Reactionary Calls Out Recklessly, “Will No One Rid Me of this Meddlesome Pope?”

Reactionary Calls Out Recklessly, “Will No One Rid Me of this Meddlesome Pope?” October 17, 2013

Problem: A pope who is all about evangelizing and reaching out to the estranged and disaffected does an interview with an atheist in which (like *cough* Jesus) he permits his the conversation to be reported by somebody who had neither a tape recorder nor a notebook and who reports the conversation from memory. It’s not an encyclical. It’s not a teaching document. It’s basically a snapshot that gives you a sense of how the pope conducts a conversation with an old Italian atheist. It’ll wind up as a footnote in some future biography. Not the end of the world. Not really a problem actually.

Cue the cow-havers, such as some guy named Louie Verecchio, who goes completely to pieces, rushes off to some sedevacantist site for ammo and comes back shrieking like his hair is on fire to declare the pope a heretic and drop heavy hint that God or, you know, *somebody* who obviously knows God better than the pope does needs to, you know, *do* something, you know, by whatever “merciful” means necessary, to deal with this catastrophe of a pope:

The neo-con papal apologists can take shots at the messengers all they want, but that doesn’t change the simple fact that we find ourselves in this position thanks to just one person: the pope himself, who according to his own spokesperson is pleased to move about speaking on matters of faith and morals in a manner “deliberately informal and not concerned with precision.”

This is utter and complete lunacy, acceptable only to those who have never had, or have entirely lost, their Catholic sensibilities.

Authentic Catholics cannot help but desire a Holy Father who takes very seriously his duty to preserve the sacred treasury over which he has been appointed custodian. This isn’t asking for too much; it is the bare minimum of what every Catholic should expect.

Unfortunately, in Francis, we do not have that kind of pope. Let us all pray that this will change very soon, by whatever means the merciful Lord may choose.

So. The concern is about the pope not being “concerned with precision”. And the solution? Spew language that can *very* easily be interpreted by the unstable nutjobs in Reactionaryland as a call to murder the pope. Of course, the language is fuzzy enough to retain plausible deniability–rather like “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” was patient of multiple interpretations. But you’d think that a self-described “Authentic Catholic”, allegedly passionate about “precision”, would have *some* sense of rudimentary self-awareness to at least notice *that* log in his eye before anointing himself Grand Inquisitor.

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  • BillyT92679

    Even if he’s not calling for the assassination of the Sovereign Pontiff, he is hoping, essentially, the Pope dies in some way (or at least decides to retire, which probably means gets really ill or, like Benedict, worn down enough).
    If someone said this about the President or a member of Congress, they’d be inquired about by the FBI and potentially arrested. It’s nauseating,

    • Rosemarie


      >>>or at least decides to retire, which probably means gets really ill or, like Benedict, worn down enough

      *Another* retired pope, and “very soon” at that? They’d eventually have to open a retirement home for popes emeritus if that kept happening.

      • Rachel

        LOL, I know. What a silly thing for this fella to say. I’m saddened by the response by some trads/ultra conservatives about Pope Francis. Their form of the Faith is nearly devoid of charity which is scary 🙁

        • Rosemarie


          What’s also scary is how close this is to the attitude of some dissident progressives who couldn’t wait for Bl. John Paul II to die, in hopes that his successor would be more liberal (didn’t happen, of course, but that was their hope). I never dreamed I’d hear someone of a more traditional bent echo that sentiment.

          • Sigroli

            I did. They’re just as crazy.

  • On the other hand, if anyone ever thought traditional Catholics worshiped the pope, this would be a nice piece of contrary evidence.

  • Rosemarie


    Wow, hoping for the pope to die. A sign of an “authentic Catholic” if ever there was one. /sarc

  • meunke

    Wow… that guy is… wow…

    I would be careful about painting everyone as a ‘cow haver’, though. Would Dale Price also be a ‘cow haver’?

    • Rosemarie


      No, he’s just going through a rough patch in his life and needs our prayers. It could happen to any of us.

    • P.F. Hawkins

      Didn’t Mark just have a cow in this post?

      • chezami

        No. Mark pointed out that thinly veiled calls for the death of the pope are not what “Authentic Catholics” are supposed to do. Then he kicked you off his blog. Bye!

    • chezami

      Is Dale Price making thinly veiled calls for the death of the Pope? No. Question answered.

      Look. I get that the pope makes some people nervous. There’s a difference between that and this.

      • Stu

        But is he calling for the death of the Pope?

        Perhaps he is. Without something more direct, I don’t know.

        But I can certainly say that he needs to tighten his language up a bit to be more clear.

        • Yes, I’d say he was not too “concerned with precision” here himself.

          • Stu

            Ironic, huh?

            Perhaps his takeaway is that it can happen to all of us.

  • Hey Mark, that guy uses “neo-con” as a dirty word too! 😉

    In all seriousness, that is an unconscionable sentiment to express regarding the Holy Father. What a loon.

  • Evan

    I didn’t know Henry II had become the new idol for reactionaries. You would think that when someone is aligning themselves with a guy who “accidentally” called for the murder of a saint, they would realize it’s time to rethink their beliefs, but apparently not.
    Where is troll ii when you need him?

  • kenofken

    Francis should remind this guy, in his inimitably folksy style, that Jesuits also have albino monks used to doing distasteful work! 🙂

    • Sherry Weddell

      Ken: surely you know that the original albino assassins were Dominicans!

      Joking aside. It says everything about the level of discourse around the Catholic blogosphere that lay Catholics openly say things like this in the name of “orthodoxy” and other lay Catholics regard them as heroes for doing so. Pure poison that must be repudiated in the name of Christ.

      • Chesire11

        An albino blackfriar?

        • The black cappas help them be super-stealthy at night. Mu-ah-ha-ha!

      • capaxdei

        “Ken: surely you know that the original albino assassins were Dominicans! ”

        Just ask Pope Innocent IV.

        Beware the litanies of the Dominicans!

    • PeonyMoss

      Oh, phooey on albino assassins. It’s the nuns with those novenas who are the real Special Forces:

  • Rachel K

    He MIGHT be praying that Francis has a change of heart. That’s the only charitable read I can possibly put on this. But yeah, that sure is ambiguously phrased.

  • Dave

    While I, too, have been a bit disconcerted by this Pope’s “lack of precision”, it comes to my mind that Jesus Himself could also at times have been accused of this lack of precision. After all, in the case of some of His sayings, we are still trying to figure out exactly what He meant, 2000 years later.

    • In my (admittedly limited) understanding of Catholic history, the Church has only submitted to precision when heretics or other historical forces left absolutely no other option – and even then, She lays out only the bright-line boundaries beyond which be dragons. “Precision” in theology is an attempt to pack God into the finite categories of human understanding which, when clung to as an end in itself, leads either to heresy or insanity.

      • Chesire11

        Very good point!

  • Sherry

    This grieves me, that there is such a rush to presume bad faith and a poor heart, in the person that is the Vicar of Christ. People to pray for, immediately.

  • Allie

    It is ironic that you call for concerned Catholics to give the benefit of the doubt to what the pope says (or rather what he means by what he says), but you do not extend the same benefit to the words of others. Particularly if they are of a more traditional stripe.

    I have read your blog for years and have found much of which I agree with you;
    but am disappointed as of late with your bombasity and rashness towards fellow Catholics.

    • Bill

      Seriously? Your commenting on this thread?

      Point taken with Mark overall, but here there should be nothing but condemnation of this nutcase’s words.

    • It’s called pointing out irony, and the obscene double standard Mr. Verecchio advocates. It’s even worse that the double standard is applied towards the Bishop of Rome, who, even when not infallible, still deserves respect of his office.

  • jroberts548

    I don’t know if there’s anything necessarily, categorically wrong with wanting a pope to die. If you’d been alive under, e.g., Boniface VIII or Alexander VI, I don’t know if there’d be anything wrong even with praying for the Pope’s conversion or death. Of course, anyone who thinks Francis is comparable to Boniface VIII is completely wrong and probably insane.

    ETA: To be clear, I’m not talking about Francis. But there would be nothing charitable about wanting Boniface VIII, Sergius III, or Alexander VI to live a long life. This is hypothetical, but I wouldn’t criticize someone under the reign of one of the pornocratic popes for wanting that pope’s reign to end. Only a deranged lunatic would equate or compare Francis to, e.g., one of the Borgias. If you’re not permitted to disobey or depose someone like Boniface VIII, your only other option is to wait out his death. I wouldn’t begrudge someone in that situation hoping for a shorter wait.

    • Bill

      Well, other than the love your enemies thing.

      We can’t pray for anyone’s death! Bin Laden could the Pope and we could only pray for his conversion.

      • Rosemarie


        Yeah, I can’t figure out how praying for someone’s death would square with the whole Christian charity imperative. Let alone wanting the pope to die. The phrase “offensive to pious ears” comes to mind….

        • Stu

          I believe Saint Rita prayed that her sons would die before committing the sin of murder to avenge their father’s murder. And they did die very shortly thereafter of natural causes.

          Of course that has no bearing on the current Pope and if you are going to pray for something along those lines, I guess you had better be of the right heart and mind.

          • Rosemarie


            Okay, so a saint did something similar. I’m still not sure it is the best course of action; even saints sometimes do things that are less than optimal. Though clearly she had a good motive in this case, figuring that it’s better to die than commit a mortal sin so she’d rather see her sons physically dead than spiritually dead. So I’m not going to fault her for that reason.

            But like you said, that was a quite different case than this. The wish is not that the pope would die before committing a mortal sin, so at least his soul might be saved. Rather, it’s that he die so as to rid the Church of a pope who (allegedly) doesn’t speak with enough precision (does imprecision make one worthy of death?). That’s not the same.

            • Dan C

              One can go to hell imitating the sins of the saints.

              • Rosemarie


                True, though I don’t know if what she did in this case is a sin per se. At any rate, even if she were right that wouldn’t justify the desire that the pope die, for the reason stated above.

              • ivan_the_mad

                Well, I’m certainly going to steal that one.

            • Stu

              I don’t know if it is good or bad. Certainly better to die in this world than the next.

              Regardless, I don’t put myself in the category to be able to discern such things so it won’t be something I do.

      • jroberts548

        But a bad pope – a truly wicked, pornocratic pope, not merely one that you think isn’t great at his job – isn’t chiefly your enemy. He’s God’s and His Bride’s enemy. For someone like a Boniface VIII, it would be better for him had he not even been born. Wishing or praying for an end to his reign doesn’t go against charity.

        • Chesire11

          Our prayers should be for his [the hypothetical “wicked pope”] conversion, not his death.

          edited for clarity

          • jroberts548

            Yes, chiefly. Had I lived under the reign of a monster like Boniface VIII, I would pray for his conversion first. But no one should complain if Boniface VIII dies early.

            Popes are infallible, not necessarily not wicked. Just because Sergius III is infallible doesn’t mean he should be allowed to continue his reign unimpeded. In fact, his position of authority is all the more reason to pray for his conversion or death. Killing him yourself would be a scandal; but if it’s God’s will to remove a monstrous pope, then what’s wrong with praying for that?

            The Church has survived truly wicked popes in the past. Not merely not good, not inefficient, not incompetent – we’ve had popes like that, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I mean truly wicked, monstrous popes. In many cases, the harm that they did was stopped only by their deaths. There’s nothing charitable about wanting Boniface VIII to have a long reign.

          • chezami

            Our prayers should be for *our* conversion.

            • Chesire11

              But I’m the gold standard, Mark. Didn’t you know that?

              Point easily forgotten, but much needed, and well taken. Thanks!

            • vox borealis

              Our prayers should be for *our* conversion.

              Except on Good Friday?

        • BillyT92679

          No, he’s a human being with his right to life given to him by his Creator.
          We should never pray for anyone’s death. Ever.

          • jroberts548

            What about the Psalms? What about the canticle of Judith? Many of the Psalms are prayers for your deliverance from your enemy, and their death. The of Judith thanks God for Judith successfully killing Holofernes.

            If you were under the reign of one of the more monstrous popes, and you prayed for deliverance from him, there’s only two ways that’s gonna happen.

        • To pretend to know (even to imagine) that a man is “God’s enemy” is ludicrous.
          And to use that argument to justify wanting the death of someone… it blows my mind.

          • jroberts548

            For Boniface VIII? I can say with near absolute certainty, as certain as can be said of anyone, that Boniface VIII was an enemy of God’s Church. Boniface was more of an enemy of God and His Church than any one the Church relaxed to the secular powers. If a man has ever been an enemy of God, Boniface VIII was.

            • Paul

              Pardon my ignorance, but just what did Boniface VIII do other than get on the wrong side of Dante?

              • jroberts548

                1. Definitely imprisoned and likely killed his predecessor, Celestine V, the last pope to resign.

                2. Simony and nepotism.

                3. Promised the town of Palestrina that they would be spared if they surrendered; they surrendered, then he had the whole town burned down and 6000 people killed (caveat: this might just be something Dante said).

                4. Spent his entire papacy starting wars (caveat: this isn’t necessarily much worse than any other secular ruler at the time).

                On the whole, not a great pope. It’s probably for the good of the Church that his reign was only 9 years.

    • kenofken

      If this pope was anything like Boniface or any of the Borgia clan, this joker issuing his own homespun fatwa would have been found floating in the Tiber gift-wrapped in a bow of his own entrails inside of a week.

      • jroberts548

        Which is part of why I was clear that there’s no comparison between Francis and the Borgias.

  • Stu

    Everyone can certainly tighten up their words a bit to avoid confusion. That most definitely has been a takeaway of late.

  • freddy

    Well, I’m not gonna waste time trying to figure out what this “Louie Verecchio” means by what he writes, other than he’s Not Happy.
    One irony among many here, though, is his misunderstanding of just who the Pope is, and what. The pope is a human being who is allowed to, you know, just talk to people. Just because we live in a world in which our words are so easily spread, disected and discussed doesn’t mean that he now has to Speak Every Word as a Papal Pronouncement. The Pope gets to be human, the Holy Spirit will do what He will do, and the rest of us need to take it down a notch. Just because words that in the past would only have been available to small groups of people are now The Latest News doesn’t mean we should all run around acting like Gladys Kravitz.

    • Stu

      I disagree a bit with your thoughts on the Pope and speaking. He isn’t Father Bergoglio anymore and the World is not his parish. When the Office of the Pope speaks, people listen and more importantly ACT which is why one must be careful in what you say. Any senior military officer can almost
      certainly relate to this with an experience where they made an offhand comment only to be shocked that their troopers acted on it and not always in an ideal manner.

      Certainly that doesn’t mean he is to be silent but it is a concern and more so in a world of constant connectivity.

      • freddy

        Not just any senior military officer, any mom! (“Yes, kids, I did say we might have pizza, but I’m not sure that … well it is very clean but now I have to… oh, never mind, where are my car keys?”)
        So, I don’t disagree with you, but I’m saying that readers and hearers have a responsibility, too, and that’s what’s being lost in the shuffle. Sure, intelligent and thoughtful folk like yourself and Mark know there’s a difference between a papal encyclical and an interview given to an elderly athiest who didn’t bother to take notes, but others don’t seem to get it. And to be honest, I think the heavier burden of charity is on us, the listeners & readers, since for one thing, I’m not going to insist that a gentlman older than my parents, no matter how brilliant or holy, immediately be gifted with the media savvy of a Lindsy Lohan.

        • Stu

          I’m not sure Lindsay Lohan is savvy at anything in this
          point of her life.

          But I don’t think it unreasonable for the Pope to have an
          understanding that his words have a lot of power and accordingly it’s important to vector them in the right direction as much as possible. Indeed, we all have a responsibility to read other charitably. But as a communicator, you need to assume that such won’t happen. In the military we always likened this point to a whip. The senior officer, at the handle, can say one little thing but by the time that movement gets down to the “working end” of the whip, it’s moving quick, great distances and can sting.

          The media driven world only compounds the effect.

          • freddy

            Which is why the hearers or readers *must* in *charity* avoid going off the deep end every time the Holy Father opens his mouth in public. Stuff like this Verecchio writes just looks (and I’m sorry to have to say this) stupid, contentious, and posturing. Frankly it’s nauseating and very, very tiresome. I know you’re not defending this poor benighted soul, but even if you really don’t think the Pope has a thorough understanding of the power of his own words, there really isn’t anything you can do about it. So why stress? Just give it to your Guardian Angel!

            • Stu

              We can agree the hearers or readers *must* do all manner of things. But at the end of the day, we can be assured that many will not. So as a communicator, if you want your message to be heard the way you want it to heard, then it will fall on you to craft it accordingly. Does the Pope have a thorough understanding of this? I don’t know. But it doesn’t hurt to express the sentiments that are offered in good will. He is a self-identified humble man so I would assume that means he would welcome such input and may even see it.

              • Iota

                Erm, I may be missing something. but if I had to take a guess, I’d be inclined to bet the Pope does not read comboxes.

                Maybe if you think the input is worth it, it would be a good idea to send him a letter (I’m dead serious)?

                After all, you’ll pardon me quoting you, I hope, “if you want your message to be heard the way you want it to heard, then it will fall on you to craft it accordingly”

                • Stu

                  You assume I haven’t.

                  • Iota

                    I did, because, honestly I’d see no reason to talk about someone in third person, to other people, if I had actually contacted them.

                    • Stu

                      Sending a letter does not equate into “contact”. Even that is still a long shot.

                      But my words were in response to this statement, “but even if you really don’t think the Pope has a thorough understanding of the power of his own words, there really isn’t anything you can do about it.”

                      My intent was to address the notion that there really isn’t anything we can do. We can do plenty as you have further suggested (along with prayer for His Holiness).

                      But if I ever hear from Pope Francis, I’ll be sure to let you know.

              • freddy

                Stu, I bow to your chutzpah!
                Thank you for an interesting exchange.

                • Stu

                  I too enjoyed our exchange.

                  Cheers, mate.

              • Marthe Lépine

                Well, that reminds me of something. A long time ago, I seem to recall having read or heard that most media have to keep in mind that if they want to be heard they have to limit themselves to messages that a 12 year old can easily understand. Anything else goes over most audiences’ heads (and is not good for ratings). If according to what you are stating here, Pope Francis has to craft his message to the level of any 12-year old, that put a drastic limit on what he is supposed to say. And what about teaching to an audience more mature than a 12-year old? Is it necessary that everybody else be deprived of some intelligent content once in a while?

                • Stu

                  I haven’t advocated that he speak to everyone like they are twelve years of age.

      • Chesire11

        This is why it is important to discern between the office and the person. Not every comment made by His Holiness is ex cathedra…that’s sort of the point of identifying, and treating as special, ex cathedra declarations.

      • Bro I agree with you, in theory. But in the case of Mr. Verecchio flunking Church history 101, some critics not even understanding basic Incarnational theology, there’s only so many things the Pope can fix with greater precision if thats what is called for.

        I’m sympathetic to calls for stritcter scrutiny, but in the past few weeks, all a lot of Francis critics are proving (no matter their tribe) is just how awful catechesis is, especially in the American Church.

        So I’ll join you in calling for greater clarity, and also add people really need to shut up and study basic Catholicism before opening their mouths.

        • Stu

          Oh, my statement is made in a general sense and not connected with any particular person.

          I also think to complement you call for people closing their mouths and studying up, it might be a good thing for some to simply let their comments remain obscure instead of bringing more attention to them.

  • EMS

    Unfortunately, the “cowhavers” started the second the new pope stepped onto the balcony when he didn’t wear the red shoes/stole/whatever and dared to ask people to pray for him. While some of them have repented or at least cut back their anti-Francis comments, there are still a lot of them online that are very anti-Francis. Can you imagine the uproar, even hate, if an African or Asian pope, who most likely has far different ideas about what constitutes beauty in art and liturgy and social justice than an American or European, had been elected?

  • Michelle

    Here’s the link to the original blog post, in case anyone cares to RTWT (not I, but the link was inadvertently left out):

    • chezami

      D’oh! Sorry! I put the link in the post.

  • Chesire11

    “Spew language that can *very* easily be interpreted by the unstable nutjobs in Reactionaryland as a call to murder the pope.”

    “How many of y’all want to see the Pope run down by a bull?”

    • Rebecca Fuentes

      Do you know the story of Fr. DeSmet?

      • Chesire11

        No, I don’t.

        • Rebecca Fuentes

          He said the first Catholic mass out here in Wyoming, back in 1840 when it was still a territory. Apparently, the Native Americans wanted to see proof of his god’s power and dared him to approach and touch a bull bison on the head (which is about as safe as petting a wild rhino). Fr. DeSmet walked up to the animal, who seemed transfixed by the priest’s large silver cross, laid his hand on its head, blessed it and walked away. The bison never moved.

          Anyway, the bull comment made me think of him.

          • Chesire11

            Thanks for that story. Maybe it was friends with the Wolf of Gubbio.

      • Stu

        Do you know the Muffin Man?

        • Rosemarie


          The one who lives on Drury Lane?

          Never heard of him.

          • Chesire11

            He’s been missing since this morning, was last seen in the vicinity of your kitchen, and your forensics team has found crumbs in your car’s cup holder.

            WE think you do know him, and more to the point, we think you know what happened to him, now SING, mister, or this can get real unpleasant, real fast…

  • Jordan

    Always funny to read comments (only waded in up to my ankles on this article’s comment section but found some shallow water fish already!) where somebody really loved your flair for “bombasity and rashness” against all those dumb people/things they didn’t care for in your previous blog posts, but has suddenly decided to be offended when you’ve turned your attention to something close to their heart. Me: I thought I didn’t like you at first. I thought you were a rude in your treatment of Live Action, until I realized you did have a point, I read more of your articles, and realized that you are consistent in your criticisms across the board (also, when I have a strong opinion, I talk pretty much just like you do, so I can hardly hold that against you, now can I? :D). That tells me that, opinion though your writing may be (like ahem, ALL blogs, even the ones I like, which some people find hard to remember), you’re about as fair in your treatment of your topics as one could expect a professional opinion writer to be. So, I say, good job, Mark! You big stinkin’ meanie, you.

  • Guest

    “Our current pope is a good man, surely, but he has little insight about what the present word needs. Let’s hope that God opens his eyes… or shuts them.”

    A quote (by memory) from the mouth of some priest (or bishop?) that I recalled from the Diary of Leon Bloy, around 1900.The pope was Pius X.

  • Rosemarie


    Are these parts of the Code of Canon Law relevant?

    Can. 1370 §1. A person who uses physical force against the Roman Pontiff incurs a latae sententiae excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See; if he is a cleric, another penalty, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state, can be added according to the gravity of the delict.

    Can. 1373 A person who publicly incites among subjects animosities or hatred against the Apostolic See or an ordinary because of some act of power or ecclesiastical ministry or provokes subjects to disobey them is to be punished by an interdict or other just penalties.

  • DeaconsBench

    The phrasing, while intentionally ambiguous, has distinct echoes.

    “By whatever means the merciful Lord may choose” is alarmingly similar to “By any means necessary”—a phrase first coined by Sartre but popularized by Malcolm X. It’s generally understood to include a call to violence.

    • Guest

      I also reminds me of this quote (from memory)

      “Our current pope is surely a holy man, but his lacks vision about the modern world. Let us hope that God opens his eyes… or either shuts them”

      This was said by some priest (or bishop?), according to the annotations in the diary of Leon Bloy – around 1900 – about Pius X.

  • Embajador en el Infierno

    Honestly Mark, I don’t know what is more pathetic, the quoted Mr. Nobody trying to sort out his deep unresolved psychological problems in the comboxes or the airtime you are giving him (for which he must be rejoicing).

    For the second time: your traddie freak-bashing crusade is getting very boring. Please stop. If you don’t know what to write about, don’t write. As a long-time faithful reader I don’t mind waiting, I do mind getting bored.

    • Becky

      I agree. I’m tired and bored too.

      • LSpinelli

        Why not take it to email? This whole readership doesn’t need to hear kvetching while offering no solutions to fix the nonexistent problem.

    • Chesire11

      Then why do you read them? The only thing more tiresome than someone’s pet complaint, is reading someone else respond to every such complaint by complaining about the complaint.

      It’s like pet peeve irritation squared.

      • Embajador en el Infierno

        It is called “customer feedback”.

        You do realise you are doing exactly the same thing you criticise, don’t you?

        • Chesire11

          It’s called carping, actually, and since this is pretty much the first time I have commented on the practice, and don’t plan on noting my irritation each and every time somebody engages in it…no, it’s not the same thing at all.

          • Embajador en el Infierno

            You are doing it again!
            The problem with criticising criticism per se is that you have to abandon all pretense of coherence. It is a lose-lose situation.

            You’ll get over it, don’t worry.

            • Chesire11

              Go back and re-read what I wrote.

    • rob

      Amen. I’m waiting to see some discussions on real problems in the Church, like why only about 80% of catholics go to weekly mass or maybe why only 30% of catholics believe in the real presence? One things for sure, its not the fault of the handful of catholics who have a problem with Francis.

      • rob

        ….oops…make that why only about 20% go to mass. If 80% went what a different world it would be.

  • Tony

    Why is this group afraid of a man that reads Dostoevsky, prays the rosary daily, and admits that he enjoys spending his evenings after dinner in front of the blessed sacrament, the horror

    • freddy

      Tony, no one is afraid of “a man that reads Dostoevsky, prays the rosary daily, and admits that he enjoys spending his evenings after dinner in front of the blessed sacrament.” In fact no one is afraid of this man at all.
      What you see expressed is not fear, but sadness that his darkened intellect led him to write such a miserable, fear-laced, reactionary criticism of the Pope. Also a certain amount of anger at his mis-use and misunderstanding of history, and disgust at what is either a passive-aggressive call to violence or a really bone-headed use of the English language.

      • FranklinWasRight

        Wow, did we read the same piece? I thought he was right, and I’m not a traditionalist. I was raised by liberals in liberal churches, and didn’t know what sedevacantism was until I was 30. But I know history thanks to the history teacher at my liberal Catholic high school, and Mr. Verrecchio is not wrong in that regard.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Also, there is a real possibility that people who make such reactionary criticism of the Pope, or are very vocal conservatives expressing a lot of criticisms of other Catholics who in the eyes are not orthodox enough could do a lot of harm to less confident Catholics, and lead some of those to a level of discouragement that could have something to do with giving up on going to Mass… I am sure it is not the case for absolutely all of those 80% who no longer attend Mass, but it could for some, as it could also discourage some from coming back. Therefore it is not a bad idea for a blogger like Mark to point out some of the errors of conservatives.

  • rob

    Lots of reactionaries on the left as well. Lots. And in the Catholic blogosphere as well. I have about 4,000 fb friends…only 2 have gone off the deep end over Pope Francis. About 80% of Catholics don’t go to mass….a much bigger problem.

  • James H, London

    I think this is the same Louis Verecchio who wrote on Catholic Exchange that celebrating Mass facing the people was a cause of such narcissism that it made priests become gay. Go figure.

    • chezami

      Are you serious? Wow.

    • And here I thought I’d heard all of the arguments in favor of the Latin Rite.

  • linda daily

    This is not new – young conservative Catholics have been talking for years about the “biological solution” as a way to rid the Church of those they deem unorthodox.

  • Eve Fisher

    Sorry to hear that the Vagus Henricus (“will no one rid us… no, I didn’t mean THAT, [snigger]…”) trolls even in the church. I’ll pray for him.