Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The “Catholic Taliban”

March 7th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Here is a snippet sent in to us by a reader from Sunday’s homily delivered by Blessed Kateri’s pastor, Fr. Norm Tanck. In this clip, Father speaks about the “Catholic Taliban” and Catholic pharisees, no doubt directing his comments at those who wish to see the Church’s liturgical norms and her teachings respected and observed. He also makes a brief comment about those who provide possible reasons for the priestly vocations shortage.


Please keep the people of  Blessed Kateri, especially those from St. Thomas, in your prayers. I know I wouldn’t enjoy such regular chastisements from my pastor for desiring fidelity to the Holy Catholic Church.

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20 Responses to “The “Catholic Taliban””

  1. RochChaCha says:

    Dr. K,

    While I have no doubt that Fr. Tanck is directing his homily to a very specific group of Catholics, orthodox ones in particular, the quality of this audio is not good enough to make out what Fr. Tanck is saying. Is there anyone that can provide this in a text format?

  2. Dr. K says:

    All we have is this audio. Sorry 🙁

  3. Ludwig says:

    I was there, and this line jumped out at me too. Between my memory and the audio, here’s what was said in this clip:

    I don’t think I have to tell you there’s stress still, and anxiety in the church. There is stress among believers. There are those who, in the name of the Lord, say that they have the answers. Simple answers. One answer, to the problems of today’s church: declining numbers, the loss of vocations, the problems we have with marriage. The loss of faith in religious practice.

    And then there are others who are quick to judge who is righteous or not, like the Pharisees; and who point to them and say “they are not following the law.” We have almost a “Catholic Taliban” which is, from time to time, pointing fingers and condemning.

    Jesus says that this is not the way to live our faith.

  4. Thinkling says:

    When I first saw the title, I thought it was referring to an article I saw earlier today about the similarities between the Taliban and the loss of religious freedom in the West (Christians are advised not to display their faith in public, esp. as a student, journalist, etc.).

    Sounds like this audio OTOH is referring to the same thing John Allen did about a year ago.

    I think both points, with proper contexts and nuances, are worthy of consideration. I do feel though that a problem would have to be quite severe before the benefits of describing it analogously with the real Taliban would more than offset the drama ensuing from using the term in the first place.

    I do find it very ironic that the same term, about as harsh a one as there is, has reasonably been used to describe excesses on both opposite poles.

  5. RochChaCha says:

    So basically Fr. Tanck is upset with some Catholic’s who are noticing how this diocese and some of it’s priests are taking it upon themselves to change the liturgy of the Mass and blatantly defy the authority of the Church? Too bad Fr. Tanck. There is the truth which will never change and then there is this false world that you and the DOR would like to see forced upon the people of this diocese. I’ll continue to pray for the Bishop, for this diocese, and for you.

  6. Matt says:

    A quote from a homily this week (Not DOR):

    “These bishops, these priests, the US Bishops do not want vocations. If they wanted them and worked for them, and prayed for them, they would have them. They do not want them.”

  7. Simon says:

    Same old, same old, anonymous…. Why do you bother with us?

  8. Phoebe says:

    Funny piece of propaganda. I guess it’s all great if you model to young people that you can disregard most or all aspects of the core of the faith, that isn’t divisive and “isn’t hurting anyone,” and perhaps should even be encouraged, but if you question the example it sets and its effects at all you get branded a “terrorist”? Nice. But of course calling fellow Christians terrorists is oh so different from “pointing fingers” like the Pharisees. Right. I don’t see that Jesus said, “Don’t judge, but do call those with whom you disagree or like stereotypical hate-mongering labels like, terrorist…Taliban.” Funny I don’t know what “Taliban Catholic” circles he frequents but I’d be hard pressed to come up with even one example of hearing a fellow Catholic judge someone else’s soul. Are we to never speak out against injustice, harmful acts for fear of being branded, Taliban? Maybe that’s why we have this increase in abortion and yet a majority of the country is opposed to increase?

  9. Dr. K says:

    I recall another priest at this very parish making a comparison between Al-Qaeda and Samaritans.

    These terrorism metaphors are unnecessary and insensitive.

  10. anonymous says:

    reading this article does not make me so mad, when I look to the right and see those numbers…495! Seems like a minute ago it was 500.
    As we are counting down, they see it too. I bet the homily propaganda only gets worse as the numbers tick down.

  11. Father Tanck,

    There is a simple, singular answer to what plagues vast swaths of the Church and especially the Church in Rochester: fidelity.

  12. Monk says:

    So Fr. Tanck preaches about the Catholic Taliban…..well what he has done in Irondequoit is basically snuff out all diversity and forced all Catholics to conform to his liberal “brand” of Catholicism. His hand-picked leadership team for liturgy, music, faith formation all subscribe to his liberal view of what the Church should be. Anyone who dares to challenge him is shamelessly marginalized as “angry” and “vehement.” The only out for orthodox Catholics is to flee as refugees from their own homes. Oh yes, the Catholic Taliban is alive and well in Irondequoit, a proxy of the DoR of course.

  13. Abaccio says:

    I prefer the term “Catholic Freedom Fighter”

  14. Dr. K says:

    I prefer the term “Catholic Freedom Fighter”


  15. Nerina says:


    I feel a t-shirt in the works!

  16. Jim says:

    Jim M. here: Thanks, Monk, you summarized the situation here in Irondequoit, in a nutshell!

  17. annonymouse says:

    I agree with Rich Leonardi….we only need fidelity.

    If there were fidelity, there would be the unity which Father Tank seems so earnestly to desire.

    In-fidelity breeds dis-unity and disrupts the comm-unity.

    Catholic Freedom Fighters (so much less offensive than “Taliban”!) desire unity, too, Father.

  18. Dr. K says:

    Re: above-

    I have heard that explanation far too many times, and mostly from people who have never been there. It is not true that the parish being “conservative” was a problem. Attendance began to decrease when Fr. Tanck was appointed pastor and started alienating his flock. Also the reduction in the number of weekend Masses played no small role (I’ll post soon about what effect this is having on Holy Ghost church). Attendance was quite steady before Tanck arrived.

  19. Mike says:

    Anon. 6:12,

    While I’m sure Monk (a former STA parishioner) can give you more details, you might want to start with the statistics in this post.

  20. Monk says:

    Anon. 6:12
    In actuality, if you look around at other dioceses, where ever orthodoxy (“conservative”) is present, you will find the Church flourishing. St. Thomas the Apostle parish was slowly strangled using various devious means because the DoR could not stand to have this bastion of orthodoxy in its midst.

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