One of the most irritating aspects of life for faithful American Catholics over the past several decades has been how quiet most of our bishops have been in the face of outrageous attacks on the Church. Too many of our bishops have acted as if they had their spines surgically removed upon consecration. Fortunately there have always been a handful who have been willing to speak out and suffer the media attacks that then ensue, along with the ambushes of heterodox Catholics frequently eager to lend a hand to anti-Catholics in their ceaseless war against the Church. One of the more outspoken bishops is Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has never been afraid to proclaim the truth, and to do so eloquently. He is at it again over at First Things.
The Cross & Eagle Awards (C&EA) will be recognizing another legend and this particular blogger is in the field of apologetics.
This defensor fidei travels the country evangelizing both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, educating in the Catholic faith, and defending the eternal Truths.
In my estimation, he probably created his blog with minimal thought, not knowing what a tremendous tool it could be to evangelize.
Imagine not having to travel to another parish hall or hotel to do another presentation in person. Not that he has stopped doing this, it’s that he can now reach a wider audience.
Unfortunately his blog wasn’t one of the best out there.
This all changed recently.
He changed the layout, improved the graphics by leaps and bounds, and made it much more interactive. Yes, he improved the look of his blog overall.
Who is this mustachioed Catholic?
I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Improved Blog in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .
To qualify even for consideration you need not only be talented in writing and knowledgeable about our Catholic faith, you need to write often. That is the kicker.
Many a Catholic blogger has stopped blogging due to an increase in the family unit, new job, blogging fatigue, carpal tunnel affliction, and even death. And that’s just a short list.
This particular blogger didn’t allow a growing family nor inclement weather stop him. Not even a beard that has gotten out of control has slowed down this convert.
Being a warrior for Christ, he is horizontally integrated in various forms of media battling heresy and anti-Catholicism in it’s many forms as well as educating the faithful and non-Catholic in our rich and long Catholic Tradition.
Even when his template was no longer supported or his antiquated version of blogger, he stayed the course, WordPress be damned!
Don’t know who this character of the Wild, Wild Web is?
Here is only a sample of the many publications he writes for online:
Crisis Magazine, National Catholic Register, Catholic Exchange, Inside Catholic, and a whole lot more.
I am happy to present the 2011 Cross & Eagle Award for the Most Prolific Blogger in the Catholic Blogosphere to. . .
I’d like to announce a new Catholic website targeted for Young Adults:
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We have gathered 30 of some of the brightest young adult Catholics in the world that are already providing insightful articles ranging from current events to poetry.
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Writing at Vox Nova, the author known as “Morning’s Minion” has published a post calling for consistency in the application of canon 915 — the denial of Holy Communion to those who “obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin” — in this particular case, the public advocacy of abortion and torture. The post was occasioned by the recent appearance of Mark Thiessien on Raymond Arroyo’s “The World Over”, in which the duo lobbied vigorously in defense of waterboarding:
I think the analogy is clear. Arroyo and Thiessen are both Catholic public figures, and Arroyo in particular is a TV personality on a Catholic TV channel, making the scandal all the more grave. They are clearly “obstinately persevering” in support for an intrinsically evil act. Worse, they actually try to justify it on Catholic grounds. Thiessen has made it his life’s work to claim that some forms of torture are virtuous. Arroyo, again and again, invites defenders of torture onto his show, and instead of confronting them with clear Church teaching, voices his agreement. As [Archbishop Raymond] Burke says, this is “public conduct” that is gravely sinful. I would go further and argue that it is even more scandalous than support for legalized abortion. Most public supporters of abortion do not go on television extolling the great virtues of abortion for women and society. Their argument is more with how it should be treated under the law. But the Arroyo-Thiessen-Sirico cabal are (i) claiming to the faithful Catholics while (ii) making public pronouncements on the positive value of torture.
Catholic debate over torture (and/or what the Bush administration has termed “extreme interrogation”) has been going strong for several years now. It’s online manifestation initiated — to my recollection — with the publication of Mark Shea’s article in Crisis, “Toying with Evil: May a Catholic Advocate Torture?” and subsequent discussion at Amy Welborn’s, in March 2005. From time to time I’ve personally blogged on the various vollies and controversies between various camps as the debate has asserted itself, time and again, over half a decade (has it really been that long?)
That EWTN (“Eternal Word Television Network”) has hosted two explicit defenses of waterboarding — most recently by Thiessien, as well as Fr. Joseph Sirico of the Acton Institute, not to mention Q&A from Judy Brown of the American Life League questioning whether torture should be considered “intrinsically evil” — does not surprise me in the least. As I noted recently, there has been open dispute as to whether waterboarding constitutes torture from many prominent Catholics, including editor Deal Hudson, Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin, and Fr. Brian Harrison (in the pages of This Rock — the flagship publication of Catholic Answers, the largest largest lay-run apostolates of Catholic apologetics and evangelization in the United States). [Note: Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute, a newcomer to the debate, has likewise made it known in the comments of this post where he stands on the matter].
Little wonder that a Pew Forum survey examining “the religious dimensions of the torture debate” found many white Roman Catholics, along with most frequent churchgoers, affirming that the use of torture against terrorists is “sometimes” or “often” justifiable.
With respect to abortion, readers may recall a number of opportune moments during the 2008 presidential elections when Catholic bishops were obliged to speak out, publicly, forcefully and collectively, in correction of blatantly false presentations of Catholic teaching on abortion by Nancy Pelosi and (then) Senator Joseph Biden.
There have been numerous missed “teaching moments” for our bishops and the Catholic Church on the matter of torture.