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American Priest Facing Possible Disciplinary Action for Political Speech

(Image: Youtube screenshot of video entitled: HLI VP Fr. Peter West at SCOTUS for Obamacare Decision)

Fr. Peter West is priest of the Diocese of Newark, New Jersey. He’s an Associate Pastor at St. John’s Church in Orange. He’s also the former Vice President for Missions at Human Life International, and has worked for over 25 years in the pro-life movement.

As is often the case with those who are engaged in important counter-cultural works, Fr. West is outspoken on the issues he cares about. He is active on social media — both on Twitter and Facebook — and lately, this has generated some controversy.

“Bashing liberals, Muslims and millennials,” reads the breathless headline of Mark Mueller’s February 8 Column at, “Has this pro-Trump priest gone too far?”

With the invocation of President Trump as a guilt-by-association smear tactic, it’s all-but-guaranteed that what follows will involve a certain measure of hysteria. And Mueller doesn’t disappoint:

Posting on Facebook and Twitter up to a dozen times a day, he has repeatedly railed against Muslims, calling moderate Islam “a myth” and voicing strong support for the president’s travel ban, which temporarily barred immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries before a judge issued a stay last week.

West has assailed millennials as “snowflakes” who attend “cry-ins” and described liberals as “smug and arrogant” people who find solace in puppies and Play-Doh.

He has called Hillary Clinton an “evil witch” and former President Barack Obama a “bum,” at one point sharing a post that challenged Obama’s authenticity as an African-American because he wasn’t raised by a poor single mother in the inner city.

Were West some random internet flamethrower, his posts might garner a shrug in an age of intense political division and social media rancor.

But West, 57, is a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, and some of his withering attacks, while popular with many of his 7,300 Facebook followers from around the country, run counter to the statements and philosophies of his own leader, Newark Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, and his ultimate boss, Pope Francis.

It should be noted that as of this writing — just five days after initial publication — Fr. West’s Facebook account is now followed by 9,958 people – a gain of 2,658, or 36%, since Mueller’s column was published.

Explaining the jump in his popularity isn’t hard. In an age of unanswered dubia, skittishness about moral teaching from the pulpit, and more feckless bishops than not, a hard-hitting Jersey priest who calls them like he sees them is a welcome breath of fresh air to many Catholics.

Mueller goes on, even digging up an appropriately pearl-clutching clerical scold:

A minority of commenters on West’s Facebook page have denounced him as a “hatemonger” who promotes divisiveness, and at least one person complained about him to the archdiocese in December — a development announced by West himself on Facebook.

His response? A harangue against “leftist apparatchiks” and “Comrade Obama.”

Directly addressing the complainant, whom he did not name, West added: “You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting pro-abortion, anti-family politicians. If I get in trouble for denouncing them, so be it! But I won’t be scared off by a totalitarian jerk like yourself!”

The Rev. John J. Dietrich, the director of spiritual formation at the nation’s second largest seminary, Mount Saint Mary’s in Maryland, called West’s comments about politicians, Muslims and liberals “way over-the-top inappropriate behavior.”

“The thrust of his priesthood is not to be political. The thrust of his priesthood is supposed to be sacramental, preaching the Scripture,” Dietrich said, adding, “There’s a red line you don’t cross.”

“We discuss things like this in the seminary,” he said. “We would never countenance anything like this.”

No you wouldn’t, would you Fr. Dietrich? And that is a huge part of the problem. Mount Saint Mary’s is widely considered one of the best diocesan seminaries in the country. But if you form your seminarians to be afraid of conflict, afraid of standing up and being counted and acting like men, knowing that their bishops will never support them, what are they going to do when something comes that’s really important and has an impact on the souls entrusted to their care? Something like Amoris Laetitia?

They’re going to punt. They’re going to either ignore it or downplay it or treat it like an untouchable topic or even try to play both sides in the confessional, which is where it really counts. Not exactly reminiscent of the ministry of St. John the Baptist, is it? He got political — and sacramental — over marriage, and lost his head for it. He’s also considered one of the greatest saints and martyrs of the Church. You can be socially acceptable, or you can be holy. Pick one.

Unsurprisingly, the Archdiocese of Newark isn’t happy about Fr. West’s outspokenness. Jim Goodness, Communications Director for the Archdiocese now headed by one of Pope Francis’ newly-minted cardinals, Joseph Tobin, acknowledged Fr. West’s First Amendment rights, but took issue with them:

In a statement to NJ Advance Media, Goodness said the archdiocese would move to curtail West’s political pronouncements.

“Certainly, a priest doesn’t give up his civil liberties when he is ordained, and he maintains the same right to freedom of expression as anyone else in the United States,” Goodness said. “That said, we are concerned about Father West’s comments and actions, and will be addressing them according to the protocols of the Church.”

I wrote to Mr. Goodness last week to see if he would elaborate on the apparent plans to suppress Fr. West’s Internet speech. I also inquired asked which “protocols of the Church”, exactly, the Archdiocese would be invoking in this case, since Canon Law does not address the kind of political speech Fr. West is engaging in. Finally, I mentioned that some bloggers were speculating that Fr. West’s energetic activism in the pro-life movement, which at times brought him into conflict with high-ranking prelates like Washington’s Cardinal Wuerl, were the real motivation behind any forthcoming disciplinary action. “Would you be willing to address this concern,” I asked, “with an affirmation of support from the Newark Archdiocese for Fr. West’s pro-life work?”

The following day, Goodness responded to my three-paragraph inquiry with a single sentence: “That [sic] appears in the story is all that I am prepared to say on this matter at this time.”

In an interview with Claire Chretien of LifeSiteNews, Fr. West defended himself from the accusations in the article, which could more accurately be described as a “hit piece”:

“It has half-truths, distortions of the truth, and I would say outright lies in it,” he said. For example, the article claims “that I called all millennials snowflakes, which is not true. I think that anyone who is seeking safe spaces and can’t stand to hear contrary opinions is a snowflake no matter what their age.”

The article also says West shared a post on Facebook “that challenged Obama’s authenticity as an African-American because he wasn’t raised by a poor single mother in the inner city.”

“In fact, what I was doing was defending Dr. Ben Carson against the charge that he was an inauthentic African-American and I was comparing some of his experiences to Barack Obama’s experience,” said West. “I shared a meme that … compared some of his experiences growing up to Barack Obama’s experiences. So I was basically saying that, you know, I don’t make such distinctions, but if we want to play that game, look at the contrast between Barack Obama’s life and Dr. Ben Carson’s life.”

He said the article’s misrepresentation of him as racist “troubles me” because he ministers to many African-Americans at his parish. The article doesn’t mention the full context of West’s post.

I reached out to Fr. West to ask if he had anything to add to his comments in LifeSiteNews. He responded:

A priest asked me why I wasn’t lying low. I told him for me to lie low would be for me to admit that the smears in the media were true, and that my words were so egregious as to deserve canonical action.

It would appear that there is no off switch on courage and character. Either you have it, or you don’t. Would that our bishops had as much backbone.

After our initial exchange, I followed up with Mr. Goodness and pressed the issue. I asked whether the protocols he mentioned were a secret. I asked how other priests in Newark could avoid running afoul of them if they don’t know what they are. And perhaps most importantly, I inquired as to whether the same, undefined “protocols” would also be applied to another priest of the Archdiocese — Fr. Alexander Santora — who, through his Twitter feed and his own column at (surely, a coincidence!) has demonstrated that some political rhetoric by priests of the Newark Archdiocese — provided it reflects a certain ideological perspective — goes uncontested.

See for example Fr. Santora’s sharing of a recent column. In the tweet, he says that Trump is “dangerous”:

Or this one, from shortly before the election, in which he refers to the most pro-abortion presidential candidate in history — Hilary Clinton — as the “Healer in Chief”:

Going back through his timeline before the election, I observed that Fr. Santora has tweets in which he refers to Trump as “stupid” and “outrageous“, even going so far to say that if Trump lived in a third world country he would “lose and not survive.”  In other tweets, he questions whether Trump has disabilities:

And this:

There is also evidence that Fr. Santora is a dissident on Church teaching, particularly on the matter of homosexuality. Former “gay” man, author, and Catholic evangelist Joseph Sciambra notes this in a recent post on his website:

Alexander Santora, a priest in the Archdiocese of Newark, is a frequent contributor to A repeated topic he discusses in his column is the LGBT issue; I read several of them; at best they are unhelpful, at their worst they are highly ambivalent and overly apologetic. In 2013 – as several cases on the State level concerning same-sex marriage worked their way through the Courts, Santora wrote:

Churches tend to makes change at a glacial pace. Yet, in two watershed decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has validated the movement toward same-sex marriage that only began to register with American society a little over a decade ago.

He also quoted the response from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops:

“Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so.”

Then he added the following:

The Catholic bishops appealed to “the common good of all” and called for “a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage.” The Supreme Court of the land, however, has expanded the notion of common good and an expansive view of marriage.

But the strangest piece Santora wrote for was an article in which he resoundingly praised the late-Jesuit John J McNeill – the founder of the dissident “gay” Catholic movement. Santora wrote of McNeill: “McNeill’s courage and brilliance started the church on a trajectory that it is still trying to define.” According to Fr. John Harvey: “The dissenting theologian who has had the greatest influence on Catholic homosexual persons is probably John J. McNeill, S.J.” In his landmark 1976 work “The Church and the Homosexual,” McNeill’s primary thesis concerning the inherent ethical goodness of homosexual relations he summarized in the book’s Introduction:

“It would appear to follow that the same moral rules to homosexual and heterosexual attitudes and behaviors. Those that are responsible, respectful, loving and truly promotive of the good of both parties are moral; those that are exploitive, irresponsible, disrespectful, or destructive of the true good of either party, must be judged immoral.”

Before his death, McNeill left the priesthood to marry his same-sex lover.

Later in the same post, Sciambra points out language used by Fr. Santora that appears to also promote the idea that Catholics can, in good conscience, vote for pro-abortion political candidates.

Of course, Fr. Santora is a big Cardinal Tobin and Pope Francis fan, so perhaps that’s sufficient cover for his problematic speech. We’ve already reported on about the special treatment even clerical sexual abusers receive from the Francis Vatican if they are considered to have “cardinal friends”. Why wouldn’t the same standard apply even more strongly to controversial speech, when tweets like this are being circulated?

Four days after my follow-up inquiry on Fr. Santora, I have received no response from Mr. Goodness or his associates in the communications office.

It seems to always play out the same way. Dissident priests or those with Leftist viewpoints can speak whenever and wherever they want without consequence. Faithful priests or those with politically conservative viewpoints find themselves in hot water over the littlest things.

While I don’t believe it’s always prudent, I support free speech for clergy, even on controversial matters. In fact, it helps to know where they stand, instead of having to always guess about it. But the standards of conduct related to such speech must be made clear ahead of time, and universally and equitably applied. This nonsense about “protocols of the Church” that can’t be referenced is not going to cut it.

If you’d like to see Fr. West treated justly, I recommend that you make your voice heard on the matter. Contact the Archdiocese of Newark here and offer your support.

68 thoughts on “American Priest Facing Possible Disciplinary Action for Political Speech”

  1. Meanwhile, James Martin, SJ (surprise, surprise), can go on MSNBC, commit calumny against Steve Bannon, and demonstrate his ignorance by conflating the “Church militant” with “radical traditionalists”, and yet I don’t hear his bishop saying a thing.

    The double standard in political discourse is alive and well, probably more so than ever.

    • Even DEACONS teaching CCD in NJ Dioceses DON”T KNOW WHAT CHURCH MILITANT means….one tried to tell the kids that the term Church Militant was just a “Cold war thing” because everyone was obsessed with the “Evil Empire” of Russia. You know what they say, about a little knowledge being dangerous….and they have very little. The rest they make up and try to pass off as fact

  2. St. Maximilian Kolbe surely would have used Twitter and Facebook, and I doubt his comments would be all that different from the upstanding and courageous Father West.
    (I’ve had the privilege of meeting Fr. West when he was at my previous parish for a visit)

  3. As long as the likes of Frs. Rosica, Martin & Beck etc. are allowed to freely exert their opinions then Frs. Pavone & West must also be allowed the same freedom.

  4. I continue to marvel at how Church politics continues to model itself on the worst of secular politics. Anybody who is paying 1/4th of a brain’s attention sees over the last 36 hours how rogue members of the intelligence community, the Deep State and the Permanent State, the leadership of the Democratic Party, Ex-President Obama, spies, leakers, seemingly foolish women who are using fashion as an AK-47 (e.g., take down Ivanka for wearing her own dress), the leftist press and some emasculated Republican “leaders” are working to maintain the swamp even as Trump tries to drain it. THEIR LIVES ARE AT STAKE. And God bless President Trump as he learns to deal with this cancer. Same, on a much more important level, for the cretins and/or the clueless/weak in our hierarchy who do all they can to maintain the wreckage of Vatican II, and advance it, versus allowing good priests who know how to call a spade a spade to speak and thrive and draw souls to Christ. The vehemence of their attempts to take down the orthodox is in direct proportion to how strongly that person threatens their clerical boys-club.

    • Unfortunately, even the small number of Catholics who remain possessing the One True Faith have no clue as to what we’re up against. I first encountered it in the pro-life March on Washington sometime around 1993. The Police had put up a barrier where the line of march narrowed to keep the pro-abortion demonstrators separated from the pro-life people. As we passed the pro-aborts, I witnessed men and women who were literally foaming at the mouth in a frenzy of rage as they hurled and screamed their obscene invective at pro-life adults, teens and children. Years later, I happened to stumble upon by pure accident some video footage of what I witnessed. I showed it to a priest friend is has been long involved in priestly work involving the demonic (including exorcisms). He watched the entire 8 minute clip and remarked when it was over, “Those people have all the signs of demonic possession.” I had never given that possibility a thought. But after much reflection and watching the present Pontificate dovetail into the Obama Administration, followed by the election of 2016 and what has transpired since, I believe that we are witnessing an unprecedented and possibly decisive battle of the Church against Powers and Principalities.

      Lord forgive me my sins, long ago confessed, but which made me a cooperator with the powers of hell and have contributed mightily to the present darkness. Grace me to pray and do penance to undo a small portion of the spiritual damage and carnage for which heaven has every right to charge me with being an accessory.

      • We are most definitely up against a monumental demonic attack. This is the final battle between God and Satan and it’s over marriage and the family. This ‘war’ is not of flesh and blood, but of principalities and powers. It’s world wide and heaven wide, and we are LIVING IT!!!!

        Yes, some of us KNOW what we’re up against, and it’s terrifying and soul shaking and shaking in our boots we go ahead and work out our salvation and proclaim the truth of Christ come what may. God has our back, and His wonderful Blessed Mother guides us on our journey and gives us the strength and grace to soldier on, come what may. Satan at this time has permeated our world, as is so very obvious, but the Lord God has permeated His faithful even more. Just remember, in the end……………WE WIN!!!! And Satan will be cast into the deepest depths of Hell. But yes, I think there are a fair number of us realize this is the WAR OF ALL WARS. It’s amazing that God has commissioned us to live in such a time.

        • Rumours continue to grow that @Pontifex has got some huge, Church-shattering bomb ready to launch. My money’s on Vatican III.
          Hilary White @Hilarityjane66.

  5. I am inspired by Fr. West. To see a Catholic priest who has the courage to speak out regardless of the consequences gives me hope. Thank you Fr. West. I am praying for you and for all priests who speak truth.

  6. I’m heading over to the New Jersey Archdiocese website right now to offer my support. This kind of action against priests is simply wrong.

      • I sent an email telling them, in very polite, professional language, that they’re a bunch of hypocrites and that they have no grounds in Canon Law to take any action against Fr. West. It was 3 paragraphs of some fluffy language they might respond to. Probably not. But if their mailboxes start getting filled up with anger against this action they’ll at least take notice. I did specifically ask them for a public statement regarding their double standard toward Fr. Santora.

        EDIT: I should add I don’t really expect anything, but I had some time, so why not?

  7. A priest burning with zeal for the House of the Lord


    A flurry of snowflakes.

    You don’t have to be Nostradamus to work out the winner.

  8. Popes and saints of past spoke against Islam and the dangers of it, they stood up to the truth, great example. Today if a priest, Bishop speak against Islam they are hated, rebuked, doesn’t make sense.

  9. When the Schism becomes official, I will seek out Fr. Peter West’s opinion on who the faithful priests are and where they can be found.

      • Hi NC – FSSP will be an excellent option as long as they don’t go with Francis. I have never heard of ICK in this context, And as to the SSPX one schism does not justify another one.

          • Hi NC – The FSSP is not independent from Francis, after all he can claim that he is the SP in the FSSP. I live 25 miles from an FSSP parish in Quincy Illinois, and I fear that if Bishop Paprocki was no longer in charge of that diocese, or if he decided to support Francis(which is unlikely), the FSSP would be put in a very tough position. I will look into Institute of Christ the King, but I wonder if they are in just as tenuous a position as the FSSP. As to the SSPX, to assume that they are the verge of canonical recognition from Francis, what would that be worth?

          • If Francis tries to suppress the FSSP, I really have no idea what would happen. I can’t speak for other parishes, but I just can’t imagine the three we currently have here preaching heresy or saying the Novus Ordo.
            As to the SSPX, they will be (assuming full recognition) an escape for real Catholics seeking the true Church and not some NuChurch monstrosity.

          • Hi NC – When the time comes, each option will have its chance to prove its fidelity to Jesus Christ and the teachings of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I am hopeful the FFSP will be on the right side of the Schism, the side which exposes Francis and makes his excommunication as a heretic official. As to the SSPX, they already separated themselves once from the True Church, why should one expect that they wish to repent of that decision. If they don’t they are just another version of Francis.

          • Were it not for Abp. Lefebvre and the Society, it is highly doubtful there would be an FSSP or even a Latin Mass. They stayed faithful to the Magisterium, but ran afoul of the modernists in the form on Paul VI and JPII. And if they are regularized without condition, then it merely proves they were right all along about the errors of VII (ecumenism, etc).

          • HI NC – I Thank Benedict for that. I will copy and paste what I posted recently on this topic – ” Hi sernex – This is what I know for sure – Francis can ignore the SSPX, he can’t ignore Cardinal Burke. That is the benefit for staying in the post-conciliar Church as opposed to separating from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, you lose credibility and thus a voice at the table when the true crisis hits. That crisis was not Vatican II, it is Francis. ” – Anyone in the SSPX who believes they have a voice in the True Church at this point only fools themselves. Hopefully, those trapped within the SSPX will recognize their error and repent and reconcile themselves to the True Church, How they do that with Francis in charge makes the efforts of JPII and Benedict to offer an authentic reconciliation seems to be true opportunities missed, and perhaps the last chance to do so, en masse(pardon the sorta pun). Those in the SSPX are schismatics and truly blaspheme the Holy Spirit as such. I can wish all day that wasn’t the case, but the best I can do is pray that God is merciful to those in that situation. There is no guarantee that He will be. though.

          • How can a pope grant faculties to schismatics? Only a Catholic priest can absolve sin, and as you may recall Francis granted that to Society priests at the beginning of the “Year of Mercy” and has not rescinded it. Of course, Society priests have been granting absolution for decades under their interpretation of canon law, but Francis made it juridically official more than a year ago.
            Vatican II IS the crisis. Francis is merely the logical outcome of it, just as Obama was the logical outcome of “progress” in America.
            Pope JPII created the FSSP in 1988 post haste after the SSPX consecrated Bishops. I don’t think Cardinal Raztinger had much to do with, that, although I could be wrong.
            (I am not attached to the Society, I merely defend it)

          • Hi NC – A Vicar of Christ can’t grant faculties to schismatics, and that has been the issue every time the attempts to reconcile fell through. Francis and his “Year of Mercy”, if you want to hang your hat on that abomination and perversion of the authentic Grace of Divine Mercy, do so at the risk of losing your soul to the fires of hell. Here is how I define apostasy – defending, encouraging or participating in any act that offends the Blessed Trinity and thus wounds the Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe both the SSPX and Francis and his supporters fit that definition, especially in regards to their treatment of the Bride of Christ..

          • I am certainly not going to disagree with you on what Francis is doing to Holy Mother Church. Of course, there is the distinct possibility that he is not the actual pope (see Ann Barnhardt for a lot more on this). If that is the case, then none of what he has done is juridical. If he is he has certainly come out as a heretic, and thus losing the Petrine Office. He is the perfect Freemasonic wrecking ball. St. Leo XIII, ora pro nobis!

          • Hi NC – You make many good points. If the terms Pope, Vicar of Christ and the Holy Father are supposed to be equivalent and interchangeable then Francis is clearly not a Pope in that respect. He is more the vicar of antichrist, he has proven to have a preference for the profane, and he is the first pope elected to the papacy after his successor, still living, was pressured into resigning. But he is being exposed most profoundly by the unchanging teachings of the Church, and the Words of Christ from within the Church by those who have remained inside the Church post Vatican II. The Holy Spirit inspires the Cardinals who oppose Francis, and that more than anything shows that the True Church is their home.

          • Hi NC – I have a real problem when people both ask the question and then answer it. No allowance for debate, often indicates a recognition that their is an inability to defend one’s positions. I am afraid Ann is clearly among those who prefer the echo chamber of their minds to the open debate which is much more likely to arrive at the Truth. Ann has a vivid imagination, and that unchecked is a dangerous thing.

          • I have been a regular reader of Miss Barnhardt since 2011. In fact, it is she who pointed me, at that time, a non-practicing Evangelical protestant, to the True Faith. I had never heard “Real Presence” in the same sentence before. Her caveat to find a priest that celebrates the TLM was spot on. I did so (diocesan), and was Confirmed in 2012. I am now in a Fraternity parish, thanks be to God.

            Ann’s site has never had a comm-box. She does read emails, and will sometimes reply via a blog post.

          • Hi NC – Have you discussed Ann’s website with that diocesan priest or any of the priests in your parish? You might consider that Ann appeals to some of the Evangelical beliefs you might need to abandon. If you do so, you might be drawn into a deeper understanding of the Sacraments, and the role the Holy Spirit plays in the Church He guides.

          • Hi sernex – This is what I know for sure – Francis can ignore the SSPX, he can’t ignore Cardinal Burke. That is the benefit for staying in the post-conciliar Church as opposed to separating from the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, you lose credibility and thus a voice at the table when the true crisis hit. That crisis was not Vatican II, it is Francis.

          • (1) Francis is listening to no one but Francis. And he certainly is not listening to Cardinal Burke.

            (2) The crisis is Vatican II (and before). Anyone who can read de Mattei and not arrive at that conclusion hasn’t read de Mattei.

          • Hi sernex – 1) Francis is not his own man, he definitely is aligned with far more senior persons running the show. He is actually just a pawn, but a very important one in the globalist agenda.
            2) I was born in 1962, my life has been coincident to the Council and its aftermath, and I am absolutely sure that the Church remains intact even though under relentless attack. I listened to Father Malachi Martin and give him absolute credibility in regards to Vatican II and the fruits of Vatican II. He was quite accurate in describing the Church as it was during the papacy of JPII, and identified the errors of Vatican II and the errors which flowed from that ill fated council very cogently. He was no fan of the Novus Ordo and identified many of the fatal flaws in it. Many of which Benedict remedied. And yet he never claimed any of the popes were illegitimate, and he never claimed that the Church those popes ruled over was not the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. He died 20 years ago but the warnings he gave in his books and in his interviews are amazingly prescient. He warned that the Jesuits had lost their way and indeed could be the source of a possible future crisis in the Church. He warned that there would be pressure put on a pope to resign and that would be something that would threaten the Church in the Future. He had read the Third Secret and confirmed that it addressed a future great apostasy in the Church. All that he warned us about has proven accurate. And yet he never renounced the Church, only the errors being introduced by men into the Church, which would withstand that threat because it is the True Church. From the first moment I heard him, I knew he was disseminating the Truth, and I have never witnessed anything that he spoke of that proved to be untrue.

          • fniper: I wish I had the time to engage in a full discussion of the issues. Let me just say you are so close yet so far from capturing the actual reality. But if you listened to the counsel of Malachi Martin, then you would support the position of the SSPX. He did so unreservedly. Their theological positions are essentially mine.

          • Hi senrex – I heard Malachi Martin speak about the SSPX and though he did have sympathy for them, he did not have unreserved support for them. Malachi Martin was not a member of the SSPX, and would never consider being anything but what he was a Roman Catholic priest. He referred to the SSPX as schismatic, though he did say that he could see them eventually attaining heaven. As to Malachi Martins theological foundations, he was the soundest theologian I have ever heard speak on any topic regarding the Church’s teachings and history. He stayed within the Church the SSPX walked away from. I take no pleasure in pointing this out because Malachi Martin was definitely sympathetic to the SSPX, and knew all of the players before, during and after Vatican II, and thus was the most credible and objective source available regarding both the SSPX and the Church they opposed. Malachi Martin called JPII his pope, while the members of the SSPX do not.

          • I take no pleasure in telling you that what you are saying is absolutely wrong. If he had said it at one time, that was NOT his position at the time of his death — and if you have contrary information, it must be public so make it available here. Not that my suppport of the SSPX depends on Malachi Martin’s point of view. I bring it up because you are in need of correction.

            You are also sadly misinformed about the SSPX and the Pope. Francis (as was JP II) is prayed for in the canon of every Mass offered by a SSPX priest. As is the name of the local bishop.

            Bishop Schneider of Kazakhstan did a seminary visitation for the Vatican two years ago and left publicly stating that the SSPX is Catholic and recommended to the Holy See that it be regularized ASAP.

            Archbishop Pozzo of the Ecclesia Dei Commission invited the SSPX to build a seminary in Italy just last year.

            fniper: you are woefully ill informed.

          • Hi senrex – The criminals always proclaim their innocence. I first listened to Father Malachi Martin in late 1996 when he was interviewed by Art Bell, he was interviewed seven times by Art Bell, the last interview taking place a few months before he suffered the injury that lead to his death. I recorded those interviews when they took place and having listened to them many times since, I know how he felt about the SSPX. I recommend the documentary that premiered in January regarding Malachi Martin titled “Hostage to the Devil”, it was very informative and answered many of the questions surrounding his death. Listening to those interviews would make anyone well informed in many ways beyond his position of the SSPX. Any outreach from Francis, or his minions should be treated with extreme prejudice of the skeptical form.

  10. I encourage all good and faithful Catholics to commit to praying an extra decade of the Rosary for President Trump as long as he remains in office. I suggest the following intentions: For safety, health and courage. For wisdom. For conversion to the One True Faith. (I know this is an article on Father West, but I see lots of comments about the attacks on our new president in the comm box.)

    • +1

      I’ll add for the conversion of Donald Trump and his entire family to the Catholic faith. That has been my prayer since his election.

  11. Well I do believe one should speak out for what they believe, but a Catholic, and moreover a Catholic priest needs to temper his remarks so as to reflect Catholic teaching, such as mercy, forgiveness, for treating others even opponents as a Catholic should reflect Catholic values and not so much partisan political parties values. Christ has told us that we must be merciful and He did say, “blessed are the peacemakers.” Now one can argue that the right to self defense takes precedence over Christ’s specific teaching, but I wouldn’t ssay that is what a Catholic as a professed follower of Christ . I have been known to speak out against the popular views myself, and I have been and will be denounced for my frankness so I understand the issue. Now has fr. West ever spoken out against these unnecessary aggressive wars that unnecessarily kill many innocent people? And I do worry about the effect that Americanism has warped all American Catholics, though not in the same way. It seems still that many Americans are more American than Catholic. And I am very much against homosexuality and abortion, and I am a very traditional Catholic who travels many many miles on Sundays to attend an Eastern Catholic rite Liturgy,and have done so for the last maybe fifty years. I am quite unpopular with my fellow traditional Catholics because I believe that booing a traditional Catholic is more than attending the Latin Mass and voting Republican.

  12. I agree with Fr. West. Any grown-up who needs Play-Doh, colouring books and crying rooms because political events didn’t go exactly as they demand is seriously immature, and cannot be trusted to make rational decisions in the public square. Even my toddler would agree with him. ^_^

  13. Did you catch the statement by Dietrich that “the thrust of his (the) priesthood” is “preaching the Scripture”?

    The significance of this is astounding.

    In one sentence he reveals for those who have eyes to see the fact that the seminarians in “one of the best diocesan seminaries in the country” are being taught a LIE. A lie of such magnitude that only the blind can overlook it.

    This is THE most outragous of the lies of Protestantism adopted in Vatican II which demotes the priest to an elected presider or president over the assembly, whose primary responsibility is “preaching” and not that of being the mediator between man and God and offering, in the person of Christ and in perpetuity, the unbloody Sacrifice of Jesus Christ to the Father.

    The priesthood has been under attack and undermined and most everyone goes along with it!

  14. Steve, Don’t forget Fr. Alexander Santora’s CHARMING remark at 2:05 PM on 20 Sep 2016:

    “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Trump’s kids are as wacky as he is. Not like Skittles. More like Sour Patch Kids.”

  15. Fr. Peter Morello
    Truth is a two edged sword. Johnson’s Amendment though reprehensible
    in one respect was pushed thru Congress by an immensely capable
    politician due to criticism from pastors. On the other side clergy can
    and have gone too far in expressing their religious freedom. Limits.
    HR 781 is a well intended compromise seeking reasonable limits to
    freedom of speech, and freedom of religion. It remains a compromise
    with 501 (c) and the infamous IRS hanging over our [as a priest who has
    been the victim of Johnson’s Amendment] heads. Freedom of speech and
    freedom of religion cannot and must not be limited otherwise they are
    not freedoms. John Paul II said the Church cannot replace the State in
    politics. Nonetheless he perceived allowance for freedom. It’s similar
    to allowing as reprehensible as it is the burning of our flag. If
    clergy overstep their reasonable bounds that is their problem. Error
    and stupidity on their part should not be the ground for maintaining an
    Amendment that is stupid and erroneously curtails two vital freedoms.

  16. Peter West is a false prophet. Jesus tells us in Matthew 7 that we “know them by their fruits.” Such fruits are listed in Galatians 5 where the first one listed is love, echoing Jesus’ words in John 13: “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Peter’s relentless alt-right political posts on Facebook and Twitter followed by responses by some of his thousands of followers lead reasonable people to conclude that Peter is mongering hate. In Proverbs we are told that one who sows discord among the brethren is an abomination. Peter’s glaring lack of humility is evident as he doubles down on his self-anointed “mission” while he fancies himself a persecuted martyr of sorts. We all need to cultivate true humility, walk in repentance daily, pray without ceasing, and speak the truth with love. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

    • I agree with Fr. West’s political views, although I have always been a little apprehensive when clergy engage in the political sphere. I learnt from a Marino Restrepo reflection that prudence is a key virtue for priests. And the funny thing is that sometimes I find priests’ prudence exasperating. Two famous priests that became arguably successful in the political sphere in Ireland were Fr. John Murphy of Boolavogue who was ultimately hanged for his role in the 1798 Wexford Rebellion and then a generation later, Fr. Theobald Mathew, the teetoalist reformer.

      I consider your diagnosis of Fr. West as a false prophet to be off the mark. Robustly expressed political facts should not be construed as hateful. There is a terrible spirit of disobedience among the leftist media in the US towards President Trump. Two days ago former CIA operative and 2016 third-party presidential candidate Evan McMullin outrageously and disgracefully called President Trump a “domestic enemy” on Twitter. The discord you’re describing is being whipped up by professional liars in the media and the people they in turn influence. Perhaps Fr. West’s conscience compels him to push out into the political world with his social media contributions. I am sympathetic to this stance, even more so today given the current knife-edged atmosphere.

      I think President Donald Trump is a Godsend, despite his ongoing adulterous “marriage” to Melania. He has many good intentions for the United States of America and ultimately our world, and I pray that he will succeed.

  17. I first met Fr. West years ago when the small Catholic home-schooling group I belonged to brought him to a retreat as a key-note speaker. I recall that our own parish pastors (both of them) disapproved of his visit and did not allow him to even stay in their rectory for the night. The next day, they would not allow him to speak at mass, and we ended up going to an Evangelical church where they graciously listened to him, and sent him home with a big monetary offering. It sickens me that Fr. West is being singled out for his political speech, when at the same time Fr. James Martin is carrying the banner for gay marriage and every other left wing cause, and doing it with total impunity and seemingly blessings of the hierarchy and the Catholic blogosphere.


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