The Godfather I, II and III

In the face of many vile attacks upon the Holy Father, we have a timely reminder.
The struggle against Modernism had taken a great toll on Pope Saint Pius X as he spoke 100 years ago, in November 1912, to the members of the Apostolic Union of Clergy, a confraternity of secular priests in union with the Holy See. He knew that despite every effort he was being disobeyed and disregarded in so many places by priests and even by bishops. He knew ‘learned’ scholars despised him, and wished their authority to take the place of the Apostolic voice.

In a cry coming deep from his holy heart, the Pope summoned all the Church to understand what love for the Pope, any Pope, the one who holds the Keys, truly entails: a hard message that, exactly one century later, must be heard and obeyed by the clergy and by the lay faithful.

‘Distracted with so many occupations, it is easy to forget the things that lead to perfection in priestly life; it is easy [for the priest] to delude himself and to believe that, by busying himself with the salvation of the souls of others, he consequently works for his own sanctification. Alas, let not this delusion lead you to error, because nemo dat quod nemo habet [no one gives what he does not have]; and, in order to sanctify others, it is necessary not to neglect any of the ways proposed for the sanctification of ourselves.

The Pope is the guardian of dogma and of morals; he is the custodian of the principles that make families sound, nations great, souls holy; he is the counsellor of princes and of peoples; he is the head under whom no one feels tyrannized because he represents God Himself; he is the supreme father who unites in himself all that may exist that is loving, tender, divine.

It seems incredible, and is even painful, that there be priests to whom this recommendation must be made, but we are regrettably in our age in this hard, unhappy, situation of having to tell priests: love the Pope!

And how must the Pope be loved? Non verbo neque lingua, sed opere et veritate. [Not in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth – 1 Jn iii, 18] When one loves a person, one tries to adhere in everything to his thoughts, to fulfill his will, to perform his wishes. And if Our Lord Jesus Christ said of Himself, ‘si quis diligit me, sermonem meum servabit‘, [if any one love me, he will keep my word – Jn xiv, 23] therefore, in order to demonstrate our love for the Pope, it is necessary to obey him.

Therefore, when we love the Pope, there are no discussions regarding what he orders or demands, or up to what point obedience must go, and in what things he is to be obeyed; when we love the Pope, we do not say that he has not spoken clearly enough, almost as if he were forced to repeat to the ear of each one the will clearly expressed so many times not only in person, but with letters and other public documents; we do not place his orders in doubt, adding the facile pretext of those unwilling to obey – that it is not the Pope who commands, but those who surround him; we do not limit the field in which he might and must exercise his authority; we do not set above the authority of the Pope that of other persons, however learned, who dissent from the Pope, who, even though learned, are not holy, because whoever is holy cannot dissent from the Pope.

This is the cry of a heart filled with pain, that with deep sadness I express, not for your sake, dear brothers, but to deplore, with you, the conduct of so many priests, who not only allow themselves to debate and criticize the wishes of the Pope, but are not embarrassed to reach shameless and blatant disobedience, with so much scandal for the good and with so great damage to souls.’

Saint Pius X
Allocution Vi ringrazio to priests on the 50th anniversary of the Apostolic Union
November 18, 1912
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    Comments: 19

    1. Valerie November 20, 2012 at 4:12 pm

      Mr Rethul,

      talking of disobedient priests, has anybody seen this. Maryknoll priest dismissed from priesthood for obstinate support of women’s ordination and betrayal of ordination oaths.

      Vatican dismisses Maryknoll priest from order :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

      November 20, 2012

      President Rafael Correa of Ecuador received Fr. Roy Bourgeois, founder of Surveillance, in his office June 27, 2012 in Quito. Credit: Santiago Armas/Presidency of the Republic

      Vatican City, Nov 19, 2012 / 03:52 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican canonically dismissed Roy Bourgeois from the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers on Oct. 4, for disobedience and preaching against Church teaching on women’s ordination.

      The decision, made by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, dispenses him from both the bonds of priesthood and religious life.

      On Aug. 8, 2008, Bourgeois preached a homily at the simulated ordination of a woman to the Catholic priesthood. His participation in the simulated Mass led him to be automatically excommunicated.

      “With patience, the Holy See and the Maryknoll Society have encouraged his reconciliation with the Catholic Church,” said a statement from the Maryknoll Society Nov. 19.

      “Instead, Mr. Bourgeois chose to campaign against the teachings of the Catholic Church in secular and non-Catholic venues. This was done without the permission of the local U.S. Catholic Bishops and while ignoring the sensitivities of the faithful across the country.”

      “Disobedience and preaching against the teaching of the Catholic Church about women’s ordination led to his excommunication, dismissal and laicization.”

      Bourgeois was told in July 2011 that he would be dismissed from the Maryknoll order unless he renounced his “defiant stance” against Catholic teaching on the possibility of women’s ordination.

      Maryknoll superior general Fr. Edward M. Dougherty in a July 27, 2011 letter warned Bourgeois of his imminent dismissal on the grounds that he had shown “obstinate disobedience” to his superiors in violation of his oath about a “grave matter.”

      The letter also cited his “diffusion of teachings” opposed to the “definitive teaching of John Paul II and the Magisterium of the Catholic Church as well as the “grave scandal” he has caused to the people of God, to the Church, and to many Maryknoll priests and brothers.

      Bourgeois replied soon after that the Catholic teaching on male priesthood “defies both faith and reason” and is “rooted in sexism.”

      “I will not recant,” he said in his Aug. 8, 2011 reply.

      Following that exchange, his case proceeded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which more than a year later dismissed and laicized Bourgeois.

      “Mr. Bourgeois freely chose his views and actions, and all the members of the Maryknoll Society are saddened at the failure of reconciliation,” the order stated.

      “With this parting, the Maryknoll Society warmly thanks Roy Bourgeois for his service to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life.”

      Something for Deacon Sullivan to consider…


    2. Inebriated Sedevacantist November 20, 2012 at 4:23 pm

      Something for Deacon Sullivan to consider…

      Cue Godfather theme music…..


    3. Valerie November 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Mr IS,

      That is funny. :)

      Also, linked to this topic, has anybody seen this
      LCWR, who disobedience to the Holy Father and obstinate rejection of Church Teaching is well known, receives an award, and both the Vatican Insider and the Australian website which runs this story, puts up a picture of nuns from the rival group (The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, CMSWR), which is the antithesis of the LCWR, making it look like these nuns are the LCWR. The LCWR nuns look nothing like these nuns pictured in the article. The ones in the article look like the Nashville Dominicans who want nothing to do with the LCWR. That is very sloppy reporting.


    4. Abenader November 20, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks for this post Marty.
      Truly, not much has changed has it? If anything, its got decidedly worse since SSPX.Saint Pius had (the saintly) Cardinal Merry del val. Blessed JPII had the great Ratzinger. Who does Pope Benedict have to at least to watch his back? So many people in the church AKA Catholics hate Our Holy Father. So many clergy rubbish him by simply being disobedient to his words of love and counsel. How can a person claim to be ‘Catholic’ and despise the Vicar of Christ?
      Insanity outside the church is possibly a reflection of the insanity of some of it’s members.
      Truly, we must pray for Our Holy Father daily.
      God bless Pope Benedict the brave.

    5. bamac November 20, 2012 at 5:13 pm


      Can not remember ever seeing LCWR grouphere those in it looked anything like nuns…. can you? ..can anyone? If you have one I would love to see it.


    6. Valerie November 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      Mrs Mac,

      I have never seen any picture of LCWR nuns in any habit what-so-ever, except of course those horrid track pants and suit jacket thingys, but that doesn’t qualify as a religious habit in my books.


    7. Helens Bay November 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      How did Christ dress?As of the people.
      No fancy dress for Him.
      I believe his highlight was the Crown of Thorns.

    8. Don the Kiwi November 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      I dunno, Helen’s Bay.

      I would think his clothes at the time of the Transfiguration would have been pretty amazing, doncha think?

    9. Opthomistic November 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

      How did Christ dress? It seems he wasn’t dressed as typically as Helens Bay likes to think:

      “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and divided them into four parts, to every soldier a part, and the coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven whole from the top down. Therefore, they said among themselves, let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it will become.” John 19:23

      “…and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance” (Luke 8:3)

      And in Revelation the Holy Spirit presents to us Christ dressed in the full regalia that the High Priest of Judaism wore, Jesus was: “dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.” (Revelation 1:13)

    10. Teresina November 20, 2012 at 8:46 pm

      A very timely post, Marty, with all the disobedience in the Church these days, from bishops down to permanent deacons.

      I hope that Chris Sullivan does take note of your post, Val, and unlike Fr. Roy Bourgeois he does recant on his views re women priests, et cetera.

      Helens Bay, recent Popes have requested that priests wear their clericals and religious wear their habit. Not wearing clericals or a habit seems to be an indication of their disobedience at all levels. Wearing of the habit or clericals sets priests and religious apart, as Opthomistic points out in revelation Christ is depicted dressed as a High Priest.

      Mons Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington has some good points re the wearing of the habit:

      “What is the purpose of a religious habit? Religious life is not hidden, neither is it occasional. To enter the priesthood or religious life is to publicly accept the consecration of one’s whole self to the service of God and neighbor. That is why the most traditional religious garb covers the whole body. It is more than a tee-shirt, a hat or an emblem of some sort. It is a covering of the whole body to indicate the entirety of the consecration.

      Further, each habit is distinctive since each religious community has a particular charism or gift by which they collectively serve the Church. Religious and priests do not merely consecrate themselves for their own agenda. Rather they join others with similar and proven charisms in communities recognized by the Church.

      The word “habit” also suggests that religious life and priesthood are not an occasional activity, or even a 9 to 5 job. They are the habitual identity and life of the one who receives the call. That is also why the habit is usually worn at all times.

      The widespread disappearance of clerical garb and religious habits back in the 1970s was a disturbing trend. Many religious and priests no longer saw themselves as set apart, as distinctive. Many wanted to blend in and also lost a sense of the charism of their order. Many also preferred anonymity since it made them less busy and they no longer had to live as “public” people. However, many newer orders have emerged which once again wear the habit faithfully. Further, many older orders either never wholly abandoned it or have re-emphasized its importance. This is praiseworthy. If you are a lay person, encourage priests and religious as you see them about bearing witness to their consecration by the way they dress and reminding others of God and the Kingdom of God.”

    11. Helens Bay November 20, 2012 at 9:42 pm

      i know in Ireland and USA the majority of priests are afraid of retribution by the public for the actions of priestly child abusers and want no part of the uniform.

    12. bamac November 20, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      Helens Bay,

      How do you know this?you read it somewhere? I am interested to read it too.

      Mrs Mac

    13. Helens Bay November 20, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      Have lots of friends in Ireland and UsA and unfortunately priests do not rate very highly considering the appalling sexual abuse crisis which has huge implications for the church in Ireland especially.

    14. Teresina November 20, 2012 at 10:47 pm

      Helens Bay, sounds like a good excuse not to wear clericals to me. Like Mrs Mac I’d like to see the proof. It’s interesting after being quiet for so long the media are now pointing the finger at other pedophiles, such as Jimmy Saville, and hung by their own petard the BBC are accused of a major cover-up, even turning a blind eye to what was going on.

      Good to see the Confraternity of Catholic Priests in the pledging obedience to the Holy Father and calling the dissident Austrian priests miscreants!

      “HARRISBURG, Pa., April 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-iReach/ — Five hundred priests and deacons of the national association, the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, pledge their complete loyalty and obedience to the Pope and Magisterium and, by means of fraternal correction, exhort their dissident Austrian brothers of the ‘Pfarrer Initiative’ to repent and recant. Disobedience among deacons, priests and bishops is not only scandalous to the faithful but injurious to the Mystical Body of Christ (the Church). We are not just resigned to the discipline of celibacy and merely tolerant of the doctrine of a male priesthood, we totally accept and embrace them. The marks of the Church (one, holy, catholic and apostolic) are personified in the Petrine ministry. Hence, to obey the Pope is to obey the Church, the Bride of Christ. Like Judas who betrayed Christ, dissident clergy betray the same Lord by their prideful refusal of submission to lawful authority.

      Dissent from Magisterial teaching and disobedience to Papal authority are incompatible with Catholic Christianity. Jesus founded the Church and instituted the Sacraments. Holy Orders is one of the sacraments and it is the essence of the hierarchy (which means an orderly chain of command). The soul of Holy Orders is obedience. Clergy must lead by example, as did Our Lord, who submitted to the will of His Father. When Deacons, Priests and Bishops disobey the Church and her chief shepherd, the Pope, they do a grave disservice to the people they have been sent to serve.

      The CCC professes allegiance to the Holy Father, especially in all matters of faith and morals. We see obedience to the authority of the Church as obedience to Christ. As the Bishop of Rome, the Pope is head of the Church. Vatican II and the Catechism (1992) define his authority as, “supreme, full, immediate, and universal,” by divine institution.
      As all priests renew their promise of obedience each year, we urge our fellow clergy all over the world to imitate Jesus in His humility. Pride prevents one from obeying. Jesus who was Priest, Prophet and King, founded the Church so she could continue His work of teaching, sanctifying and shepherding. He simultaneously created ordained ministry in order to implement that three-fold mission. Hence the deacons, priests and bishops of the Church exist to serve and service is substantially obedience. The cleric submits his will as did the Son to the Father.”

      PR Newswire (

    15. bamac November 21, 2012 at 9:02 am


      Thank you so much for that so positive sounding quote … God Bless those good priests.

      Two sentences in particular said a lot to me as I feel that they very much apply to us lay as well :-The CCC professes allegiance to the Holy Father, especially in all matters of faith and morals. We see obedience to the authority of the Church as obedience to Christ. As the Bishop of Rome, the Pope is head of the Church. Vatican II and the Catechism (1992) define his authority as, “supreme, full, immediate, and universal,” by divine institution.

      The second one :- Dissent from Magisterial teaching and disobedience to Papal authority are incompatible with Catholic Christianity

      Helens Bay,

      Congratulations! No matter what the topic of the post is , when you comment so often your said comments return somehow to clerical sex abuse. What about something positive instead?


      Thank you for this post.

      Mrs Mac

    16. Helens Bay November 21, 2012 at 11:10 am

      “There are none so blind as those who will not see”

    17. Benedicta November 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

      Helens Bay

      Back to your strange obsession…an unhealthy preoccupation with sex abuse of the clerical kind.


      The second one :- Dissent from Magisterial teaching and disobedience to Papal authority are incompatible with Catholic Christianity

      I wholeheartedly agree with this. The difficulty is that it tends (in human practice) to Law and rules. The modern mind reads it that way. The way I see it we are only truly free and on the true trajectory of love when we are good…God’s way. In faith we have to trust the Church to teach us what is truly good and enter freely into that way of life.

      It is about humility and not submission to law. When humility and love for God are the attitude and aim the rest follows and law is subsumed into LOVING obedience and becomes the path of freedom.

      This is a conversion matter and of Grace in the first instance.

    18. Abenader November 21, 2012 at 12:29 pm

      Helens Bay/Paulinem

      Feel free not to answer but a wee ‘curiosity':
      If the option were available, would you receive Holy Communion kneeling and on the tongue?

    19. bamac November 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Helens Bay,

      Your quote ….“There are none so blind as those who will not see” is very true … none so blind as those who can not stick to the topic and insist on twisting it back to their own pet obsession.

      Before you once again accuse me of denying clerical abuse as you have done on more than one occasion, … no way do I deny it but THIS thread is NOT about THAT.


      Mrs Mac