Wednesday 16th October 2019

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

When The Twitter Mob Came After Me

June 6, 2019 Frontpage 12 Comments

Image result for twitterBy FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Twitter has a dark, demonic side, raging against God and the Church. That brood of vipers and braying, bloodthirsty hounds lurking in readiness was visited upon me with nearly unrelenting fury and incredible magnitude last week. Wave after wave of calumnious, blasphemous, and obscene memes, gifs, and messages were posted with comments, likes, and retweets ranging up to the tens of thousands. Those who styled themselves my enemies crowed with pleasure that I had been “ratioed” — when negative comments outnumber likes and retweets. Many called for me to delete my account when they weren’t wishing a more horrible fate upon me. Blue check mark accounts with nearly 200k followers piled on.

The vituperation descended even to the grave calumny of accusing me of pedophilia. The silliness included mocking my appearance and my Twitter handle. A self-described witch stated she put a “hex” or “curse” on me.

When my account disappeared on Wednesday, June 5, many wondered if Twitter had banned me, which was not the case. I was informed the previous evening that some of my account features would be limited for roughly twelve hours. That was not a factor in my decision, after prayer and discernment, to choose the high road as a Catholic Christian and a priest. Deactivating my account eliminated what had become the fulcrum for the demonic waves of rage targeting the faith. The good of the Church and the needs of the faithful must always come first, in particular for a priest. In the final analysis Twitter ain’t all that. It was entirely my own decision to deactivate and I was not compelled by anyone else in any way.

Twitter can be very superficial and that may be its strength. Headlines and pics can be reviewed rapidly for efficiently catching up on the news. Likes and retweets become a form of affirmation. Their lack can also do the contrary and affect our moods adversely. Twitter can also be problematic for the same reason: Rapid consumption of large volumes of data does not lend itself to reasoned discussion of sensitive subjects.

So, what was the tweet about? I touched upon a subject uncomfortable for many — modesty of dress for Mass, and my intention was to address only that: the decorum proper to praying together in the liturgy. However, regardless of my intentions otherwise, the tweet was taken to imply that I was placing the blame on women for men who cannot control themselves or telling them how to dress in general. I do not do either and never have. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The unfortunate turn of phrase, in which I implied that men’s chastity needed to be defended, was written with the best of intentions. In no way did I mean to say that men are not responsible for, or capable of, self-control. They are so capable and everything possible should be done to avoid implying otherwise. In the Church we have our own tragic history of failure to intervene and prevent crimes against the young and women. We must strive to ensure a consistent witness to the need to better protect individuals of all ages, especially children, from sexual predators. I always hope this goes without saying, but I am afraid we may not be there yet. Men and women both must exercise self-control and respect in their mutual relations.

Context is important. That was lacking in part due to the very limited number of words available for expression on that platform and my choice to not create a thread for expanding the discussion’s breadth. I was speaking only to the norms of dress within the Traditional Latin Mass community. I have absolutely no opinion on how women choose to dress. That’s their business. I’ve always felt that way. It would be very inappropriate for a priest to touch on that subject except in the one specific case I highlighted.

I can describe my parish situation best. The women at our Traditional Latin Mass have their own dress code which they have corporately decided upon for themselves without any direction from me. I prefer it that way. It largely involves having shoulders covered in exactly the same manner as expected for visitors to St. Peter’s Basilica and other religious monuments around the world. However, when new folks start attending the Mass, they might be working out of a different mindset based on previous experiences at Mass where different dress codes may have been in force. I think that may have been what was involved in the case I described. The person in question had been attending Traditional Mass for a few weeks while continuing to stand out in stark contrast to the pre-established norm for women in the congregation, a potential source of distraction for regulars at the Mass.

It is true that the priest was not “forced” to say something as described in the tweet. It might be better said that he felt impelled to address the matter because sufficient time had gone by for the individual involved to feel comfortable with the suggestion of accommodating the majority’s norms and she was not thus far making the adjustment unaided.

wandererprint(ad)2

I posted on Monday, June 3 and by that evening the swarm was already gathering. Even, sadly, Catholics on Twitter used the situation to draw attention to themselves with mocking jokes about shoulders causing distraction during prayer. One priest posted a pic of a gingerbread cookie sporting a bikini and asked, “Does this bother you because she has shoulders or because seminarians made it?” These divisive jumps into the fray only attract the Church’s enemies.

Which brings me to another less salutary aspect of Twitter. We are not converting those who agree with us. But we can be holding the faith up to ridicule when Catholics themselves try to wring a joke out of the most sacred things. At the same time I have been most edified by the many faithful Catholics on Twitter who beautifully and lovingly express faith and invite others to also experience our covenant love in Christ.

Will the demons howl victory? Will they be left unsated as they prowl around to devour more victims? Probably so. But we who share the faith know that this is merely a minor battle in a great war in which our triumphant Lord has already secured the greatest victory, over sin and death. We always have much more effective means at our disposal for disseminating the faith, converting and saving souls, than an Internet platform controlled by declared enemies of Christ.

I pray for all of those who choose to remain on social media. It can be advantageous, but at the same time often also quite dangerous when we are forced to encounter those suffering from Internet derangement syndrome. Perhaps with the ensuing conversation about shoulders the goal posts were moved into a more protective position of the human person in the ongoing war against Internet porn so deadly for souls.

Will the Twitter storm rage on? Unfortunately the next target of the Twitter mob may be even now pressing the “send” button which will unwittingly bring them out in malicious force. In the final hours of the account good people were coming forward as reinforcements in numbers that swelled to nearly 27,000 followers. I have received many more emails of support than otherwise.

Sincere thanks to all of you. Please pray for me as I do for you.

Editor’s  Note: Today Father Cusick celebrates his 27th year anniversary of his ordination. We thank him for all of the wonderful work he has done for The Wanderer. His column can be read weekly in https://thewandererpress.com/.  May God bless him and give him many more years in his service to God.

 

 

Share Button
  • Battle Royale

    “I have absolutely no opinion on how women choose to dress. That’s their business. I’ve always felt that way. It would be very inappropriate for a priest to touch on that subject except in the one specific case I highlighted.” REALLY….Fr. Cusick?!?!? Because the Church *used to have* opinions on the culture, clothing and appropriateness. It also used to have priests who didn’t *RUN AND HIDE* when they got a little (or even a lot of) pushback from the world. Women and men **NEED GOOD AND GODLY ADVICE** from holy priests like yourself. Re-engage your Twitter account. Stop acting like a wimp and *GET BACK IN THE GAME AND FIGHT BACK*, KID!! NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO THROW IN THE TOWEL!! What if, after admonishing the Pharisees for their errors and sins, Christ had said to the Pharisees, “Naw, JUST KIDDING!! You can keep on your merry way. No **REAL** problems. Bye for now!”?? We would say Christ did them no justice. You have done women no favors by saying that the Church has no opinion on modesty…whether INSIDE **OR** OUTSIDE OF MASS!!! C’mon!! You’re better than this. When I was a kid, my sisters had to have their skirts below the knee…because the Church said they should…for the same reasons you originally gave on bare shoulders!! Everyone deserves to hear the TRUTH, Fr. Cusick!!! His name is Jesus! His priests should be the vanguard. Don’t back down. Do you want the world’s approval…or HIS approval?!?!? Have fortitude!! Be courageous!! HE has your back. Go out and fight for LOVE’S sake!!!

  • rmichaelj

    Where we go to mass ( traditional) it is always up to the priest to correct those who dress immodest. This works well as 1. As the head of the parish it is his responsibility to ensure proper decorum in the chapel. And 2. It keeps certain people from either being overzealous in the modesty standards, or being jerks when correcting those who dress immodestly. Luckily it is a very rare thing where we go to mass, usually associated with newcomers who don’t have knowledge of the dress code.

  • Brigid Costello

    Well written piece and many thanks for your contributions.

  • D. Morgan

    Stand Fast Fr. Cusick.

  • Christian Martín

    Thank you Father, God bless you for your words. Keep fighting the good battle! Is for JC that we do it!
    Praying for you.

  • https://plus.google.com/110509803155980947144 Ana C

    Dear Father, as someone who goes to the Latin Mass and tries to dress modestly, I found your comment encouraging and I’m sorry that you had so many negative responses especially if they came from Catholics. To me this shows a lot about our society, and it’s sad, but I was glad to read your comment on twitter.

  • Matt C. Abbott

    Thank you for your witness, Father.

  • Brigid Costello

    Thank you Fr. Cusick for your contributions. God bless.

  • Brigid Costello

    Thank you Fr. Cusick for all your contributions. God bless.

  • Asbury Fox

    Twitter is absolutely toxic. The vast majority of people shouldn’t be on there especially priests. I applaud you leaving Fr. Cusak. I only wish you hadn’t done it so soon. I would have waited a couple of days or a week. Left another tweet or two about the faith or modesty. Left on your own terms. Instead of giving them the satisfaction of chasing you away.

  • http://www.therepublicanstandard.com/ Shaun Kenney

    Translation of the translation? “Basic truths offend worldly sensibilities. Fauxrage at 11pm.”

  • Fred Allen

    I understand why you felt you had to leave Twitter at this time, but I hope you will consider opening an account again in the future. It’s strange and sad that so few people seem to have any understanding of decorum and tone in dress and manner. People used to dress carefully for various occasions, and just as men would not show up to Mass in shorts and tennis shoes, women would not show up to Mass in sleeveless tank tops or sheaths. Frankly, wearing a sleeveless outfit to Mass shows a complete lack of class, and more importantly, a total disrespect for the house of Jesus.

    It has nothing to do with prestige or money: even those with the most money will dress in the most provocative and shocking manner, just to draw attention to their clothing (think movie stars going to galas, for example). Certain styles are timeless and classic, and while this is easier for men to achieve because fashion styles change less for men, women can never go wrong in Mass by wearing simple tailored clothing. By careful choice in dress, they can bring honor and dignity to the church they attend.

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

Within 5 year of gay "marriage" being legal, we have:

* Transgender kids
* Gay sex taught to pre school
* 150 genders
* Drag Q. story hour
* Decriminalization of knowingly transmitting AIDS
* Grown men in girl's bathroom.

This is NOT progress. Not born that way
#LGBBTQtakeover

Load More...

Pope Francis appoints new head of Vatican security

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2019 / 04:39 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Tuesday appointed the second-in-command of Vatican security to head the City State’s national police force, after the resignation of the former chief Oct. 14. The pope named Oct. 15,…Continue Reading

Ecological ritual performed in Vatican gardens for pope’s tree planting ceremony

Vatican City, Oct 4, 2019 / 10:30 am (CNA).- Pope Francis witnessed an indigenous performance at a tree planting ceremony in the Vatican gardens Friday, during which people held hands and bowed before carved images of pregnant women, one of…Continue Reading

Young man stuns courtroom by forgiving brother’s murderer, urging her to seek Christ

DALLAS, Texas, October 3, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — In an incredible display of human compassion, a young man whose brother was shot and killed forgave the cop who had been found guilty of his murder. Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger shot and…Continue Reading

Cardinal Ouellet defends priestly celibacy ahead of Amazon synod

Rome, Italy, Oct 2, 2019 / 11:35 am (CNA).- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, presented a book Wednesday arguing that in the face of challenges, the Church should not grab at quick solutions, but seek to…Continue Reading

President Trump Defends Religious Freedom at UN, Announces Campaign to Protect Churches

President Donald Trump urged nations across the world to protect religious freedom Monday in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. Trump, the first U.S. president to highlight religious freedom at the UN, said America will set aside $25…Continue Reading

Archbishop Harry Flynn dies at 86

Minneapolis, Minn., Sep 23, 2019 / 03:40 pm (CNA).- Archbishop Harry Flynn, a former leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has died. Flynn died Sunday in the St. Paul rectory where he had spent his final days…Continue Reading

Missouri AG refers 12 former Catholic priests for potential prosecution after abuse probe

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced Friday that his office had referred 12 former Roman Catholic priests for possible criminal prosecution following a 13-month probe of how diocesan leaders handled allegations of child abuse. The investigation reviewed personnel records for every priest serving…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke, Bishop Schneider call for prayer crusade, cite dangers of Amazon Synod

Cardinal Raymond Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider have issued an eight-page declaration warning against six “serious theological errors and heresies” they say are contained in the Amazonian Synod working document, and calling for prayer and fasting to prevent them being approved. Cardinal Burke, patron…Continue Reading

Leader of Jesuit order: Satan doesn’t exist as ‘personal’ reality, only ‘symbolic’

August 22, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – The devil is a not a personal reality but a symbol for evil, the head of the Jesuit order said this week. Satan, the devil whom the Catholic Church says was behind the fall of…Continue Reading

American Catholics Must Stand with Hong Kong

The autonomous territory of Hong Kong is in a fight for its life. For over two months, the citizens of Hong Kong have persisted in protesting an attempt by the Hong Kong chief executive to impose an amendment to the…Continue Reading

German archbishop in Auschwitz: Stand up against hubris of the politically powerful

Krakow, Poland, Aug 14, 2019 / 02:31 pm (CNA).- On the eve of the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, a German archbishop has called for a stand against hubris and arrogance of those in political power. Speaking…Continue Reading

Vatican ‘struggling to put out fire’ of public scandal over JPII Institute purge

ROME, August 15, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — The “firefighters for the new direction” being taken at the John Paul II Institute in Rome are “struggling” to put out a blaze of public scandal, as controversy sparked by a recent purge of professors threatens to reach the door of the Pope’s…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

What are you willing to die for, Chaput asks students

Washington D.C., Oct 14, 2019 / 10:30 am (CNA).- It is important to consider what we are willing to die for, Archbishop Charles Chaput reminded students and faculty in a speech at the University of Notre Dame on Friday. “It’s a good thing, a vital thing, to consider what we’re willing to die for,” Chaput said in a lecture given to the Constitutional Studies Program at the university on Oct. 11. “To even ask that…Continue Reading

">

Does Pope Francis profess the Nicene Creed?

Did Pope Francis really really say that Jesus is not God? Eugenio Scalfari, who made this sensational claim, cannot be treated as a reliable witness. He is an atheist, a Marxist, not a Christian. Although he has interviewed Pope Francis several times, he has not recorded the sessions or taken notes. He boasts of the ability to reconstruct conversations from memory: a technique that would be inappropriate for any responsible journalist, let alone one of Scalfari’s…Continue Reading

Müller Accuses: From This Synod They Have Driven Out Jesus

The Synod on the Amazon has begun. “But it will have consequences for the universal Church,” warns Cardinal Gerhard Müller, in a lengthy interview with Matteo Matzuzzi for the newspaper “Il Foglio,” released on the very day of the opening of the work. “If one listens to the voices of some of the protagonists of this assembly, one understands easily that the agenda is entirely European.” European, and above all German. Also in Germany, in fact,…Continue Reading

">

Advertisement3

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… American Criminal Justice In Disarray

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bi-monthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Can Ruth Bader Ginsburg Make A Man Into A Woman?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSnews.com. Creators Syndicate, www.creators.com, distributes his column.) + + + Judging by the argument that one lawyer made to Justice Neil Gorsuch, Tuesday, October 8 must have been an interesting day in the restrooms at the U.S. Supreme Court. “There are transgender…Continue Reading

This Bud’s For You

By DONALD DeMARCO The purpose of commercial advertising is to persuade consumers to purchase something that they do not need. This is not to say that advertising products are not useful, but to point out that they are inspired by sales and are not grounded in natural desires. By contrast, nature has equipped human beings…Continue Reading

Is Trump At Last Ending Our “Endless Wars”?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN The backstage struggle between the Bush interventionists and the America-firsters who first backed Donald Trump for president just exploded into open warfare, which could sunder the Republican Party. At issue is Trump’s decision to let the Turkish army enter Northern Syria, to create a corridor between Syrian Kurds and the Turkish…Continue Reading

A New And Orthodox Papal Document On Sacred Scripture

  By Fr. BRIAN W. HARRISON, OS Increasingly, over the six years of the Francis pontificate, a lot of us have been asking, wearily, “Can anything good come out of Domus Sanctae Marthae”? Well, something just did. Everyone watching Rome lately has been focusing on the Ominous Amazon — the synod starting this Sunday, October 6 [Editor’s…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Our Motive Must Be Love

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Ninth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Exodus 17:8-13 2 Tim. 3:14-4:2 Luke 18:1-8 In the Gospel reading today, St. Luke describes a parable spoken by our Lord to teach us the importance of praying always without growing weary. In anything we do as human beings, we grow weary after a time. However, repeatedly doing…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . True Compassion Is Sharing Fullness Of Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK True love will always be found in the world through those who share the truth. This is at whatever cost to themselves in terms of the comforts of human respect or material gain. Selflessness of love speaks the word the other needs to hear in a disinterested way, regardless of the effect upon the one…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. The Catholic bishops of Massachusetts recently issued a statement on climate change that repeats all of the propaganda from the global warming extremists. Could you look at this statement and tell me if you agree with me? — T.L.H., Massachusetts. A. Yes, we do agree and have written to the bishops stating our concerns about their statement. Here are…Continue Reading

The Phantom Of A German National Church Shows Itself

By WALTER CARDINAL BRANDMUELLER (Editor’s Note: Walter Cardinal Brandmueller’s October 1 statement appears below. Please see page 1A of this week’s issue for a news story about the statement. LifeSiteNews published both the story and the text. Maike Hickson translated Brandmueller’s text from the original German.) + + + “Without Judah, without Rome, we shall build Germany’s Dome [Cathedral]” —…Continue Reading

Faith Is The Foundation For Charity

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Eighth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: 2 Kings 5:14-17 2 Tim. 2:8-13 Luke 17:11-19 Today, as we commemorate the anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun” at Fatima in 1917, we are reminded of the great love God has for us by bearing with us in our frailty and calling us back to Himself…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Francis Borgia

By CAROLE BRESLIN The mere sight of the name Borgia brings to mind the family that was influential in both the Church and society — notorious for their political maneuvering and murder. But God can bring good out of evil and even from this family: Francis Borgia had great influence in the development of the Society of Jesus and served…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… The Martyrs Of Turon

  By CAROLE BRESLIN The complex roots of the Spanish Civil War (February 1936 to April 1939) sprouted many years before hostilities broke out. Little by little the Catholic Church had lost its influence and then it became a prime target for both the revolutionaries and the government. Of Church personnel, those executed during the Spanish Civil War included 12…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)