So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Sunday, May 22, 2016

'Canadians play nice, pretty please.' One priest's curious version of civility.

Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.—St. Luke 6:26

You may have heard that a certain Canadian religious media celebrity has received an award for his "distinguished communicating". The following blurb is an excerpt from the recipient's speech posted at Salt In Your Wounds TV.
Brooklyn, New York – May 11, 2016
The Digital World and Catholic Blogosphere
In the wild, crazy world of the blogosphere, there is the challenge of accountability and responsibility. On the Internet there is no accountability, no code of ethics, and no responsibility for one’s words and actions. It can be an international weapon of mass destruction, crossing time zones, borders and space. In its wake is character assassination, destruction of reputation, calumny, libel, slander and defamation. What view do others have of us when they view our blogs? ('Hey, here are forthright people not afraid to confront sin in themselves and their community!') If we judged our identity based on certain “Catholic” websites and blogs on the Internet, we would be known as the people who are against everyone and everything! If anything, we should be known as the people who are for something (such as... truth, goodness, beauty, joyful orthodoxy, the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, authentic liturgy, the sacredness of life from conception to natural death, the sacrament of matrimony...), something positive that can transform lives and engage and impact the culture. To what degree are our blogs, websites and programming the expression of the wealth of the Christian patrimony and successful in transmitting the Good News that the Lord has asked us to spread? (The degree to which those same vehicles accurately or faithfully communicate the teachings of the Catholic Church. When the media, Catholic or otherwise, misrepresent the Catholic Faith, it is entirely reasonable for Catholics lay and ordained to rally to the defence of the Faith and faithful Catholics! For an excellent perspective on the role of the Church and what it should be, click HERE or on the following link:
Many of my non-Christian and non-believing friends have remarked to me that we “Catholics” have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the (F)aith! The character assassination on the Internet by those claiming to be Catholic and Christian has turned it into a graveyard of corpses strewn all around. (Sounds like a messy place!) Often times the obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners! (1) He must mean these bloggers:; (2) The highlighted sentence is not an argument against the duty of faithful Catholics to rise up and defend the Faith and the faithful when the behaviour of cafeteria (c)atholics and others hostile to the Church is a cause for scandal (cf. Catechism 2326) and/or threatens the innocent. (3) Given his own imprudent behaviour, Fr. Celebrity's statement could be understood as little more than a weak attempt to claw back some credibility after his reprehensible attack on a Catholic blogger who challenged Fr. Celebrity's actions.) In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people. (Mirrors can tell us a lot about ourselves if we are willing to look carefully at the face staring back at us.) We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion! (A token note of concern? A hint of condescension?)
Now... that's some distinguished communicating.

A priest who threatened to sue a Catholic blogger for speaking the truth to power has been given an award for...? Apparently, pride not only goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall, pride and a haughty spirit also followeth a fall, too.

Canadian bloggers have nominated that same priest-celeb for the office of Lord of Misrule and Abbot of Unreason to preside over the Feast of Fools... aka the internet.

Is it unfair to conclude that said priest-celeb's comments are little more than a demonstration of:
  • attempted self absolution?
  • hypocrisy?
  • arrogance and condescension toward his critics?
  • psychological projection and blame shifting?
We can and should habitually strive to practice a greater degree of civility and learn to offer constructive criticism in more charitable ways. So then, what of the priest-celeb's attempt to demonize the opposition? Liberals and progressives always get a pass for engaging in actions for which they accuse others of committing.

Deus lo vult!

The internet can be a dangerous place, and that is why so many Catholic bloggers take their verbal swords into battle and unleash raw righteous indignation to defend their brothers and sisters from the teaching of their misguided siblings whose agenda is, intentionally or otherwise, to sow error among the faithful.

Note to the Ecclesia Militans: continue to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable!

One Mad Mom has a brilliant commentary at her blog:

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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