The Sad Case of “Father Z”
There are sundry different ways one can see what a joke the Novus Ordo Religion is, but one particularly striking case in point is that of the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, frequently referred to as “Father Z”. His popular web site Fr. Z’s Blog, previously named What Does the Prayer Really Say?, is in reality the raison d’être of this individual.
What’s tragic is that thousands of people around the globe are attached to this person and consider him their “guiding light” to all things Catholic in our times. It is tragic because the characteristics displayed by the Rev. Z on his blog are those of a self-absorbed businessman using the conservative Novus Ordo faith merely as a useful gimmick to promote himself.
On January 3, Zuhlsdorf posted his New Year’s resolutions for 2014. They are as revealing in what they do say as they are in what they do not say. Here they are:
Fr Z’s 2014 New Year Resolutions
1) Do even more to support the advancement of Summorum Pontificum.
2) Drink (sell) even more Mystic Monk Coffee.
3) Post even more on my blog.
4) Practice even more at the shooting range.
5) Offer even more of my services as a preacher and lecturer.
6) Read even more good books.
7) Travel even more to the UK and Rome.
8) Exercise even more.
9) Pray even more for my benefactors.
10) Cause even more “chaos” … as Pope Francis asked me to. ¡Vaya Lío!
As a corollary to #4 I am going to build an AR-15 from scratch.
(“Fr Z’s 2014 New Year’s Resolutions”, Fr. Z’s Blog, Jan. 3, 2014)
Several observations are in order.
First, it seems gratuitously self-aggrandizing for anyone, most of all a supposed Catholic priest, to put up personal New Year’s Resolutions on a blog and share them with the world. The underlying message is: “It’s all about ME. I am important. You should care about me, what I do, and what I am about. Spend your time reading and thinking about me. My blog is awesome, and so am I.” This emphasis on the person of “Fr. Z” is a recurring theme on his blog.
Second, do you notice anything in these resolutions that has anything specifically to do with the Catholic priesthood, which this man believes himself to possess? Anyone can promote Summorum Pontificum. Anyone can preach or lecture, though this is at least somewhat connected with the priesthood. Anyone can pray for benefactors.
Third, do you notice anything in these resolutions that is about growing in the spiritual life or increasing in holiness, at least as a desired goal? How about “sin less” as a good resolution? “Love God more”? “Do more penance”? “Think less of myself and more of others”? “Practice more works of mercy”? Ah, no… That’s what a real Catholic priest would do, and he wouldn’t advertise it.
No, it is items (2), (3), (7) and (10) that are the most revealing, for this is what the popular Z Blog and its author are really ultimately about. One shudders to think what Mr. Z would do if he ever had to do real work for a living.
After spending some time on his site, one cannot help but conclude that the “priesthood” is merely a hobby for Zuhlsdorf, a gimmick, and that his real job is maintaining his blog business, which must be going rather well (Z himself has stated he gets about 20,000 hits a day). Just a look at the number of recent monthly donors listed in the right margin of his home page indicates a solid foundation for moolah. Add to that the non-recurring, spontaneous donations he receives (and begs for), the donations for his travels, the “Z Swag” junk he constantly pushes, the numerous items he advertises through Amazon, his conspicuously-placed Amazon wishlist from which people buy him gifts, the Mystic Monk coffee he compulsively promotes, and so forth. And presumably his own bishop supports him too, which he is obliged to do by canon law, unless perhaps there are some exceptional circumstances here; Mr. Zuhlsdorf is always welcome to clarify.
All this explains why Mr. Z has so much time to blog — something he does rather profusely. You’ve got to keep the posts coming, else the business might go under. And no, it’s not like he only posts edifying, truly Catholic stuff. Not at all. Very often the posts are about him in some fashion — what he had for dinner, how well he did at the shooting range, books he’s reading, gifts he’s received, how he had to clear breadcrumbs off his airplane seat (my, what a cross this man carries!), or just useless silly things, like his recent post on a “vampire hunters kit”.
Notice how often Mr. Z likes to refer to himself in the third person singular, and how he likes to emphasize the “Z” in various terms, two traits that underscore how much he thinks of himself and promotes his own importance, and how much his blog is really about him. He’s simply in love with himself, and it shows. The all-important virtue of humility, we remember, is defined as “forgetfulness of self” — something not found on the Z Blog.
In October ’13, we exposed Zuhlsdorf for promoting and — you guessed it! — selling an immoral movie with nudity / sex scenes. See our post on the matter here. Plus, in March of the same year, “Fr. Z” was scheduled to join Michael Voris on a decadent luxury “Lenten retreat” cruise — the only thing that kept him from going were obligations he had to take care of due to the unexpected conclave in Rome that ended up electing Jorge Bergoglio.
Any genuine Catholic priest would be embarrassed to pull off a self-centered show like Zuhlsdorf’s. His public behavior is devoid of priestly dignity and even manly (much less priestly) maturity. He’s acting like a little kid who wants everyone to pay attention to him. As though people had nothing better and more important to do with their time than care about what Mr. Z had for dinner, what books he’s reading, or how dirty his plane seat was.
We’re not the only ones noticing how ludicrous the Zuhlsdorf Show is. Even the overt enemies of the Catholic Faith have detected as much: A bunch of pseudo-Catholic, super-liberal Modernists have created a spoof of his site, called Father D’s Blog, which they have aptly subtitled, What Does the Priest Really Do All Day?, which pretty much sums it up for Mr. Z.
Zuhlsdorf’s own official explanation of his situation is:
I am a priest in good standing in the Suburbicarian Diocese of Velletri-Segni in Italy. This is one of the little ancient dioceses encircling Rome, thus “Suburbicarian”. My name appears on my diocese’s website in the list of diocesan priests. Unlike poor Roger Maris, I have no asterisk by my name. I have faculties to say Holy Mass (can. 903), to preach (can. 764), and to receive sacramental confessions (can. 969.1).
I am living, with the knowledge and consent of my bishop and his predecessor, outside my diocese and in the United States. I am working on my doctoral thesis, working on the internet, writing as a columnist for different publications, and giving talks at conferences and other events.
I am not engaged in any official external apostolate where I live. I have no assignment. I haven’t sought anything on top of what I now do. I can barely make headway on my thesis as it is! (It’s about the figure of David as an exemplum of civic virtues between Augustine and Ambrose, by the way, for the Augustinianum.) Since I am not functioning publicly in any way as a priest within the diocese where I live, I do not need the faculties of the diocese and therefore I have not sought them. I have been in the diocese with the knowledge of the last two bishops of the place. I don’t know what the present bishop knows. I haven’t been in touch. [Since I posted this, the situation is changed. I have full faculties of the diocese and I am publicly functioning in various capacities.]
(“Waiting for Zagano”, Fr. Z’s Blog, Aug. 11, 2011)
The clarifying comments in red are Zuhlsdorf’s own, though it is not evident on the blog when they were made, or whether his situation has changed again since. But if he is now “publicly functioning in various capacities” (which, by the way, is so vague that it could be anything from putting together a parish bulletin to helping out on a daily basis at various churches), it stands to reason he is also getting financial support for this work.
Still, the situation is mighty strange. Zuhlsdorf is a convert from Lutheranism and was “ordained” by John Paul II himself, in 1991. You don’t get that kind of Vatican VIP treatment only to end up with no real assignment thousands of miles away from your diocese, spending years writing a doctoral thesis and selling coffee and promotional items on your personal blog. Something just doesn’t add up here.
Again, Mr. Z is welcome to clarify. He’s blocked us on Twitter, however, so we’re not holding our breath waiting for a response. In any case, the external damage he does is the same, regardless of what’s going on behind the scenes. Zuhlsdorf is simply the latest and greatest the New Church has to offer in terms of “conservative celebrity priests”, this one geared towards keeping Novus Ordos with a traditional bent from defecting to sedevacantism or the Society of St. Pius X.
A quick look at how other famous “conservative” celebrity “priests” pushed at one point by the Novus Ordo Church have ended up, reveals a sobering reality that should make anyone think twice before attaching himself to a “cool” cleric:
- “Fr.” John Corapi (incidentally “ordained” in the very same ceremony as the Rev. Zuhlsdorf, by the same John Paul II) — abandoned his “priesthood” altogether after a lucrative career of promoting the Vatican II Religion which ended in controversy and scandals
- “Fr.” Alberto Cutié — had his own TV show Padre Alberto, was caught with a married woman on a beach in Miami, Florida, converted to the Episcopal (Anglican) religion, pretended to “marry” this divorced woman and (so far) has fathered two children with her
- Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR — long-time EWTN celebrity, resigned after making controversial remarks about sexual abuse of minors by Novus Ordo priests, for which he later apologized
- Fr. Kenneth Roberts — another big EWTN celebrity, was removed from ministry in disgrace after he was credibly accused of sexual molestation
- “Mgr.” Eugene Clark of New York — had to resign after allegations of adultery with his secretary; though he denied the accusations, the secretary’s husband provided what he claimed was videotaped evidence of the affair
These are just five examples. Though we are by no means trying to indict “Fr.” Zuhlsdorf on “guilt by association” here, nor insinuate in any way that he is guilty of any of the above-mentioned moral failures, we simply wish to point out that getting attached to “conservative” Novus Ordo celebrity clerics has in many cases in the past led to people suffering shipwreck in their (Novus Ordo) faith. In short: Do not follow people, follow the True Faith! Stay away from the Z Blog, which is about him, not about (even the Novus Ordo) faith!
Our advice: If you must call this doubtful priest “Father,” at least don’t call him “Father Z”. Call him “Father Me.”
- Right on the Money: The Salaries of Professional Novus Ordo Apologists
- Rated Z: “Father” Zuhlsdorf endorses, sells Immoral Movie
Image source: americamagazine.org (cropped)
License: fair use
This book details who is destroying from within (successfully): “Animus Delendi-I Desire to Destroy” by Atila Sinke Guimarâes
Sedevacantism is a sound theological position.
Thank you. That will be all. Don’t call us. We will call you.
Your main criticism is that Father Zhulsdorf has an aspect of his life that is not essentially characterized by his office as priest – namely that he runs a blog, sells merchandise, and generally enjoys life. You strongly imply that Father Zhulsdorf is somehow betraying his priesthood in this behavior. However, consider two things. Firstly: as he has sworn no vow of poverty he is under no obligation to avoid worldly riches. Secondly: he regularly ministers to the Diocese of Madison by celebrating a Tridentine Mass most Sundays at St. Mary’s of Pine Bluff, WI. I have attended that mass on two occasions as I live eight minutes away from the parish. Father John Zhulsdorf is not false priest, and certainly does not shirk his responsibility shepherd. Though I have had no conversation with him longer than a passing word at some social function for a parish, many of the people I respect consider him a friend (including my father who has known him for a few years). You may not have had all this information when you wrote this article, but I encourage you to remove it and to avoid spreading falsehood. There are plenty of terrible priests who have committed actual verifiable betrayals of their office, we need not look for additional imaginary misdemeanors.
Father Zhulsdorf has sworn no vow of poverty. Participating in extravagant dinners is no sin for a layman, and it is certainly no sin for a priest.
There is a certain amount of douchiness in this post…just sayin’!