Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Donnybrook at Commonweal over Catholic Bloggers Aim to Purge Dissenters

The wide circulation of Rachel Zoll's article about the momentum of Catholics rising to ensure Catholics hear authentic Catholic teaching 100% of the time has elicited somewhat of a fascinating response from the Commonweal crowd.

Frankly, I'm a little astounded.

While it comes as no surprise that Commonweal is theologically unsound, I am taken back by their lack of charity,  how frank they are about their opposition to Catholic teaching and their misunderstanding about the purpose of our apostolate.
“We’re no more engaged in a witch hunt than a doctor excising a cancer is engaged in a witch hunt,” said Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV.com and St. Michael’s Media.
I’m sure that Voris would reassure us that, really and truly, he loves those he’d like to see excised.

We don't want to see people 'excised', we simply want to hand you different material to teach so that those teaching and those being tutored are invited to Paradise.

Isn't it time to stop making what we are doing nefarious?

What we're doing is the purpose of the Catholic Church's existence.
From the Times article — note the unqualified descriptions of the two camps: “fellow orthodox Catholics”, “the more positive side of the orthodox Catholic blogosphere”, “faithful Catholics”, “unfaithful Catholics”
The acceptance of these terms by the NYT and others as accurate descriptions of conservatives and liberal Catholics needs to be scotched. The basic issue between the two camps is this very question: what IS an orthodox, faithful Catholic...At the very least such conservatives should be called “self-styled orthodox Catholics” or some equivalent term.

Getting hung up on labels here. How about calling us Catholics returning to ensuring what is inside of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is taught to Catholics faithfully?
In addition, I think this is related to the “smaller, purer church” debate. Will fine distinctions about what the pope said and didn’t say convince those who have put up a whole blog devoted to attacking Bryan Hehir?.
It also goes to why anyone should stay in the church. I think we can’t avoid the question whether the fine distinctions are merely the fine distinctions of dusty theological books–the church of an educated person in his or her head, but not at all related to what’s on the ground?...
But I don’t think there will be divisions–I think Peter Steinfel’s article shows what will happen–mass exodus.
"It also goes to why anyone should stay in the church..can't avoid the question whether the fine distinctions are merely the fine distinctions of dusty theological books--the church of an educated person in his or her head.."

I responded to Peter Steinfel's article here but it bears repeating in this thread.

Making Catholic Churches places where priests have to keep people away from the teachings of the Church so they can feel good about themselves is the antithesis of the Catholic Church.  It is a complete waste of Christ's Suffering and Death so we could have the Catholic Church and her Sacraments to work towards our salvation.  IF we wanted to.

Holding the 'dusty theological books' and the salvation of the Church hostage with threats by people who say they will flee if we proclaim what is in them is precisely what we have had enough of.
  1. It blows my mind that a barely-pubescent brat like Peters draws so much water in Catholic discourse (if that’s an appropriate name for it).
    By the way, “Mark,” I’m not part of the Catholic left, so the snideness, meanness, narrow-mindedness, and intolerance of what I just said is all mine, baby.
This one speaks for itself. They will know they are Christians by their love.

I'm skipping over all the daggers drawn against a list of Catholics who want the Catechism taught.

Along with other uncharitable remarks, apparently Cathleen Kaveny called Amy Welborn a 7th grader, which she promptly removed but not before Welborn got wind of it and responded.  

They seem to have the pins for Wellborn and accuse her of inciting mockery of people who bring human sized puppets, liturgical dance and other liturgical abuses.

Cry me a river.

Generally speaking, they don't much like the airing of abuses of theology, catechesis and our Liturgy and want to figure out how to protect people whose abuses are being highlighted.
.....
In the real world, I don’t think the big problem facing the body of Christ is Ratzinger hermeneutics. And let’s be clear: you’ve not shown positively that Ratzinger doesn’t believe in a smaller purer church, at best you’ve shown that those who think he does believe in it haven’t established their position beyond a reasonable doubt.
I think the big problem is the people who are using “smaller and purer Church” to kick others out. I think the big problem is what is happening to Bryan Hehir and others like him. So I want to convince those attacking Bryan Hehir to stop it.
See this:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2010-10-20-catholic19_ST_N.htm

And unless Ratzinger himself clearly denies that’s what he meant, I think it is going to keep happening. People will assume that he agrees with his archbishop.
So why won’t he say something? Simple, workaday, solution.
And what do you think should be done to help people like Bryan Hehir?

 Instead of asking the guy to stop teaching error?

They could join the archbishop of Boston in trying to discredit Catholics who are calling out the errors and post an entry about the spectacular contribution to faithful teaching Hehir has made.

As you can imagine, there is nobody scratching their heads about why the Cardinal didn't add links to anything authored by Hehir about the sanctity and truthfulness of Humana Vitae and Evangelium Vitae because there is no such animal.
  1. I have no idea, Joe. I don’t live in the real world now. I live under a dome over a cornfield.
    But I admire Bryan Hehir tremendously–he’s not only a brilliant scholar, he’s a very good priest. And people are trying to hurt him. And I think Commonweal Catholics had better figure out how to deal with all of this – because it’s only going to get worse, for the reasons David enumerated.
    King Lear–that didn’t end real well, did it?

You can take to the bank it is going to get worse....before it gets better!

The donnybrook has begun in the pews and we are not going to stop until the unsound teachings do.  If the people teaching unsoundly want to be thrown out with the dirty bathwater, it's sad, but free will is a beautiful thing.

Here's a post of interest.
  1. Dude, I thought it was the bishops of the US who said voting for a pro-choice candidate was not a great thing for a Catholic, not some blogger.
    Chaput, Burke….Wenski…Morlino (is that his name?). George. Dolan. Right? The USCCB?
    Anyway, I am loving this.
    Looking at Fr. Bryan Hehir – his words and deeds, not his “lifestyle” or whatever – is bad.
    Michael Sean Winters “exposing” Uber Capitalist Fr. Acton Insitute’s past (repented of) is good and not destructive.
    You guys make a living and a reputation from telling people to ignore the bishops you don’t like and then when the right does the same thing, you pull the civility card. Nothing new there. Move along.

It's not such a bad idea to gather up a nice long index of faithful Catholics the National Catholic Reporter/Commonweal/Vox Nova crowd has "exposed".     I think that would be quite a startling expose of the damage unfaithful Catholics are doing to people who want the teachings of the Church proclaimed.

They are shocked, shocked I tell you that the days of inertia are behind us.

Maybe they thought by taking us down one by one, we would all be intimidated.

  1. I suspect most Catholics, churchgoing or not, do not pay attention to the blogosphere.
    On the other hand, I think it’s true that Catholic blogs on the right have generally been more influential in capturing the bishops’ attention, whether to chastise them or to support them. “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” The generally conservative and, in certain quarters, reactionary character of various JPII bishops can guarantee a favorable reception to these conservative blogs.
    On the other hand, most Catholics ignore the bishops, and, but for the influx of Hispanic Catholics in the U.S. church, we’d be seeing a drop in Catholic numbers.
    So conservative bloggers influence (for good or bad, one way or other) the U.S. bishops who themselves are ignored by the Catholics in the pews.
    The mouse that roared?

Well, in case it isn't clear, when priests are unfaithful to doctrine, most of them are going to cave when we start sending moles in to record their antics.  No matter where Bishops are in faithfulness to doctrine, most of them are going to cave when we start to publicly record our requests asking them to intercede and counting the days when they don't.

In the end, though it is obvious they do not care about the souls of our children or the flock, they do care about their reputations and money.   All I can say is, let's have a go at it and we'll see how the donnybrook ends.

Finally, all that ever needs to be said about what we are doing is beautifully expressed in a comment on Fr. Z's Blog.

Sorry, but loud voices on the internet, like Michael Voris, our own host, and so many others cannot be silenced by spurious charges of incivility. If a priest or a bishop is teaching heterodoxy, or permitting heterodoxy to flourish, sound him out. Charity sometimes requires the use of harsh terms, and always requires honesty in discourse.

Amen.

If you have not done so already, please get to the TAKE ACTION link at  Bryan Hehir Exposed and fill out the very simple format to fax to Bishop Coleman, the Nuncio, the Holy Father and the Holy See vis-a-vis the sham search for the head Catholic lobbyist for Massachusetts Catholics.

Don't forget to keep up with the latest at Boston Catholic Insider

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

It shows how out of it and self-involved the Commonweal bloggers are that they don't even mention Fr. Z - probably the most widely-read individual Catholic blog today.

Nor do they mention the Mombloggers, also widely read, striving to uphold Catholic teaching on sexuality.

I wish they would just be honest.

"No, we don't believe abortion is wrong. No, we don't believe artificial contraception is wrong. Yes, we believe women should be priests. Yes we believe homosexuality is morally neutral."

They all believe it - they just won't say it, simply continuing to snipe and sneer.

I love the latest turn in the discussion about the "crypto-Donatists" who brook no nuance on abortion. Would any of these people embrace nuance on the death penalty? Would they advocate the application of the death penalty any time to any one, or would they say it is NEVER allowed according to CAtholic teaching?

I suspect it is the latter.

It doesn't make any sense.

If you don't care about "orthodoxy" why do you care about the usage of the term?

If you believe the episcopacy is outdated and patriarchal, why do you care who gets appointed a bishop or cardinal?

They are ridiculous.

meg said...

Carole,

What energy the news has brought to faithful Catholics on what you are doing here in Boston!

This is the best news we've heard in a long time.

BTW - Have you seen this:

"Cathleen Kaveny 10/24/2010 - 8:23 pm
It seems as if they are taking my criticisms of Joe’s arguments as criticisms of conservative Catholic positions??? And the defense of Amy Welborn seems to be that her mockery is justified, given those horrible puppet masses.

Yes. I’m sure she thinks it is.

Let the 1970’s go. Heal. Be free. We’re grown-ups now. The puppets can’t hurt us."

You have it backwards dear. Grown ups don't need big puppets at Mass any more than Christ needed or wanted puppets in Golgatha.

Do they have any idea what is happening at our sacred Liturgy?

kbc said...

Seems Ms. Kaveny has edited that post!

"Thanks for the link, George S., but I’ll pass on commenting. I doubt it would make a dent. Ms. McKinley thinks “orthodox” is just a “label”. Wonder what she thinks the CDF is for :-)"

Very amusing. Has this crowd ever listened to the CDF?

They're all wrapped up in words.

It's too bad they can't string them together to form this sentence:

If whatever ideas in your head aren't the same ideas in the Catechism, it ain't Catholic.

Anonymous said...

Understanding "Incivility" [part one]
Deal W. Hudson
InsideCatholic.com
10/25/10

Is the religious right uncivil? Conservatives Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner think so. In a joint Huffington Post column titled "The Success and Failure of the Religious Right," they argue:

The language and tone of the religious right have often been apocalyptic, off-putting, and counterproductive. "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews," said Jerry Falwell, "so liberal America is now doing to evangelical Christians." In 1994, a conspiracy-mongering video promoted by Falwell associated President Bill Clinton with drug dealing and murder.
Such melodrama, or hysteria, is good for fund-raising, but bad for American politics. It makes a civil political conversation impossible, and does a disservice to the cause of a Christian witness to society.
Gerson and Wehner's complaint is rooted in a concern about being politically effective. They realize, correctly, that the occasional rude or crazed outburst from a religious right leader has led to a loss of credibility affecting the entire movement.

While that's true, it's nevertheless unavoidable. Those men and women of faith who are drawn into politics to fight for the endangered values they believe in do so because they're passionate about combating evil. I've always found it surprising that anyone would expect only calm and rational discussion from large groups of citizens who are outraged by the murder of unborn children, the destruction of the institution of marriage, government attacks on religious liberty, and the pervasive takeover of education by postmodern multiculturalists.

Further, I've yet to see a successful political movement that wasn't fueled by a considerable amount of passionate outrage. That was true for Obama in 2008, and it will be the same for the GOP in the upcoming election. Passion is like fuel -- sure, you can waste it unproductively, but at the same time, you can't drive a grassroots movement without it. Nor can you control it from the perch of a Washington, D.C. think tank.

The next time you hear someone complain about the religious right's (or even the Tea Party's) so-called lack of civility, I would suggest you say something like this: "Of course they speak with passion -- they’re concerned about losing the character of the country they love, and are outraged that the core values that once guided our nation are being ignored."

Anonymous said...

Understanding "Incivility" [part 1]
Deal W. Hudson
InsideCatholic.com
10/25/10

Is the religious right uncivil? Conservatives Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner think so. In a joint Huffington Post column titled "The Success and Failure of the Religious Right," they argue:

The language and tone of the religious right have often been apocalyptic, off-putting, and counterproductive. "Just like what Nazi Germany did to the Jews," said Jerry Falwell, "so liberal America is now doing to evangelical Christians." In 1994, a conspiracy-mongering video promoted by Falwell associated President Bill Clinton with drug dealing and murder.
Such melodrama, or hysteria, is good for fund-raising, but bad for American politics. It makes a civil political conversation impossible, and does a disservice to the cause of a Christian witness to society.
Gerson and Wehner's complaint is rooted in a concern about being politically effective. They realize, correctly, that the occasional rude or crazed outburst from a religious right leader has led to a loss of credibility affecting the entire movement.

While that's true, it's nevertheless unavoidable. Those men and women of faith who are drawn into politics to fight for the endangered values they believe in do so because they're passionate about combating evil. I've always found it surprising that anyone would expect only calm and rational discussion from large groups of citizens who are outraged by the murder of unborn children, the destruction of the institution of marriage, government attacks on religious liberty, and the pervasive takeover of education by postmodern multiculturalists.

Further, I've yet to see a successful political movement that wasn't fueled by a considerable amount of passionate outrage. That was true for Obama in 2008, and it will be the same for the GOP in the upcoming election. Passion is like fuel -- sure, you can waste it unproductively, but at the same time, you can't drive a grassroots movement without it. Nor can you control it from the perch of a Washington, D.C. think tank.

The next time you hear someone complain about the religious right's (or even the Tea Party's) so-called lack of civility, I would suggest you say something like this: "Of course they speak with passion -- they’re concerned about losing the character of the country they love, and are outraged that the core values that once guided our nation are being ignored."

Anonymous said...

Understanding "Incivility" [part 2]
Deal W. Hudson
InsideCatholic.com
10/25/10

I'm not entirely unsympathetic to issues of civility -- after all, I was raised to be gentlemanly and courteous in all circumstances and was told these qualities should belong to every man. But I quickly noticed three things: First, those who note the rudeness of their political opponents seemed oblivious to the same behavior displayed by their allies.

Second, the "incivility" charge is almost always used against conservatives, and rarely against those on the political Left (Armstrong Williams's Friday column is an exception).

And third, the "incivility" charge is too often used as an excuse to shut down discussion. This has become particularly obvious in the pro-life debate. Having lost the public argument, abortion supporters resort to characterizations of those who oppose abortion as angry, extreme, and violent.

They miss the mark all around. For example, those pro-lifers who carry pictures of aborted fetuses on the street are not being uncivil, even if their methods may not be effective. These pictures only appear uncivil to those who don't want to be reminded of what it means to be "pro-choice."

In the case of pro-life leaders, given the substance of their concerns, I am often surprised not by their "incivility" but by their restraint and observance of public decorum. Leaders such as Rev. Frank Pavone, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Doug Johnson, and, among the episcopate, Archbishop Charles Chaput are always calm and compelling witnesses to the truth about the most controversial issue in politics.

No doubt, there is a genuine civility problem in our culture -- the evidence is everywhere: the popularity of reality TV, foul rap and pop lyrics, the explosion of Internet porn, and the vulgar texting habits of our teenagers. But these sources of cultural corruption are generated not by political passion but by a deliberate and cool-headed plan to generate profit by appealing to our most sordid impulses.

Maybe that's the problem Gerson and Wehner should be worrying about.

Anonymous said...

Notably, it was Margaret Steinfels who shut down the discussion at Commonweal.

Dissenters have shut down all Catholic teaching but as you can see, when their own ideas cannot hold up to truth, they retreat to immature ad hominem and looney comparisons about their chickens in the coop being slaughtered by the coup.

See you chickens soon at every lecture, homily and inside of every classroom and parish.

Biaggio said...

I guess Anyonmous is so devoted to the catechism that s/he will not even identify herself or himself. And whenever did Falwell and Robertson say they believed in the catechism?

Carol McKinley said...

I do not know the purpose of your questioning the veracity of the love and fidelity to the teachings of the Church of an anonymous poster, but snce you have run out of logic that makes unfaithfulness virtue, your seedy post doesn't surprise me.

What Falwell or Robertson have to do with this discussion also escapes me. We are talking about Catholics who are unqualified to render opinions and teach.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

Carol, did you see this in the dotcommonweal blog?

George V. Simmons 10/24/2010 - 8:09 pm Dear Friends in the Commonweal Commentariat, this has just been posted on one of the worst of the Boston-area right-wing blogs.
http://throwthebumsoutin2010.blogspot.com/
For the sake of the truth and the church, please pile on.

Congratulations! You have indeed rattled the right cages!

Carol McKinley said...

You're doing some great work yourself so Congratulations right back at you!

Worthy is the Lamb!