criticism and scoffing by the progressive establishment. That can develop into a dangerous infection and I think sometimes Z succumbs to that - especially when it goes viral online.

    He himself admitted in the America interview he's not always charitable and I imagine he regrets that more than he lets on.

    I would like it better if he refrained from posting critical assessments of what the pope says and does, including the soccer for peace initiative - but that's the way it is. Is he devisive? Not like his commenters, and definitely not like the Remnant crowd. Within Catholic groups a negative culture can easily develop. In any situation, secular or religious, opponents engage one another that way. It's more obvious these days - on social media - that there is a negative culture within dioceses, parishes, religious orders, and it is all the more contagious because it's online. It seems to me this is really what the pope rails against.

    People who are convinced they are right about everything, all of the time, resent being called to task for their defensive reactions and tend to defend themselves even more vociferously, if you will.

    Anyway - Z does more good than I do. He just may need an editor - so pray for him.

    1. I should have said, "and though he has found a convenient way to support himself - and there is nothing wrong with that - he is not living the high life." There is no way that he is like Corapi however. Corapi was a total fraud.

      (I wish there was a way to edit comments once I post them.)

  4. I also go to confession more because of reading Father Z. Some of his posts are a little like insider baseball to me. but I respect him. I love his Lentcazts. I have learned a lot.


Please comment with charity and avoid ad hominem attacks. I exercise the right to delete comments I find inappropriate. If you use your real name there is a better chance your comment will stay put.