Priests & Tattoos: Is This Disgusting/Scandalous? Or, Are “With-It” Clergy Just What We Need?

Priests & Tattoos: Is This Disgusting/Scandalous? Or, Are “With-It” Clergy Just What We Need?

Editor writes…

I’m not impressed with a single one of Fr Mike Schmitz’s arguments for having his body tattooed. Theology for the Thick, it seems to me.

So, I give up – if you can explain it, please share your thoughts in the comments below, because, frankly, this sort of “body modification” disgusts me.   Instead of raising us up to the supernatural, priests – generally speaking – seem determined to pull us down, ever deeper into the filth and muck of worldliness. The more worldly, the better, seems to be the “theology”.

Over the years, I’ve discouraged umpteen young people from going for a tattoo, telling them about a young man I met in Aberdeen some years ago, married with children, who said he bitterly regretted his tattoos.  He told me how they had prevented him from getting jobs and moving to better things in his life. All we need down is clergy showing such bad example – and then taking to YouTube to boast about it!  God help us all.

I’m shadow-banned on YouTube or I’d be leaving a comment, with the link to this thread, so if any of you can do that for me – much gratitude.

Comments (31)

  • Michael 🙏 Reply

    Dear Editor

    I’m in complete accord with you regarding this and the priests rationale which is vacuous nonsense. If he’s under the impression that this gives him a certain ‘ street cred’ then we really are in a sorry state of affairs.

    The priesthood is certainly undergoing an all time low in these dark times. So much for this priest being aware that he is by virtue of his ordination- ln persona Christi. Where is the dignity in all of this and even more concerning where does it end.

    God help us indeed.

    Every blessing

    Michael 🙏

    May 30, 2022 at 5:24 pm
    • Josephine Reply


      Not only does he seem to forget about being “in persona Christi”, but he doesn’t seem to understand about the indelible marks of the sacraments being left on the soul – not the body! He says they “leave an indelible mark on us” – on “us” – not “on our soul”! I’m astounded at this priest.

      May 30, 2022 at 10:00 pm
      • Theresa Rose


        I agree. He does seem to forget about being “in persona Christi”. What exactly does he understand about being a priest and the indelible marks of the sacraments being left on the soul? Not much by the sounds of it.

        May 30, 2022 at 11:15 pm
    • Tom Reply

      My first reaction to this was disappointment and his excuses with getting a tattoo
      were justifying sin caused by the evil spirts who roam the world seeking ruin of
      souls with disobedience to Gods written word.

      Then shortly after, I realized that I have faults of which I am diligently
      working on to improve/make better.. Ex. Jesus’s commandment to love thy neighbor
      in today’s world can be a hard thing to do. But I need to try. So with all that said,
      I will pray for Fr. Mike, continue with his Bible in a year podcasts, hopefully
      get to see him in the Right to Life March in DC 2023, and let God make the
      judgement on this issue.

      In the meantime… Fr. Mike asks we pray for him in his podcasts…

      St. Michael the Archangel
      Defend us in Battle
      Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil
      May God rebuke him we humbly pray
      and do thou oh prince of heavenly hosts, by the power of God,
      cast into hell, Satan and all the evil spirts who roam thru this
      world seeking ruin of souls.

      June 1, 2022 at 5:26 pm
  • westminsterfly Reply

    There is a biblical injunction against tattooing – it was Fr Gruner who first brought it to my attention. Leviticus 19:28 (Douay-Rheims Version): “You shall not make any cuttings in your flesh, for the dead, neither shall you make in yourselves any figures or marks: I am the Lord.” More recently translated as “You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the LORD.” (New Revised Standard Version). There was a recent scandal about Bishop Barron who seems to surround himself with tattooed male bodybuilders for whatever reason. There was a more recent article that he had to fire one of them for alleged sexual misconduct It’s all just the cult of the body and narcissism, and tattoos are a sign of that.

    May 30, 2022 at 5:25 pm
  • westminsterfly Reply

    Sorry – I hadn’t watched the video before I shared the information from Leviticus. I note that Fr Schmitz was already aware of that information. I could only watch about 30 seconds of the video, because I think there is something VERY wrong with this priest. He’s gabbling like a lunatic, is EXTREMELY theatrical, and if I saw a non-clerically dressed person in the street behaving like this, I’d think he was high on drugs. Perhaps tattoos are the least of his problems.

    May 30, 2022 at 5:32 pm
  • Elizabeth Reply

    Oh for goodness sake! He is just ridiculous. I loathe tattoos and so many people regret having them, this priest really should find something more worthwhile and priestly to talk about. Though on reflection, a period of silence might be better for him.

    May 30, 2022 at 6:51 pm
    • Margaret Mary Reply

      “a period of silence might be better for him”

      Hear, hear!

      May 30, 2022 at 10:08 pm
  • Faith of Our Fathers Reply

    I personally cannot stand Tattoos especially on Women, but then again Who Am I To Judge .In all seriousness though why people get them is beyond me, but the ones doing the Tattooing must be making a fortune. The ED sums it up especially when their older they who have Tattoos want them off . BTW its the same ones doing the Tattooing who do the removal of them .I remember roughly 15 Years ago a Man having Tattoos removed from his arm the cost was £600 and the Tattoos weren’t really all that big. As far as this Priest is concerned as long as its not a Tattoo of Bergoglio and Pachamama I actually think we should be grateful. What an example he’s showing off Eh. I can just see some argument in a Catholic home with the young saying to their parents ” Father Mike got a Tattoo so can I have one ” I also can remember at least going back 20 Years a Guy who was Tattooed all over except for his back. He said that He was saving up for a full Japanese back Tattoo which was going to cost Him £7000 . BTW don’t ask me what’s the difference between a tattoo here and a Japanese one. I suppose it must be a few £Thousand.

    Also WF comments about Bishop Barron another so called Clergy Superstar wanting to hang out with Tattooed Body Builders looks as if its the way of The Future . It certainly gives out bad examples in the extreme, and it’s certainly not the way any Catholic Clergyman should conduct Himself.

    May 30, 2022 at 7:32 pm
  • editor Reply

    Well, I came in to post this shocking news about a poor Polish priest facing prison time for exposing homosexual predation in the Church – and I was planning to say more or less what Elizabeth has said: could “Father Mike” not find something useful to do, like contribute to exposing the “filth” in the Church (to quote Pope Benedict).

    Truly, the priesthood is in a dire state. Really dire.

    Pray for the Polish priest.

    May 30, 2022 at 7:47 pm
  • westminsterfly Reply

    I’ll try and find the link, but I thought Fr Oko (the Polish priest mentioned above) had come to a sort of compromise with the authorities and was no longer in danger of prison. I’ll see if I can find it again.

    May 30, 2022 at 8:28 pm
  • westminsterfly Reply

    Here it is:

    May 30, 2022 at 8:30 pm
  • editor Reply


    The Lifesite report is dated 19 May and Complicit Clergy report linking to it is 21 May, so looks like Complicit Clergy missed the Gloria TV report of 21 May! What a mix-up!

    May 30, 2022 at 8:52 pm
  • westminsterfly Reply

    I don’t blame anyone for getting mixed up with the issues going on in this ‘Barnum and Bailey’ church. Scandals develop by the minute. Who’s got the time?

    May 30, 2022 at 9:17 pm
    • Margaret Mary Reply

      I agree, scandals develop by the minute, for sure.

      Fr Mike in the video above starts off his nonsense by saying his previous video on tattoos had so many views…

      How sad that he is playing that stupid game, he omits to tell us how being tattooed can save souls.

      May 30, 2022 at 10:11 pm
      • Fidelis

        I agree – and to make it worse, I believe when you get so many “views”, you get paid. I don’t understand how it works but I think that’s a fact – if not would someone please correct me, because I don’t think it’s good to see priests making money this way.

        May 31, 2022 at 9:31 am
  • Josephine Reply

    What tosh! He doesn’t want to take Jesus off – how ridiculous is that? It’s mushy sentimentalism. If he really understood the spiritual life that priest would know that he just needs to offer up everything every minute of every day not to “take Jesus off” – it’s so sad to see a young priest like him being so influenced by worldliness, instead of being the influencer for God.

    May 30, 2022 at 9:55 pm
  • Margaret Mary Reply

    How sad is this – that priest, so excited near the end because this tattoo means he can speak to people about Jesus, perfect strangers. For one thing, I thought that was one of the advantages of the collar, but also, most people wouldn’t have a clue what that tattoo meant. There he was explaining it to his largely Catholic YouTube audience!

    It’s really pathetic to see a priest (50, I think he said he was) behaving like a silly teenager.

    May 30, 2022 at 10:07 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I couldn’t take more than a minute of watching this …. priest….(??) and his breathless Valley Girl delivery. What’s a Valley Girl delivery, you UK inhabitants ask?

    Aside from that, this is total narcissism. While you’re at it, Father, why not wear a black leather jacket instead of a cassock?

    Is this the same priest as the “motorcycle priest” we came across last year?

    May 30, 2022 at 10:16 pm
    • editor Reply

      RCA Victor,

      I don’t think we had a motorcycle priest – that was a young convert, who gave his talks while motorcycling, if I remember correctly, but if I don’t ssssh! Don’t want folk to know I can’t remember my own posts/topics!

      May 30, 2022 at 11:10 pm
      • Miles Immaculatae

        Today’s equivalent of getting a tattoo is not getting a tattoo! Christiano Ronaldo hasn’t a tattoo. I haven’t a tattoo and I have no intention of getting one. I like being different and I loath conformity.

        That being said, I think tattoos are more a matter of taste than morality.

        To pull off a tattoo, you need a certain kind of personality, and most people don’t have this kind of personality. It upsets me that beautiful men like Zayn Malik and Justin Bieber have ruined their bodies with graffiti. They look even worse on women.

        June 2, 2022 at 6:49 pm
    • westminsterfly Reply

      RCA Victor
      ‘breathless Valley Girl delivery’ LOL!!!!! Yes, I could only bear 30 seconds of Fr Schmitz before I switched him off. I saw your video link. Sadly, we have that type in England as well. Just the accent is a bit different.

      May 31, 2022 at 11:55 am
  • Fidelis Reply

    It’s just ludicrous and so disappointing to see a priest with a tattoo and so excited about it. “Theology for the Thick” is just about right.

    I’m saying a prayer for that priest – he could easily go well astray, the way he thinks.

    May 31, 2022 at 9:30 am
    • westminsterfly Reply

      As I said before, I think tattoos are the least of Fr Schmitz’s problems. RCA Victor’s ‘Valley Girls’ comment answers that one. And to answer an earlier question of yours, yes, one can make money out of YouTube, but I have no way of knowing if Fr Schmitz is doing this. He may well not be. But I strongly suspect there are serious problems with him. His general ‘teaching’, behaviour and mannerisms indicate that he is not in danger of going astray, but that he has already gone WAY astray and you’re right, he needs prayers. And if he wants a permanent sign on his body, why not just be enrolled in, and wear the Brown Scapular? Are there any videos of him promoting personal Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary through the Brown Scapular? I haven’t looked on Google but I be surprised if there is. I await to be proved wrong.

      May 31, 2022 at 7:51 pm
      • Nicky


        I agree with you completely. I am sorry for this priest and his fans are really not his friends by encouraging him.

        May 31, 2022 at 10:41 pm
  • Laura Reply

    I’m really lost for words about this priest – to me, it’s a scandal that a priest would waste time and money getting a tattoo and I agree that most people wouldn’t even know what it meant. If he really “didn’t want to take Jesus off” why not a tattoo of the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Too traditional, probably. I’m not advocating tattoos, I think they’re horrible.

    May 31, 2022 at 9:45 am
  • RCAVictor Reply

    Thank you, Elizabeth, for the “period of silence” recommendation.

    Besides the Valley Girl similarity, Father also reminds me of so many young people these days who have their cell phones surgically attached to one of their hands, and who must look at the screen as soon as someone pings them from Facebook, Snapchat, SMS, YouTube, or wherever, so they can reply with an emoji or one of Google’s handy automatic replies. How sad. This priest is a prime candidate for Zuckerberg’s “Metaverse” fake reality.

    Come to think of it, that’s another Valley Girl characteristic. “Totally!”

    May 31, 2022 at 8:57 pm
    • Nicky Reply

      RCA Victor,


      Love it! That Valley Girl video was a hoot!

      May 31, 2022 at 10:42 pm
  • RCAVictor Reply

    I opened Father’s video on YouTube and scanned about the first 50 of over 3,000 comments. All but two or three were gushing with gratitude, and simpatico with Father’s tattoo. I believe this is called the “paganization of the Church.”

    Or perhaps Bugnini would call it “enculturation”…..

    June 1, 2022 at 2:45 pm
    • Laura Reply

      RCA Victor,

      When I read your comment @2:45pm today, I went through to YouTube and read some of the comments. The one about an 89 year old woman in a nursing home, shook me. She got one in case she took dementia and everyone in the nursing home would then know she belonged to Jesus (or something like that). It speaks volumes about her if everyone in her life doesn’t know by now that she “belongs to Jesus”. Then I copied this one.

      “The difference is, when a priest is at the altar and he is holding up the Body of Christ, you will see his tattoo more prominently than the Eucharist. A priest is supposed to disappear into his vestments. It is extremely vain for a priest to have a tattoo on this part of his body like he has.”

      I think that person got it right and there were a few others. It really is scandalous to see a priest so obsessed with himself and his own body that he would do this and think it worth putting on YouTube.

      June 1, 2022 at 3:23 pm
  • Marsaili Brigid Reply

    The Litany of Humility was written by Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val and he is said to have recited it every day. It would be great if today’s hipster priests had even a fraction of that humility.
    « Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt thee in the time of visitation » 1 Peter 5:6

    June 2, 2022 at 7:10 pm

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