Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christopher Hitchens is dead

It is sad and troubling that Hitchens chose to spend his life leading a crusade against God.

He went to his day of judgment publicly affirming his contempt for God with the final witness for those he shepherded that any recantation is to be perceived as the fruit of metastasis of cancer to the brain.

I never knew his mother killed herself in the storm of the erratic emotions and sin from an extramarital affair with an Anglican priest. It is hard enough losing a parent at a young age through natural death. Adding suicide and an extramarital affair with a priest sheds a little more light upon his life of bitterness, rage and contempt.

Let us not have any delusions of grandeur about a life spent leading others into his pit of despising God. Hitchens paid a heavy price for the sins of another. But the onus belonged to his mother and her lover. God didn't play any part in it.

Hitchens is a posterchild for the destruction a life brings with misdirected anger against God. God is blameless in the devastation sin brings to our lives and the lives of others.

We wallow in our own muck. We are forced to wallow in the muck of others. God is not the creator of the muck, we are. God stands on the shores beckoning us to come out of it. We accept or reject His hand.

Hitchens rejected it. He thrashed about in the muck until it swallowed him up. From the depths of his spiritual suicide, he sucked others into the quagmire of his mother's sins.

You would think we would understand the theology of sin with the story of Adam and Eve, but we don't. We don't see what we do to others when we sin. The ramifications that could swallow others for generations. Next time you face temptation, fix your eyes on the whopper from Hitchen's mother and her lover. Sin is a "gift" that keeps on giving.

I have read the postmortems of Hitchens in Catholic Blogosphere with dismay and frustration.

The Tenth Crusade Corncob Crackpipe goes to the Anchoress - "A singular voice silenced"

"The only thing I disagree with, there — because I hope it is not true — is that he “may have been most famous for his outspoken atheism.”

He may have been. Perhaps. But there was more to the man than his atheism. He was fearless; he understood political arcana, especially as it applied to those mysterious Middle Eastern and Eastern European theaters, better than almost anyone. And he could write about it so even a dummy like me could understand.

By God, truly, the man could write! Even in this last year of difficult, as the Vanity Fair piece demonstrates, the man was still managing to write timely and topical pieces with a voice so fresh, so focused and detached that it was possible to forget that one might be reading his last or nearly last piece of work, and simple get caught up in his intelligent narrative and singular prose-style."


As a Catholic journalist, we are to overlook his atheism? He understood political arcana? Fresh, focused, detached? A singular voice silenced?

I hope you're not going to remember Oswald for the murder Mrs. Kennedy. There was more to Oswald than being a murderer. He was fresh and detached, understood political arcana and had a terrific gift for prose and let us face it, he was smart enough to outwit the secret service.

Oh wait...

As one Catholic woman to another, it is truly a suffering - on top of this tragedy - to have to endure a woman who uses irrational emotions to undermine salvation in the public square.

Given his mother's suicide and matters of the soul we have no way of knowing - whether he repented in his final moments with sincerity - we do not know Hitchen's ultimate destination. We appeal to Christ for mercy in prayer under these circumstances. Quietly. If the lack of discipline in our emotions compels us to produce a piece of sap, the context of what we say under these circumstances bears the duty to guard the theology of salvation.

On it's face, Hitchen's life stands on its own merits as the road that leads to hell. Period. We have no other information. We do not invent other information or throw conjecture to mitigate his life's work of robbing others of the Divinity and inexhaustible goodness of the Heart of Christ.

It is irresponsible to undermine this tragedy by implying his day of judgment with Christ overlooks Hitchen's vineyard to find merits in his grammar. To cry 'peace, peace' when there is no peace.

Christ did not say something sappy to the unrepentant thief who hung beside Him on Golgotha. As the unrepentant thief mocks repentance in front of a crowd, Christ greets him with silence. For the sake of the lambs watching it all, Christ only 'RIP' and talk of paradise and mercy is to the thief who is repenting.

"There is little in common, in reality, between the shepherd and the beast he tends; the gulf that lies between the rational and irrational can never be bridged. There may be devotedness and care on the part of the guardian of the flock to the animals committed to his charge. But there cannot be love where there is not community in nature. But in the Lord's sheepfold, this gulf is not impassible. He has given us that Divine Life which makes us partakers in His Own Diving Nature and by putting us through a process of purification. He can gradually cause us to case living according to that sensual animal nature that is at first so strong within us, and to replace it by one that is more spiritual and more akin to His own." (Fr. Leen, In the Likeness of Christ)

Of course Christ loves us even when we fail to return His Love. But Divine Love actually operates quite similar to human love.

All of us have, at one time or another, experienced a relationship where love only grew on one side of it. We have all been on both sides of the endings of love. In close and intimate friendships and relationships where only one person is laboring and giving intimacy and love and all of its gifts, major problems develop. There is hurt and pain. When it is recognized and both people work to rekindle love, the relationship survives. Only then is the gulf between love crossed. If one party does not wish to or is unable to return love, love self-destructs.

With maturity, we can let go of these relationships with sadness but tenderness, perhaps even while still feeling the love that exists on our side of it. This is always how God handles the rejection of His invitation to Love.

With less maturity, letting go of the love can get ugly. Regrettably, there are many who have let the bitterness take over their animus, sometimes through their entire life.

The unraveling of love for Christopher Hitchens was a very public one. He never bridged the gulf. There is nothing to admire. Only sadness and the duty to tend to the sheep this shepherd has left to the wiles of bitterness and hatred as his final witness.


Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

While we should feel sorry for Christopher Hitchens bad breaks in life, he made the choice to be bitter, hate-filled man. He had sixty two years to let go of that hate and bitterness, and embrace love and joy, instead he embraceed the bottle and basically drank himself to death. Instead of paying so much attention to this hateful ogre's passing, we should be paying attention to his brother who succeeded in life, in spite of the same disadvantages he faced.

breathnach said...


Hitchen's hate filled mania against God,religion and Mother Theresa have been conveniently swept aside by the neo-cons and the beltway "conservatives" like those at National Review.It's no wonder that they are all promoting Romney.

As despicable as this is in the secular realm, it is the height of self hatred for supposed Catholics to slip Hitchen's true legacy down the memory hole.

Hitchens was a proclaimed Trotskyite, a Marxist, he never walked away from that identification. He was true to the materialist nihilism of his ideology. That is the best that can be said for his worldly mission.

His brother Peter has taken a different road. He has embraced faith and espoused a traditionalist cultural position. Christopher was, of course, estranged from his brother.

I am sorry for Peter's loss.

Veronica said...

I, too, was completely dismayed by the blog "eulogies". Hard to fathom these folks...their enemies are their friends and their friends are their enemies.

In any event, I suspect this man was saved. Why? I think Mother Teresa played a part in it. A saint's vengeance! However, I do think he will be with Amelia (of Fatima fame) in Purgatory for a long, long, long time.

It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God! Now Christopher Hitchens knows!

Requiem aeternum dona ei Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei, requiescat in pace. Amen.

Carol said...

I'm sure she prayed fiercely for him. But saying Mother Teresa saved him from himself is the same kind of conjecture. We only know what we know and it isn't good.

Veronica said...

I prefer to believe that Our Lord is more merciful than just.

As St. Therese once told a sister in Carmel, you will get in the end what you believed. I think Our Lord said something similar...about a yardstick used in measuring others.

Restore-DC-Catholicism said...

I don't understand the blogosphere sentimentality either. It's not dissimilar to what we saw with the Kennedy and Drinan funerals.

Carol said...

Janet, Very similar to the Kennedy and Drinan theology of salvation morass. This one is definitely worse though as it implies Christ's Passion, Death for the forgiveness of sins was unnecessary. For you can spent your whole life working for the antichrist and the unrepentant sinner, who destroyed perhaps hundreds of thousands of souls, is 'believed' to met with pardon and mercy. They want to see antichrist himself sitting beside Christ on a throne.

There is lightening in God's fists. We are accountable for the lives we live and we will receive the recompense we deserve. Hitchens was the worst of the worst. Worse than the crimes of Hitler. Hitler only killed bodies. Hitchens killed souls. The man went out of his way to ensure that any recantation was not to be believed so that the souls he poisoned would continue on the path of rejecting God.

It is irresponsible for anyone to scandalize the theology of salvation with conjecture and sappy delusions.

We are NOT God and we do not have insight to anything beyond the facts. The conclusion we can draw from the facts recorded in this man's life is, there isn't a crumb to be measured for anything but Gehanna. Christ's Mercy is not a joke and it doesn't come cheap.

Michael said...

Independent Leftist Alexander Cockburn had the measure of "Hitch" very early on. These hagiographies of CH written by politicized Catholics (funded by, or hoping to be funded by neo-con foundations) are stomach turning.

A few choice comments from Cockburn:

"Anyway, between the two of them, my sympathies were always with Mother Teresa. If you were sitting in rags in a gutter in Bombay, who would be more likely to give you a bowl of soup? You’d get one from Mother Teresa. Hitchens was always tight with beggars, just like the snotty Fabians who used to deprecate charity."

"He courted the label “contrarian”, but if the word is to have any muscle, it surely must imply the expression of dangerous opinions. Hitchens never wrote anything truly discommoding to respectable opinion and if he had he would never have enjoyed so long a billet at Vanity Fair. Attacking God? The big battles on that issue were fought one, two, even five hundred years ago when they burned Giordano Bruno at the stake in the Campo de’ Fiore. A contrarian these days would be someone who staunchly argued for the existence of a Supreme Being."

See Cockburn's posting at:

Caroline said...

I thought of this Scripture after reading your post, Carol:

'See to it that no one fail to obtain the grace of God; that no "root of bitterness" spring up and cause trouble, and by it the many become defiled.' Heb. 12:15

God's grace is always available... so dangerous to resist it.

But for His mercies in my life that could be me..leaving a legacy of bitterness.

So terribly sad to see the path he chose. +

Dymphna said...

He was a nasty man. Who hated Mother Teresa and was a roaring drunk. Pray for his soul and let his works go to the dung heaps of history. The eulogies from the Catholic blogosphere have been shocking.

Veronica said...

And there but for the grace of God go any one of you, including me.

Take heed lest you fall.

Carol said...


Discussing the substance of the kind of life Hitchen's lead in the context of salvation theology of the Roman Catholic Church does not make me or anyone else subject to a curse from Christ that we will 'trip' or 'fall'.

That's fallacious and a superstition. Skullduggery.

We are speaking about theology here, not the judgment of Hitchen's soul - which only belongs to Christ. Conjecture and visions of sugar plums, fairies and saints dancing around Hitchen's life does not change what we know and how what we know corresponds to Roman Catholic theology.

Though it pains us to say it, it must be said for those Hitchen's misled:

Have no delusions about Catholic Theology. The substance of life Hitchen's led is subject to damnation and Hell.

Period. End of discussion.

Maria said...

They have canonized him at America Magazine.

Anonymous said...

Er. Love your enemies? Do good to those who hurt you? Pray for those who persecute you? Any of this ring a bell?

Mark Shea

Carol said...

Eh tu, Shea?


Hitchen's wasn't my enemy, he was Christ's. I pray for the conversion and the enemies of Christ all the time.

I also pray for people who have the pins for me, my family. Pray for the courage and wisdom to do and say what's needed to change the what I can change to help the situation.

This is strictly about facts and theology which I testify to for those Hitchen's left behind in his madness. Much like the victims of a mass murderer, we have to be honest in our service to Christ.

Carol said...


I do plan on clarifying repentance on the death bed in a full post - but suffice it to say that there is a lot of confusion about sorrow and repentance which is accounted for in theology when we compare Peter and Judas.

Both betray Christ - as we all do. Both were sorry for their betrayals. Judas has remorse and tries to undo it by giving the moola back. As the cock crows, Peter has remorse.

There is however, a difference in their remorse relative to the theology of salvation.

Judas was sorry unto himself. Judas has remorse for what he has done because of how the predicament affected HIM. His gig was up. He loses the fellowship and respect of people in the encampment. This is why it never occurs to him to seek pardon from Christ. He wasn't a damn bit sorry what it did to Christ. It was all about Judas. With this kind of sorrow--came the despair.

Peter is sorry unto Christ. Peter has remorse for what he has done to Christ.

This is the kind of remorse one must have on a death bed. Sorrow unto Christ.

You don't get to just say sorry 'bout that' and everything you've done to demoralize and mislead souls buys your salvation.

Hitchens made sure that if it was ever made public that even in his final hours if he cried out for mercy for himself - all those left behind should construe it as not remorse unto Christ, and not even selfish remorse for himself the dementia cancer brought to his brain.

Anyone looking at the facts from the spiritual can see the magnitude of the situation.

Salvation doesn't come cheap. Neither does grace. My theological explanations of Hitchen's predicament is not met by God with vengence or a curse that puts my own state of grace into jeopardy. This is superstitous nonsense like if I break a mirror I will have ten years of bad luck.

We are speaking about how the facts relate to theology of salvation.

I pray for the conversion of all sinners. God is outside of time. But when we die, the prayers of people on earth are not going to mitigate whether we responded to those prayers and buy us our salvation.

There is so much to pray for, people sick, people struggling with sin and suffering, petitions of people here on earth, the conversion of all sinners, I pray for Our Lady's intentions for the conversion of sinners. That is good enough for me. -- if I were on my knees 24/7, I would not have time to pray for what I need to pray for. I will not waste a nanosecond praying for the soul of Hitchen's. I'll put it all in the hands of Christ and Our Lady - where it belongs. I'm not going to engage sap that would scandalize souls left behind or waste good prayer time.

Steve "scotju" Dalton said...

Mr. Shea, how nice of you to drop in and tell us to pray for our enemies. This is something that you are truely an expert in. You have made so many enemies over the years with your hate-fulled slanders and tirades, you most certainly have to do a lot of praying!

Carol said...

ps. in the interest of full disclosure, I have made my share of enemies! Regrettably, some were even 100% my fault.

Blogging and personal flaws Can .be a lethal combination!

susan said...

Carol, once again your post was dead-on-accurate. And your comments have been even more cogent.

I thought the Shea posting was a joke...that guy really is a piece of work...wonder if he's spent a nono-second praying for fallen BROTHERS like John Corapi?...Shea FLAYED him alive...or if he's prayed for persecuted BROTHERS like Fr. Pavone?...once again, the treatment of Christopher Hitchens was MUCH warmer and kind....go figure.

Maria said...

Mr Shea:

Mr Hitchens did not persecute me. He persecuted the Church. Mr. Hitchens was not my enemy. He as enemy of the Roman Catholic Church.
We pray for the salvation of his soul. We do not speculate about the state of his soul. But, let us be clear: the Mercy of God, and our reconciliation w/ the our Lord, is contingent upon our repentance. Vatican II did not do away with mortal sin, as America Magazine, Elizabeth Scalia ,and her ilk,would have you believe.

Carol said...

Veronica, I know you posted the following yesterday but I took it down until I could have the time to address your misunderstandings.

Here's your post to which I will respond in the next comment:

You shock me, Carol, that you think the way you do. I can only conclude that your personal falls in your life haven't been very low.

Let me ask you a question. Had you lived during the time of Our Lord, do you think you would have been capable of pounding the nails in Him? Or do you think that you are incapable of doing something like that without the grace of God to keep you from it?

What I am trying to say is that this man led a tortured life. I'm not trying to make excuses for him, but he apparently had more inner demons than most of us have ever had to grapple with. How much of what he wrote, said or did he is fully responsible for, neither you nor anyone else here has any way of knowing.

If you had a family member that was similar, let's say one of your children, or a brother or sister, would you be as hard on them as well? Or would you hope for the mercy of God at the last moment?

In the end, it is best if we all just said some prayers for him instead of playing the pharisee, a part I play very well, and thanks be to God He is showing me just how well I play it. The prayers won't go to waste if they are in vain for him.

You put words in my mouth, Carol. I didn't say God would curse you. But it has been my experience that when I had a "Thank God I am not like the rest of men" moment, Our Lord let me see just how much (and more) I was just like the "rest of men"...and worse.

It will go worse for a bad Catholic than it did for Christopher Hitchens.

Maria said...

Mr Shea:

Mr Hitchens did not persecute me. He persecuted the Church. Mr. Hitchens was not my enemy. He was an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church.

We pray for the salvation of his soul. We do not speculate about the state of his soul. But, let us be clear: the Mercy of God, and our reconciliation w/ the Lord, is contingent upon our repentance. Vatican II did not do away with mortal sin, as America Magazine, Elizabeth Scalia ,and her ilk,would have you believe.

Carol said...

Veronica, there is so much misunderstanding in your post, I hardly know where to begin.

I want to assure you that not only do I hope and pray for the conversion of sinners, my daily actions on those hopes, feelings and prayers have literally been ACTED UPON in the public square. I have put my name on all my works. I have accepted all of the consequences of doing so - something that you personally wrote you were unable to do in a situation because the ramifications would be hard for you. I know the ramifications and I accept them precisely because I hope, pray and work for the conversion of sinners. I offer, out of love for Christ and my neighbor, the ramifications for the conversion of sinners.

You did not 'just pray' for Hitchens. That is exactly what I have posted should be done in these circumstances. Rather, you posted in a public place something you conjured up about Mother Teresa to articulate the belief that Hitchens is in Heaven. This is a complete fabrication which needed to be responded to. I responded to your fabrication with the facts. What we know and the theological conclusion of the facts humanity has availbile to them. It is Christ and His Church you accuse of being a pharisee - as nothing I said contained my own personal opinion. It is all factual.

You asked about my own children. Veronica - what I am saying is precisely for my own children and especially for my own children. I do not want them - and in fact anyone else's children to read mischaracterizations about living a life that rejects God, works to recruit others to reject God and despise those who love Him,a hateful, spiteful, mean, booze addicted life - and not know when they meet their maker, everything they have done they will be held accountable for -- UNLESS they repent UNTO CHRIST. I want them to know exactly the right steps to take. Where Hitchens went awry and why. The delusions need to be labeled for what they are. I cannot let delusions and misplaced empathy stand as a witness to the theology of salvation. I am afraid you are tempering the impulses of those who would ordinarily seek out the truth in Hitchen's departure. I can't let it stand on a website I am responsible for - and especially one where my own children may read.

I want them to know the truth about facts and theology. That is my duty to them and to Christ.

Finally, I did not put words in your mouth. As I was correcting your visions of Hitchens and sugar plums with facts - you responded with the warning that I shouldn't "least" I "fall".

When we advise people not to do something "least" they "fall", it has to be in the context of theology. If somebody tells you they are tempted to look at pornography - you advise them what to avoid, the internet, television, books - etc - 'least they fall'. If two people in love are tempted with lust, you advise them what to avoid. Alcohol, being alone in a situation where heavy petting may spring up out of emotions - 'least they fall'.

When somebody approaches and evangelist responding with factual information to people who are posting delusions of granduer and conjecture, and you tell them not to say and do what they are doing 'least they fall' - sadly, it is a manipulative use of that phrase. I am doing what is called for under these circumstances in my duty to Christ and the souls who have been misled by Hitchen's insanity. I am not putting words in your mough - I justly characterized what how you were misappropriating the phrase.

I apologize for being so forthright but I do think it is the only way to address what is going down.


Maria said...

Mr Shea:

Mr Hitchens did not persecute me. He persecuted the Church. Mr. Hitchens was not my enemy. He was an enemy of the Roman Catholic Church.

We pray for the salvation of his soul. We do not speculate about the state of his soul. But, let us be clear: the Mercy of God, and our reconciliation w/ the Lord, is contingent upon our repentance. Vatican II did not do away with mortal sin, as America Magazine, Elizabeth Scalia ,and her ilk,would have you believe.

Carol said...

Suzy, thanks.

Hitchens made sure those he hoodwinked into believing his sick schtick would not follow him into Heaven, should "he" in his last moments beg for mercy for his vengence and war against God.

There is nothing, zero, zip - to hang a hope upon. I find no comfort in his grammar. The situation makes me heartsick. I'd rather face God knowing I did everything I could to set the record straight.

I don't know what kind of love of neighbor it would be to mischaracterize this situation. The love I have for Christ and my neighbor renders me incapable of telling long tales of Hitchens going up, up and away with the saints and blowing kisses up into the sky.

Maria said...

While we are on the subject of Patheos...I have been trying to identify what it is I find so distasteful about it and its "writers". It is that they are not so enamored of the Lord, as they are enamored of themselves.

Carol said...

Veronica, I apologize once again for taking down your most recent post until I could respond to it

Here's what you said in your latest comment:


You have gall, woman, even hinting at what I have written to you via email. And then implying that I don't have as big a set on me as you because I don't sign my real name? Who do you think are you are?

I never said what you have claimed that I said - it is what you think I meant. You assumed my meaning without asking me to clarify.

I think you and your blog have gone to your head.

And all of this because I thought that the soul of man could use some prayers.


There definitely seems to be a communication problem going, no doubt on my end, but I will do my best to respond to your comment.

You seem to now be saying all you did was express your belief that the soul of a man could use some prayers and you are astounded to find I oppose praying for man's soul! Surely you would see why I would have to correct your mischaracterization.

It is nothing against you. It would be irresponsible of me not to set the record straight because somebody might read what you are mischaracterizing as the manifesto of a Catholic woman who has a reputation for knowing her faith pretty darn well - and believe what you say. Though it is uncomfortable, I can't commit the sin of omission so your feelings won't get hurt. This is my blog. I am accountable to Christ for the content.

Had you simply expressed your belief to pray for the man's soul, there would be nothing to discuss. I choose to leave the fate of Hitchens soul to Christ and continue to pray for His intentions and Our Lady's intentions. Knock yourself out if you want to mention Hitchens by name. But you didn't just express the suggestion to pray for Hitchen's soul.

What you did was frost that suggestion to pray for Hitchen's soul by laying it on thick with a thesis that Hitchens is in heaven and mother theresa helped him get there.

That needed to be responded to with facts and theology based upon the facts.

Your follow-up comments make all kinds of passive-aggressive assertions that my explanation of the theology of salvation was inconsistent with the theology of Christ's mercy, that I may fall from grace unless I heed, that I was using a yardstick to proclaim I knew what Christ's ultimate judgment upon Hitchens soul and worst of all, that I don't hope or pray for God's mercy and souls -- and the blog is something I do to become some kind of blogocelebrity.

It was perfectly reasonable for me to correct your mischaracterizations of my objectives, the reasons why I do and say what I do because all of it has been a sacrifice for the salvation of souls. It was important to remind people of my public witness of actually putting my hand to the plow. It wasn't a spitting contest of trying to prove I am superior to you. You made allegations to discredit my devotion to souls and salvation. I don't mind the cheapshots, but I am concerned about taking the theology of salvation down with them - if that makes sense.

Blessed Advent and prayers, Carol