In These Dark Days, the Church Needs Her Men to be Men

110214This is a post that Satan apparently did not like. When I posted it last Thursday, the Server of the Archdiocese (literally) burnt up within an hour or two of posting. And while things are slowly coming back online, the post you are about to read could not be found in the archive file, anywhere. Thanks be to God some intrepid readers (at had saved the post which I had not had time to back up. So here is a post that I suspect Satan did not want you to read. But the devil is a liar and God is able. 🙂

When I was growing up, my father would often exhort me to “be a man.” He would summon me to courage and responsibility and to discover the heroic capacity that was in me. St. Paul summoned forth a spiritual manhood with these words: We [must] all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the extent of the full stature of Christ, so that we may no longer be infants, tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching arising from human trickery, from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming. Rather, living the truth in love, we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ (Eph 4:13ff).

If the ladies will pardon me (for women have their own sort of strength), I want to issue a special summons to men, especially fathers, husbands, and priests. The summons is simple: be a man. We need men in these dark days, men who will heroically speak and act, men who will announce the truth and insist upon it wherever they have authority, men who will stop being passive fathers and husbands, priests who will stop “playing it safe” by remaining silent in the moral storm. Yes, be a man.

It has often been observed that men are rather disengaged from the practice of the faith and attendance at the Sacred Liturgy. Frankly, there is a reason—not a politically correct one, but a reason nonetheless. Most of the men I talk to find the Church rather feminized. There is much talk in the Church about forgiveness and love, about receptivity and about being “nicer.” These are fine virtues, all of them necessary. But men also want to be engaged, to be sent into battle, to go forth and make a difference.

After years of radical feminism, men are shamed for seeking to take up leadership and authority in their families and in the Church. It starts early.  Any normal boy is full of spit and vinegar, is aggressive, competitive, and anxious to test his wings. But many boys are scolded, punished, and even medicated for these normal tendencies. They are told to behave more like girls and to learn to be nicer and to get along, etc. It will be granted that limits are necessary, but the tendency for boys to roughhouse is normal. The scolding and “socializing” to more feminine traits continues apace into early adulthood. And then there are other cultural phenomena such as the slew of “Men are stupid” commercials, etc.

Though many in past decades have sought to describe the Church as “male-dominated,” nothing could be further from the truth. Most parish leadership structures are dominated by women. And women do fine work. But the Church has done a very poor job of engaging men as men and equipping them to be strong husbands, fathers, and priests. Virtues related to bold leadership and the effective use of authority are in short supply whereas other virtues such as collaboration, listening, empathy, and understanding are overemphasized.

This lack of balance, wherein traditionally manly virtues are downplayed—even shamed—has led many men to become disengaged from the Church.

Even as early as 1885, Pope Leo XIII saw coming a softness that was infecting the times. In a document aptly named (and using a word too many clergy and fathers are afraid to use) Quod Auctoritate, Pope Leo said:

You know the temper of the times—how many there are who love to live delicately and shrink from whatever requires manhood and generosity; who, when ailments come, discover in them sufficient reasons for not obeying the salutary laws of the Church, thinking the burden laid upon them more than they can bear . . . perils everywhere abound. The great virtues of our forefathers have in large measure disappeared; the most violent passions have claimed a freer indulgence; the madness of opinion which knows no restraint, or at least no effective restraint, every day extends further; [and yet among] those whose principles are sound there are many who, through a misplaced timidity, are frightened, and have not the courage even to speak out their opinions boldly, far less to translate them into deeds; everywhere the worst examples are affecting public morals; wicked societies which We ourselves have denounced before now, skilled in all evil arts, are doing their best to lead the people astray, and as far as they are able, to withdraw them from God, their duty, and Christianity . . . Therefore those who speak to the people should lay it down persistently and clearly that according not only to the law of the Gospel, but even to the dictates of natural reason, a man is bound to govern himself and keep his passions under strict control, and moreover, that sin cannot be expiated except by penance . . . In order therefore that Our teaching may sink into men’s minds, and what is the great thing, actually govern their daily lives, an attempt must be made to bring them to think and act like Christians, not less in public than in private.

Not a bad summons to heroic and public witness to the faith! Not a bad summons to manly virtues like sacrifice, strength, insisting on what is right, meeting perils toe-to-toe, courage, speaking out, self-control, and so forth. The Church used to speak more often in this way. Today there seems to be only the goal of not hurting or offending anyone.

The disengagement of men from the Church has come to mean that many Christian men are passive fathers and husbands. They have not matured in their faith but remain in a kind of spiritual childhood. They are not the spiritual leaders in their homes that Scripture summons them to be (cf. Eph 5). If they go to Church at all, their wives have to drag them there. They do not teach their children to pray, insist that they practice the faith, or read Scripture to them. Too often, they leave this for their wives to do.

Thankfully, many men do take up their proper role. They have reached spiritual manhood and understand their responsibilities in the Lord. They live courageously and are leaders. They are the ones first up on Sunday morning leading their families to Church and insisting on religious practice in the home. They initiate prayer and Scripture reading and are vigorous moral leaders and teachers in their families, parishes, and communities. They are willing to battle for the truth and to speak up for what is right.

You see, the Lord is looking for a few good men. Are you a Christian man? Have you reached spiritual manhood? This is not the kind of manhood that comes merely with age. It comes when we pray, hear, and heed Scripture and the teachings of the Church. It comes when we live the faith courageously and summon others to follow Jesus without compromise. It comes when we speak the truth in love and live out the truth. It comes when we fear God and thus fear no man, for when we are able to kneel before God we can stand before any human threat.

I recently had a radio/podcast conversation with Matthew Christoff who has begun an outreach to Catholic men called “Emangelization.”  The general goal is to re-engage men as men, to summon them to discipleship as men, and to engage them in the masculine virtues that God gave them. The link to our talk is here: Men and the Church, A Call for Emangelization

Matthew Christoff  has also pulled together has pulled together some information and written some interesting articles:

Here are a few good websites for Catholic Men . . .

Painting above: St. Joseph, by Tissot

143 Replies to “In These Dark Days, the Church Needs Her Men to be Men”

    1. Nice idea, but given the women have control and the state backs them, being a man is a good way to lose your money, job, and lots of other things. besided, a man without a women is just as much as a dead end as a feminist with no children… so not much to do if every helpmate neutralizes any position…

      its easy to ask troops to sacrifice their lives for nothing.

      but i remember the church has sided with the socalists, feminists and so on and so on, so why would an abandoned class of people stand up to be cut down?

        1. Do you have another suggestion?

          i wish i did, but given the recent revival of father coughlins kind of social justice, liberatoin theology, the abandonment of people of faith like the knapps, and so on and so forth.. what an i say.

          the church would side with a womens rights to choose, and says nothing much as to the mans child that is exterminated.

          i have already paid the price by losing my status as father and being told i have no rights, and having my son raised by a woman that faked her muder, commited crimes, and eventually took him and his two half sisters to a bank and robbed it (serving two years).

          i am still paying the price for standing up as a man and wanting to be a father, and now my wife of 8 years and i are barren as we cant afford a family and such, for the same reasons i give above in terms of who has the strength, and who is absent standing beside them

          god was always with me, his church, was not… it went with the masses and the mass classes.

          its one thing to call out for people to defend something, its another to let them stand alone
          i do not see the church helping the Knapps, do you? How about Ashers Baking Company?
          Why did the church drop the Darfur ball when that was no longer popular among the left given the religion?
          Or when the girls in indonesia had their heads cut off? (my wifes family knew the family of one)

          its nice that the pope cried about the people being crucified in this day and age. But where would that get someone who took a flight to go there and protested like a christian man against such?

          the church abandoned us men in favor of political correctness and statism a while back
          way before this century, and it has continued to do so in the parishes where men are marginalized.
          it catered to feminist political correctness, validating an ideology (having its modern source in atheist communism)..

          The Church Impotent: The Feminization of Christianity by Leon J. Podles is one book
          there are Tons of others… there would not be so many claiming this was the thing if the thing was really something else… there would at least be parity with that something else.

          The groups they support have the power to crush, and they are now forcing the state to change the church

          Men wont fight their own, they disconnect and walk away instead.
          between women and gay male parishiners, there is no place for traditional men in churches.
          so they left for the most part.. and have been leaving slowly for a long long time

          after all, when the church tells men to stand up, who would they fight?
          its a losing battle either way… the enemy is their own, and so they lose if they win, and lose if they lose
          there is no room for men who are men, as they are pretty much hated in our culture and society today

          sadly, women as a group did not appreciate the churches accomodations
          they saw it as victories that had to be pressed on made politically correct
          that they had the power to reform the church along ideological lines, like Coughlin or Cone.

          Today the church sides with a womens right to choose more than it sides with a man whose child is being exterminated. which is fine i guess. but the men sure do get a sense that they are only asking them to stand up for the benefit of the consequences of prior past choices gone wrong, and not to any real benefit for the men who would stand

          from podles
          “As the muscles grow and harden, the adolescent male feels the power of his body and uses it to frighten other people…. This attraction to power can be disciplined and sent into socially useful channels, or at least channels that do not threaten to destroy society immediately. But the common element in the deformations of masculinity that result from an exaggeration of some masculine characteristics is their more or less explicit worship of power in crime, Satanism, fascism, Nazism-all of which are practical forms of nihilism” (p. 195).

          well, nazism is socilalism… after all it was engels that said a conflagration (holocaust) would engulf the world…. the above is politically correct, as it ignores the other side of male strength which made the society that ended nazism… collapsed the economics of communism… died in groups of over 30,000 in one day to free slaves…

          this other forgotten side is where the men you ask for were from
          but they were lumped in with father coughlin, and others
          they were painted with the same wide damning brush, and so went into a kind of hiding.

          why would they come out now? what reason?
          isnt enough that my family is exterminated now…
          or that they have no families, as their children were exterminated by what used to be the negro project?

          what would they gain that they dont already have?
          god is by them even if the church is not…
          even if there were no churches, god still stands by his children.

          they dont have much, despite what peopel believe and crow as to what they have that has to be taken.
          they gain nothing for standing up, not even thanks… as the ladies in the church would shun them for not being PC

          i am at a loss to suggest what to do, given that the church changing sides after siding so long is not very welcoming…

          anyway… i ramble too much, and do wish the best…
          but i have lost everything trying to stand up, be a father, go to church, and so on.
          my wife, who is catholic and wonderful, deserves better than what we would have if i stood up (again)
          i am too old to have another round and lose.

          the best to all and may god be with you all always…

          1. Artfldgr – you are not alone. Agree with you on all the big points you make. Unfortunately the Msgr, though a good man an priest, is like most priests in the CC today. The few priests who are men in the sense the Msgr is speaking of are so surrounded by the effeminate, the homosexual “tendencies”, and the feminine, who are living in this protected bubble of the Church and the PC gentleness which pervades her and those who make up the vast majority of parish structures, their awareness of the world surrounding men today who live in the world is virtually non-existent.

            The simple fact is, and you point this out by the father side of the evil of abortion, the CC has like a mother become so obsessed with the children who have learned the trick that the more they are emotional and cry and calling out to mother, the greater the attention they will receive from her…. regardless of the truth.

            This truth was made clear by Pope Francis’ “obsession” comment, and in others he has made. Pope Francis, and most bishops have no idea what Faithful Catholic men who live by the truth of the obligation of the Faithful to speak the truth and defend the Faith. And this is not limited to simply the Catholic Faith but extends to the simple truths perverted by the lies of Political Correctness.

            Pope Francis, in his public acts, makes clear he cares not one bit about the attacks Catholic men who defend the Faith with Charity and strength undergo. In fact Pope Francis, because he has spent his life in the effeminate, socialist world of the South American Jesuits, has not ears to hear nor a heart that cares.

            Although Pope Francis has no idea of the world you and I live in, his imagination has fashioned of men like you and I to be Judas Catholics….

            Thank you for your words.

            I have spent the better part of the last few years trying to discern whether the call I hear is an Abyssus Abyssum Invocat.

            I think you and the good Msgr have helped me much more clearly understand whose voice I hear.

            God Bless

          2. Artfldgr,

            I feel and read the pain and suffering in your post. There is no denying the truth to your testimony and comments. I am a catholic homeschooling mom and am blessed to have my wonderful husband’s support. But, I see the truth of what Msgr. wrote echoing in our lives—in much subtler ways. That poison is everywhere.

            I just feel compelled to share one bit of hope with you. ——> God can make all things new.<——–

            Just ponder that. I don't know how, or when as it is not for me to know, just to trust. Please take time to meditate on that one sentence. I do this when I run. Amazing graces flow from this. Praise you God! I will praise always and forever!

            Thank you Msgr for another amazing article. I will share this with the men in my life. It is spot-on.

            +God, our Father, please send your Holy Spirit to renew Artfldgr, and any other struggling with this. There is nothing You can not do! I beg this through the precious blood of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen!+

      1. Extremely well and succinctly said. Wish more men were as rigorously honest and vocal about their plight.
        We don’t need real men (which seems to be a definition that suits women) We need really honest men that
        benefit everyone.

        1. THANK YOU Richard !!! Well said. HONESTY. I did not see your post at first but you have given me hope.


    2. “About manhood”. When the going gets tough the tough get going.

      Maybe I am reading a different version of Scripture.

      Where were all the men when Christ was being crucified ?

      His Mother there. The other women. The ‘beloved disciple’ John – at times represented with softer features in religious art. Not that he was feminine. More likely he was much younger before later writings on Patmos.

      All the ‘real men’ ran away in fear. They still do that. Why the Church is in a mess in so many ways.

      If priests are acting badly – get rid of them. While things are as they are with celibacy being imposed. Celibacy is not difficult when mature enough to embrace it.

      I know a ‘man’ly priest and his Latin Mass loving ‘faith’ful would gossip about him taking trips to to prostitutes. I asked him. Not that it was really any of my business. It was a matter of honesty. I confronted the gossip mongers too.

      He did not deny it. “We are all sinners.” Yes, using vulnerable women for sex is a sin for sure. But he is not a bad man. He is human and all that entails.

      It’s just so dishonest and most of you haven’t got he balls of a ‘real man’ to confront things honestly.

      That’s the real problem.

      Maybe I am ‘feminine’ – but there is not a man here, lay or cleric – or women, I’d not kick in the balls if he/she were, as MY father would have said, ‘Living under the brush…”

      Just grow up.

      1. “Where were all the men when Christ was being crucified ? “

        Yes, only John was at the cross. Only he died a peaceful death, in bed. The others all died violently, as martyrs. They got theirs. But they did die as martyrs for Christ, and we recognize them all as saints now.

  1. Great article Monsignor. At the risk of shameless marketing, I hope every parish in the country will adopt a program called That Man is You!. Here is a link to their website.
    This is a wonderful program that combines sound theology, sociology, and scientific research to help men understand their role and position in the battle. At our parish we get over 50 men to show up every Friday morning at 5:30a.m. for breakfast and to participate in the weekly, structured program.

  2. I know strange isn’t it, the whole day the blog was down. Msgr., I think you got people attacking your post.

    1. The child Jesus is not present, working alongside St. Joseph, as expected.

      1. Maybe because St. Joseph told him to take out the trash or go fetch firewood or lumber, paint the shed, wash the donkey, give his mother a backrub…or whatever.

  3. No more crystal clear manifestation of the feminization of the Church is to be found than in the unconcern of so many with abortion. The totally feminized man is not offended by the molestation of children. The feminized man is not offended by the killing of babies. The feminized man is unconcerned when scandal is given and the Eucharist is profaned, and even when it is his duty to prevent these sins, the feminized man commits the mortal sin of handing over the Eucharist to the killers of babies.

    1. Maybe a better adjective to describe these men is “emasculated” instead of “feminized.”

  4. Whenever your blog site disappears, I know something is up. I began praying to St. Michael for you this time. When your blog site reappears, I breathe a sigh of relief.

    God bless you, Msgr. Pope!

  5. Whew! I was worried your posts were summarily censored and totally removed from the Internet. I thought we lost you. Obviously, the obnoxious evil one want to destroy your work on us. Thank GOD for your persistence.
    Yes, the attack is against the fathers, the fathers of families, the basic church, and the fathers of the bigger family, the Church, the priests, and are being perpetrated to destroy us morally. We are being attacked from all sides and we are succumbing and giving away our inherent authority because we are afraid of responsibility and acquiescent to just being on the sideline. Bring out oh LORD the man in us that we can bring out the woman in them, that we can be righteous and moral fathers and mothers to our families. YHWH SHAMMAH!
    Glad you are back Monsignor. GOD Bless you and your work.

  6. What a fine opportunity to refer to a group of men who do all you ask of a Catholic–the Knights of Columbus!

    1. I concur Father; I was surprised that no mention was made of the Worlds Largest Catholic Fraternal Organization and how it has brought countless numbers of men closer to their faith by providing them the opportunity to serve others. You can visit the Knights of Columbus website here:

  7. Amen Monsignor. Mea culpa. I have not always been the Catholic man that God has called me to be, but I’m working on it.

  8. Msgr.: I was really worried about your blog, I read it daily and I am always find something with which to meditate on from each post. I was beginning to think that the P.C. crowd had something to do with it, but I am glad that it was a foul up in the system. For all the money that is invested in the ADW site and for this to happen unbelievable.

  9. God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. As a Confirmed Catholic we are all called to battle for Christ….I don’t recall this as just a summons for males. When did the Church become feminine because of “forgiveness and love, about receptivity and about being “nicer”.” Isn’t that part of the call in the Beatitudes for all ? I don’t seem to remember a call for men and a different call for women. Manly Virtues ? My CCC only list virtues which we are all called to embrace.
    I “get” what you are attempting to do….call men to embrace the faith more fully and to live up to Christ’s call to a more virtuous life. However labeling human traits as masculine and feminine only serves to split, separate and fracture those who do not conform to your expectations. The Church has failed to raise her sons in a virtuous and engaging way, but these same virtuous traits, that you label “feminine” are part of what we are all called from Christ to do. Perhaps you should take another look at your tagline and discern if it was Satan burning up your server or GOD signaling you not to separate and fragment his Body, the Church, any further from within.

    1. I think I point out in the article that the virtues describe are fine and necessary. I think your conclusion that I state that certain virtues are male or female is too string a conclusion, neither doI argue that the Church “became feminine” (she always has been both the bride and body of Christ). Thus I suspect you read the post from a fundamentalist (i.e. literalist) stance as opposed to a sacramental and figurative understanding of things. Further, I am trying to describe how many disengaged men see things. Sorry if this is neither PC or into the “gender” identity trends of these obfuscating times. It’s just how most men react. It is not a rejection of virtues such as receptivity, but it IS about the lack of attention to other virtues that appeal to particularly to the men I talk with and the man that I am. You JM are being “Coy” by not disclosing your sex (notice I did not say gender). 😉

      1. Perhaps in future commentaries you should state that you are writing figuratively so as to not contribute further to these obfuscating times. The initials were intentional the last name is real. My sex has nothing to do with an intellectual exchange about the faith..….with that said this isn’t the first time I have been accused of being “Coy”.

    2. “we are all called to battle for Christ….I don’t recall this as just a summons for males”
      Oh, I guess the whole inviting only men to the new Seder, and appearing to only men after His resurrection, and His “bind and loose” and His being a man…were just a mistake, just a God too afraid to upset the too deeply entrenched misogyny of the ancient world.

      J.M. think about this. Eve was the one tempted by Satan and who convinced Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. Now think of Mary and Judas. Contemplate why God chose Mary, the new Eve, and why Christ chose men to play the part they did in His public ministry while incarnate. Contemplate the acts of Judas which led to his fall.

      Labeling human traits as masculine and feminine do not “only” serve to split, separate and fracture – that is quite simply, at best, a falsehood spoke from deep ignorance.

      I’ll leave you with this one last reminder. Christ himself separated women between themselves by an image that labeled them. Remember His words to Martha? Remember how obsessed Martha was and how He said Mary has chosen the better part?

      You confuse separating and fragmenting His Body with recognition of the obvious – that all bodies are made up of different parts…. naming does not separate and tear them apart.

      But ignoring the parts and referring to all of them as if one unformed mass does deny the truth of the uniqueness He created, of the truth of who they are….and that is an act which participates in evil’s denial of His truth and creates the disorder Satan seeks.

      1. Just wanted to mention, Jesus did appear to Mary Magdalen after the Resurrection. God Bless.

  10. Well then get down to the nitty gritty!
    Remember teachers are servants & Christ was both.
    Teachers are given an inheritance Num.18.
    Returning what belongs to God is to be done through teachers of his word 1Cor.9:11-14, 1Cor.16:1-2 Gal.6:6-10
    & so on. The harlot church sells trinkets thinking that is the way she must survive: You lead the way & your daughters followed you into being harlot churches surviving in the same way!
    Jesus said wheresoever this gospel is preached tell what this woman did & memorialize her! Matt.26:6-16.
    The world of Judas’ says why this waste? Lk.7:36-50 A type of the church the woman was forgiven much so she loves much!
    As a man & a warrior I stand against all who think filthy lucre cannot be made sacred! I stand for teachers & priests to keep the covenant that was 430 yrs. before the law. Return to God as Mal.3:7-14 says to return & get this curse lifted off of the world, that blessings may flow from the windows of heaven & the devourer rebuked.
    My teachers: Phd. Dr. Gene Scott & Of The University Network:

  11. As one of the women who had to do the heavy lifting of getting the family up for Mass, trying to educate and evangelize the children, and having little success because of the idea that all that Catholic stuff was for women, I must observe that passive husbands and fathers make being a wife and mother much for difficult as well. Fathers, spiritual and natural, are so vital, but so many don’t see it. sigh

    1. Kay, as a married man I suspect he does see. The nature of a man to be the “head” always exists. It has been my observation that feminism has led to women thinking they are the King and Queen, and thus act accordingly in the home. Try for a while – an not just for a few days or a week or so – being a Queen to your King. Odd are he has been treated like a surf for so long it will take quite a bit of time, probably a month or more, before he believes you want to be his Queen and you want him to be your King and will trust in you enough to put on his armor and mount his horse. Good luck and prayers.

  12. If we would recover authentic Catholic terminology such as “Church Militant” and “soldiers of Jesus Christ” regarding Confirmation it would help us in our thinking. Of course both men and women are called to be both, but excising this terminology from our thinking in favor of niceness advances the pacifism of those who don’t want to engage the world on Christian terms. Christianity is not a religion for wimps; it is masculine. Jesus was not a “nice” man. He was powerful as well as merciful and forgiving. What better example could a man want?

    St. Paul urged us in Eph. 6:10-17: Finally, brethren, be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. 11Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. 12For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. 13Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, 15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: 16In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. 17And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God). Tough language for the tough and masculine Christian.

    Priests need to present the Faith through this lens, and promote the weapons of Eucharistic Adoration and the Rosary, and we all need to respect one another’s abilities, male and female, to contribute to the salvation of souls.

    Kudos to you, Father, for highlighting this issue. And let’s take the politics out of worship by returning to chanting the Propers instead of the hokey hymns, let’s restore kneeling to receive Holy Communion and on the tongue or by intinction so we reclaim the idea that God is greater than we, but that we are strengthened by Him in His sacred Body and Blood and in His sacred Word to go out and do battle every day in the vocation to which He has called us.

    1. Leaving for the Orthodox Church, there is nothing left to stand up for. It isn’t feminzed has all the sacraments and a good liturgy. Good bye Church. I’ll miss the good ole days.

      1. Plus, you will be placing yourself in mortal sin. Choosing this is not being a man. FIND a traditional Latin Mass and group or simply start a mens group. Start some traditional, sacrificial and masculine Catholic prayers at home, ie, Divine Office. YOU make the good changes!! Saint Joseph, ora pro nobis.

    2. Yes Barb! 🙂 Do not forget the last words in Luke’s Last Supper. Christ asked the Apostles how many swords they had. Too many get caught up in Peter’s cutting off of the soldiers ear later that night. The obvious often missed is this – why were there swords in the room of the Last Supper in the first place if Christ and the Apostles were the kind of men the feminists and effeminate claim they were…?

  13. Monsignor,

    From one of the women in the pews: do you have any advice besides prayer, prayer, prayer and more prayer to move the men in our lives in this direction? As I’m sure you know nagging is counterproductive. Thank you.

    1. Encouragement when Men “do well” is always helpful. Because as we know, when some men do step out, there are usually plenty of naysayers who either outright resist and “shame” men, or are dismissive of the fact that there is anything authentically masculine or feminine.

      1. Sasha, I will pray for you and your spouse. I also wanted to provide a couple suggestions. These may not apply to you, but these are things we did in our home. It helped push us in the right direction.

        * We MUST be joyful–look at him and smile, show patience, be compassionate with his daily struggles, and celebrate the little things.
        * Share the love of Christ and the richness of Catholic faith. If you are joyful about it, he will be attracted to it. For example, “Wow, I just read Monsignor’s post on Purgatory. It just gave me a new way of looking at things.”
        * Listen to Catholic radio, so you can share stories with him. For example, “A recording I heard today from Mother Angelica really touched me. She said…”
        * Stop controlling your household and husband. Just because you want it done your way and in your time, doesn’t mean that is the only way it should be done. When you tell your husband to do something, you are talking to him more like a mother than a wife. It can also lead to nagging, which can stifle the man. For example, “Honey, could you start taking Johnny to practice on Wednesdays? I think he needs fatherly advice on…”
        * Find ways to remove obstacles in your husband’s life–I’m not saying take over his life or to solve his problems. Identify what troubles him or causes you as a family to get off course. For example, if things are always hectic at dinner time or when he comes home, do food prep earlier in the day so the food can simmer when he gets home. If Saturday is his only day off, do the yard work for him or ask if you can hire someone to do it. That way, you can spend more time together on the weekend.
        * Commit to asking him questions about his day, instead of rambling about your day. Being an ear for him can help you grow closer.
        * Go to bed together, so you can talk about the day. This has been the biggest game changer for us, as well as committing to a specific mass time. Nine years ago, we committed to no longer go to bed at separate times. A couple years ago, we committed to making mass a priority and at a specific time.

        Wishing you peace and a renewed love for each other and Christ.

  14. In relation to the image of St. Joseph, catholic trade schools in the US are as difficult to find as men are?
    Carpentry, home building, HVAC, plumbing, welding anyone? “There are many Christians, who follow Christ and are astonished by His divinity, but forget Him as a Man. And they fail in the practice of supernatural virtues, despite all the external paraphernalia of piety, because they do nothing to acquire human virtues.” St. Jose Escriva quoted in Alexandre Havard: Virtuous Leadership.

    Because of the crisis in catechesis, rarely do you have any emphasis on the cardinal and human virtues of fortitude and real justice in relation to the hard, difficult teachings of Jesus. Too many catholics continue on without having been challenged with the full Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    1. PS. If you know any good catholic HVAC schools in the northeast US (Pennsylvania, etc); let me know. 😛

  15. The Enlightenment and Deism subjected morality to the reasoning of self interest and such eventually came to reveal itself as the profit motive.

    A Wall St. trader on CNBC once boasted, that capitalism had done more good for people than all the acts of corporal mercy combined. Thus it has become unmanly to seek God’s help because real men seek money and good healthy people buy their pleasures (and in so doing contribute to the economy).

    We’ve seen the rise of the self determined female who is just as uncomfortable with receptive things and whose new faith must meet her demands, her reasonings of self interest and her notion of self which isn’t in relation to a beneficent God who loves her, but to her pleasures, wealth, power, control, etc.
    No longer will women be controlled or manipulated, etc., etc., etc.

    The repression of the receptive concept has also rendered men confused who are equally ignorant of the triadic relationship to God and man. Today these confused men teach a confused receptivity as a surrender to pleasures in the same schools that the women promote their self determinism.

    Proselytizing such errors has not only been heralded as a form of goodness, but corporations are throwing their vast resources behind the same errors and have now branded themselves as the benefactors of society.

    The Church is up against the pride and hubris of the entire economic, scientific, educational and medical superstructure of whom all children today are now shaped and such is the fault of feminized men?

    It seems only when the lies of self determinism fall apart, when lives put together with great effort collapse that men come to understand their limits and are opened to accepting God’s reality in earnest.

    It is in the delicate virtues attributable to God; honesty, generosity, self sacrifice, humility, chastity, wanting not, thoughtfulness, the sacraments, which in and of themselves attest to God’s greatness. It is exactly such things which are sneered at as stuff of losers by a proud world of self determinism.

  16. I am glad you are back also, Monsignor. I am married to a man who has these virtues,because his father had these virtues. Our son is being taught these virtues by his father. I am proud of my husband and love him so much when he teaches our son the importance of prayer, church attendance and defends the faith. I am able and willing to step back and allow the wisdom to flow. Man to man, disciple to disciple

  17. How is the Church feminized. Isn’t it all men who are at the top. Are they not Priests, Bishops, Cardinals, Synods and the Pope made of men. I’m sorry, but I’m not buying this. It’s embarrassing as Catholic for me to read this. I’m a female, and I would always support the men as leadership as Christ is Head of Church. But I truly can not believe this any more. I just don’t see the Priests as feminine, I see them as Holy and courageous for taking a leadership role that involved sacrifice of many things. A question for men: How do you masculine a Church? Is it by incorporating football games into the Church. I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS MENTALITY. Please men enlighten me.

    1. Sorry you are embarrassed. But I think the answer to your question is contained in the article. I am saying that there is a lack balance, that is point that your equally “embarrassing” attempt to make this look ludicrous (football games etc) misses.

      1. Sorry Msgr. Charles, I shouldn’t have posted it like that. It may come off as a rude post . I just don’t understand it. I know for me that the safest place to be is in the Roman Catholic Church today. Growing up in a secular society, I misunderstood masculinity for something different and dangerous to women. Sorry, I just didn’t understand.

    2. its a case of not understanding ownership vs control..
      you can own a car, but if someome else controls it, ownership is meaningless

      the head of the church becomes meaningless, as in germany when the funky austrian dude changes it, or in russia, when stalin changed it, or in the west, when women and other socialist groups together change it.

      it doesnt matter who owns it, or sits in the chairs, it matters who do they follow
      and they certainly dont follow christ.
      i stopped going to my luthran church when the pastor decided to kiss a man at the end of worship.

      while i dont care waht people do in private, why should i subject myself to a church that follows the zeitgeist and state before god?

      now i made no protest, as he can run things the way he wants, but i dont have to sit there.

      meanwhile, my wife and i want a baby. she is catholic, i am protestand, and we cant earn more, as she is south asian, and i am a male who works for a hospital who has told us that no matter what i do or achieve, i can never have a raise for the rest of my life. tomorrow is the workplace party for people like me who have been here 10 years… 10 years of service, no thanks, and its cause of the same groups that are remaking the church as those same groups remade it in germany and russia with my grandparents.

      my son and i are the last of our family lines, and so the point is moot…
      the extermination is almost complete anyway

  18. I would like to see our bishops act like men… fathers in fact, who care more about where my soul spends eternity than making nice comments in the media. Fortunately I have a manly pastor who cares more about my soul than my feelings but not everyone can go to my parish.

  19. The paradox is not lost on believers that the God of all power and might sought not justice but mercy. That the Savior who endured the brutal atonement of all the world’s sins, asked for forgiveness for His torturers who didn’t know what they were doing. Catholics do want to stand up and be significant.

    Our Church has lost it’s significance because self determinism in the forms of our government and the financial colossus have grown up around us to become mega-powers with no use for the gospel. They are capitalizing on the social chaos they have created only to become bigger and bigger.

    For more than half a century now, young people graduate high school or college with more physical and mental vices than the old Bowery bums. They become the fodder for multiple industries who help re-drug and orient them towards a society which remains as undefined as it was before they accepted their initial vices. Such is the monstrous vacancy and arrogance the Church has to stand up to. The Church stands for a fantastic culture of internal and external graces, but how can it define itself for a culture of vacancy which continues to believe it is just doing wonderfully?

    Such is a very complex problem and the very least we can all do is pray and stop making believe we can overcome such a massive cultural vacancy by simply standing taller as if in a movie. It might be a start, but the condition of the culture around us is very foreign to the idea of needing God.

  20. I agree let’s be Men…now let’s please define what true masculinity is and is not? Just be prepared that this will rankle and fly in the face of this modern age’s social engineering experiment and the majority of Catholics.
    Personally, I try to follow a ‘noblesse oblige’ form, which has led me directly to an exclusively TLM mentality. The belief that the salvation of not only my childrens’ and spouse’s Soul, but also for my own Soul sake as well.

  21. Most of the priests (with two exceptions) I’ve met and had the opportunity to observe in the liturgy and parish activities, are themselves fairly feminized, feminine and.submitted to women. Most recently, I attended a Mass at a parish that had a change in Pastor. I noticed how he deferred to the female “lector” thruout the Mass. Most notably when she rose, he then rose himself in order to begin the Gospel reading. His homily was about his recent trip south of the border to a large city in Mexico and how only 12 people showed up for Sunday Mass at the Cathedral. His words, “How sad.” He seemed totally defeated. Who the heck wants to be part of that on a daily basis?

    Priest need to step up and man up.

  22. The current state of the Church has been shaped by the spirit of this age. Feminism is one of those most insidious evils that define this current period in history. Pope St. John Paul II observed that; “The more women we have around the altar, the further we move away from our traditions. The seemingly preferential inclusion of women in areas that are not proper to women is not a means to help ‘build’ the Church, but to tear it down.
    All of this, of course, has its origins in the anti-gospel of Karl Marx. Just as Pope St. Pius X described modernism as “the synthesis of all heresies”; in the same vein, Marxism is the synthesis of all anti-gospels”. “Boosting the company of women” is a basic tenet of Marxism, whose diabolic purpose is to tear the fabric of Christian society to shreds.
    I feel alienated muich of the time. I want to hear Catholic truth boldly, clearly, unequivocally expounded from our pulpits. I want to be fed the red meat of real, virile, Catholic truth, whereas most of the time, I feel we’re being fed fairy floss! Tragically, there are those who manipulated, and continue to manipulate the recent Extraordinary Synod, and many mpore besides them, who are hell-bent on denying us this right; this dire need!

  23. Part of the “feminization” problem is the massive influx of homosexual men into the priesthood following Vatican II. This gave us two things: 1. A feminized priesthood. 2. The abuse crisis. And believe me, the abuse crisis was a homosexual crisis, not a pedophile crisis. The vast majority of abuse cases involved pubescent and post-pubescent males. Anyone who is familiar with the gay subculture knows that a significant percentage of homosexual men have a thing for pubescent and teenage boys. All of this has been a disaster of almost unimaginable proportions for the Church. A Church that teaches homosexual acts are disordered and sinful, but which has homosexuals as a significant percentage of it’s priests, and a few who prey on young boys?

    There was a serious problem for many years in that most people assumed that a young man who wanted to be a priest was likely gay. Believe me, this “stigma” kept many straight young men from pursuing a vocation. Pope Benedict (as Cardinal Ratzinger) put a ban on any new homosexual priests when the scandals hit, and vocations have begun to expand again. Nevertheless, there are still many, many homosexual priests. There is even a “gay lobby” of Judases in the Vatican that essentially drove Pope Benedict from office, and now they hope they have their man in Pope Francis (hopefully they are wrong). This is how we end up with unacceptable language in the synod mid-term relatio concerning not just welcoming homosexuals who are trying to live in accordance with the Word of God, but that goes beyond that to suggest we should “value” their sexual orientation. And now we have Catholic institutions everywhere capitiating to the demands of the homosexualists (see, Notre Dame last week and Creighton this week) against the specific commands of their local bishops! Things are bad, bad, bad folks. And in my opinion Pope Francis, by his words and actions, is proving to be exactly the wrong man for the moment. Can you even imagine him uttering anything like the glorious quote from Pope Leo XIII above? Me either.

    1. BXVI,

      Though I agree with your points re feminized/homosexuals (in both tendencies and acts) and the sexual abuse scandal, the fact is, to use a phase attributed to a pope, the Smoke of Satan entered the Sanctuary after Vatican II but IMO had infiltrated the Church pre-V2. V2 simply gave it the environment to spread its wings and take flight.

      You are very correct in your observation regarding the effeminate priesthood image and the effect on straight men willing to follow His call.

      The truth is the Smoke of Satan has entered the Sanctuary – and much blindness and deprivation of mind has occurred since then.

  24. Thank you for the words of encouragement and links to “Emangalization” Msgr. Pope. I second David Jackson’s “That Man is You!” comment. Our parish in Waynesboro, VA has 25-30 men gathering early on Saturday mornings to study this structured class/program on how to be a man closer to the heart of Jesus. We are working to answer his call for us to active spiritual leaders within our family and communities.

    I will pass this article to some of the men our group and also your blog.

    Thanks again.

  25. Strangely enough I was talking to my youngest son yesterday about the loss of fatherhood all around. He agreed with me. We were together on that!

  26. All that stuff is about fostering the trappings of manliness but not manliness itself because actual manliness is an existential threat to the ridiculous equality-of-the-sexes tack the Church has been following since JPII. Like you can get in touch with your “manliness” by growing a beard and smoking a pipe in your “man-cave” and by being the “spiritual” leader, but not just plain leader, of your family. “How can we make men work, but for peanuts, not for the things they actually want.

  27. There is undoubtedly a spirit of effeminacy going around in certain circles of the church, especially in the new liturgy.

  28. What people are saying regarding all this is true enough. People have been going on about insipid parishes and a feminine presentation of the faith for fifty years now, but the non Catholic western world is wobbling into a range of disorientation to which there can be no reconciliation.

    A majority of people in the west who live outside the Catholic faith are beginning to understand the flaws in their post modern world, what is increasingly understood as a wrong direction for humanity. Outside the west altogether, countries are lining up against the west and their citizens number in the billions. Strategically, things are getting more serious.

    WWI shocked a Europe dallying with decadence and something unforeseen may do the same, or people may just reject the increasingly decadent commercialism and the hopelessly dysfunctional nature of a self guided society which answers to nothing, or to globalism which everyone seems to reject, but is still being imposed. No one knows, but God is smarter than we. We trust in Him and call to those who come to the same conclusion.

  29. MSGR. POPE, I as a Knight of Columbus and a retired military man have always thought that man was here on this earth to serve Jesus Christ. This is in everything we do. I believe if men started to ask themselves why are they here and use reality to answer that question then they would realize everything we do keep in mind what is morally correct you will be led to God. When we take care of the lesser of our brethern we are doing what is demanded of us. Men if they are practicing Catholics there is no excuse not to become a Knight, attend Church as many times a week as possible. After all Mass is one hour and God gave you 168 hours a week doesn’t he deserve some time back honoring him? Sorry I am ranting but I can’t understand why Catholic men don’t stand up for what is right even though it may not be politically correct.

  30. I was on a quest recently to locate male saints who were sainted because of their parenthood. We have St. Joseph, of course, but sometimes saints are comforting because their struggles on earth make sainthood seem within reach. It would be so nice to see the beatification of Blessed Louis Martin, the father of St. Therese, and a few other male saints as well, to aid modern men in their vocations as fathers. I write this as a parent of three sons, the youngest of whom is 17. It’s a very challenging world out there for them and their male friends, especially their friends who have no father (or father figure) in their own lives. It seems to me we need the intercession and example of saintly fathers now more than ever before.

  31. AMEN. A-Men! The wussification of men has been a strategy of those who want to destroy the Catholic Church and Western Civilization as we know it. This plan is succeeding. Everyone will have to turn to Scripture, History, Philosophy and Catechise themselves to prepare for the denouement which fast approaches. Nothing will matter except physical survival of our families and Salvation of our Souls. Unless we KNOW about Jesus and the Holy Trinity we won’t LOVE.

    Very hard times are ahead and is plain for all with eyes to see and ears to hear.

  32. I accidentally sent the above prematurely; had so much more to say, but this will suffice for now.

  33. Wonderful blog. Sent it to all my male and female friends so they may pass it onto all their friends and family too!

  34. My wife and I had one of our worst fights ever after we left mass a number of years ago. It was in the late 1970’s. I made some comment about I could not stand how they were making the mass so feminine and weak. She did not agree! The Church needs to challenge both men and women and start to tell things the way they really are.

  35. Be a man….yes. But our church has given up on men. Where are the priests? They are shrinking violets, never saying anything to offend. Bending over backwards to accept heresy, to accept sodomites, to accept sin. Pope Francis, who am I to judge? You are the pope!!!! That is who!!! The church has devalued men. Why allow altar girls…to further devalue men. The church, this church, the most beautiful church….is dying. Because it rejects men. Father you say we should man up…….no, this church needs to man up, to grow a pair. You cannot shame men for falling away, look in the mirror, the church has feminized, has lost men. I find you are blaming the victim. The church needs to man up, we, as men only reflect the failure of the church to hold to its teaching.

  36. Excellent and 100% correct assessment. Thank you. From childhood on, we men have not simply been guided to act within reason, but to quiet down, be nice (horrible word with a bad history), and be effeminate. Not so much feminine. Thats why I truly love the Traditional Latin Mass, Sacraments, and traditional prayers and devotions, calling out the world on it’s anti-Catholicism and for its conversion. Not too politically correct-and just right.

  37. The church I go to, we can hardly see any father or grandfather attending the Monday to Friday Mass. Instead, we see working moms, grandmothers.

  38. One day I listened to the sermon at Mass. The priest exhorted everyone to find his or her role in the Church. I was pondering that for the rest of the Mass, not knowing what my role should be. Then it came time for a song. One of the now many songs where “man” and “men” have been changed to “all”. Suddenly, I figured out what my role would be in the Church. I was to be that guy who sung the original lyrics – every “man” and “men” that had long been expunged from the hymnal, as if the song never had any other lyrics. So, when you hear that one guy at Mass who refuses to sing the newfangled, emasculated lyrics in favor of the words no longer seen as fit for the hymnal, words that have been consigned to the dustbin of history, just know that you are listening to me, a simple man.


    1. Cardinal Sean has always had a soft spot for pro-murder-abortion apostates such as the radical Ted Kennedy for whom he celebrated a funeral Mass in the cathedral. The Cardinal was upset when many faithful Catholics criticized him for doing it and he complained they were uncharitable and needed to have mercy. Is it not a scandal, the Cardinal has not been heard condemning abortion and not upbraiding the mass of radical “catholics” who are parishoners in his diocese? Oh, and the Cardinal has been chosen to be on advisory council to Pope Francis who has said, “Should we be always speaking of abortion….” Blessed Pope Paul VI correctly said, “The smoke of satan has entered the Church.” Seems there’s been a lot of inhaling lately….

  40. A great article! As a woman, I have led many programs in the parish and other things such as the 40 Days for Life. I ceased to be an extraordinary minister of Holy Communion as my place is not in the sanctuary but there is still an army of women marching up to distribute the Body and Blood of Christ as well as little girls serving Mass. My parish has a good priest for a pastor but the parish is truly run by the ladies who are ‘pastoral assistant’ and head of the ‘liturgy committee’ and they are not what you would call pious. Holy endeavors get shot down by the women and the priest defers to them. The parochial vicars–two of them–have told me personally that they have no voice and the ‘pastoral assistant’ is really the pastor. This running of a parish is not uncommon. I have seen ‘liturgical dancers’ in the past but, thank God, never in my present parish.

    I dress feminine with skirts always for Mass. I do not volunteer to be lector, etc. I could but I would rather someone new step up–especially a man. Women will fill the void when men do not step up.

    Our sons get into violent video games and growing up gets more and more difficult for them. Pornography steals their imaginations too and it is there by a click of the mouse or a swipe of a finger. The young people have sexual ‘relationships’ that are NOT marriage or commitment and young men think they are being supportive when they march their girlfriends into ‘planned parenthood’ to kill their child. I know, I see it weekly. Too many men do not know that they are called to protect and defend women and children. Yes, radical feminism has beaten down the men but it does not have to.

    I know men have no rights over their unborn child. But it has been only a few times that I have witnessed a man beg his girlfriend not to kill his child. Our Church from Rome is sending many mixed signals but mostly effeminate ones. We have Cardinals saying ‘bravo’ to a homosexual athlete. We have others saying that those in invalid marriages should be admitted to Holy Communion, never mind about the abandoned true spouse and the children from the true marriage. There are few in the episcopate that we can count on to defend the teachings of the Church, of Christ Himself! No, they capitulate to the world and are ‘popular’ with the secular humanist society. We can name by name the most faithful bishops in the US. We know who they are. We know that the priests and bishops and cardinals who stand up for the truth are demoted or exiled in many cases. We see this; we are not blind. Many are happy about those things because they want to be comfortable in their sins and few Men of God there are to call them on it.

    Each one of us is called to prayer and sacrifice—to holiness. We are male or female and not come amalgamation. Let us each strive to live an intense sacramental life, to speak the truth with love, and to accept the consequences. Things are not going to get any easier. We must keep our eyes on Our Lord because even our Church leaders are letting us down too often.

    1. “…I have witnessed a man beg his girlfriend not to kill his child..”

      Why that man put his child into a woman’s womb, if the woman does not agree to carry the baby ?
      Would you put your car into a garage, if the owner of the garage does not agree ?

      1. She was letting him put his “car” in her garage when they had sex. Unless he raped her, she was a willing participant in creating a child, but chose to ignore the possible consequences of giving him temporary use of her garage.

  41. To be a man in a world that defines and redefines what manhood is supposed to be
    is most of the problem. In addition, to be part of the Catholic church which honors Mary above all
    the saints, places an undue influence on the maternal.

    I have found that evangelical churches which encourage formation through the study of scripture (much as Orthodox Judaism) there is a better likelihood in the formation of ‘manhood’ among the men.

    So it would seem that we need active scripture study groups for men within the church if we
    are to succeed in becoming the men that God our Father desires us to be.

    1. Thomas…please explain what you mean by ” undue influence on the maternal” do you mean that honoring Mary produces unmanly men?

      1. Tracey,

        Don’t get me wrong, but my experience with the Catholic church is that there has been
        more emphasis on devotion to Mary for men, than devotion to the study of holy scriptures
        for men. If we are going to know what it is to be a man after God’s own heart, we are
        going to have to learn what made King David such a man. David loved God’s word, and
        meditated on it day and night.

        1. Thomas, If we could discern what it means to be a man after ‘God’s own heart’. I believe it is important to look at how God unveiled His new covenant with mankind. Born of a woman whom He honors Himself, stories after stories in the Bible shows Christ’s exemplary relationship to women and men alike. His first cited miracle was performed at the request of His Mother, He established relationship with women of every stride strong, week, good, bad, religious, sinners and so on. He protected Women from the judgment of men and society for being a widow, a prostitute or for committing adultery and many more. Christ sets an example of what being a man should be; not afraid of feminism in all its forms as long as he is proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. King David simply demonstrates what abundance of Grace there is in loving God. As a cradle Catholic I have never known that there is a different doctrinal teaching for men about Holy Mary. Unfortunately too often I have observed many who feel uncomfortable about the churches devotion to a woman called Holy Mary the Mother of God. This I believe has more to do with an individual’s personal comfort level with female leadership than the churches doctrine or woman in leadership roles in the church.
          As a woman I think to see a flock of men in the Catholic church who make decisions on women’s issues, only men can elect or appoint leaders of the church, only men can celebrate the holy Mass and many more visible institutional examples that could be cited.
          I consider your concern legitimate and would like to know how the role of Holy Mary or women in the church emasculate men. It may help the leaders of the church to properly evangelize to the catholic man.

          When you are going on an excursion you need a guide. The guide does not stop you from experiencing your journey on a personal and communal level, the guide is there to facilitate your journey. This is Holy Mary for me, my tour guide whether it is about reading the scriptures, church doctrine, experiencing the divine, striving to attain Heavenly favors, or living God’s plan for me here on earth.

        2. Thomas, If we could discern what it means to be a man after ‘God’s own heart’. I believe it is important to look at how God unveiled His new covenant with mankind. Born of a woman whom He honors Himself, stories after stories in the Bible shows Christ’s exemplary relationship to women and men alike. His first cited miracle was performed at the request of His Mother, He established relationship with women of every stride strong, week, good, bad, religious, sinners and so on. He protected Women from the judgment of men and society for being a widow, a prostitute or for committing adultery and many more. Christ sets an example of what being a man should be; not afraid of feminism in all its forms as long as he is proclaiming the truth of the Gospel. King David simply demonstrates what abundance of Grace there is in loving God. As a cradle Catholic I have never known that there is a different doctrinal teaching for men about Holy Mary. Unfortunately too often I have observed many who feel uncomfortable about the churches devotion to a woman called Holy Mary the Mother of God. This I believe has more to do with an individual’s personal comfort level with female leadership than the churches doctrine or woman in leadership roles in the church.
          As a woman I think to see a flock of men in the Catholic church who make decisions on women’s issues, only men can elect or appoint leaders of the church, only men can celebrate the holy Mass and many more visible institutional examples that could be cited.
          I consider your concern legitimate and would like to know how the role of Holy Mary or women in the church emasculate men. It may help the leaders of the church to properly evangelize to the catholic man.

          When you are going on an excursion you need a guide. The guide does not stop you from experiencing your journey on a personal and communal level, the guide is there to facilitate your journey. This is Holy Mary for me, my tour guide whether it is about reading the scriptures, church doctrine, experiencing the divine, striving to attain Heavenly favors, or living God’s plan for me here on earth.

          1. Lucy,

            It is my experience within and without the Catholic church, that men can not be the
            discerning men of God through His Holy Spirit unless they are grounded in the
            holy scriptures. Men can always learn from the obedient faith of Mary, but we need
            to also know, ‘that faith comes from hearing, and hearing from the word of God” Even
            Jesus quoted the Torah, by saying: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every
            word which proceeds from the mouth of God”. Holding up Mary as the exemplar of our
            faith is not enough for men. As it says apparently of Jesus in Hab.2:4 (Septuagint version)
            ‘The righteous shall live by my faith”…even the faith of Jesus who said, “thou will not
            leave my soul in sheol, neither will thou allow thy holy one to see corruption”.

          2. Thomas, thank you for your response. I think I am beginning to gain clarity about the context in which you speak about the effect of Marian devotions on men. I can attest to you that as a woman Holy Mary is not enough for me as an exemplar of our faith. When I feel the spirit of the Lord moving upon me I dance as king David danced. When affirming my Blessing I declare that Abraham’s Blessings are mind. When in difficulties and need liberation I invoke a song of Paul and Silas having a breakthrough from prison, I use different scriptural reading according to the circumstances of my life I am praying about.
            I think sometimes we get introduced to a church dogma by individuals who unfortunately may be at a different level of understanding of the dogma; this can become problematic. Particularly with the church’s Devotion to Holy Mary I think people need the ‘space and time’ to allow their relationship with Holy Mary grow naturally. I had that experience as a young girl at the age of 8, I was dedicated to Holy Mary in a spiritually rich ceremony at Mass. Did I understand what it actually meant at that age? No no no it was just another ‘holy’ act. [This idea was initiated by some Irish Nuns who served at our parish at that time and has never been repeated in that parish after the Nuns returned to Ireland]. As an adult seeking to deepen my knowledge of the catholic faith some 22 years later I realized I was more confused by the significance of that event in my faith journey. It dawned on me that I had spent 22 years running from my life because it was not as perfect as Holy Mary’s. Sad to say I could only come to fully embrace the symbolism of that dedication after another 10 years of grounding myself in the Holy scripture and realizing that God speaks and reveals Himself to us everyday even after the Holy Bible was written.
            Recently I attended a First Holy communion celebration for one of my nieces in the south. At the end of the mass there was a mandatory dedication ceremony of all the young communicants boys and girls to our Lady of MT Carmel. I felt anxious and was offended by the fact that the pastor thought it was the right way to get the children engaged by imposing a Marian devotion of his choice to the children. It triggered memories of the years of confusion I had lived through because of lack of proper understanding of the role of Holy Mary in my life and in the life of the church.
            In my opinion the church should take particular pastoral care about the ‘Who and How and When’ the Marian dogmas are taught. At a glance it may seem like a feminine issue but deep down it is a ‘presentation issue’. I say so because I have come to realize that Marian Devotions and dogmas are not about Holy Mary they guide us to discover, know, and love Jesus Christ more. The Marian dogmas and Devotion are best understood by reading and listening to the word of God.

          3. Lucy,

            You have been gifted by God with both scriptural and Marian graces…
            something that I have found to be uncommon. I use to think that there are Rechabites,
            or traditionalists (the book of Jeremiah’s account), and then are the Bereans, or
            biblicists (the book of Acts account). God honors the sincere humble faith of both.
            Our heavenly Father pours out His grace on the humble whether they be traditionalists
            or biblicists,and it is not for me to judge the ‘calling’ of either.

            So, I may have the mistaken impression that Marian devotions supercede discipleship of
            Jesus, that is, “If anyone would be my disciple, he must deny himself, take up his cross
            daily and follow me” And, “He that hears my words and does them, shall be likened to a
            man who has built his house upon a rock”

            So, if God pours out the Marian graces upon me it will not be my doing…I just say,
            ‘your will be done, not mine’ and Blessed be His name..

        3. I cannot think of a more manly man than Saint Pope John Paul II! And recall his motto, Totus Tuus. There was never a man more devoted to Mary.

        4. Thomas, don’t get it wrong. True devotion to Mary is to go right to the heart of Jesus. Don’t forget, she is our Mother, and Jesus was with her until his adulthood, He Who is true God and true man. Mary, His mother, wants all her children to go to God.

          1. Good thing there is so many women around to correct a man when he has an opinion. Otherwise he might start thinking of himself as a ‘leader’ or something. For the record I concur with Thomas, Mary is emphasized just slightly less than Jesus, and far far more than Paul or any other apostle. In my opinion the church is dangerously close to making an idol out of Mary.

            No offense ladies but this made me laugh out loud. This short series of posts is a microcosm of the issue. I know you have good intentions, but you know what they say about good intentions.

          2. It’s a tough balance to maintain in a fallen world, that of a manly leadership and a woman’s support. Perhaps it is best modeled in how Mary and Jesus interacted at the wedding at Cana. But I’m quite certain Jesus would not have responded as you have. This is not to bait or condemn; you may just want to meditate a bit on this microcosm you have found. Perhaps the reason the Church holds Mary in such high regard is for a few very good reasons, one of which you’re proving.

          3. Dhurka,

            I can understand where you are coming from, but as a man who is totally consecrated to the Blessed Virgin you are simply lacking perspective. I highly recommend you check out St. Louis de Montefort’s teachings on Mary to get thorough understanding of *why* Mary is as big of a deal as the church makes her out to be.


            These concepts have been an absolutely critical part of my own reversion and I feel a Catholic cannot experience the fullness of their faith without an adequate understanding of our Lady’s role in the church.

          4. Angelica,

            I do not doubt for a moment your sincere convictions and that of other Catholics
            who are sincerely devoted to Mary. Maybe someday, God willing, I will be also.
            We have Abraham and Miriam (Mary) as the two Jewish parents of our faith.

            may His peace be with you.

          5. Thank you. I am just saying that Jesus is the perfect model for each man, and He let Mary guide him in His youth, and He was with her until He started His public life. Having Mary as our mother doesn’t affect the way we honor God, either being a man or a woman. May God bless and keep you.

        5. I totally disagree with the thought that Marian devotion somehow keeps men from being “a man after God’s own heart.” Read Father Donald Calloway’s book, Under the Mantle, or True Devotion, by St. Loius de Montifort. Mary ALWAYS leads you to her son, and men will always fight for their queen. To Jesus, through Mary. All the great male saints had a deep devotion to Mary.

        6. I can’t think of anything that makes me feel more like a man than when I pray the Rosary…her maternal touch gives me inner strength almost to the point that I wonder sometimes what am I to do with all this (divine) energy she has given me..she makes us sons of God like her son Jesus, for that is precisely her role: to conform us to her son…and she balances the inner manly strength she gives me with just the right amount of “feminine” mercy (I don’t think that compassion is primarily a feminine-soft and weak- virtue but that is the contrast being made in some of the comments…on the contrary, perhaps only the truly strong can be merciful)

          And need I remind you that she has said in many different places “woe to the dedicated that seek to remove the Rosary beads from the faithful” or try to dissuade them from praying it…that includes trying to dissuade men from praying it too.

  42. This comment is for all the wives reading this article. Do not think this is only for your husbands. Wives are very much a part of their men manning up. Read Ephesians 5:21-31 and understand. It was only after I changed my ways that my husband was enabled to change his ways. What an amazing marriage we now have by things being placed in order…God’s order. =)

    1. So glad to see that you went to the part of husbands treating wives properly. So many who bring this up will stop at the end of verse 24, then carry on as if it gave them a right to treat wives more like livestock than human.
      Besides the comments of St. Paul (including Colossians 3:18-21) there’s also 1 Peter 3:1-7 – don’t stop before #7

  43. Dear Artflbgr,
    I have read your comment and while reading it I have felt as if our Lord cried over you and the truths you have written. It is impossible to fight your own when you love them, that touched me so much nd so deep in the heart. I live in Europe, actually Eastern part where we do not have this cultural war raging so much as in the US, but this is a time when all hell is loose in so many forms.
    When the diabolical system of Communism fell (thank you Jesus, praise you Jesus) I returned home from exile in Canada and found out nobody wanted to take responsibility or their life and decisions… Later I have started to feel we need fathers, real fathers who know how to lead others. There were no father figures in my nation you could turn to, the nation was decimated by the commies in almost every area of life. I could continue for a while more, but I think this terrible idea of communist tyranny is presently working its way into your society… This opression by the PC dictate is a real form of tyranny, intolerance where some groups want tolerance from the majority but they themselves do not tolerate differing opinions from theirs (liberals, gay agenda clique, abortion industry, etc.)
    So, if you want to find a good support group or people of coherent views try dads . org or read blogs by charliej373 at wordpress . com. They are great. Or drop me a line vsb at post . sk, we can write more about these things. God bless you.
    Vladimir, Slovakia

  44. The Ordinary Form of the Mass is feminized, to the point where it drives men away. It is touchy-feely. It is chatty. It is unstructured, spontaneous, anti-hierarchical, eager to be accessible and to be inclusive. It’s like lunch in your grandmother’s kitchen.

    1. Or like dinner with Mary and Martha?

      Just saying…
      I’m sorry but I fail to understand how our Mass has become feminized.

  45. I must disagree with most of these comments. The tired theory that men are not interested or involved in the church because it is too “feminine” is simply wrong. Forgiveness and love are described above as “feminine” virtues, as if they are somehow soft and weak, as opposed to “masculine” virtues like leadership and authority which are somehow strong. Anyone who has sincerely tried to live forgiveness, for example, will know that it is extremely hard and demanding, requiring a genuine struggle for mastery and self-control in the service of love. And anyone who has been called to exercise authority will readily admit that a true leader serves the needs of his/her people by self-giving acts of love.
    Quite simply, my contention is that, in general, most men are not interested in church or a life of faith because they want to live their lives on their own terms. They want to do what they want, when they want, how they want. Oh yes, men love their wives and children and God; but they love themselves more. Men are “afraid” to be men? Men are “shamed” into acting feminine? Baloney! They just don’t want to make the enormous effort that a true life of faith requires: loving God with all your heart and mind and body and strength; and your neighbor as yourself.
    That said, I don’t think that all men suffer from this self-centered pride, nor that it is only men. Women, too have been making giant strides in this life of self-absorption. And I also believe that contraception and the sexual revolution have gone a long way in encouraging and strengthening these negative tendencies in men. But, please, let’s stop wringing our hands over the “excessive feminization” of the church and how it is driving men away. When men are ready to live their lives for God and for others, they will return to the church. It’s that simple.

  46. From – That Man is You! is an interactive, multimedia men’s program focused upon the development of authentic male leadership. Over the course of three years, That Man is You! successively considers men in their relationship to God, to their spouse and to their children.

    Find a location:

    The program content harmonizes current social and medical science with the teachings of the Church and the wisdom of the saints to develop the vision of man fully alive. It is particularly indebted to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II.

    First year: Becoming a Man After God’s Own Heart
    Second year: Light to the Nations
    Third year: Revelation of the Father

    Registration is ongoing at any point in the cycle of sessions over the three years and is offered at hundreds of parishes throughout the U.S. It is open to 18 years or older to Catholics and non-Catholics and is leadership formation to make men better disciples, husbands, fathers, and grandfathers.

    Also, see (Men’s Conference). There is also an annual Catholic Men’s Mass in Diocese of Austin during Summer where a whole sanctuary is filled with men and their sons and when they sing it is powerful to hear a church filled with booming voices.

  47. Another excellent article, Msgr. I forwarded to all of our adult children (sons and daughter). Radical feminism has left a path of destruction over these past fifty years.

  48. The Church can’t complain about the quality of the men it sees (and often doesn’t see) if their priests are mostly milquetoasts who can’t stand up and take charge of their flocks. The Church needs to find and encourage the kind of strong men it wants to see into the priesthood, then maybe we will see some changes.

  49. I guess maybe we have been a bit selfish. I hope we come to a solution quickly to help out the Catholic men who are hurting.

  50. Bad clergy don’t want good men. They resent good men. And good men notice.

    You might be one of the good clergy, Monsignor, but surely you must realise how so very many of your fellow priests and bishops treat men in real life — lay men who have actually already been doing the things that you encourage men to do. Men who stand up for morality, men who stand up for their families, men who stand up for tradition… these men are regarded with suspicion and hostility by so many clergy. The suspicion and the hostility is often veiled, sometimes heavily, sometimes lightly veiled, but you see past the veil eventually. It seems to me that most modern clergy prefer men who are lazy, wimpy, and ignorant. I can’t help thinking that it’s because they prefer men who are like themselves. They don’t feel comfortable around men who are well motivated, well educated, and moral. They hate men like that.

    There are many, many clergy who just want an easy life, so laymen who challenge them are perceived as irritants at best and enemies at worst. (Yes, it’s possible that occasionally there’s some layman who’s a brash kook from the fringe who gets pushy. The majority of men of faith, men of honour, men who teach their children to pray, aren’t like that.) Defending devotions, defending doctrine, defending yourself… these are spun as being rigid, being uncaring and unforgiving, and as being proud. And so many laymen are so sick and tired of the spin.

    1. Msgr Pope,

      The idea that men need to be men, especially in protecting their families (physically, spiritually and morally) has captivated me for years. Several years ago, I produced a movie short called the Sword in the Stone which called men to precisely do that. Go here to view it: Once you go to the site you can view the trailer. For those who wish to pursue the topic more, enter the promotional code: OLT-1 or OLT-2 in order to view the full movie short (12 minutes in all). Perhaps this can fuel some discussion.

    2. Thomas, I’ve experienced priests like that over the years. Zeal seems to scare them off. Too often it’s also the Church according to Fr. SoAndSo. They don’t believe in Purgatory, the real presence, praying to Holy Mother or even sin. What does a Catholic do if he finds himself in a Church like that? I left for more orthodox grounds. I wasn’t alone.

  51. I do not know how many men can stand much of the singing at church. So many of the songs are silly “kumbaya” drivel. Lord of the Dance? Really???? Last week we had guitars and clarinets. Really. Then there is all the hand shaking which often turns into a hug fest. The petitions are so vague I usually zone out (for a bountiful harvest… o.k. we should pray for the farmers, but what about the Christians being beheaded in the Middle East???) How many of us have approached an extraordinary minister of communion with that look of ecstasy in her eyes. Does anyone else find that distracting, and feminine? There are soooo many females taking over the liturgy at my church I don’t know how my priest can stand it. He must not mind all that much because he addresses us as Sisters and brothers, instead of the other way around.

  52. Thank you Monsignor. I appreciate your take on things. Unfortunately, it’s not in some vague, general sense that the “Church” has been feminized. It’s the Mass, it’s the Mass, it’s the Mass. Please, for the love of God and all that’s Holy, please everyone do everything we can to insist on as many Extraordinary Form Masses as possible. It takes a “man” to admit a mistake and those who went along with the schemers behind Vatican II’s feminization of the liturgy and ergo the Church, made a mistake, no matter how well-intentioned they were. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi, indeed. (How we pray is how we believe is how we live.) The new liturgy is tepid and does not inspire. At a minimum, in the ordinary form, we must bring back the ad orientem consecration, which is a catechesis on the interaction between the Last Supper, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection. When the priest elevates the host facing God, interceding on behalf of his congregation, it is an undeniably masculine act. The “traditionalists” are right about most everything.

  53. Thank you Msgr. Pope, for writing about this topic. As I read through it, I kept thinking about the movie “Courageous”, which is about men stepping forward to be the Christian men they are called to be. I highly recommend it. With regard to this masculine and feminine issue, from a biological perspective, Jesus and Mary had identical DNA, and by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, He was conceived. “For all of you who were baptized in Christ have clothed yourself in Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Jesus Christ.” Galatians 3:27-28. So goes the paradox of humanity’s existence, which constantly allows God to surprise us with what is good, true and beautiful.

  54. Excellent article and very much to the point. Many years ago in seminary, the “Evaluation Board” responsible for recommending seminarians for ordination would often have ” concerns” about men who did not appear to be sufficiently ” docile.” In other words, men who believed the dogma and doctrines of the Catholic Church and were not “open” to new interpretations and “pastoral applications.” The classic line was , “Cooperation leads to Ordination.” If anyone had the courage of their convictions and stood up for the truth of the Gospel and the Church they would be shown the door. Most of us who made it to priesthood had to ” Go long, to get along.”

    Is there any wonder Catholic Clergy are often viewed as passive, docile and feminized? Surrounded by “girl” altar boys, women extraordinary ministers of holy Communion, women lectors, the priest often is the only male in the sanctuary . It is precisely for this reason, that the sacred liturgy is now considered women’s work by most men! We are certainly in a big mess.

  55. Another battle we face from yet another movement taking root in the 1960’s, feminism. Maleness has been declared politically incorrect. It has been publicly emasculated to the point where the characteristics of masculinity are viewed as a disorder. Fathers are no longer viewed as heads of households. The traditional family has been slowly destroyed over the last 50 years.

    The Bible provides us with direction in many places, starting with 3 Genesis 16:

    “To the woman also he said: I will multiply thy sorrows, and thy conceptions: in sorrow shalt thou bring forth children, and thou shalt be under thy husband’s power, and he shall have dominion over thee. ”

    An incredible illumination is provided in Haydock’s commentary to that verse:

    “Moses here shows the original and natural subjugations of wives to their husbands, in opposition to the Egyptians, who, to honor Isis, gave women the superiority by the marriage contract. ”

    The Egyptian goddess Isis was the diety of darkness worshipped by the Egyptians. A demon.

    It is beyond coincidence that a new terror strikes fear in the hearts of the world is fomented by a group called ISIS.

    Her leathery veined wings spread darkness across the world.

  56. I completely agree with the point of view of his message and will admit that is exactly the only reason I quit going to church; too mushy and effeminate.

    I’ve only been to church once this year
    and now just reading that the Monsignor Pope needs to “secure a pardon” from female parishioners to directly address men in the body, means we won’t be going back anytime soon.

  57. Just saw the most interesting alternative view on this matter over at It goes like this:

    “Young Men Are Finally “Getting” It?

    Since divorce leaves men in financial servitude – sometimes literally until the day they die – perhaps young men are realizing that the Family Law System overwhelmingly favors women/ex-wives/mothers over men/ex-husbands/fathers, and that if they marry and have kids and divorce, they’ll be working to pay not only child support payments until the “children” are well into their 20’s, but also alimony (alimony! In 2014!) so their ex’s don’t ever have to work a day in their lives again. If I were a young man, I’d never, never get married. The consequences if it fails are for a lifetime.”

    This was in response to the survey done showing Millenials are not expected to be marrying. Divorce has been rampant and few stable marriages there are in these days when satan and all his minions have been loosed because we have almost completely abandoned God. Just consider our fornications, our abortions, our STD’s, our sex-drugs-rock ‘n roll addictions, the homosexuality, the anal and oral sexual practices seeking to stem the conception of life and instead causing sometimes fatal infections and irreparable structural damage to bodies, the widespread shacking up, friends with “benefits” mentalities (grin-grin!!!) and all the despair leading folks to the instant gratifications of certain PROTEST-ant sects’ “services.” Who is really tough enough to stand up to the non-stop invasion of our senses by the satanic elements inhabiting the IPhones, the IPads, the laptops, the desktops, the TV’s, the radios, the Walkmen, the MP3’s and MP4’s, the DVD players, the CD players, nonstop messages flowing into our brains through the ear buds stuck inside us, blaring away anything other than orthodox Catholic teaching.

    Just go to and take a look at some of the saints’ teachings there. Is there anything resembling this on earth today?

    When are we all going to man up and face the assaults, the TSUNAMI of assaults, satan has devised against us? Will we EVER hear a homily about Hell? EVER?

    I’ve been there TWICE. Google “Josepha Menendez in Hell” or “Gloria Polo in Hell” for a couple of stories you’ll never hear out of the mouths of our Catholic priests, few as they are and fighting for their very lives.


  58. “Everybody is talking about the weather and nobody is doing anything about it” Mark Twain.
    This is true of most of the men’s Catholic organizations today. Lots of talk, no action. Its a problem of formation. Men need to be formed into real men with boots on the ground, callouses on the hands masculine action. The formation must engage the man, physically, spiritually and intellectually. It must start with boys and proceed through a man’s life.

    John Bradford
    Wilderness Outreach

  59. The Church was feminized during and after Jesus arrived. Women have been filling the pews since the beginning of Christianity. The truth is women have been leaving the Church because we now have security. Women were clinging to the Catholic Church for security(many females became nuns because they didn’t have much choice back then). If the Catholic Church loses the women, they will have to resort to a new Christianity, a harsher, more forceful. I believe men will become attracted to the Church when they re-invent a more strict, harsh, and forceful kind of Christianity (like the Muslims). In conclusion, things are going to get very nasty for women again.

  60. History repeats itself. If a woman hasn’t learned to defend herself in the past few decades, if she doesn’t learn survival skills, well all I can say is good luck. As for me, I’m not going down without a fight, after all, we all know it’s a fact that holy books were compiled by men for a male dominated society.

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