Archdiocese Of Milwaukee Statement on Deacon Sandy

This is a statement I received from Julie Wolf, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee regarding the recent video homily which many people (including me) took to be a purposeful insult to Pope Benedict.

MILWAUKEE – Archbishop Jerome Listecki is aware of the situation and has communicated with Deacon Sites about his comments in the parish video. While the delivery of Deacon Site’s message could have been more succinct, it’s clear, when you hear the entire message that his intention was not to insult the Holy Father. Unfortunately his presentation could have left that impression.

*subhead*For the Record.*subhead*


  1. The big question is: who woke Archbishop Listecki from his slumber??

  2. Hogwash. Of course the intention of his homily as a whole was not to insult the Pope Emeritus, but clearly this pointed jab that he took was done with that intent. Let's hope that Bishop Listecki was a little more forthright in his denouncing of this sort of behavior when speaking with Deacon Sandy in private.

  3. Ahh, it seems the Archbishop has successfully completed Bill
    Clintons “parsing the statement 101.”

    Of course Deacon Sandy did not intend to insult the (current)
    Holy Father. He did however intend to
    insult Pope Emeritus Benedict. And so he
    did, to the great joy of his little flock of modernists.

    Though I am saddened and sickened by this ecclesiastical double-speak
    I am sadly not surprised; the heretics are circling the wagons.

  4. I guess we have to take the Archbishop at his word on this but let's face it people it has been open season on Benedict ever since he resigned and has intensified since Francis was elected. Remember Cardinal Mahoney's tweets last year? I even hear many well known Catholics say things like John Paul and Benedict were good teachers and speakers BUT I could just scream. I also hate the cult of personality that these same Catholics built around him. People do still love Benedict, you saw the reaction when he came in the Consistory. My main problem is Most people Catholic or no too many who like Francis hate Benedict.

  5. Forget Pope Benedict; what about everything else wrong with that "unique" parish?

  6. "His intention was not to insult the Holy Father." If by Holy Father you mean Francis.

  7. It's hard to tease out motives when the homily was crap to begin with even without the dig at the Holy Father. Lecturing to a congregation where few have even heard of Prada let alone buy it? No wonder the pews are empty.

  8. If the deacon is that "unconscious" about his intent, then he is not qualified to be a deacon

  9. Abp. Listecki ought to work at IHOP, he's a waffler!

  10. Now compare this with the Deacon who has been prohibited from blogging. I guess some Bishops do actually take disciplinary actions against their Bishop, it's just that only certain types actually receive any kind of rebuke.

  11. I am sorry that you were treated in this way, Deacon Sandy Sites, and I have prayed for you and for those who led the charge against you. You were restrained in your reactions and I hope Abp Listecki praised you for that. Like others, I do not agree with some of your choices, but I do not think it was justifiable that you were subjected to the mass mockery and harassment that occurred.

  12. In some sense, of course, this statement is correct. I would be greatly astonished if the Pope Emeritus is aware that Deacon Sandy even exists, let alone what he said. But note that the archdiocese does not say that Sandy did not intend to insult *anyone*, because of course he did. He intended to insult everyone who believes that the liturgy is more than a miniature folk music festival combined with a political lecture.

  13. Glossing over the progressive agenda...smoothing it out...there is nothing to see here folks, move along...WHY?

  14. "...could have been more succinct?" That's the best rejoinder which the Archdiocesan office could muster? I don't suppose the *content* of the homily mattered at all?

  15. Er... ElizD: I'm assuming that you only meant to be kind and considerate, but... couldn't that kindness and consideration extent to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, whom Deacon Sandy obviously set up for derision? To call out someone for publicly scandalising (i.e. making sin easier) a congregation (albeit a small one) by heterodox teaching and uncharitable (and even puerile) behaviour is not unloving. Rather, the instinct to apply misplaced mercy (i.e. be "nice", at all costs, regardless of whether a rebuke is required) is unloving; there is nothing "loving" about letting someone publicly damage their own soul (and lead others to do the same). Do you "love" Deacon Sandy by smiling and nodding as he (proverbially--hopefully not literally) goes to hell in a hand-basket? Come, now.

  16. Maybe the overall intent of the homily wasn't to insult him, but that one comment probably was.

  17. "I am sorry that you were treated in this way, Deacon Sandy Sites, and I have prayed for you and for those who led the charge against you. You were restrained in your reactions and I hope Abp Listecki praised you
    for that."

    Exactly to whom are you addressing? Deacon Sites? The writers of this blog? Is your intent at confusion? Or do you need help with your punctuation?

  18. ", it’s clear, when you hear the entire message that his intention was not to insult the Holy Father."
    OF COURSE NOT!!! Wink.

  19. This is what he said and projected:
    Here is how bad it gets, in our Church.
    (Projector displays picture of Pope Emeritus’ red shoes 00:10:28) (Laughter) And in others, some clergy will dress in
    finery for a good reason. That’s a, come
    before God, to give worship and praise, we wanna bring our best. So, that’s a good symbol. We do that kind of thing at the Easter Vigil. We get everything out of the
    closet. We bring our best of everything
    out. But some, unlike us secular folks,
    put on the red shoes and the flowing white linen and have the lace and have the
    gold threaded vestments because it’s a-it’s an issue of self-esteem. It’s an issue of lifting themselves up as
    well. (Picture of Pope Emeritus zooms
    in, then fades out) [timestamp 00:11:12]
    That is what he said. That is what he projected. Even after it was brought to his attention who he projected and insulted, he did not give an apology. That says a lot. I would have been falling over myself to correct the error, apologize. But then again, it would never be my intention to insult the Pope, or past popes on purpose...

  20. Sorry, but I don't buy it. There's nothing "clear" about his whole message that he didn't intend to take a slap at Benedict. I watched the whole vid several times, and it seems like a clear slap straight at him. From his attitude of disobedience to his lack of correction at his congregation's smug laughs, I think that's EXACTLY what he intended to do.

    Also, did the diocese not see the other, first video? It's much worse, and would have deserved mentioning. Overall, seems like a cop-out to me from the Archdiocese.

  21. I hate to sound "sexist and uncharitable" but here it goes....
    Reason number 567,876,999 why church chanceries staffed with fulltime women, and woman-like effeminate men have been a bad idea since churches began ripping out altar rails and kneekers. Fyi, the chapel I go (south Texas diocese) has no kneelers either. Imagine the "horror" since we kneel throughout the entire liw mass, minus the gospel, credo, offertory and last gospel.

  22. Pope Benedict is still alive, he's holy, and he is still the pope.
    The more confusion I'm hearing from our current holy father (Francis) makes me think strange forces, not the holy ghost were involved in the conclave.
    I know this sounds horribly conspiratorial, but I am starting to think "antipope".
    Pathetic of me, I know. Mea maxima culpa

  23. For those like me not alive for Vatican II, this is their last grasp for the "new springtime".
    Summorum Pontificum is what helped revert me. I'm not sure how I can take much more of this "new Catholic" stuff

  24. Imagine if the same was said of Francis?
    The liberal chancery staff would have shut the place and its altar girls, posh seats and screen projectir faster than you could say lex orandi lex credendi

  25. All of this "Francis fluffing" I hope isnt hurting pope Benedict s feelings.
    Its sad, especially with all of the good writings and things Benedict did for the church (calling out the homomafia, Summorum Pontificum, etx) not to mentiin his fine work as a bishop and cardinal.

    The enemies of the church hate pope Benedict the most.
    Deacon Sandy yearns for the days of drum circle masses

  26. @ben yanke. I apologize if I'm off with the name, but are you the "young blogger" that got Judy Brown's husband's company axed from CRS because of Ms. Brown's fine wirj at American Life League? The paper printing company thing?
    I'll try not to say his name three times(or he materializes). I know the ever-angry Mark Shea has a part...
    Sorry to go off topic

  27. I am young, and I do blog in many places, but no, that wasn't me.

  28. To one of the commenters about this hurting the Pope Emeritus Feelings I am sure it does not. Even if he were aware of it. He's used to being called names. Human Respect does not affect him in the least. But I do agree with the Person who said this kind of stuff could not be said about Francis. Well NO. If you even question him publicly you will lose your job or get demonized. The fact that everybody loves Francis so much does concern me. He is supposed like Peter to be hated for the sake of Christ and yet he is not for the more part. One year later the MSM still loves him. I find it rather odd. For Z thinks they will turn on him. Not yet anyway

  29. It was a young friend of mine who became the cause of the online mockery and harassment of Deacon Sandy (and his congregation basically) and since the youth in question and the proprietor of this blog habitually go after people for being liturgically non optimal and consider themselves quite justified and have no intention of apologizing to Deacon Sites, I myself am doing so.

    I too am a blogger. I too have strong and traditional liturgical opinions and have pointed out liturgical problems--generally more serious ones. I am not oblivious to why Deacon Sandy's liturgical choices are, well, imperfect. I do think there's a problem with getting joy out of mockery and publicly tearing people down. What is this blog culture doing to all of us?

  30. "While the delivery of Deacon Site’s message could have been more
    succinct, it’s clear (as pea soup), when you hear the entire message that his
    intention (because he gave the benefit of the doubt to all the others, secular like him, who do it for the right reason) was not to insult the Holy Father (just those with "red shoes and the flowing white linen and have the lace and have the gold threaded vestments because it’s a-it’s an issue of self-esteem. It’s an issue of lifting themselves up as
    well.") . Unfortunately his
    presentation could have left that impression (because he focused on the red shoes, which his holiness was known for, and lace, which his holiness was known for, and the gold threaded vestments, which his holiness was known for)."
    If correction can be seen as a sign of love, I still hold to the opinion that there is a whole lot of unloving (hate) going on.
    The ironic thing is that Pope Benedict was open to fair criticism. Being a scholar, one would be used to having your work scrutinized. Of course, His Holiness gave me the impression that it was more about rendering your heart rather than clothes. And sometimes outward appearances can be deceiving. IOW, it shouldn't matter if he has the gold threaded vestments (fitting for a pope) or the red shoes (gift) or the lace (because there are still some talented nuns and lay people who would love to make lace for him, for his vestments, for God.)

  31. Psst. Look up^. This should give you a clue as to how this blog operates: "They want to be treated with oil, soap and caresses, but they should be beaten with fists.

    In a duel, you don’t count or measure the blows, you strike as you can.”" --Pope Pius X on Modernists." He is treating Deacon Sandy as man would with another man who need correction. I, being a woman, would approach it differently. But my words can be just as sharp as blows that men deliver. In my book, the benefit of the doubt has an expiration time.

  32. Elizabeth,

    I know you are talking about me, and I don't appreciate the veiled insults, particularly since I most certainly do not "habitually go after people."  Link to my "habitual" posts if you are going to take a cheap-shot at my character(as you have done in the past). They're all still online, and if you are going to attack my character, at least provide proof so I can defend myself against an actual charge, not a nebulous slap.

    Also, you say you will point out if there is serious liturgical abuse, but you claim you don't see anything serious going on here. With all due respect, have you not been watching? Purposeful lack of kneeling, highly illicit or possibly invalid matter for the bread used at Mass (bread baked by the parishioners, who often add HONEY), not to mention mocking our Holy Father from the pulpit, among *many* other things (including possibly changing the gospel texts when reading... Though I haven't confirmed this, I believe it also is happening). Despite what you said, what is going on there IS rather serious.

    Lastly, who are you to know my intentions and what I get joy out of? I can assure you that it pains me deeply to see this distortion of the liturgy, and I am simply doing what u am doing because the diocese has not yet handled this after clearly being aware of it, so I am doing what I think is best with that in mind.

    What is this culture of disobedience doing to all of us?

  33. Pat, I used to play a game with my children called "spot the liturgical abuse". Whenever we were in visiting a new parish, we would count after mass all the abuses we saw and see who saw the most.

    I learned (fairly recently) that this game was interfering with my active participation in mass, and was making me angry and ruining my disposition to pray.

    I think you may have entered this zone with Deacon Sandy. You appear to be seeking out his homilies and statements, fine combing them for the least offense and lambasting the guy. Could it be that where his parishioners are is where God wants them to be at this time, or do you think you know better?

    I think they call this obsession you seem to have with Deacon Sandy "stalking", and then inviting your friends to pile on. It unseemly.


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