Advice to Simcha Fisher

To Hell with You, PewSitter

Pewsitter v. Fisher





Picking a fight, go here to read all about it, with PewSitter is a really bad idea.

Update:  Mark Shea weighs in with the calm and charitable commentary that has made him famed throughout Saint Blog’s:

Update: some of my more charitable readers insist that “admit” is patient of a reading that is not as unfeeling as it sounds to Simcha, me and rather a lot of female readers (particularly victims of sex crimes). Okay. Summoning “love believeth all things” to its summit, I will buy that and apologize for seeing red. But I also don’t think Simcha was particularly wrong to see red. Pewsitter has a long record of saying odious things. The fact that this may have only been semi-odious is nothing to write home about.

Moral: a website written by anonymous cowards who regularly go out of their way to put the darkest possible constructions on the pope’s words should perhaps consider a bit more circumspection about throwing stones from their glass house when they themselves speak so recklessly. The best that can be said for their wording was that it was, ahem, “poorly chosen” and (what’s is it that those guys love to hurl at Francis? Oh yeah!) “sends a confusing message”. And the rest of the site remains a clearinghouse for contempt for much of the Church’s magisterial teaching and this pope in particular. Take the log out of your own eyes, anonymous Pewsitter cowards.

Patheos v. Pewsitter!  Pass the popcorn!

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. Has she never seen stock defences? – “The names and designations of the parties are admitted; the domicile of the Defender and the jurisdiction of the court are admitted; quoad ultra denied”

  2. Well, Ms Fisher does appear to have gotten one thing right-she claims that PewSitter makes up headlines. Their headline states “To Hell with you, PewSitter.” She actually said “The Hell with them.”–which admittedly does sound kind of uneducated.
    I’ve never before heard of PewSitter. May have to check them out.

  3. I am so tired of this. Everyone needs to calm down. Fisher should have let it go. Pewsitter should have let it go. Everybody just needs to let stuff go on the internet – especially the Catholic part.

  4. I am blown away that a Catholic blogger would tell anyone “the hell with them”. Was there this kind of division among the Catholic faithful before Pope Francis? If not, then what is going on now???

  5. Neither side of largely conservative Catholics see what the Obama admin has done…divided us. The Admin has been for 4 years paying the dioceses to help illegals..getting them addicted to the fed money..and in so doing upset the more isoationalist/order focused Catholics. Well done Obama.

  6. In the end, the Pope is going to have to settle this stuff. And not with ambiguous statements made to atheist reporters.

  7. So Shea proves once again that he is an ass. He and Simcha must have too much time on their hands. I really like Pewsitter. I do wish it warned when clicking on one of their links was going to to direct you to someone’s Patheos blog, as I don’t want to contribute to the traffic of these bloggers.

  8. Pewsitter and Shea/Fisher can’t both be right at the same time. I hope Pope Francis picks a side and excommunicates whichever side he thinks is wrong. It really is a time for choosing.

  9. I love PewSitter. I visit it every day. I don’t wish to remain anonymous and would tell everyone exactly who I am — lest I be accused of being a coward who finds that website refreshing. However, I have a close family member who is a clergyperson and I do not wish my views to affect the way people view him. Obviously I only speak for myself, not him. But you never know, some people practice such a thing as “guilt by association”…

  10. Tom M. wrote, “In the end, the Pope is going to have to settle this stuff.” That observation alone is enough to get you designated a “Rad Trad” by Shea and the new inquisitors. It is Pope Francis’ ambiguous and never ending stream of off the cuff and often disturbing comments, which is the source of all this division. Is it too much to ask him to explain his comments? The sycophants say, “yes”. Those who question must be crushed down and marginalized. The orthodox are now the heretics. It’s starting to feel like the 80s in here again!

  11. Mark Shea and company should be threatened with excommunication. St. Thomas condemns the graduated income tax and gov’t handouts in I-II Q. 96 Art. 4 of the Summa when he writes that the burdens that gov’t puts on society must be “equal” and “proportionate”. Another translation uses the phrase “equal in proportion”. If all democrats were excommunicated, this country would not be in the trouble it is in.

  12. I am a regular reader of articles which Pewsitter links to. I deny that I am an “anonymous coward”. My name is David Wendell and I do not disagree with the Magesterium of the Church and I will try to follow official pronouncements of the Holy Father. I think Mr. Shea’s characterization of Pewsitter is rather broadbrush.

  13. I stopped checking in at New Advent (what’s in a name?) for news when I realized he censors bad news. Pew Sitter does not.

  14. This folks is the Catholic Church of Nice unless you don’t trip all over yourselves with your ridiculous adulation of the Greatest Pope Ever. Pewsitter is the Catholic Drudge in my honest opinion. They just tell it like it is. The fact is these who the Pope Emeritus called Professional Catholics can’t stand any critical remarks of Francis much less just question something he says or does. Its almost tragic because they did not hesitate to blast Benedict for everything from the Regensburg address to the Remarks about condoms. But now if you happen to think Francis is not the so called Breathe of Fresh air you are a hater. Oh well.

  15. I don’t think Janet’s comment is fair to Shea. I remember him defending Pope Benedict very strongly on Regensburg and condoms. If anything, Shea seems to be one of those that strongly defends the Pope whoever he may be.

  16. Never read Shea and do not like him. But there are things about him that come across in other places; he seems to be a perennial trouble maker and loves arguments and throwing barbs at others.

    Read Pewsitter all the time and will continue.

  17. pewsitter.com > Patheos

    “anonymous coward!” – Hmm, doesn’t anyone wonder why the “pope” who isn’t anonymous isn’t strongly opposed publicly if he actually opposed sin in the world? The fact that the “pope” Francis is publicly tolerated as such suggests the Vatican is obviously compromised. Does anyone forget that Our Lord told his disciples “not to tell anyone of this” on a few occasions when he DID GOOD THINGS semi-publicly? That is because the world hates good and wants to crucify it like our Lord. This is why the Vatican today is the public face of apostasy from the faith and has lost it.

  18. Ann Gray asks, “Was there this kind of division among the Catholic faithful before Pope Francis?”
    ‘T was ever thus. At the beginning of the 20th century, one finds Maurice Blondel writing, “With every day that passes, the conflict between tendencies that set Catholic against Catholic in every order–social, political, philosophical–is revealed as sharper and more general. One could almost say that there are now two quite incompatible “Catholic mentalities,” particularly in France. And that is manifestly abnormal, since there cannot be two Catholicisms” and again “[U]nprecedented perhaps in depth and extent–for it is at the same time scientific, metaphysical, moral, social and political–[the crisis] is not a “dissolution” [for the spirit of faith does not die], nor even an “evolution” [for the spirit of faith does not change], it is a purification of the religious sense, and an integration of Catholic truth.” (1907)
    Twenty years later, one has Catholics of Action Française and Le Sillon fighting each other in the streets.

  19. Sleeper wrote, “ St. Thomas condemns the graduated income tax and gov’t handouts in I-II Q. 96 Art. 4 of the Summa when he writes that the burdens that gov’t puts on society must be “equal” and “proportionate”. Another translation uses the phrase “equal in proportion”
    St Thomas wrote, “puta cum inæqualiter onera multitudini dispensantur”
    Now, “inæqualiter” can certainly mean “unequal,” but it can also mean “unevenly” or “disproportionately.” Pliny plays on these two senses, when he observes, “nihil est ipsa aequalitate inaequalius.” (Plin. Ep. 9, 5, 3), which can be translated “nothing is more disproportionate than equality itself.”
    In the jurists, it means something like “inequitably” or “unfairly.” The Digest begins with Ulpian quoting a definition of law by Celsus, “nam, ut eleganter Celsus definit, ius est ars boni et aequi.” (Dig. 1.1.1. pr. Ulpianus 1 inst.)– Law is the art of the good and equitable and Paulus, in speaking of the different meanings of law, says that “uno modo, cum id quod semper aequum ac bonum est ius dicitur, ut est ius naturale” – In one sense, law is said to be that which is always good and equitable, as is the natural law. (Dig. 1.1.11 Paulus 14 ad sab.)
    One would imagine that, writing on law, St Thomas would have the Corpus Juris in mind, nor would he have been unaware that the jurists, like Cicero before them (cf De Oratore 3. 27. 107), often use “bonum et æquum” where his beloved Aristotle would have used επιείκεια, for which Latin has no equivalent.
    So far as the Latin goes, it would be hard to argue that the text unequivocally condemns a tax based on ability to pay.

  20. Some of the commenters on Simcha’s article raise a good point: instead of getting all tied up in knots about one word in the story’s headline, focus on what the story is about, which is the suffering that young Christian girls — our sisters in Christ — are enduring for their faith.

    That said, I would have interpreted “admitted” in this case to mean “reluctantly acknowledged that something terrible had happened to them” rather than “confessed to doing something wrong.”

  21. I used to be friends with Shea on Facebook, until he kicked me out. Shea warned me not to challenge him, or say anything he didn’t like. Being the smartypants that I am I continued to mildly tweak him, and Shea unfriended me. What I leaned about my fat former Facebook friend (and since) is that he is very thinned skinned, and he fancies himself a sort of lay pope. He fits a certain profile of fat, insecure intellectual types I have met over the course of my life who love being in charge, and like to bully others into doing their bidding. Shea’s acolytes are a pathetic bunch, and they even have a t shirt called Viva Shea with him dressed as Che Guevara.

  22. St. Thomas condemns the graduated income tax and gov’t handouts in I-II Q. 96 Art. 4 of the Summa when he writes that the burdens that gov’t puts on society must be “equal” and “proportionate”.

    Am I the only one who suspects there is something anachronistic about this statement?

  23. I like to think that Samcha had a moment of irrational brain chatter over one word, a word that in context was perfectly usable. Had she waited, the whole thing would have become the non-issue it is.

  24. Converts and reverts fighting it out on the internet all trying to out Catholic the other. Meanwhile cradle Catholics, you know, those old women and men that are saying the Rosary in Adoration Chapels? The same ones who survived the damage that liberals and the ‘spirit’ of Vatican II crowd did after Vatican II (and still are). My money is on them. 🙂

  25. I believe the reason why the Dynamic Duo have it in for Pewsitter is that PS has in the past given links to articles that were not very complementary to them. The poor little dears have never gotten over having their bloated ego’s pricked. Ahhh….

  26. PewSitter isn’t anonymous. Anyone who subscribes to the Twitter feed knows the name of the person who runs PewSitter. I admit, I cringe once in a while at PewSitters headlines — they can be sensationalized, without a doubt. However, it does a good job of aggregating a wide variety of concerns and events that are germane to being a well-informed Catholic. Some might not be able to discern where the slant begins and ends, but for most of us, I would imagine we can form our own conclusions, being endowed with a cerebral cortex and an intellect. Some Bloggers think we’re too stupid to understand click-bait versus straight-up reporting, which tells you all you need to know about the esteem they hold for their own readers.

    Meanwhile … the portal which is Patheos has become a circular firing squad. What’s scandalous is not the combox. What’s scandalous is the raw vitriol that has become characteristic of the posts of “some” of the Catholic Bloggers there. Usually, the real Pharisees are busy calling everyone else “Pharisees”. If you don’t fall in line with *their* infallible wisdom, be prepared for the smackdown.

    And this whole “blogging anonymous” complaint is hypocritical BS. These Bloggers sign up and use their name to promote their own financial considerations and book releases. As soon as I get paid by the comment, I’ll put my name out there for public humiliation at the hands of some of the most self-absorbed, self-important, self-assigned saviors of all that is New and Evangelical about the Catholic faith. Professionals don’t behave this way. They don’t get into flame wars with the public. They don’t slam other commentary outlets (and that goes for all Blogging parties on all sides of the issue). They don’t use Facebook like a mobile rocket launcher they can hide amongst innocent bystanders while lobbing mortars at their “enemies”. It’s just so distasteful in the Catholic Blogosphere, and whether you want to blame Patheos or Voris or Pewsitter, it needs to stop.

  27. How did we get here?

    “St. Thomas condemns the graduated income tax and gov’t handouts in I-II Q. 96 Art. 4 of the Summa when he writes that the burdens that gov’t puts on society must be ‘equal’ and ‘proportionate’. ”

    “Am I the only one who suspects there is something anachronistic about this statement?”

    St. Thomas’ statement is not the only anarchonastic thing we need to recognize. The US Constitution had to be amended so that the income tax could be impoosed. Talk about anachronistic, unequal and disproportionate!

    The word “republic” comes from the Latin term “res publica”; the public thing. The public good is that good which benefits all citizens equally and proportionately. Pacem, it is not a public good when the government lays unequal and disporoprtionate burdens on some citizens to benefit other citizens.

    Income taxes and welfare come to mind.

    However, it makes perfect sense. “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” – George Bernard Shaw

  28. “As soon as I get paid by the comment, I’ll put my name out there for public humiliation at the hands of some of the most self-absorbed, self-important, self-assigned saviors of all that is New and Evangelical about the Catholic faith.”

    Quote of the day.

  29. A blogger gets upset by one word, then a blow-hard hack tosses aside the industrial sized bowl of trail mix to protect the damsel in distress. How does their questioning the use of the word “admit” devolve into, “a clearinghouse of contempt for much of the Church’s magisterial teaching”?

    Mark Shea is an insecure loser who seems to thrive on cyber bullying. Every discussion eventually leads to his bizarre chest thumping. I have one piece of advise for the dynamic duo, if Pewsitter frustrates you that much, stop visiting. I stopped reading Shea years ago and I feel great. BTW, have no idea who Fisher is; perhaps she’s just attempting to draw traffic.

  30. Who is Simcha Fisher? This is what is printed about her on the ncregister.com new site:
    “Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.”
    I am a little surprised the “several publications” publish her articles/blogs at this point.

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