Are some bishops singling out conservative priests for psychiatric treatment?

Father Z's Blog: the number of priests sent for psychiatric evaluations has increased, and it’s conservative and traditional priests who are targeted

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich speaks at Holy Name Cathedral on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, in Chicago. (Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times)

American bishops are sending traditional-minded or conservative priests to psychiatric hospitals for “reprogramming” or as punishment, a priest blogger has alleged.

Father John Zuhlsdorf, also known as Fr. Z, wrote on his popular blog September 25 that the number of priests sent for psychiatric evaluations has increased, and that it’s conservative and traditional priests who are targeted.

“Over the last few months I have been contacted by diocesan priests (and a religious) who were being sent by their bishops (superior) to be ‘evaluated’ at one of these psych clinics for clergy,” he said.

In an “alarmingly similar pattern,” the bishop sends the priest to the psychiatric facility for an evaluation after some “dust up” in the parish, according to Fr. Zuhlsdorf, a priest who resides in the Diocese of Madison.

“A common characteristic of the priests: they are conservative or traditionalists,” he added.

“In the last year, there was a period of a couple months in which several priests contacted me to tell me that they were going into the psych slammer at the order of their bishops. Before that, I hadn’t had any such call or contact.”

Father Paul Kalchik has stated that he was a victim of sexual abuse by a priest at a young age. (image from Resurrection Parish)

Fr. Z’s blog post comes as Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich reportedly ordered Fr. Paul Kalchik to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland, which Zuhlsdorf describes as the “most (in)famous” of these institutes, for a psychiatric evaluation.

Kalchik, a pastor at Resurrection, went against Cupich’s wishes and privately burned a rainbow-and-cross banner a previous pastor had hung behind the altar, as well as reciting an exorcism prayer at the time. The parish has a history of promoting homosexuality, and there are allegations the now deceased late pastor committed homosexual transgressions on church premises.

NBC Chicago reported Auxiliary Bishop Mart Bartosic arrived last Saturday just before Kalchik was to celebrate a wedding, and ordered the priest to leave or be arrested for trespassing on parish grounds.

Church Militant reported it has interviewed Fr. Kalchik, who is in hiding. According to Church Militant, two priests accosted Fr. Kalchikat the rectory and told him he had to go to St. Luke’s Institute.

Meanwhile, Catholic News Agency reported September 25 the archdiocese of Chicago said the priest “left willingly” to “receive pastoral care.”

Full story at LifeSiteNews.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    So a publicly active conservative priest gets calls from priests being “reprogrammed”. Um, how does he know that’s what’s happenning? And by the way, would you expect liberal priests having difficulties with their bishop to call a conservative publicly active priest?

    • Steve Seitz says:

      Anonymous,
      Right or wrong, priests do talk among themselves about other priests, and they notice certain patterns.

  2. Gabriel Espinosa says:

    I think the only way to save our priests is aggression at this time. I’m not talking about storming the Bastille, though the thought has entered my mind. We need to battle these bishops in the only way they understand and the only way which hurts: MONEY. Continue to give to the church financially, but not to the chanceries. DO NOT PUT CASH IN THE COLLECTION BASKET FOR THEN YOU CANNOT TRACE IT. Use checks or money orders and make sure to write on the check that the donation is “ONLY TO BE USED FOR PARISH BUILDING MAINTENANCE AND ASSOCIATED NEEDS SUCH AS OIL OR GAS, ETC.” Or write “ONLY TO BE USED FOR SPECIFIC PARISH PROGRAMS.” There you can specify, religious instruction, food pantry, whatever. The bottom line is that the parish is then…

  3. The establishment Church is little more that a crime syndicate at this point.

  4. Unfortunately, this is very true. I know of a Los Angeles priest, as well as another priest from Seattle who were ordered to get help because they were orthodox and conservative. In the 70’s many priests were also forced to attend updating conferences and retreats where they were brain washed with modernism. According to several canon lawyers, a bishop may not force a priest to seek counseling if the priest has done nothing wrong. Often it is best for the priest to be accompanied with a lawyer if he has a meeting with a hostile bishop.

  5. Father Z has long been a voice of sanity and common sense. If he is being contacted by conservative priests as he claimed, I have no trouble believing him. When I think of the case of Fr. Guarnizo denying a Buddhist lesbian communion and the hell he had to pay and the message that sent to priests all over America, I find it even easier to believe.

  6. St. Christopher says:

    Hahaha — Of Course this is happening. Try to keep up, People. We only know about such things thanks to dogged bloggers and such that use the internet to provide information to the laity.

    • St. Christopher says:

      As I also previously said, this action is the mark of totalitarian governments: get rid of the opposition. That is what is happening by the men who are the source of catastrophic scandal to the Catholic Church.

      Step up, oppose these men, stop giving them money, and raise your voices to Heaven (along with prayers). Thank God for the chance to speak up for Christ and against apostasy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    This could explain what happened to Fr. Chris Cunningham. It had been reported that he had a minor dust-up with Cardinal Mahony many years ago. Allegations eventually surfaced against him and he fought the allegations before his congregation. After that, he disappeared off the face of the earth.

    Does anyone know what ever happened to this priest of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles?

  8. If traditional priests do not submit to a shrink then they are pushed out to pasture. Father Potthof of Diamond Bar put in a communion rail in the church he was having built, and he was retired, being forbidden to celebrate a public Mass. Another priest, a brilliant scholar was retired by Mahoney because he refused to have liturgical romper room antics at his parish. Several other young priests here in LA were not given assignments because they were pro life and pro traditional marriage, and they had to move back home with their parents. Ave Maria Purrissima !

    • Anonymous says:

      There has GOT to be more to the story than what you are letting on Jesusita. A priest can’t be forbidden from celebrating public mass without a canonical process. What is the “rest of the story”, as they say?

      For that matter, there’s more to the story of these other priests too. There must be some reason why priests are asked to go into therapy, and “reprogramming” isn’t a therapy anyway.

      • Fr Khouri says:

        Anonymous, very naive, you still hold that most bishops are gentle shepherds. How nice for you to live in a fantasy world. You are not a priest I assume.. You have no idea what bishops are.capable of (not all of them). We priests know it take very little for a lib bishop to punish a faithful priest.

      • Fr Khouri says:

        Anonymous, very naive, you still hold that most bishops are gentle shepherds. How nice for you to live in a fantasy world. You are not a priest I assume.. You have no idea what bishops are.capable of (not all of them). We priests know it takes very little for a lib bishop to punish a faithful priest.The

        And by the way a bishop can withdraw the right to say Mass publicly by an administrative decree, there is no canonical process

    • Anonymous says:

      Have them ask to be transferred to another diocese. There are means in the Church to have these things investigated. Father Pavone appealed to Rome when his bishop in Texas removed him from ministry.

      • Patty Bennett says:

        If that had happened today, does anyone think that an appeal to Rome would be helpful?

      • Fr Khouri says:

        Again Anonymous, you don’t know what you are talking about. If one bishop
        Has problems with a priest it would be a very unusual situation for another bishop to take that priest.
        Rome takes forever to hear a case of a priest standing up to his bishop. In the meantime the priest is in limbo many times.
        The Church is filled with good faithful people but also filled cruel, vindictive leaders. Please wake up and see the reality.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Many saints suffered ostracism or other bad treatment from their bishops or superiors. They patiently endured it. Our Lady of Fatima told the children to patiently endure whatever sufferings the Lord sends and offer it up for the conversion of poor sinners.
    I will pray for Father Kalchik and Bishop Cupich and for all other priests and bishops.
    Going for a psychiatric evaluation doesn’t hurt and it might help-unless you are prideful. Everybody has stuff.
    Pride is the root of every sin and it is painful but humility comes from these kinds of trials.
    Pray the Litany of Humility.

    • Linda Maria says:

      Anonymous– “everybody has stuff,” right? So maybe Cdl. Cupich ought to join Fr. Kalchik and others– for some “psychiatric treatments!”

    • Anonymous says:

      Father Z has the number of a psychologist who is willing to see priests for no charge.

      • Fr Khouri says:

        Again Anonymous, you don’t know what you are talking about. If one bishop
        Has problems with a priest it would be a very unusual situation for another bishop to take that priest.
        Rome takes forever to hear a case of a priest standing up to his bishop. In the meantime the priest is in limbo many times.
        The Church is filled with good faithful people but also filled cruel, vindictive leaders. Please wake up and see the reality.

      • Fr Khouri says:

        Really? And where has Father said this?

    • Fr Khouri says:

      How sad you don’t get it and you spiritualize the trauma these priests go through. Would you like to spend 30 days in a psych unit when it is not needed? These priests are not even evaluated by a decent Catholic shrink before they are bundled off unwillingly. Some might need the help, many
      dont . Please pray for bishops and priests and for yourself. Persecution is unjust and simply because saints endured it doesn’t make it right or good. Some of us don’t have the grace or ability to withstand this kind of mental and spiritual abuse. Many of us are only saints in the making. Thank God my people wou!d not throw me under the bus as your postings imply you would. “Oh, well, too bad this happened but the leadership is always…

  10. This is a “fake news” story. Shame on Father Z. Father Kalchik nearly burned the place down when he burned the rainbow flag. Additionally, being a self-admitted victim of child abuse, he undoubtedly needs treatment- especially after a stunt like this.

    • say what??!!?? Burned the place down??!!?? Are we on the same planet, Fred? “Needs treatment… for a stunt like this”??!!?? It was not a “stunt,” Fred, but a statement about the Church’s sinful coddling of active homosexuals and homosexual predation. The fact that, as a victim of abuse at the hands of homosexual predators, he has not become one himself, is a testimony to the work of Grace in his life. And the fact that he defied Cupich, a man many of us think should be defied, is also a testimony of Grace in his life.

    • St. Christopher says:

      “Fred” you are factually incorrect. The parish owned the materials at issue and, as published, they were burned in a fire pit, outside. No threat of any fire emergency was ever shown.

  11. helen wheels says:

    welcome to the ecclesial gulag:
    All orthodox priests to be sent
    to Siberia for “political re-education.”

  12. We must not assume all conservative priests are saints. It’s quite possible that they have legitimate problems and wish to save face by saying they are being persecuted for thier orthodoxy. Equally we must not assume all Bishop’s are saints either.

  13. Linda Maria says:

    This news story is too sensational! What, exactly, are the definite facts?? Unless a priest becomes violent– a threat to himself, or to others– or else, if the priest has an extreme medical emergency– and is unable to make his own decisions– how can a bishop send any priest, for any kind of medical or psychiatric care?? No one in our country can, in normal circumstances–such as in the workplace– “order someone to be locked up in a psychiatric facility.” Your boss can’t do that, by law. Traditional priests might be happier, to leave diocesan clergy– and join the Church’s traditional orders! Perhaps today’s Church may collapse, with all its evils, anyway! “Goodbye, Good Men”

    • Anonymous says:

      You are right about there being no definite facts. Except for about Father Kalchik but there is only one side of the story.
      The Church will not collapse.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If this has happened to “liberal” priests, they are not going to contact Father Z, so we can’t with any confidence that it only happens to conservative priests. You would have to check with NCR or Father Martin to find out if they had heard of this treatment of priests.

    • Linda Maria says:

      What is your real name or “moniker,” Anonymous? Christ was neither “liberal” nor “conservative!” Those are secular, worldly, political terms! Christ was Truth!

  15. To say that Fr. Kalchik almost burned down the church is loony. Every Holy Saturday for the Easter Vigil fires are built, blessed and later extinguished, and as far as I know, very few fires have burned down churches because of this. Plus, old palms are burned and the ashes used on Ash Wednesday, and old vestments are supposed to be burned rather than throw them away. So to accuse Father of being a pyro-maniac is just plain insane.

  16. anonymous says:

    My son was a devoted priest. Notice I said was. He was harassed by his fellow priests because he was not gay, did not have a girlfriend, nor stole from the Mass collections. His Bishop was going to commit him to a mental heath facility outside of his state because of this. My son left the priesthood at that point. He disobeyed the Bishop’s order to get back into the state. My son knew that as soon as he set foot into that state he’d be sitting in a locked room. After 3 yrs he’s finally getting his life in order but he hides his emotional scars. This has damaged our entire family. Good work Bishop….

  17. helen wheels says:

    One solitary data point, but I knew
    Fr Chris Cunningham to be a good priest

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