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).

Monday, August 22, 2016

Bloggers at each others' throats. Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher in the crosshairs.

It is saddening to witness Catholic bloggers attack each other when a simple "Oops, my bad,"... i.e., mea maxima culpa, would alleviate considerable tension among the brethren and foster reconciliation.

Mark Shea has been fired from the National Catholic Register. NCR no longer lists his name under the blogs tab on its main page. Apparently, a trail of mouldier than acceptable breadcrumbs from Mr. Shea's posts at other sites led Register upper-ups to ferret out said crumbs and subsequently issue the following statement:
The Register is no longer publishing blogs or commentaries submitted by Mark Shea. Mark’s writings at the or published in our print edition were within our editorial guidelines. However, his writings and engagement on other forums were irreconcilable with our editorial vision or standards of charitable discussion.
As some reliable bloggers have pointed out, Mr. Shea is not the only individual whose comments have been the occasion of concern.

Frankly, people are too easily offended these days. Skins are simply not as thick as they once were, it seems. It is too easy to be offended and to avoid taking responsibility for one's actions.

There is a fine line between attacking the person and attacking his or her actions (attitudes, words, lack of action). The use of satire, for example, involves certain risks. There are, of course, people who twist legitimate criticism to make themselves appear as martyrs to gain sympathy and/or destroy another person's reputation. Be wary of those who, for whatever reason, choose to demonize others to gain sympathy. Their repertoire of accusatory speech is often replete with lies, paraphrases, shabby incomplete quotes and the like, all in an attempt to distract people and deflect criticism away from their own questionable behaviour or away from a subject to which they are ideologically attached.

That all having been said, there are necessary boundaries dictated by charity and civility or goodwill beyond which no one should venture. Should one stray into the zone of "blog first, repent later", indeed, one should run to one's offended brother(s) and say "I'm sorry," and hopefully such an apology will be accepted and people can get back to holding hands and ridiculing the beast who merits mockery and ridicule: Satan.

Fr. Peter West's Facebook page offers a sobering reminder:
August 19 at 4:10pm
Here is the Official Statement of the National Catholic Register regarding Mark Shea: [quote as cited above]
With this in mind, I ask you to pray for Mark Shea. Hopefully, this will be an opportunity for personal reflection for him. He has many gifts that he can use in the service of the Church and the pro-life movement. Recall the words from the Book of Proverbs:
"Do not rejoice when your enemies fall, and when they stumble, do not let your heart exult, Lest the LORD see it, be displeased with you, and withdraw his wrath from your enemies." (Proverbs 24:17)
If we look into the past, and the internet can be an effective two way mirror or time machine that can help relieve a distasteful schadenfreude, we can find in Mr. Shea a man who is willing to admit to his mistakes.
The past week has not been a pleasant one, but it has been a fruitful one. I won’t bore you with a lot of autobiography, but I will say that the Holy Spirit has been very busy, turning over some rocks in the heart that have nasty things living under them. And since some of them concern youse guys (who have been way more patient with me than I would be if I were reading me over the past several years) I think I owe some apologies.
You know how something can be right in front of your face and you can’t see it? That’s what it’s been for me this week and really for a good number of years. I’ve sensed that something is wrong, but not been able to really get it or know what to do about it. Partly I spent a lot of time thinking about the reaction to this piece, in which it was very plain that the issue for readers was simply that I had offended and angered a lot of people for a long time. But in many ways, the reactions to that piece just seemed to recapitulate a lot of reactions over the years. It seemed obvious to me that the problem was me, not my readers (since I don’t believe in conspiracy theories). My assumption is that when a random sample of people all report a very similar experience, that’s because they are reacting to something that is there, not conspiring to create an illusion of something that is not.
Canadians are famously poked fun at for our readiness to say "Sorry". Sure, it can be spoken as a meaningless "oops", an attempt at self absolution, or mumbled as a less than intimate "meh", but it is more often than not a sincere expression or idiom that reflects our national concern for avoiding or resolving conflict, our willingness to consider others' feelings before our own and to assume responsibility for our actions, even taking the heat when another person may be at fault. Hey, we're a nation of peacekeepers. Our military's reputation for sound judgement and fair-minded resolve amidst crisis is the reason many nations have called upon our services to help restore order and justice in war torn societies. When we fall short of that honoured status, ours is a national mea culpa.

The day we forget to say sorry is the day we forget what it means to be forgiven. To forgive someone is to release him or her from the shackles of despair, and to release oneself from the same shackles. If you're burdened by a grudge you are holding, let it go. Forgive in person or, if circumstances do not permit a direct encounter, in absentia. Unless the person you have offended has passed from this world, ask God for an opportunity to make amends with anyone you may have offended. Be prudent; some mistakes should only be shared under the seal of confession. A spouse need not be burdened by some mistake you made in the distant past before you were married. Indeed, if you haven't already, take your sins to the Sacrament of Penance. If you are the one in need forgiveness, ask God for the grace to apologize. Oh, and go to confession. Do not hesitate; freedom awaits.



  1. Hello, we are an online shop ( ) which sells communion dressess specially .After visiting your blog,we would like to collaborate with you. Could you please contact us at so that we can reply you about the details if you are also interested in it ? Looking forward to your reply. Thank you very much.

    1. The dresses and accessories are outstanding!


"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.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...