You know how I've always given Mark Shea the benefit of the doubt?
Well, being semi-immobile, I witnessed an assault in action, from beginning to end, on Facebook and...I..ahhh...um...surrender.
From what I witnessed, Shea's conduct rises to the level of being labeled a dangerous person and quite frankly, is a situation that needs intervention.
I'm not going to get into the weeds of the interaction, but here is the Reader's Digest:
Fr. Peter West posted links to Mark's writings where Mark caricatures faithfully-practicing Catholics as no good bums and 'liars', a validly ordained Catholic priest who flawlessly taught the faith for years but then fell to addiction or sin as a 'fraud' and then alternately, a story Mark wrote about a man living with his lover whom he considered a saint. Mark's theory is when two lovers move in together, we don't know if they are having sex and therefore Catholics must characterize these types of living arrangements as the heroic virtue of celibacy right before our eyes.
Mark goes on in his column to advise the community of the faithful that when two lovers live together, this is the model of virtue and sanctity. We don't know what two lovers are doing shacking up in a place with one bed in it and we shouldn't care.
If they sing in the choir at Church, work in the soup kitchens and are well-trained in the social graces, they are very likely celibate saints.
After centuries of teaching our children that two lovers can't live together unless that relationship has been bound in the Sacrament of Marriage, Mark explains the Catholic Church has had it wrong all these years.
The Catholic Church should presume two lovers who live together are celibate unless they tell you they are not celibate or you see them having sex.
Mark has put the Catholic Church on notice that those who assent to the teaching of the Church are in fact very, very sinful and judgmental people, to think anything about two people shacking up other than "there goes two celibate saints".
A lot of Mark's readers on "Patheos" found this to be very,very refreshing news indeed. What a relief!
Naturally, rational people who know what's happening when two lovers move in together, tried to explain to Mark the problems with his asinine assertions, and dangerous witness and advice to the faithful.
I asked Mark numerous times if his assertions would apply to his own children, should one of them shack up, but he refused to answer. One must presume this is the advice he is bestowing upon parents whose children want to shack up with their lover. You shouldn't care if your children, neighbors, friends and people in the community whom you love, shack up. Presume they are celibate or you are sinning.
He doesn't know if your loved ones living together are having sex and he doesn't care. You shouldn't care. The priests shouldn't care.
If you do care enough to tell people this is an egregious theological error, you are defaming Mark Shea. Forget about defaming truth. Somehow, the theology of salvation has become all about defaming Mark Shea. And, his readers are only too happy to oblige him in this egotistical notion.
How's that for skullduggery.
That's the history.
The current donnybrook with Fr. Peter West happened when Fr. West advised that there is something seriously wrong with Mark Shea's theology and has advised people to stop using him as a source for Catholic theology. A conclusion a multitude of Catholics have (sadly) already reached.
Mark showed up with a sledgehammer claiming Fr. West was 'defaming' him. He made accusations of slander, calumny, blah, blah, blah.
To protect his inane assertions, he dragged the poor dead man out of his grave--who may well have been celibate--and tried to claim that unless Catholics assent that the patheos that two lovers who live together are to be presumed celibate saints by the community of the faithful, we are therefore saying the poor dead man was having sex with his lover. A round robin went on for days. His exit strategy from the bondoogle was to claim we all needed confession and forgiveness and he went off to pray for our illumination of our sins.
Mark went on his own facebook and posted about what a wounded animal he was, that he hoped 'Fr. West's superiors' would take care of the problem with Fr. West.
Everyone loves a victim. Mark put on a good show to wind up the rage of his readers. His fans began threatening Fr. Peter West and HLI. Fr. Peter West is now asking for prayers against the wiles of Mark Shea's fans who are actively threatening him.
Mark's bullying has to come to an end. He is a menace to faithful Catholics. I don't know who is in charge of EWTN, but I believe we should all give accounts of the conduct we have encountered from Mark Shea and ask them to stop providing him a pulpit.
I'll do some digging on who to contact and update this post with contacts.
Enough is enough.