Thursday, October 31, 2019


San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone leads the rosary at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption before Mass to conclude the Novena for Life Aug. 11. (CNS/Archdiocese of San Francisco Office of Human Life & Dignity/Debra Greenblat)
San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone leads the rosary at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption before Mass to conclude the Novena for Life Aug. 11. (CNS/Archdiocese of San Francisco Office of Human Life & Dignity/Debra Greenblat)

Aging, gray haired and hairless, pot bellied San Francisco priests voice frustrations with Cordileone at convocation

Laid bare, they said, (the aging gray haired priests) were tensions over muddy communications, lack of authentic consultation, low clergy morale, unilateral initiatives by Cordileone, and the archbishop's embrace of "the model of a pre-Vatican II church," in the words of one pastor.

Some attendees, however, told NCR that Cordileone enjoys steady clerical "appreciation and agreement" with his ecclesiology among many priests, notably younger men (who have hair which is dark, bright eyed and energetic for Divine Truth and orthodoxy).

Read the rest at the National Chismatic Reporter


TJM said...

Father McDonald,

With priests like you being the rare exception, it's time for your generation of priests to get off the planet. They and the generation before them have only harmed the Church and lost millions of Catholics, decimating once great institutions and religious orders. They are blind, contumacious, ill-formed in the Faith and, in general, are a nasty crew, headed by the head nasty, PF. May God have mercy on their souls.

Anonymous said...

He seems like a traditional enough prelate but as other bloggers on this post have commented, he needs to come down hard on "you know who", the current Speaker of the House. Were I a new bishop in "Heathenville" (which basically describes San Francisco), I would give Nancy 48 hours (OK, maybe 72 if in a generous mood) to publicly repudiate her support for abortion and same-sex marriage. If she refused to do so (highly probable that would be the case), then I would order her to be indefinitely turned away from the altar.

Reminds me of a story---think it was in Minnesota---of a state legislator who refused to vote for same-sex marriage (even if his constituency favored it). He said something to the effect. "I would rather be on the right side of eternity than the (so-called) right side of history." If only other Catholic politicians would think that way...

Robert Kumpel said...

With regard to you first headline Father, yes and no.

I say "yes" in the macro sense, that your generation of priests has done tremendous damage to the Church and their refusal to accept that their failed experiment is over is both frustrating and damaging to the Church, even at the highest level (and you know what I mean).

I say "no" to the specific target of you, Fr. McDonald. I can't figure out if you are an anomaly or an anachronism--maybe both. I have watched you evolve from a status quo "company man" in a diocese stuck in the 70's to a priest who dares to call out the hypocrisies and failures of his own generation of clerics and the revisionistas who are clinging to their "golden moment" that has already ended. That speaks of integrity. No one could accuse you of being a radical or an "archconservative" or whatever box we might want to label priests with, but you ARE willing to confront and admit the failures of the modernist cabal that runs the Church.

Why? I don't purport to know, but if I could venture a guess, I would say it was honesty. You are one of very few priests in this diocese honest enough to objectively assess the current mess and offer a realistic summary. In that respect, you remind me of Archbishop Cordileone. I've spoken with Archbishop Cordileone and I can remember when he was a parish priest in my home town. He was not some radical, "reactionary" priest in any sense of the word. He simply knew what it means to be Catholic and had enough objective honesty to realize that all the pressure of changes and the popularity of a laxed, minimalistic Catholic culture did not change the eternal truths of the Catechism and the demands of canon law. Honesty is a big deal, because God is truth and God does not deceive.

So while it would be helpful for many--perhaps most--priests of your generation to retire (dying off is a bit extreme, eh?) I hope and pray that you will be with us for some time to come. This diocese needs you. And the world needs bishops like Salvatore Cordileone. Desperately.

Richard M. Sawicki said...

It may sound cold-hearted an cruel to say it, but it DOES seem at times that the "biological solution" (as the Abbe Zed is wont to describe it) will be the only solution (i.e. this faithless generation must pass away to let a new generation of the faithful...and fearless...take over).

Gaudete in Domino Semper!

Joseph Johnson said...

Robert Kumpel,
Well said, my friend . .

John Nolan said...

Fr McDonald's generation of priests was indoctrinated in the 1970s by seminary professors of the previous generation. It is unfair and inaccurate to blame those born circa 1950 for the calamity which befell the Church in the 1960s.

The pope who presided over this (Paul VI) was born in the year of Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Vatican II unleashed in the late 60's, 70's and into the 80's a radicalization of many bishops, priests and religious many of who were theologians. The paradigm of the Church these radicals proposed was nearly crushed by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. However, Pope Francis is of this radicalized group and since day one undoing the damage to their paradigm of the Church that was almost successfully eliminated. I happen to think the sanity that John Paul II and Benedict brought back to the Church will take root when John Paul II's young people are my age and older, just like the oldsters today, longing for the radical 70's again have reared their ugly heads. Part of the problem is that we are living too long, well into our 80's and 90's.

Anonymous said...

Robert speaks the truth!

rcg said...

Yeah, condemning an entire generation is too harsh. I notice that there are plenty of decent old folks. I have always suspected that the mean and ornery old folks were equally difficult young people but perhaps a little more restrained due to the threat of violence forbidden to old folks.

TJM said...

John Nolan,

But our Father McDonald somehow became a genuinely Catholic priests whereas others are glorified social workers or left-wing political operatives

David Burkovich said...

Robert Kumpel, what you have said about Fr. McDonald is 100% on the mark. It all comes down to faith and the truth. Through out the years not only many priests have succumbed to the modernists but many of the laity as well. But it is not just a Catholic thing..all the world is being misled. Only God thru His Blessed Mother will be able to fix this. Pray this crisis is not long lived and that we persevere and that many, many souls will also be converted and saved. Prayer and fasting and adoring Jesus in the Holy Eucharist is the only remedy. We must call on God for His mercy and forgiveness.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Lately I've been watching reruns of "Star Trek: the Next Generation," and it occurred to me that one recurring group in that series reminds me of the clerical culture of our Church:

The Borg.

"Resistance is futile: prepare to be assimilated!" they would say. "We will add your distinctiveness to our own."

Everything conspires against a priest or a bishop standing out too far. A priest who is too sharp in his comments, too bold, will never be a bishop. A bishop who does so will face isolation from the other bishops, and won't be given any responsibilities in the conference. And he can expect, when he submits his resignation at age 75, that it will be accepted within nanoseconds.

The worst sin today is not to blaspheme or steal or anything else; it is to offend. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's bad to be diplomatic, irenic, or that it's good to offend deliberately; but there is so much fear of giving offense that we give out mush, pablum. And it only gets worse with bishops.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

It is entirely possible for a priest or bishop to be a jerk in doing what he thinks may be right. It is also possible that a priest or bishop may be wrong in his choice or words or actions, regardless of how convinced he is that he is correct in his choices or words and actions.

If a priest is consistently too "sharp or bold" in his comments or actions, it is probably a good thing that he will never be a bishop.

Faith can be taught, but always with charity.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father Kavanaugh said:

If a priest is consistently too "sharp or bold" in his comments or actions, it is probably a good thing that he will never be a bishop.

It would seem to follow, then that "it is probably a good thing" we do not have any more bishops like John Chrysostom, Athanasius or Augustine? Many, many more could be cited. Certainly Boniface was rather bold, and his ax rather sharp!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Martin, there is good reason to speak the truth plainly and directly. But I think "sharp" and "bold" can be, and often are, euphemisms for a lack of charity.

The prime example today is, of course, the President, who is lauded by many for "telling it like it is" - speaking, in their minds, sharply and boldly. Of course, the problem is, the President is divorced from any reality beyond his own perception thereof, and he is noted for being bereft of honesty and integrity. "Alternative facts" is his "reality."

People who say they like his style are, I suggest, envious of his bravado, not of his intellect or insights or policies. They would dearly love to speak the way he does about those who oppose him or call out his faults and errors. But, they don't do it because they know it is wrong. Blogs like this one, where people can post vitriol anonymously, give a forum to those who think that being ugly to others is a means to accomplish something.

Chrysostom, Athanasius, Augustine, and Boniface lived in very different times. I suggest that the kind of language they may have used, while appropriate to their cultural milieu, would be counterproductive today. One of my favorite phrases from the past comes from the biography, "Dagger John," of Archbishop John Hughes of New York. If I recall correctly, he referred to one of the Protestant Divines with whom he sparred in the press as "the vomit of hell." It's a colorful phrase, but would it really be appropriate in some conversation or dialogue today?

Priests who think they know everything - there are a few of them - especially if they are of the newly minted variety - can be tempted to speak sharply and/or boldly. They learn, I hope, that the days when people would jump when "Father" said this or that are in the past, and that persuasion, not brow-beating, is a better approach to spreading the faith.

Cletus Ordo said...

Well Father Fox, I see the truth in what you are saying. We've had about 3 generations of soft-peddled pabulum fed to us that if anyone so much as asserts some uncomfortable truths of the faith from the pulpit (for example, the Church's opposition to same-sex pretend "marriages") no matter how gently they would say it or now matter how benign the choice of words might be, it will instantly trigger a rampage from certain people in the pews. Sadly, that's because we've had about 3 generations of priests who stopped telling us anything that made us feel uncomfortable.

Since Chrysostom, Athanasius, Augustine and Bonficace can be excused for living in different times, let's look at some other saints who Have been alive concurrently or later than "Dagger John" Hughes:

St. John Vianney was quite plain spoken when preaching. Many of his lukewarm "Catholics in Name Only" flock in Ars took offense to his words. He even withheld absolution to girls who insisted on going to dances--can you imagine what he would say about what passes for dancing today?

St. Pius X showed a complete disregard for popular opinion (and is privately despised by many priests to this day) for his candid assessment of the rot infiltrating the Church.

St. Padre Pio once shouted at a man in the confessional, calling him a "pig" and warned him not to return until he was sincere in his repentance. The man did and Padre Pio was as gentle as could be with him.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta stood face=to-face with a sitting president and his wife and openly rebuked their policy of abortion-on-demand,

Pope John Paul II was about to get his ring kissed by a Fr. Ernesto Cardenal of Nicaragua for politicizing the Church and embracing liberation theology. (Our current pope would probably make this guy a cardinal)

I agree with you Fr. Fox that priests have to use common sense when preaching controversial topics because the price for doing so carelessly could be the loss of ministry altogether. HOWEVER, I would also suggest that these topics need to be addressed and we need more priests and bishops to come forward and address them or our Catholic feast of pabulum will only get blander. Saints give flavor to the Church and they have bigger worries than who might be offended by the truth. And in the end, they are saints and those who insulated themselves and played it safe are mere footnotes in history.

Cletus Ordo said...

I forgot to finish my bit on John Paul II. Instead of letting Fr. Cardenal kiss his ring, he pulled back his hand and openly rebuked the priest, who responded by hitting his knees.

I guess we might expect the same from the current pope if he met a priest who was a notorious "climate change denier."

Anonymous said...

Father MJK:

We have many brows that seriously need a beating.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Father K:

You're repeated references to lack of charity is a straw man, and ironically, an uncharitable one as well, because nowhere do my remarks, above, hint even a little at my endorsing a lessening of charity. So your suggestion that that is what I am proposing is insulting, as well as, well, uncharitable. I don't think you meant it; I'm assuming you're so assimilated to the Borg of Mush that you can only conceive of anything unmushy a lacking charity. Indeed, our Lord is the model of not-mushy, of sharp and bold language. Will you accuse him of lacking charity?

Meanwhile, large swathes of the Church, led by a Borg-clerical model are in the midst of rapid, systemic and spectacular collapse before our very eyes. Alas, I fear the Borg will keep its iron grip for quite a while as the disintegration continues; but it won't go on forever. We may soon be back to Boniface chopping down false gods -- perhaps in the precincts of Rome itself!

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

Martin - I have not said or suggested, to this point, that you endorse a lessening of charity. Not once.

In fact, I have written about no one in particular, saying "a priest or bishop." Now, if you want to read yourself into that generality, go right ahead, but don't ascribe to me what I have not done.

Plainly, I do not adhere to some "Borg of Mush," whatever you might conceive that to be. Note that I very clearly said, "Martin, there is good reason to speak the truth plainly and directly." Note, also that I plainly stated that I, not you, think that words like "sharp" and "bold" are euphemisms.

Cletus, if it came to my attention that a priest under my authority called a person a "pig" in the confessional, I would confront that priest and suggest that he has forgotten a basic maxim of hearing confessions, that is, that in the confessional, what Jesus DOES is infinitely more important than what a priest might SAY.

Anonymous said...

That last post makes me think of a remark Lloyd Bentsen made to Dan Quayle. You figure it out.