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Because Shut Up, They Explained

Crux has announced a new “prime directive” regarding their editorial policy, which they have seemingly established in light of the Austen Ivereigh commentary piece I blogged about the other day. Here’s Crux explaining:

“While Crux will always foster vigorous discussion, we will not tolerate attacks on persons. If the nature of a piece requires that specific individuals be named in a critical light, it must always be for their ideas or policy positions, never for their backgrounds, personalities, private lives, supposed dysfunctions or failures, etc.”

Which proves Crux doesn’t quite get the anger over the Ivereigh piece. In other words, they seem to be under the impression that it had more to do with “name-calling” than the actual substance. As further proof that they just don’t get it, they allowed another stinker of a “converts, oh what you please shut up” piece, this time by a convert himself: David Mills. In fairness, Mills doesn’t say that converts should keep silence, at least not forever. As he explains:

For a long time, and perhaps a very long time, the convert will see the Catholic Thing as you see a garden through a bay window, not as you see it when you’re standing amidst the flowers. He sees its design and beauty, but doesn’t feel the sun or smell the flowers or enjoy walking barefoot on the grass. Nor does he know what it is like to get caught in the rain or stung by a bee, or to spend hours weeding. He has to spend many years outside to know what life in the garden is really like.

Jay Anderson takes Mills to task. Jay concedes that Mills has a point when he suggests converts should take their time and “get their feet wet” before speaking out on matters of the faith. But:

This is fetishizing the cradle Catholic experience as being the *REAL* Catholic experience, and holding up any alternative to that as somehow less than. I used to do this exact same thing that Mills is doing when I was a new Catholic. I used to lament that I would never be able to experience the Faith with the instinct and the ethos of a cradle Catholic. That I would somehow always be an “incomplete” or not “REAL” Catholic like all my brethren born into the Faith and that I had somehow been “deprived” of my “birthright” as a “true” Catholic.

Now I recognize that for the utter horse

Well, I won’t spoil the rest, so as Don would say, read the rest here. Needless to say I agree with Jay.

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Paul Zummo

10 Comments

  1. And they’ll embrace a floating standard for ‘attacks on persons’ which excludes their pet commenters (but somehow manages to include anyone who demonstrates some fallacy said pets have promoted). Rod Dreher plays these games. Glenn Reynolds has coined a term for it, “civility bull****”. Popular among higher ed apparatchiks too.

  2. Sure, a convert and a cradle will have somewhat differing perspectives simply because they have different experiences. There is really no way around that, I suppose, other than time. I don’t doubt that Jewish converts such as the apostles had a different experience than their gentile brethren converts. But it is not like Catholicism is an esoteric religion whose ways are known only to the inner circle. Pretty much anyone with decent reading comprehension can figure it out, and compare the professed teachings to , ahem, the conduct of certain persons, reaching a reasonable conclusion as to said person’s adherence (or lack thereof) to said teaching. Don’t need to be cradle – heck, don’t even need to be Catholic.

  3. I doubt David Mills would speak in bad faith, and the excerpt you offer is unobjectionable. The trouble with the analogy is that Francis has hired a bunch of ruffians and they’re stomping all over the garden, something you can see perfectly well from the bay window.

  4. All of this internecine bickering is so very tiresome. Where is the peace in the Catholic Church? I attribute most of the current problem to the current Pope.

  5. Speaking as a cradle Catholic, I would say that converts have opened themselves to the Holy Spirit in an extraordinary way which has allowed them to make many painful and life-changing decisions in response to the grace of God. That makes them different from most of the rest of us who have been born in the faith and find it familiar and even obvious. Fidelity to Christ involves for us a daily conversion and purification rather than a change which upsets the apple cart of our whole identity and existence. Let us admire and respect the converts whether or not we always agree with them.

  6. David Mills, who is usually rational, offered a piece of idiocy. His pieice made no sense. He says convers should shut up because they are incapable of understanding Catholicism, as if Catholicism was some secret mystical cult that can only be understood by insiders -Gnostic much? If you examine what he said, he was telling people like Father Longenecker – a former Anglican to shut up because FAther Longencker, a PRIEST, does not and cannot understand Catholicism. His example is such things as understanding Mary is hard to do for Protestants. But no one is talking about the Marian dogmas. They are talking about the silly and stupid things that Pope Francis does, which are OBVIOUSLy in conflict with church doctrine. And converts are only a tiny portion of those who criticise Francis. Pope Francis defenders are desperate. They want to find some reason why they are under attack all the time, and it has to be some sort of bias against them. No, it is because they are stupid and say stupid Non Catholic things. You don’t need a super secret society of nasty converts who just don’t understand to explain this. Pure stopidity on the part of Pope Francis defenders is quite enough.

  7. Cardinal Sarah has defined the devil as one who first divides and then sets one against the other. Sounds like St Paul was so predictably right when he spoke of the “powers and principalities roaming the earth….”

  8. The apostles, overheard shortly after Paul’s road to Damascus experience, “Who’s this new guy Paul think he is? The next thing you know he’ll be telling Peter he’s wrong about letting gentiles into the new faith….geeez.

  9. ‘We all have our gifts that we bring to how we live our Faith and we all have our shortcomings.’ This is the quote from Jay’s post, I forgot to mention that in my first comment.

    And from the bottom of my heart, thanks be to God for it. He truly does know best☺
    Also, in the spirit of the paradox of Catholicism, both ‘and’ and ‘or’ of it, I consider myself (and believe there’s tons of us out there) both a cradle Catholic (hoping a better term will emerge soon for it, this one has reached it’s late retirement stage) and a convert to the true Catholic Faith. I’m still in the process of conversion and I am and always will be grateful to the ‘new’ Converts who helped me see what Faith should really be like, what it means to be Catholic and what a priceless pearl we have in the Catholic Church and Tradition. And it makes me tremble a little every time I think how I almost gave it freely away. So, God bless you all who join the Catholic Church and thank you and actually please do not ever stay silent. Keep talking, writing, making wonderful ‘noise’ because you and especially God through you, the converted new Catholics, are saving many many people’s lives and souls.

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