Protest becomes self-parody: the jihad against @BishopMorlino


I’ve been watching tweets against Bp. Morlino as part of the ongoing jihad against him here in Madison.

These poor people.

Ultra-liberal Madison, by the way, was once described by a former governor of Wisconsin as “30 square miles surrounded by reality”, although it has grown to some 77 by now and the phrase has undergone revision.

Someone here who truly detests the Bishop – no one hates like a committed liberal, with all their self-righteous and humorless moral superiority – started an online petition to have him removed.

Its hostility is ironically relieved by its over-the-top rhetoric which unintentionally involves self-parody.


I admit that the first time I read the petition, I almost laughed aloud.

As I reread it, it became even more amusing, a surprise considering how far off the mark it is.

Nothing, especially the truth, facts, will deter these folks from their objective: to hurt someone.

They aim at the bishop, but they are really hurting each other.

I weighed whether or not to give this flicker any oxygen.  It’ll die soon under the burden of its own eccentricity, especially because the people who made and signed it have not the slightest clue as to what they are talking about.

However, it is also exemplary in how cliché it is.  That’s why it deserves some attention now.  It can teach us how the Left thinks and works.   Reading it is rather like… an autopsy.  It’s not pleasant, but it’s instructive.  And it’s sorta funny, in a black, morbid way.

Here is the text – try reading it aloud! – with my emphases and comments:

We are asking that His Holiness Pope Francis PP remove Robert C. Morlino from his role as Bishop of the Madison Diocese.
Bishop Morlino exerts a corrosive and corrupt [!] influence over the Diocese through his transparent attempts to influence the voting habits of its members. [If they are “transparent”, then how have they been seen?  No.. no.. I’m reading with reason.  Make popcorn and then read on!] His threats to priests amount to a violation of the Constitutional separation of church and state. [LOL!] Furthermore, he is an open and practicing bigot whose attitudes and opinions about the LGBTQI [“I”? Not sure what that is.  But wouldn’t such a limited acronym have left out some group or other?] members of his Diocese (and our beloved families) are nothing short of inhumane. His hatred and discrimination are undoubtedly a violation of Christ’s admonition to love thy neighbor. [I think she meant “our” neighbor.]
He supports guidelines instructing priests to consider whether or not[“or not”] to withhold last rights or include the life-parter [sic] of the deceased at any ecclesiastical funeral rite or service in order to minimize “the risk of scandal and confusion” when asked to conduct the funeral service of someone who is in a “notorious homosexual relationship”. [So, the writer is against “considerations”.  Only absolute, unquestioning conformity to her will is acceptable. Typical.] He encourages priests to invasively inquire into the deceased’s “gay lifestyle” and whether or not the deceased repented prior to death. He seeks to obliterate evidence of any love created in the light of Christ that does not fit into his parochial, backward, hateful mold. He cannot be a shepherd to his flock if he does not love all his sheep equally the way Christ would have. […]
Finally, it is apparent that Bishop Morlino does not have the love in his heart nor the strength of character to stop his hate-filled fixation on the intimate livesof consensual and committed adults. He tries to disguise this obsession under a veil of discrimination[… ? What does that even mean?] and deploys it at a time when loss leaves loved ones most vulnerable and in need of support. This is nothing short of eviland we’ve had enough.
Bishop Morlino’s 14 year pattern and practice of abusing his power through hateful behavior has no place in Madison, WI let alone the Catholic church.

It is for this reason that we are asking his Holiness Pope Francis PP remove Robert C. Morlino from his role as Bishop of the Madison Diocese.

This petition will be delivered to:
Pope of the Catholic Church
His Holiness, Pope Francis PP (Pope of the Catholic Church)
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Most Reverend Bernard A Hebda
Bishop of Portland ME
Most Reverend Robert P. Deeley


Look, friends, matters of death and loss of loved ones, of funerals and obsequies are serious business.  So, too, is the salvation of souls, which is the daily absorbing care of the Catholic clergy.

All of these situations are difficult. One size does not fit all situations, which is was the substance of the original guidelines sent out which sparked the controversy.  Bp. Morlino’s – and the Church’s – detractors do a grave disservice to the whole community they think they are defending when the reduce them all to a stereotype, as if they came from a mold.

Every situation deserves individual consideration rather than the thoughtless neglect which – ironically – the backers of that petition seem to advocate.

That petition….  You’ve gotta admit that, even with its ugly and vindictive intent, with its purple prose it rapidly devolves into self-parody.

That petition might have been more effective accompanied by a video of a dramatic reading of the text with simultaneous interpretive dance.


Hordes of protesters – supporters of the petition – descended on a downtown Madison church to files their grievances.  They were, of course, covered by a full camera crew from a local TV station:

Yes, that’s all of them. But they are, to be fair, representative of the folks who are so lathered about Bp. Morlino right now.  I am deeply grateful for the coverage by the TV station!  Otherwise, we might have missed it!

What can you do?

  • There is an online petition in SUPPORT of B. Morlino… HERE
  • There is also a brand new petition at the same site as the anti-Morlino petition…. HERE  I think The Remnant started it.
  • Also, let Bishop Morlino know of your support:
  • Finally, let deeds speak louder than words.  With your words of support, add a donation to the Diocese, especially for the support of priestly vocations.  HERE  – NB: Look for St. Joseph Fund

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)

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12 Responses to Protest becomes self-parody: the jihad against @BishopMorlino

  1. rdb says:

    I am so happy that you shared this. The commentary in red was the cake but the picture of the protestors was the icing!

  2. KT127 says:

    I is Intersexual. I don’t know what that means, I don’t want to know what that means.

    I only know that because my niece decided she was gender fluid and was DFAB (designated female at birth) and gave me a list of gender neutral words to use instead of niece like sibkid (sibling’s kid) which caused my husband to muse our kids should just call her Cousin It. Which I found hilarious but told our child she couldn’t and she needed to respect her cousin’s dignity, even if her cousin didn’t.

    Her family started using “their” in place of “her” which made the family’s Christmas newsletter very confusing.

    You can’t make this stuff up……

  3. Sawyer says:

    The most current politically correct iteration of LGBTQWERTY is “LGBTQIA+”. As KT127 pointed out, the “I” stands for “intersex”, which means not being strictly male or female: perhaps androgynous, perhaps alternately identifying as one or the other sex, perhaps non-gendered (all of which are preposterous). “A” stands for “advocate” and includes those who support the other letter-identifiers but don’t identify with the other letters themselves (e.g., cisgender heterosexuals who support “marriage equality” and “gay and trans rights” — sheesh, keeping up with the ever-changing terminology is wearying). The plus sign is to include anyone who doesn’t fit the panoply of letters already in the set. Soon enough more letters will be added. I’m betting that “P” will be added someday, if the “intergenerational love” advocates and NAMBLA have their way; it’s already on its way to being changed from a disorder to a sexual orientation among mental health professionals. All society has to do is get over the ick factor, as has happened with homosexuality, and then it will be the next cause celebre, and then you’ll see TV and movie characters featured as P’s sympathetically and heroically, and then all sorts of new civil rights and laws will be created to protect and promote the special class of P’s with their “differently ordered” sexuality.

  4. byzantinesteve says:


    “Last rights” ?

    What exactly are those?

  5. VeritasVereVincet says:

    Intersex is specifically used for people with physical sexual abnormalities–e.g. people who look like women but have male genitalia, people who look like men but have a female reproductive system, Klinefelter syndrome (XXY men), Turner syndrome (X women), and so on. People who cannot be clearly described as strictly male or female, thus between (inter) the sexes. They used to be called hermaphrodites. It’s quite a different issue than the rest, and I don’t really know why they’re included.

    If there’s only one A, it’s usually for Asexual–though I hear their inclusion in the community is hotly debated.

  6. Benedict Joseph says:

    God preserve Bishop Morlino.
    Surely I hope your estimation of the situation proves correct, but in a Church where James Martin SJ walks with pride of place with episcopal movers and shakers while an accomplished and faithful friar theologian who speaks the truth clearly and with respect is consigned to the corner I no longer rely on reason to assume the future course of events.
    Nor have I for four years.
    Faithful Roman Catholics know themselves to be marginalized by the contempt of many of their bishops while those who hold the faith to be an impediment to their “self-actualization” are pandered to.
    Mine is merely an observation, not the verdict, but has not much of our pastoral leadership consigned itself to be less worthy of attention than their office would require?
    What indeed is one to do when the salt has lost its savour?

  7. Josephus Corvus says:

    That fact that they are going after the “Extraordinary Ordinary” at all is ridiculous. He is a person of integrity who definitely thinks things through and gives consideration to all sides. I remember a few years ago he was actually on Cardinal O’Malley’s side during the Senator Chappaquiddick Showcase…I mean funeral.

    The sad part is that he seems to be one of the few that are taking any of this seriously, since he is in a relatively small diocese. I would ask where the figurative (at least) leader of the Church in the US is, but unfortunately I already know as he was once my archbishop.

  8. EcclesialKnight says:

    LGBTQIA+. The new pantheon of the false gods of self.

  9. Rob in Maine says:

    I wonder why a copy is being sent to my Bishop in Maine?

  10. Archlaic says:

    Benedict Joseph‘s thoughts echo my own. The first thing I thought of was the (ultimately successful) campaign against Bishop Finn in KC, then the recent flurry of dismissals of eminent and qualified individuals simply for expressing concerns about the confusing (and concerning) Magisterium of the present Holy Father.
    The sad thing is that this crackpot petition will probably be reported in the MSM as a serious endeavor by balanced, practicing Catholics; who will be portrayed as reluctant heroes for taking on their Openly(Practicing)BigotedInhumaneParochialBackwardHatefulObliteratingLoveless-heartedWeak-characteredObsessiveFixator of a bishop, and efforts will be made to fan this into a major scandal so that by the time the dossier reaches the Holy Father’s desk it will contain echo-chamber reporting from the major (remaining) dailies and other MSM outlets; this in turn will provide the HF with any needed justification for sending a trusted henchmanemissary to Madison to “make him an offer he can’t refuse”.
    With the target frozen and polarized, the narrative will shift to: “a diocese paralyzed”, “a scandal-laden bishop without credibility”, “a shepherd unable to lead”, etc…
    I hope I am wrong, but if not I hope the Extraordinary Ordinary turns out to be… really extraordinary!

  11. chantgirl says:

    Are we sure this isn’t a Monty Python skit?

    Seriously, though, just because the petition is ridiculous, that doesn’t mean that this won’t be used as justification to punish the good bishop. Prayers for him.

  12. TonyO says:


    I have settled on my own system of letter reference for these people: KGB-NKVDQTLX. The KGB part is obvious, and appropriate insofar as these people are dictatorial totalitarians. The NKVD is less obvious but just as suitable, the NKVD was the predecessor Russian secret police before the KGB, because these types will never go away, they will just change their colors. The other letters can be anything you wish, as long as Q is in there. I sometimes wonder whether it would be even more offensive to leave out the L, but I guess it’s a toss up, as hardly anyone will actually get that far anyway.

    I would take it kindly if you were to borrow this and spread its use. Thank you.

    life-parter [sic]

    I don’t know, Father, maybe this isn’t a mistake after all. Seeing as how mortal sin destroys the life of the soul, maybe “life-parter” is actually correct! ? You never know what these people might think up.

    Hordes of protesters – supporters of the petition – descended on a downtown Madison church

    Fr. Z, you almost had me fall off my chair laughing at that picture! The hordes! Aaaiiii! Run! Run away! Well, no, walk away. Or, at least saunter casually through the area keeping an eye out for something that might trip you, and don’t stop to chat with them, anyway.

    Can I just add that these people clearly are displaced cast members of Garrison Keilor’s “Lake Wobegon”, where even the crazies are clean, groomed, and somewhat prosperous, (and, probably, Lutherans of Northern European descent). A whole different kettle of fish from crazies in NYC or LA. Or San Fran.

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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