Deep Thoughts from Fr. Richard

Awww… The “usual suspects” in the Diocese of Oakland are, apparently, tired of being ignored in their little corners.  Trying not to be outdone by the priests of the Council of Priests in San Francisco who leaked the conversations of their meeting, one from the Diocese of Oakland has penned this for his bulletin.  Note the title.  I’m not sure how the SATs went for him if this is his definition of the “Way of Humility.”  Please read here first and then finish the rest of this post on the subject.  I could never do justice to the craziness found in his missive.

Thoughts from Father Richard


Now that you’ve read it, let me explain to you that this is just bitterness from some three-time losers. Here’s a little history re-cap for the non-Californians: the liberals lobbied for a Cardinal Mahoney-style replacement for the Oakland Diocese way back (I’ve actually had a few more kids since then), but they got the wonderful Bishop Allen Vigneron instead (now Archbishop Vigneron – BAM!). They couldn’t bring him around to their way of thinking and, when he was elevated to archbishop and moved to clean up his home diocese, they got Bishop Salvatore Cordileone.  The third strike for them was the appointment of Bishop Michael Barber.  At his installation Mass, they all looked like someone had just shot their dog.  You have to feel a bit sorry for them (or maybe not).

Why am I saying “they”?  Well, there’s a little club over in the Oakland Diocese, and where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  Fr. Mangini is one of the only ones in the little club that still has a parish and bulletin in which to spout off, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you started seeing pieces penned from the rest.  They just can’t help themselves!

So let’s look at the points of “Thoughts from Fr. Richard.”  Right off the bat, why wouldn’t Fr. Mangini allow the Knights of Columbus in his parish to “pick sides” and donate financially as a parish group to his archbishop?  Isn’t it a bit hypocritical when he just used the parish bulletin (presumably paid for with donations to the parish – maybe even from the Knights!) to pick his side?  (Yeah, that’s exactly what he did!)  Oh, is it because they didn’t pick the right side?  Got it. Do you think he even noticed that he told a parish group not to side with the archbishop???

“How has all this come to be?” Fr. Mangini asks.  Well, it has nothing to do with altar boys, oratories, priests, and brothers from outside the diocese, but everything to do with the Archbishop clarifying that they must not tank Catholic teachings in the schools (not even anything new).  He points that out as the catalyst and then spins it, a la Sam Singer, into being about anything but that.  Now, as far as the “particular philosophy of Catholic Church life” that the priests “from outside the dioceses” (insert evil organ music here) AND the Archbishop adhere to – wouldn’t that be authentic Church teaching?  Fr. Mangini says it’s not “mainstream.”  Why would we keep fishing in that stream?  (See what I did there?)  It’s as dry and barren as most of California right now!  Star of the Sea was a DEAD parish for too long before the priests and brothers arrived.  Their infectious and loving personalities are attracting people to them.  People on the ground hardly find them “weird”, but way to cast aspersions, Fr. Mangini.

And we’re back to the altar girls – again.  (Dead horse alert!)  “Fanciful presumption?”  What’s his proof of that?  He might want to look at the vocation stats on the dioceses and/or churches that employ all boys for the job of serving at the altar.  Be ready for some sober realities – for him.  Yes, Father, more altar boys equals more future vocations.  In fact, our own USCCB report shows that 80% of the graduating class served as altar boys.  ( altar boys will make for more priests.  Will altar girls spur vocations to the priesthood?  (The words “he wishes” come to mind, but that’s just a hunch.)  He might also want to look at Church teaching from Redemptionis Sacramentum that I quoted in this  blog post (  Oh, that silly Catholic Church and her fanciful presumptions!

At this point, I just have to ask: does anyone else find Fr. Mangini’s condescending tone annoying?  “And using language such as ‘gravely evil’ is not helpful or welcoming or conducive to ‘bringing people along.’”   Somebody call the Pope, because there’s language in the Catechism of the Catholic Church that ain’t helpful, welcoming, or conducive to bringing people along!  Are we really supposed to keep sticking to the very broken game plan of not telling anyone what sin is, Fr. Mangini???  Because it’s worked so well so far? I think not. Some sins are gravely evil because they kill the soul! Letting someone rot in moral decay is hardly charitable or merciful, Father.  Ask the woman who’s had an abortion if she wishes someone told her the truth before it was too late.  You are aiding and abetting in the creation of lost people.

Moving on!  Yes, Fr. Mangini, let’s talk about how the teacher contracts have been handled in the Oakland Diocese.  Gotta give some Pinocchios for the misleading statements on this one.  Real ending to that story?  Those wishing to keep doing what they wanted to do without regard to the Faith lost.  Their only option was to say “He budged!” Really? Where did the budging occur? ( Did you see that budging?  Did you see something worked out to EVERYONE’S satisfaction? (Wouldn’t that be kind of impossible?)  The point is to work things out to God’s satisfaction.  Yes, Bishop Barber and Archbishop Cordileone both sat down several times with teachers and will likely continue to do so.  Aaannnnddddd???  Do you really expect them to check their canonical duties at the door?  I think they might just be a tad more worried about God than those who seek to undermine the teachings of the Church.

“While the bishop may have the juridical authority to teach and to lead in the Church (how nice of Fr. Mangini to acknowledge that an archbishop actually has authority), to do so arbitrarily and without collaboration or consultation is suicidal…”  Really?  Suicidal?  (As in grave? Wait a minute – I thought that wasn’t helpful???)   I realize it’s been a longtime theory in the Diocese of Oakland that the Church rules by consensus (or at least some believe it should), but I’m reasonably sure this isn’t in Canon Law, the Catechism, nor anywhere else, and actually runs counter to Catholic teaching.  “Let’s all take a vote now – do we believe this is Truth or not?”  Yeah, no.  How many of us think that the Archbishop walks into his office in the morning, stares out the window, and makes his weighty decisions with no consultation except from those lofty theologians?  (I’m sure someone is saying “Me!” right now.  Sam Singer, perhaps?  Some people have their own version of reality.)  Now, the Archbishop has consulted, consulted, and consulted again, and has still come to the conclusion that the Church teaching is what it is.  How shocking!  To say that the Archbishop hasn’t consulted with those involved is just silly and really just outright misleading.

Oh, and the Oratory of St. Philip Neri… What IS the big, stinking deal here?  This really annoys some of the priests.  I mean, really, really annoys them.  I mean they’re foaming at the mouth at a place hardly known of by Joe Parishioner.  Where is this bizarre jealousy coming from?  My theory is that the patients have been running the asylum a bit too long.  The paranoia is setting in.  I have yet to see one order from the archbishop to the other churches in the diocese that they must have anything to do with the oratory or must do anything just like the oratory.  Anyone else?  Did they take away a super prize from somebody else?  How dare they give this overflowing parish to someone from “outside the diocese”!  Oh wait, the average attendance was less than 60 at each Mass when the oratory arrived. Hardly a prize of which to be jealous.  What then is the problem?  If you simply see people from outside of the diocese as a threat, you have some insecurity issues. There are several priests “from outside the diocese” (cue the evil organ music again) working in the Archdiocese of San Francisco on loan for various reasons. Why aren’t people fuming about them?  Nope, it’s just the Oratory of St. Philip Neri that’s the problem.  That should tell you that there’s a little more to the story.  Again, see blog post linked above!

Last but not least – and this was a hoot – where is this “group of wealthy, conservative Catholics” who got us three faithful bishops in a row and how do I get to know them???  Next, where were they almost 40 years ago when it all started to go so wrong?  Heck, where were they before Archbishop Cordileone?  Did they magically fall out of the sky?  I know, it’s the Koch Brothers, right?  Would they like to sponsor a snarky blogger?  And one last thing – what the heck happened to San Diego?  Did the wealthy conservative Catholics from up here not contact the wealthy conservative Catholics down there?  Drinking the conspiracy theory punch much, Fr. Mangini?

I realize using the words “wealthy” and “conservative” are the key to many a successful campaign (which, have no doubt, this is), but it’s getting really rather trite, and I’m surprised to see the desperation of using it when talking about a bishop or archbishop.  It is rather ironic to float the “wealthy” and “conservative” after the group of wealthy and liberal Catholics just took out an ad against Archbishop Cordileone.  Were they not so wealthy until this year?  Why didn’t they muster a little campaign of their own after seeing what was going on in Oakland for the past 10 years?  Talk about stirring up a rumor mill.  It’s rather sad to see a priest involved in it.

Let’s all send up some prayers for the awesome Knights of Columbus from this parish who seek to support the very good archbishop!  The Knights do such great work and are vital to every parish.  Sorry your pastor chose to call you out (as if you were trying to do a bad thing) in the parish bulletin along with the archbishop and that mean ol’ Oratory.  Fr. Mangini would  probably call out his own family.  Oh wait… he already did in the open letter to his cousin, Cardinal Levada, as well as the man whom Cardinal Levada replaced, none other than Pope Benedict XVI, so you are in good company. (  Let’s all remember to pray for Fr. Mangini and his posse.  If the rest of them decide to “not pick sides” in Fr. Mangini fashion, I’ll mention them later. If you feel so inclined, please let Fr. Mangini know how you feel about his letter at .  Might be nice if he knew more than just those “wealthy, conservative Catholics” love Archbishop Cordileone, Fr. Illo, Fr. Driscoll, and the rest of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri.


16 thoughts on “Deep Thoughts from Fr. Richard

  1. The only thing really bad about your post is that you forced me to read that utterly faux ‘way of humility’. Seemed more like the ‘way to stick the knife in’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And Fr. Mangini consulted whom before he told the Knights of Columbus not to support the Lord’s anointed? That’s what I love about clerics of this type. They are all about democracy in the Church, but in their own little bailiwick they have pronounced dictatorial tendencies. For example, if someone were to print out copies of your column and distribute them on all the cars in the parish parking lot after Mass next Sunday, would Father appreciate this fair and balanced approach, do you think? of course, I can’t speak for what Fr. Mangini would do, although it would be VERY interesting to find out, but in parishes similarly administered police have been called, restraining orders sought, etc.

    I especially like the bit where Fr. Mangini tells us what he would do if he were papal nuncio. He had already informed us what he would do as archbishop. Perhaps he will inform us next week what he would do if he were pope, or God, for that matter. Perhaps he could he explore the way of humility in a little more depth and favor us with his reflections.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Father Mangini has not lived in his own rectory for 15 plus years. He lives on a very large family ranch near by. His sister lives with him( ex- nun ) and was principal at St Agnes school for years. He preaches liberal homilies ie: miracles are explained away with logic. . When he came to Concord /Clayton area 300 parishioners left the church and joined a community one,and lastly he married my nephew in my sister back yard, in full vestments ( there not Catholic) and said he could do so because he had a license in the state of Calif. Theres no reading between the lines on this priest, he is what he does.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear Fr. Mangini

    The internet is the best and worst of media and one cannot hide, for sure.
    I saw the letter in St. Bonaventure’s bullentin written to your parishioners and it was not one for unity. The tone was very clear as to which ad in the San Fran paper you would have ascribed to and that makes me sad, for you and for your parishioners.

    Remember the big stink about the pastor who promoted the “Sea Hawks” Mass for super bowl? I also read his letter in the bulletin in the aftermath. His letter was very humble and made me just want to give him a big hug. The tone of your letter lacked the very humility it was calling for.

    You have a very great, very hard, very beautiful vocation … as a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek….I will pray for you and your brother priests.


    Nancy Brockhoff
    Wake Forest NC

    (emailed directly to address provided)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Archbishop Cordileone didn’t just arbitrarily bring in those “outside priests”. People in the archdiocese were asked if they wanted the Oratory…in that we were given a chance to pledge $$$ for their support. Support that was needed before they could move in. I’m not sure how many wealthy conservative Catholics pledged or if anyone from outside the archdiocese did either. I know that I did. (I like to adhere to Matthew 6:2 and not trumpet out my giving but, hopefully, I’m anonymous here…)

    In fact, when I was asked to make good on my pledge after the Fathers had arrived, I was inspired to reach into my purse and give a bit more thanks to the goodness of God in my life and also because of the witness they were giving in the City of St. Francis!

    I am not wealthy or prominent but I am Catholic. And perhaps conservative. Okay, ‘fess up time: I loved that they were supporting the Traditional Latin Mass.

    There are so many thoughts that went through my mind when I read that bulletin babble, but you covered those and added more things to ponder! I am certain I have encountered posts by that man (or his clones) on the NCR (National Cageliner Reporter) website, where they pat each other on the back and snark at people who actually believe in adoration of our awesome God.

    Thank you Mad Mom for you diligence!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Another great post by OMM! What we’re seeing here is partly a generational conflict. Fr Mangini is around 75. He’s very much part of a generation of priests who hit their stride in the 1960s and have never really left the heady days of Vatican 2 behind them. It’s pretty much the same situation in S.F., where elderly active and retired priests are leading the charge against the Oratory. Meanwhile, a younger generation of priests and bishops that is more orthodox is gradually taking over. It’s an interesting dynamic. The ’60s crowd sees their dream of revolution within the Church slipping away and they are becoming increasingly agitated and bitter. At the same, there’s a feeling that they finally have ‘one of their own’ in power in Rome, and there’s a brief window of opportunity now in which radical reforms could still be enacted (married priests? women priests? abolition of the last vestiges of Catholic teachings on sexuality?).

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thank you for your commentary and for being a voice for so many Bay Area Catholics who are frustrated with the current state of affairs viz. the Archbishop and the Oratory. Your support for the Archbishop is praiseworthy.

    “Star of the Sea was a DEAD parish for too long before the priests and brothers arrived.” I would add here that the previous pastor of Star of the Sea was instrumental in making significant improvements to the parish, not the least of which was working to establish the Traditional Latin Mass there. This has been a blessing not only to the parishioners, but to the many faithful Catholics from surrounding areas who found refuge there. In many ways this put Star of the Sea “on the map” in the first place, garnering (positive) radio and news coverage, blogs, etc.

    God bless you, and more power to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was a teen, I can remember Star of the Sea as being very pro-life and vibrant. That was many years ago though. Not sure what happened between then and now but I’m glad to see it rebounding due to some great priests as of late! It’s a gorgeous church and the parishioners are wonderful!


  7. You can add a lot of Bishop Cummings old cronies to this list, Fr Gerald M used the bulletin to bash Bishops Vigneron and Cordileone, and Fr James J who has been retired. All these priests were allowed to stay in one Parish for 20-30 years, I think they thought they had their own dioceses. Ironically Fr Gerald really likes
    Bishop Barber.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You need to post more on this SF debacle, OMM. I have few reliable sources for what’s happening in that strange land. Come on now. . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sadly, Thomas, I have a lot on which to comment. Unfortunately, I do have to teach my kids and need to be a bit coherent. I have to stay up late to spin this blog (you know – when there’s actually peace and quiet in this house!) I think I will have to limit myself to 3 a week unless I just can’t help myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Just had to revisit this one…Although our Oratory has been put on hold awaiting the blessing of our Archbishop, our parish is being revitalized! Mass attendance is growing, parish volunteers are coming forward to bear witness to the goodness of our Lord, attendance at our 5:15 Vespers continues to increase. How can the service of the Lord be a threat to the prominent 100 or the clergy of San Francisco?
    Fathers Illo and Driscoll continue to lead us spiritually…we are stronger together. The word of God is not up for interpretation by any special interest group or a liberal subset looking for validation of their belief system. There is one path we have been charged to follow, or is God’s word now up for debate?
    These are strong, dedicated men who are invigorating this community and leading us on the journey of faith, action and love. We are better Catholics and better people because of them. We support and stand behind them as surely as we have faith in the mercy of our good God above.
    They came to us and we will remain stronger, together.


  11. This is all Good News for our beloved Catholic Church!For to long we have been shy , passionless ,about teaching our infallible truths! Your brother in Christ Jesus , Deacon Earl Lombardo ✝️✝️✝️


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