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America, the Jesuit rag not the country, interviews Mark Shea.  The money quote:

 

I love the man. It’s almost inarticulate, but I have nothing but love for the guy. I think he’s the absolute real deal and I feel tremendous hope for the church. As I said before, I’ve loved every pope we’ve had, but I particularly have a soft spot for this man just as a human being apart from whatever he does as pope. I think the world of him. There are some people you just recognize as genuine people and I always respond really strongly to them. There’s no artifice about him and I really like that. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Crux with John L. Allen Jr., A New Catholic Website Published by The Boston Globe

John L Allen Associate Editor of Crux MagazineJohn L. Allen Jr.’s name came up during an introductory meeting between the new owner of The Boston Globe, John W. Henry, and the editor of the same daily, Brian McGrory.  It was an auspicious meeting because it was taking place one day after the Boston Red Sox winning the 2013 World Series, which Henry also owns.

Taking note of the popularity of the new Pope and wanting to capitalize on it, Allen’s name was floated to anchor this new online Catholic magazine named Crux.  Crux would be an addition to the online publishing niches that the Globe operates.  Considering the large Catholic population of the Boston area and the appeal of Pope Francis, it was a natural fit.

Henry was a self made man in financial trading and also successful in breaking the ‘Curse of the Bambino‘ by winning the 2004 World Series.  Looking back at Henry’s track record, it can be said that he took bold ventures in unfamiliar territory and did well.

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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!

Rebecca Frech Schools Mark Shea on Guns

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Mark Shea has a habit of saying that unless people do x, x always being a policy he endorses, they really are not pro-life.  This of course is simply an attempt, at least among pro-lifers, to stop debate on x and says nothing about the merits of x as a policy.  His latest attempt to do so is on the issue of smart guns, technology that purports to prevent a firearm from being fired, unless the owner is the one pulling the trigger.  Go here to read one of his posts on the subject.  Blogger Rebecca Frech, at her blog Shoved to Them, relates an incident to describe why Shea is wrong as a practical matter:

The argument seems to center around smart gun technology. Shea reasons that if gun owners were truly pro-life then we would support all efforts to create guns which would only fire for their owners, and then the world would be a better place. People who don’t support such legislation and research, even if they support the protection of life from conception to natural death, are not truly pro-life because they participate in a culture which accepts the possibility of death by gun shot (Mark and his readers haven’t mentioned how they aim to prevent people from being bludgeoned with a rifle butt or pistol whipped with a handgun).

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Blogging and Calumny

blogging fists

 

Lifesite News has responded to the assault on Hilary White of Lifesite News orchestrated by some Catholic bloggers.  Go here to read Paul Zummo’s post on the controversy, and go here to read mine.  Here is the post of Steve Jalsevac, one of the two co-founders of Lifesite News:

 

 

Now and then various Church officials complain about deeply uncharitable and harmful discussions on some Catholic blogs. Facebook, blogs, Twitter and even email can each far too easily allow angry thoughts that cross people’s minds to be published for all the world to see without the sober second thought that would naturally accompany face-to-face or spoken communication.

There was a recent attack against LifeSiteNews from a very well known Catholic writer and another such writer and her husband. Using these means of unfiltered near-instant communications, they poured calumny and invective on LifeSiteNews and our talented and committed staff.

Critics who obviously know very little about us, how we function, and our editorial decision-making penned very harsh judgments about our motives and other aspects of our work.

Here are just a few samples of what was what posted on the Facebook pages of various well-known and prolific Catholic writers:

Criticism naturally comes with the territory of journalism and should always be expected. However, when this kind of crude assault is hurled so recklessly from fellow Catholics or other Christians, it does leave us unsettled. Moreover, when such vile language and character assassination comes from Catholics who are published at influential Catholic publications, it is also a concern for the writers’ own Catholic reputation and that of their employers.

LifeSiteNews does not claim to be a Catholic organization. We have many good and faithful Catholics on staff, but we do not claim to be a Catholic organization and our reporting is intended for people of all faiths and even no faith. 

Nothing written by LifeSiteNews ever remotely approaches the level of calumny in the condemnations and criticisms seen in the Facebook posts mentioned. We explicitly forbid our writers from making such comments and are constantly removing similar comments from readers commenting under our reports. That is not free speech. We consider it to be an abuse of freedom. We also have a policy of never responding in kind to such comments. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Our Vicars of Bray

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I have been roaming around Saint Blogs since 2003 and have become familiar with the work of most of the major Catholic bloggers.  Since the election of Pope Francis I have noticed a curious phenomenon, especially among Catholic bloggers who make their livelihood by hocking books, speaking before parishes, etc:    A  swift reversal of long held positions, combined with a sudden desire to denounce “reactionaries” and a new found respect for liberal Catholics.   No doubt such conversions are heartfelt and not merely time serving, transparent attempts to stay in lockstep with the powers that be.  However, if any such sudden conversions are not heartfelt, I dedicate this poem to them:

“In good King Charles’s golden days,

 When Loyalty no harm meant;

 A Furious High-Church man I was,

 And so I gain’d Preferment.

 Unto my Flock I daily Preach’d,

 Kings are by God appointed,

 And Damn’d are those who dare resist,

 Or touch the Lord’s Anointed.

 

And this is law, I will maintain

 Unto my Dying Day, Sir.

 That whatsoever King may reign,

 I will be the Vicar of Bray, Sir!

When Royal James possest the crown,

 And popery grew in fashion;

 The Penal Law I shouted down,

 And read the Declaration:

 The Church of Rome I found would fit

 Full well my Constitution,

 And I had been a Jesuit,

 But for the Revolution. ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Dale Price Explains Why I Am Worried

My friend Dale Price at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings has often supplied me with blogging ideas that I have stolen borrowed.  Unfortunately he hasn’t been blogging much lately.  That was broken with a post on Pope Francis which sums up many of the reactions I have been having:

 

 

 

 

 

In which I exile myself from polite company and retreat to the margins of Catholic society.

This is basically how I feel. Like the person Sutherland is pointing at the end of Invasion. Essentially, the Catholic world I know has been seized by body snatchers and is about to notice that I am not lining up to board the F1 to the Promised Land.
Yes, this is about the interview. Quick summary of my reaction: some very good parts, some easily-soundbitten ammo I can expect to see all over the place, but is still explicable in terms of preaching the Gospel, and a disastrous, giant ticking nuke about to blow us back to the Church of the 1970s.
SHRREEEEEEEIIIIIK!
The Interview Was Candy Mountain Awesome, Charlie! Everyone agrees–it was full of candy, and joy, and joyness! You don’t believe that?

Yeah, well, I can live with that. Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders.
[Just to make the inevitable scream of “That’s unclean Protestant talk!” a little easier.]
As I see it, there are three serious problems, two of which are related to how it’s being received and processed, and the third is the nuke.
Problem 1: We Are All Ultramontaines Now.

Don’t drag me into this, Americain. My Papa Pius would have cracked your skulls
as the opener for the ritual of excommunication. Then he’d have gotten mean.

Including–nay, especially!–people who have spent a generation ignoring, deriding or spinning away every encyclical, apostolic letter and motu proprio that flowed forth from the pens of John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

But an interview–in America Magazine–well, my God! It’s new tablets from Sinai! And we can play historical critical whiteout with the parts we don’t like! Is it Elohist or Deuternomic? Forget it–we’ll figure it out later! Anyway–miraculously–we agree with the whole thing! (More of which later.)

A 44th Edition including The Interview! is no doubt being prepared as we speak.

As an aside, it’s good to see the Jesuits at America released from the dungeons after the long night of Benedict the Destroyer. The shackle chafe marks being no doubt hidden under the long sleeves. Some advice: sunlight and a vitamin regimen will banish the sallow complexions.

But, really, uniform praise–especially this wall-to-wall and adulatory–makes me uneasy. There’s something fundamentally off about it. In fact, the adulation being heaped on Pope Francis is general is…odd. I mean, it’s almost like he’s being given a prize for not being Benedict. That’s certainly the case on the Catholic left, which is transferring its creepy cultish adoration of Obama, the Not-Bush, to Francis, the Not-Benedict. Benedict the Rottweiler, Who Can be Safely Archived and Forgotten Like a Bad Dream In This New Age.
What the right’s deal is, I don’t know. The Pope Says We Must Re-Balance, So We Must Re-Balance. It smacks too much of a new CEO coming in, and everyone having to get with the program. At a minimum, it’s a feverish celebration that has no parallels with how it received Benedict, which was more defensive and apologetic, and less effusive in its praise.
You saw nothing in the interview heralding trouble, eh? Nothing at all?
The fact both are united in swoonery suggests that one or the other is missing something. And someone is, as we shall see in Problem 3. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Pharisees, Reactionaries and Mark Shea

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I cannot possibly improve on what Pat Archbold wrote at Creative Minority Report:

 

God, I thank you that I am not like other people”

 

From the eminently huggable Mark Shea’s “Bed-wetting Reactionary Wusses…”

What ties everything in Reactionary culture together better than any other theory I’ve been able to come up with is that it’s not that Reactionaries think the Church is evangelizing wrong and want to do it better.  It’s that they hate the whole idea of bringing new people into the Church at all (except for a vanishingly small sample of like-minded Reactionaries) and seem to be bent on making sure as few are allowed in and as many are driven away as possible.

I agree with Mark.  Wouldn’t it be much better if all the Reactionary Wuss –holes in the Church who are not as open, loving, and tolerant as us would just get the the F out.
File this in the “irony is lost on them” department.

Money and Outrage

 

FollowTheMoney1

 “Peter can no longer say, ‘Silver and gold have I none.'” Dominic turned and looked straight at the Pope, and said, “No, and neither can he any longer say, ‘Rise and walk.'”

Supposed comment by Saint Dominic during a tour of the papal treasury conducted by Pope Innocent III.

 

Michael Voris, who I personally have little use for, has touched off a hurricane in the Catholic blogosphere by revealing the large salaries purportedly received by some of the biggest secular names in Catholic apologetics.  Go here to Catholic Family News to read all about it.

My reaction?

1.  Voris better have been telling the truth that he is earning 40k a year because his finances are now going to be under a microscope.

2.  I am shocked at the size of the purported salaries.  The main sources of these salaries are often donations from people of very limited means and it rubs me the wrong way to see people making a very good living off what is very frequently a poor widow’s mite.

3.  I am always suspicious of secular people who are engaged in apologetics and who make their living from this work.  That smacks to me of being a professional Catholic rather than a Catholic simply writing or speaking in defense of the Church and neither seeking nor expecting monetary gain.

4.  My salary at The American Catholic since it was founded in 2008 has been $0.00.  I have not earned  a cent from my blogging. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Dyspeptic Mutterings

My friend Dale Price is posting again regularly at his blog Dyspeptic Mutterings after something of a hiatus.  Go here to have a gander at his blog.  Dale has long written some of the sharpest commentary on Saint Blog’s.   I stop in every day looking for blogging topics to steal borrow, and I rejoice that he is writing frequently again.

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