Monday 27th September 2021

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

Pro-Life Group Calls for Removing Fauci After He's Caught Funding Aborted Baby Parts - https://t.co/kqxQXGgoG8

LifeNews.com - The Pro-Life News Source

.

LifeNews.com

Load More...

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Vatican observes ‘Earth Hour’

On Saturday, along with the Vatican, symbolic monuments of cities all across the globe turn off their lights, to demonstrate the serious global climate crisis. By Vatican News staff writer Vatican City State took part in the traditional international initiative Earth…Continue Reading

House passes bill setting up path to citizenship for millions of Dreamers

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday passed an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the country as children.

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

Catechism

Adopt A Center

Today . . .

Abortion On Demand Act . . . House Set to Vote Friday on Massive Abortion Bill

CV NEWS FEED // Democrats in the House of Representatives will vote Friday to pass legislation that would enshrine the “right” to abortion in federal law. The “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which Republican opponents have dubbed the “Abortion On Demand Act,” would preemptively destroy all future state-level legislation to protect the unborn.  If the bill passes the House, it is not expected to pass the Senate, where it would need a 60-vote supermajority to overcome…Continue Reading

Federal judge rejects Biden admin’s demand to block Texas abortion ban before hearing

A federal judge has blocked Joe Biden’s emergency request to stop the Texas abortion ban, which has saved anywhere between 1,500 and 2,000 babies from abortion. The Texas heartbeat law went into effect Sept. 1, prohibiting abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. Unique from other state heartbeat laws, the Texas law includes a private enforcement mechanism that allows people to file lawsuits against abortionists who violate the law…Continue Reading

Archbishops criticize ‘outrageous’ claims against St Junipero Serra

A California bill to replace a statue of St. Junipero Serra at the state capitol unfairly slanders the saint’s legacy, two archbishops claimed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Sunday, Sept. 12.  Last month, California lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to pass Assembly Bill 338, which would replace the statue of St. Junipero Serra at the state capitol with one honoring local Indigenous populations. The bill text claims that 

Catholic health ministry head decries ‘unjust’ federal vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for many private employers, drawing criticism from the head of one Catholic health care ministry. “Coercing individuals into making a medical intervention is unjust,” said Louis Brown, executive director of the Christ Medicus Foundation and former acting deputy director of the Civil Rights Division of the HHS Office for Civil Rights, in an interview with CNA on Thursday. “And a vaccine mandate that could…Continue Reading

Archbishop Cordileone raises issue of excommunication for abortion advocates

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 5, 2021 / 18:07 pm Calling abortion “the most pressing human rights challenge of our time,” Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone on Sunday invoked the excommunication of prominent Catholic segregationists in the early 1960s as an example of a legitimate response to Catholics politicians who support “a great moral evil.” In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, the leader of the Archdiocese of San Francisco pushed back against recent statements by Catholic politicians…Continue Reading

Justice Clarence Thomas… Credits Catholic Nuns’ Anti-Racist Example

By KEVIN J. JONES DENVER (CNA) — Catholic nuns and his grandparents’ example helped instill in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas the belief that all people were children of God and that the racist flaws of American society were a betrayal of its best promises, he said in a lecture Thursday, September 16.“My nuns and…Continue Reading

When Rights Are Wrong

By DONALD DeMARCO There are few topics that are of greater importance than “rights.” At the same time, the topic of rights has been egregiously misunderstood and fraudulently represented. What are rights? Are they the exclusive domain of human beings? What is the basis of a right? How can rights be protected? Can there be…Continue Reading

Are The U.S. And China Stumbling Toward An “Islands War”?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN In a diplomatic coup, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a deal last week with the UK and U.S. to have those Anglo-American allies help build a nuclear-powered submarine fleet for Australia.A $66 billion French deal to provide Canberra with diesel electric-powered submarines, among the largest defense contracts Paris had ever negotiated,…Continue Reading

9/11: A Blazing Hell On Earth

By BARBARA SIMPSOM (Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on WorldNetDaily on September 10.) + + It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years since that awful day — 9/11 — this country was massively attacked by an enemy most Americans didn’t even realize we had.The responsibility for that ignorance should be placed squarely on…Continue Reading

New FDA Records Show . . . Purchases Of Fetal Organs, Heads And Tissue for ‘Humanized Mice’ Project

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Judicial Watch announced September 14, that it received 198 pages of records and communications from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involving “humanized mice” research with human fetal heads, organs and tissue, including communications and contracts with human fetal tissue provider Advanced Bioscience Resources (ABR). Most of the records are communications…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

A New Creation

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Genesis 2:18-24Hebrews 2:9-11Mark 10:2-16 In the first reading we have the story of the creation of Eve. There are a couple things to note here. First, God creates all the animals and brings them to Adam for him to name. At this point, Adam is newly created and…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This completes our lessons on the Commandments and Sacraments. We hope that you found them informative and were able to put them to good use. We will have another series, on Apologetics, ready shortly, but in the meantime, we will continue to welcome your questions for the column. Please send them either to the postal mailing address or…Continue Reading

“Abortion is Murder”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK “Be a pastor, don’t go condemning.” was the Pope’s answer to a question from a reporter on the return flight from his recent apostolic journey to Slovakia and Hungary. The context was a question posed: “What must the pastor do?” in reference to pro-abortion politicians. On the subject of abortion, the Pope repeated the Church…Continue Reading

The Exorcistic Effect… Of The Word Of God

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this commentary on September 8 and it is reprinted here with permission. His blog is found at https://msgrpope.com/.) + + Many often think of exorcism only in relation to driving out demons from possessed people using ancient prayers. But, truth be told, we all have afflictions, oppressions, temptations, and other…Continue Reading

Love God With Your Whole Heart

BY FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Numb. 11:25-29James 5:1-6Mark 9:38-43; 45, 47-48 In the Gospel reading today our Lord tells us that if our hand or foot causes us to sin, cut it off; if our eye causes us to sin, pluck it out. Obviously, our hand, foot, or eye cannot be the cause…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Nicholas Owen

By DEB PIROCH First you see him…and then you don’t. Dangerous times call for dangerous measures. During the reign of Elizabeth I and James I of England, St. Nicholas Owen was the expert at creating what became known as “priests’ holes,” or secret hiding spots for clergy. Located in the homes of wealthy recusant Catholics, these were hidden compartments or…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Mariam Of Jesus Crucified

By DEB PIROCH Her parents had tried so hard to have a child. Again and again they had a little boy, one after the other dying in infancy. After losing 12 boys, Mariam’s mother said to her father: Let’s go to the Holy Grotto in Jerusalem and pray to the Blessed Virgin to intercede for a girl.Mariam’s parents were Greek…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)