well that was a disaster


Last week, I posted a video that I was very proud of. I had thought about it for a little over a month, tested out the concept on a Twitter thread, and took my time writing it. It was something I felt very passionate about and felt that many people needed to hear.

The response I got was disappointing, to say the least.

As has happened to me on a few occasions, people latched on to the framing device of the video and not the point of the video itself. Ire welled up over the title and thumbnail, so much so that the whole reason for making the video was lost on many people (and ironically, the point I set out to make was manifested.)

Despite being very popular, I would consider Thursday’s video a disaster. And I hope we can all learn from it.

26 Comments on “well that was a disaster

  1. Father,
    I thought the video was excellent in its theology. It was patristic in content.

    The Catholic internet is saturated with people who are, to be kind, internet theologians who sniff for any deviance from their personal beliefs, and do not understand basic moral theology. But they are well funded. They are kindred spirits with the 2% of Latin Catholics who think the 1962 missal will be restored.

    I very much admire your courage and integrity in producing the video.

    Thank you for all you do.

  2. I thought from the beginning that your title would generate negative comments. But the content needs to be said as often as possible. Just because we are against something does not give us the right to use violence or hate speech. Except for the title, I would have forwarded it to several one issue abortion friends. Don’t give up hope, we love you!

  3. I’m sorry I’ve missed the video. I don’t know what has happened to society. It has become unkind.

    • I’ve now read the article and I thank you for it. It a message that we need to receive in our hearts in so many ways these days.

  4. Dear Father – I feel very badly that you received hate mail over your presentation.
    Your words offered comfort, support and direction for those facing a very serious dilemma.
    If only more of our leaders could present the issue of abortion with love and understanding as you have, the church and our society would be in a better place. The politics of division is as evident in the church as it is in the political realm.
    I pray for you and your success.

    Rev. Gus

  5. Father Casey, while I didn’t send my concurrence after you posted last week, I very much agreed with your recommendations – we really do need to tone down the rhetoric on this subject (too the point of total silence). God Bless you and your brave post sall these many years. As they say “keep the faith”.

    Chris Hunt, Phoenix

  6. Don’t get discouraged Fr. Casey … I’ve always been told that we are responsible for what we say, not for what people hear; however, it is hard to be the lightning rod of people’s anger, issues, and politics. You are correct, it is all about discipleship and following Jesus. As a fellow priest, I enjoy your videos.

  7. Yes well enough said. By the way when I told Fr Patrick I would take you out for a beer last week, I still mean it for when I’m in the neighbourhood. And I am still donating monthly through Patreon. So looking forward to your next video and hey, the next time you preach to the choir, I think someone needs to check that they can sing, and sing in tune.

  8. I thought it was great and shared it with all my friends. I am very pro-life, have marched at the Supreme Court many times, even helped start a pro-life group in the early days, but even so I agreed with everything you had to say. Keep up the great work you are doing. You apparently got a lot of people thinking about it .

  9. I thought it was great and shared it with all my friends. I am very pro-life, have marched at the Supreme Court many times, even helped start a pro-life group in the early days, but even so I agreed with everything you had to say. Keep up the great work you are doing. You apparently got a lot of people thinking about it.

  10. Respectfully Father YOU missed it again – the original post called out Republicans and appeared to slur them as Not being concerned about (liberal) policies as immigration / the poor / the environment etc. with Life & abortion their only & primary issue. Sadly if we don’t address that issue we don’t have to worry about former ones. Sadly as Bishop Hoying alluded we are becoming a religion of two political factions (liberal) Biden democrats and conservative republicans. I am deeply concerned of the Hyde Amendment/ Mexico City Policy and the treatment of Little Sisters of the Poor (Hobby/Lobby2). Ever think about a actual conversation with Fr Larry Richards / Fr James Altman et al. Vivat Jesu

  11. Pingback: well that was a disaster — Breaking In The Habit – MY FAITH-BLOG

  12. Hi Casey!
    It seems the people who wrote such negative comments have never read the Bible. They remind me of the people who crucified Jesus. Keep up the great and necessary work you’re doing. You have nothing to apologize about.

  13. I think it was very clear what you wanted to say…I appreciate it, thank you for your mission from Italy.
    God bless you!

  14. Hi Father Casey,
    I totally got your message. Your exposition was spot-on and totally contextualized. I’m so sad for you that many folks not only didn’t get it, but gave themselves to judgment, condemnation, and, ironically, becoming examples of the very attitude you were teaching against.
    Your courage to engage with the fall-out hitting the fan I find deeply admirable.
    I remember Someone saying something about eating His flesh and drinking His blood that caused his follower count to drop from multitudes to 12.
    You’re in VERY good company.
    Pax

  15. Father,
    Your video prompted me to stop and think. I’ve been on several pro-life marches and have attended several pro-life events. Much energy was devoted to prayer and demonstration. But I’ve felt that this has failed to save a single life. I began to wonder, where are the modern-day saints willing to stand in the muck of this world with a woman contemplating abortion? Not for an hour or a day, but for the next 18 years? I think of Mother Theresa. She tended to the poor continuously over the course of her life. I also think of Father Damien ministering to lepers until he succumbed to the same disease. They were both willing to stand in the gap, in the muck of this world, and tend to those who were suffering. That is Christian discipleship in action. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our parishes were beacons of hope to women who felt that they had no other recourse?

    Truth be told, I wish I could turn back the clock 30 years and take the path that you have chosen. This would be a marvelous opportunity to minister to a population that is condemned and shunned. Jesus stood in the gap and conquered death for us. Isn’t this what our Christian discipleship calls on us to do for others? Thank you for that thought-provoking video. God bless you!

  16. Thank you Fr. Casey. I thought You summed it all up perfectly in your statement,, “We can’t say we are for the right to life, if we hate. . ” 1 John 3:15 “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him”. I so appreciate your blog and YouTube posts and thank God for your ministry. Truth spoken in love is the Light that will expose the evil that hides in a sinner’s heart, and we are all sinners. So I join you and all who receive your words as being from the shepherd’s heart, in praying that those who were offended will have their hearts softened by grace, renounce hatred, accusation, and condemnation of others, and turn their feet into the path of meekness, humility, and compassion where there is peace and the anointing oil of gladness and fellowship; through Jesus and Mary, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

  17. I am glad to see that you have some positive feedback as well. I pray for your safety as well as those who work with you in your ministry. As a mental health worker it is sad to observe how many people carry radicalized hate around and call it love and justice for God. Your new video in response to those who attacked you was spot on with love and good will. Prayers for your ministry, walk in peace and love as a son of the God of truth and life

  18. Fr. Casey, your reflection was NOT a disaster. It was so very Franciscan and prophetic because its message was about love, which manifests itself more by our actions than by words. Whether we choose to use words or actions, we do not communicate love to others if we frame them in anger, revenge, bias, or our own certitude. In your life-giving ministry, you are courageously reminding us that Jesus left us the Gospels to teach us that we will be known as Christians by our love, which transforms our world, Echoing St. Francis: of Assisi: So, let us begin anew, brothers and sisters, for up to now, we have done little or nothing.

  19. Fr. Casey – I am one who was encouraged to hear yesterday’s message. At first, it surprised me and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but after I experienced the entire video, it became an most important message for me and one that I needed to hear. As a District Deputy in the Knights of Columbus, last year I shared several of your videos along-with Bishop Thomas Olmsted’s “INTO THE BREACH”, videos with the over 300 members of our District. With the spiritual battle that is raging in our culture and throughout the world, it is easy to get frustrated and focus only on the “LIFE” issue (which I am sometimes accused of doing) and loose sight of our most important mission. Thank you for reminding us to keep our eye on what is truly important—loving the Gospel, inviting others to the faith and to God’s mercy. I admire your courage in producing the video. This kind of message is important, and I predict will become even more important, as the times in which we find ourselves, become more difficult. Vivat Jesus!

  20. Fr. Casey
    I understood the message of the original video, and I certainly was not going to send you hate personally; but I must admit I super, SUPER hated the original title. and I think I dislike this video even more, because you seem to want to stand by the title when you should know better.
    Look, I get it. We mustn’t dehumanize the people who support abortion. We mustn’t hate; and I agree.
    But you didn’t title your video about the abuse scandal “Child rape isn’t THAT bad” when you affirmed your intention to stay in the institution that tried to hide and protect the rapists; by your actions proving that something was more important to you than child rape. You knew not to downplay the horror of the situation.
    And you know humans are not purely logical, we are emotional.
    In a video from a few months ago (titled “Don’t look away. Embrace the pain” rather than “School shootings aren’t THAT bad” or “Racism isn’t THAT bad”) you expressed your dislike of a reaction from a student victim of a school shooting. “I love you and I forgive you” seemed too soon with blood still on the ground.
    And, yet, with abortion babies no less innocent than those school children are being murdered right now. RIGHT NOW, father Casey. Their blood isn’t just still wet, it’s still being shed. Their murderers aren’t in jail awaiting the justice of temporal authority. Their murderers aren’t in the grave awaiting the vengeance of God. No. These murderers are celebrated. They are planning their next murders without any fear of reprisal. And you react with shocked Pikachu face and a finger wag when the ridiculously insensitive click-bait title you chose elicits the type of emotional responses you may have been more comfortable with if coming from that victimized high schooler.
    Literally nothing in this temporal world is more important than discipleship to the LORD Jesus Christ. He is truly the only Good, eternal solution to our temporal problems. A nation of disciples wouldn’t need to have a law against abortion. it would be so repugnant as to be unthinkable. A nation of disciples wouldn’t have child rape. It wouldn’t have racism or school shootings. But we don’t live in a nation of disciples. It seems unlikely that we ever will. We can’t even trust the Clergy. In this real world we really live in these things really are THAT important. Because whether or not they’re legal, they’re sins that will send people to Hell. Facing them with courage and conviction may seem like tilting at windmills, but ignoring them is allowing a searing of the conscience. Abel’s blood cried out from the ground and Cain was forced to pay a price almost more than he could bear. What price must our nation pay for the blood of so many innocents? Can we bear it? We are all victimized by abortion.
    If congress declared war against abortion it would be a just war. It is that bad. Even non Christians can see the evil. This is a battle we could win.
    And you dismissed it in your title. It feels like if you were getting actionable intelligence about death camps in Germany in 1944, and coldly telling the troops “No one is fighting this war for the Jews”. I mean, you’d have been right, but that’s horrible. It’s a horrible sentiment.
    I like your videos in general, Father Casey. I’m often impressed by your work and your ability to me think about things from different perspectives. Today, I am not impressed. You can do better than ‘I’m sorry you feel that way’.

  21. Fr. Casey: Remember that this painful misunderstanding does not define you. You are a good man, and good men sometimes err, even with good intentions. You are young. I assure you that when you are older, you will see this incident more clearly, and may adjust your stance…at least some. You won’t regret it, but you will see what could have been done better. In the meantime, get some rest, start anew, and keep doing good. The Evil One wants this to consume you. Don’t let him. God is with you, and He sees your good intentions. May the Blessed Mother protect you in your ways and give you strength to move on. Sincerely, JCF

    • Beautiful. Well thought out and healing words. Blessings upon both of you and your ministries.

  22. I read a statistic that 70% of people only read the title and the image on a link. In other words, people really do judge a book by its cover. Because of that, you really don’t want your more controversial points up front. I think it’s better to focus on the high level spiritual principle (which you do in the video, but not in the framing).

    But you can tell you put a lot of time and thought into it. Thanks you for your courage.

  23. I thought last week’s Breaking In the Habit was excellent NOT at all a disaster. I shared it with my Knights of Columbus Council, a Benedictine nun and my adult children. The response I got was very positive. Yeah… you needed to read past the Title… but everyone I sent it to did. Obviously, abortion is a hot button for most practicing Catholics yet we need to also remember we are out to save lives. I’m a retired Army Artillery guy and I can tell you that brute force doesn’t always work and in fact will most often get a negative response. With many of these people we need to gently guide them to the truth. (something new for me) Hopefully, we save them as well as the babies. Its frustrating that many of these people will do more to save sea turtles ( I like turtles) than human babies.

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