Officious Interlopers Stoke Fight with Cupich over Cantius

“I didn’t ask for that,” says Mr. X, speaking to me on terms of anonymity, “these people showed up on my lawn with their incitement of a fight with the Cardinal. I don’t know them, they don’t belong here, and I didn’t ask for their help.”

facebook post by the Coalition for Canceled Priests displaying the billboards in front of St. John Cantius today

CHICAGO, IL. Parishioners of St. John Cantius arrived to church this morning to find mobile billboard trucks parked right in front of the church bearing signs with images of Cardinal Cupich juxtaposed text that read “ DEFEND THE TRADITIONAL LATIN MASS.”


Mr. X said that there a few people who know that there is a battle brewing in the wake of Traditionis Custodes. Just in the past weeks, Cardinal Cupich has been very vocal on how to interpret Pope Francis’s motu proprio. Just in the past week both America Magazine and Vatican News had reports on Cupich and his view of how to move forward with the traditional latin mass.

It is, as your author opined in a recent podcast, the same canard of “unity” that has defined Cupich’s rhetoric on this topic all the way to locking the latin mass parish on Good Friday. Listen to this podcast, and you can predict the exact things reported in the links above.

The podcast is so prescient in fact, that it appears that the news reports above were written by it.

Obviously, people seized on the opportunity to make a stand and they decided to do so in front of Saint John Cantius.

Don’t Start a Fight and Run, Not on My Lawn

Several people claiming to be from Cantius replied in comments to the facebook post. One, Mrs. R.M. states in her reply comment to the coalition post,

“Not a good idea. Many of us today that attend Mass there are not pleased this morning. Reckless and disrespectful to our families attending Mass this morning. Cardinal Cupich does not need to be incited and the call to action is a website for more DONATIONS.”

comment on CFCP facebook post by R.M.

“It’s like coming home from work to see that gypsies set up an ice cream stand on your front porch and been selling people something in your name,” says Mr. X, “[…and] it doesn’t matter if I like ice cream or even if I like the gypsies, that’s my front porch and you don’t belong there asking for me to get in trouble with someone else for your gain.” And if you say something to these people, they tell you that you don’t understand.” “Excuse me but this is my home, go misunderstand somewhere else.”

By using images of Cardinal Cupich, it is obvious to some that the billboards are, in their opinion, “inciting” him to react. The obvious problem is that by placing the billboards in front of St. John Cantius, parishioners are reasonable to suspect that any reaction will get directed at the parish as having incited a fight they don’t want.

Mr. X commented, “I’m sure many people have strong opinions on whether the Cardinal intends to end the old Latin Mass, but we should be allowed to choose how we defend it. I’ve used my rosary. I don’t need carpet baggers asking for bucks that will leave when the first punch is thrown coming in here and stirring things up.”

Skepticism About the Motives

I spoke with others who were suspicious of the groups purporting the “savethelatinmass” website and paying for the billboards. One commented, “who are these people to come here from the coasts and make this fight in my parish and ask people for money to do it?” The comment refers to the Regina Magazine being from the west coast and Lepanto being from the east coast. The Coalition for Canceled Priests, though, is based in Illinois, so it’s not clear if the comment was meant just for the others. It is clear though that people perceived these to be “officious interlopers.”

Mr. X again: “They wrap themselves up in my flag but I didn’t invite them. And I don’t understand who they are to ask for money to intrude here. Wasn’t that coalition formed to defend that priest in trouble for the cemetery fund?” Mr. X was referring to stories that Fr. Altman was involved in a Wisconsin Cemetery fund that had irregularities in money. See the local news report: Former cemetery employee thinks money problems led to poor upkeep, News 9 WAOW May 25, 2018. Mr. X said, “my opinion, based on my information and belief, was that they made that fight look like the bishop was smacking a priest for being traditional, but it was because the bishop wanted to know where the cemetery money was and that priest was running away from it… that’s just my opinion. I don’t know everything. I just know what these people made it look like… and now these people are hamming it up here and asking for more money.”

Publicly Disclaimed by Cantius

At the 12:30 Mass, it was made clear that the billboards were not ordered by the St. John Cantius priests. While it should be obvious they wouldn’t have done so, it’s worth reporting that they made it clear as well.

Mr. X had a lot more to say. Perhaps I will talk him into a podcast because he had many good observations on the politics at play in the fight over latin Mass.

For now, I want to leave this comment he made: “The problem here is that if I tell these people to take their fight somewhere else, they get mad at me and accuse me of wrongdoing. For all they know, I agree with them, but don’t like their method. But they’ll fight with me instead of their enemy. I think the only thing I think of that is something ain’t right in the head there. They got something to say… why not say it from their own porch?”

UPDATE: in response to allegations in the comments that the issues around the cemetery fund are false, despite the news report above, please also see this report from last May that gets into the same issue: Updated: Altman blames ‘pansy babies’ for dispute with bishop, raises $160k

This article, Officious Interlopers Stoke Fight with Cupich over Cantius is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

John B. Manos

John B. Manos, Esq. is an attorney and chemical engineer. He has a dog, Fyo, and likes photography, astronomy, and dusty old books published by Benziger Brothers. He is the President of the Bellarmine Forum.
  • Mary Ann says:

    I tend to agree. While I support what they’re doing, they belong outside the cathedral or the chancery, not at St. John Cantius.

    • John B. Manos says:

      Yes— another person I spoke to asked bluntly “if they want to fight Cupich then why not go to his cathedral?”

  • Paul Doetsch says:

    I want to know who the scumbag Mr. X is for making false, defamatory, and calumnious statements about Father Altman.
    John Manos is a scumbag for even printing it. You have violated basic moral conduct required of all Catholics and anything else you print here until and before an apology is published should be viewed with an eye that you don’t have the moral character necessary to make valid judgments.

    • John B. Manos says:

      This is an incredible testament to the concerns Mr. X gave for wanting to be anonymous. Among other things, I’ve been told that even priests who disagree with certain people are attacked, and that insults and false allegations are employed against people who have opinions not endorsed.

      As far as your defamatory false allegations made here, Mr. X has not engaged in defamation or calumny.

      As far as calling me a scumbag, I can assure you that as an attorney, I’ve been called far worse and will likely be called far worse before my time is ended.

      You appear upset about this lingering cemetery fund issue. It is an issue and it has been reported on widely. I will update the post with yet another link that discusses with more detail that the fund was apparently emptied and the cemetery left in disrepair- this is a true fact.

      Having said all that, I’d like to point out that falsely accusing another of slander and calumny is in itself an act of its own moral and legal gravity. Since nothing printed here is false, then it is not defamatory nor is it calumny. You should retract your false allegations.

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