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Saving the Catholic Internet From Itself

computer keyboardYou may have heard that the blogosphere (the community of Catholic bloggers) has been involved in a bit of controversy lately.  If you haven’t, good for you.  The rest of us lost a week or two of our lives we can never reclaim.  I’m really not interested in rehashing the sordid details of what started the battle.

Like all great controversies, this had nothing to do with what the Pope did or didn’t do.  It was a chance for the warring factions in the Church to continue their war against each other.  And they did so with a vengeance.  While everyone wanted to gin up the outrage, most people watched on in disgust as orthodox catholics went after each other in ways they would never against their own vices or the devil.  Once you stepped out of the echo chamber, it wasn’t “who was right” but rather “both were wrong.”

About the only good thing that happened out of this affair is the issue of civility in online discourse is being forced upon the Catholic consciousness.  In my opinion, this is a discussion that is over a decade in the making.  The unfiltered nature of the internet allows a lot of really interesting commentary.  Without first being a blogger, I am pretty certain there is next to no chance my opinions would have found an audience in  the “mainstream” Catholic commentary of that time.  From there I would have never moved on to being editor here, and also having a fairly popular bi-weekly column elsewhere.

Yet for every blessing, there is a clear curse in the tradeoff.  Having no editorial oversight means you can post opinions freely.  It also means you inevitably post things you shouldn’t have.  This problem occurs on steroids when you go to Facebook or Twitter.  (Why is an interesting debate for another time.)  A shoot might be raw and convey emotion better.  Yet emotion can also lead to us saying some pretty stupid things.

If Catholics online are going to flourish and do something beyond ginning up controversy and peddling outrage porn, we need to keep a few things in mind.  Since the way that debate occurs is difficult (but not impossible) to regulate, we can limit its damage by applying certain virtues to our online intercourse with our fellow Catholics

First and foremost, Catholics need to accept that there is such a thing as legitimacy in diversity.  Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean someone needs to be silenced or stigmatized.  One of the truly regrettable parts of this entire affair is that people on both sides tried to make it personal.  Various bloggers and writers had their jobs threatened.  They weren’t threatened because they said something heretical.  They weren’t threatened because they were under some punishment by their local ordinary.  They were threatened because they said or reported something unpopular.  Pope Benedict XV warned against this type of mentality a century ago(!):

As regards matters in which without harm to faith or discipline-in the absence of any authoritative intervention of the Apostolic See- there is room for divergent opinions, it is clearly the right of everyone to express and defend his own opinion. But in such discussions no expressions should be used which might constitute serious breaches of charity; let each one freely defend his own opinion, but let it be done with due moderation, so that no one should consider himself entitled to affix on those who merely do not agree with his ideas the stigma of disloyalty to faith or to discipline.

In that exhortation, Benedict warns against breaches of charity.  What might such a breach look like?  St. Pius X condemned one style of breach that I feel is quite relevant.

…..It is vain to hope to attract souls to God by a bitter zeal. On the contrary, harm is done more often than good by taunting men harshly with their faults, and reproving their vices with asperity. True the Apostle exhorted Timothy: “Accuse, beseech, rebuke,” but he took care to add: “with all patience” (11. Tim. iv., 2)…  This charity, “patient and kind” (1. Cor. xiii., 4.), will extend itself also to those who are hostile to us and persecute us. “We are reviled,” thus did St. Paul protest, “and we bless; we are persecuted and we suffer it; we are blasphemed and we entreat” (1. Cor., iv., 12, s.). They perhaps seem to be worse than they really are. Their associations with others, prejudice, the counsel, advice and example of others, and finally an ill-advised shame have dragged them to the side of the impious; but their wills are not so depraved as they themselves would seek to make people believe.

“They perhaps seem worse than they really are.”  How often does our writing about others reflect that?  How often do we try to give someone the benefit of the doubt before hitting the post button?  How often do we admit that nobody, for better or worse, is entirely consistent in their ideology?

In addition to these concerns about charity, we also need to exercise greater humility in our own actions.  When you hit post, what are you bringing to the table that is unique and worth hearing?  If you feel you need to protect the leader of the worlds largest religion from some amateur blogger/reporter somewhere “bashing” him, I submit the Pope will survive without your writing.

If you feel that you need to boldly step up and protect the Church from the pope, that without your counsel people will fall sway to some alleged errors the pope may or may not profess, be warned that Blessed Pius IX doesn’t really like such an idea  (Quartus Supra, paragraph 10).  While a pope being wrong isn’t something unheard of, it is wise to ask ourselves if things are what we see them to be, or is this another case of St. Gelasius’ warning that “the flock ought to follow the shepherd who calls them back to safe pastures, rather than the shepherd follow the flock as it wanders off the road”?

A final bit of advice would be to heed the admonition of St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians  (1 Cor 6:1-5).  In it he deplores the practice of Christians taking each other to court to attempt to get damages from the other.  Normally such courts were coupled by non-believers, and shame was brought down upon all Christians because of this pettiness.  St. Paul reminds them that instead they should have a “wise man who is able to judge the brethren.”

While individual mileage may vary, Catholics have such an institution present.  It is called the local bishop.  If you think someone is doing something so damaging to the Catholic Faith that they need to be silenced, present your case before the Bishop.  After him, keep going up the chain if you feel the need to.  While they might delay or reject taking action because they are modernist heathens, they also might delay or reject taking action because your little crusade is flawed and injurious to someone needlessly.  Somehow, and I don’t know how, the point of the Catholic Internet seemed to be Orthodoxy Cop.

None of this is to say that debate or criticism can’t happen.  It does happen, it should happen, and it must happen.  As Benedict stated, everyone should be entitled to their own opinion in matters in which the Apostolic See hasn’t decisively intervened.   Especially when the question isn’t doctrine, but how to apply said doctrine.   Yet the way that debate occurs must be regulated, and that regulation must begin at home.

I understand the approach of “my brother is wrong, not evil, but given the fact Rome hasn’t ruled definitively, I have to allow him to speak, and if there’s a serious problem, rely on what the bishops say, not me” won’t lead to a lot of web traffic.  Yet it just might help Catholics rediscover the purpose of writing as a Catholic:  as a way to help further the Gospel and educate the faithful.


Kevin Tierney is an Associate Editor of the Learn and Live the Faith Section at Catholic Lane.  He also blogs at http://commmonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com.  You may contact him on Facebook, Google+  or follow him on Twitter @CatholicSmark.
  • Excellent piece and well said!

  • johnnyc

    Thank God we have great Bishop’s that recognize the problem and are speaking up about it. Liberals now, as they did after Vatican II with the so called ‘spirit’ of Vatican II, are doing much damage to the Church and yes we do have an obligation to confront them.

    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/features/2014/06/06/bishop-athanasius-schneider-we-are-in-the-fourth-great-crisis-of-the-church/

  • I’ve long thought we need to bring back a new version of the Office of the Censor in many diocese. Somebody whose official job is to give a rating to blogs when asked by the author to do so.

    I’ve even got a little cloud based webservice architected out in my head to do so, and if I thought any Bishop was actually interested, I’d do so in a heartbeat (basically, a single database table, tied to two pages. The first page returns an img tag suitable for an iframe. If the requesting URL doesn’t exist in the database yet, it adds it and marks it as “unrated”. If the URL exists and is marked as “Nihil Obstat”, the first page displays that. If the URL exists and is marked “erroneous” the first page displays that, along with the contents of a comments field. The second page is just an internal administrative maintenance page for the first, requiring login by the Office of Censor employees- it gives a list of URLs, allowing the user to open them in new tabs, and then change their status and comment appropriately).

    • I’m not sure about the logistics of it, but I think it’s an idea worth exploring. Bishops should be involved in the activities of their flock. that includes blogging. While there’s a worry you’ll get a few agenda-driven bishops who will go around suppressing anything they don’t like (as atraditionalist I’ve seen that story far too often), the gravity of the problem has reached a point where it can’t just be quietly ignored anymore.

      • I don’t know of any Bishop who has a low enough workload to be his own Office of the Censor- this is usually regulated to a committee in the Chancery office. I’m just asking for that committee to take on a new task, one closely related to the job they should have already been doing, reviewing books to forward to the Bishop for imprimatur or Nihil Obstat.

        The really scary part is fitting such a new task into the budget.

    • Phil Steinacker

      I have grave concerns that too many bishops rarely crack down on progressives in the Church. In contrast, it seems only conservatives and tradtionalist suffer under the authority of a bishop.

      I suspect that the Catholci faithful can do a better job of letting blogges know when they have gone too far. I stopped reading Mark Shea after he reneged on his apology for having viciously and bitterly attacked those who disagreed with him. He held to it for a few weeks but then fell back into his bad habits. However, I have seen many comments elsewhere by Catholics who – like me – refuse to return to his blog or read his column.

      • I’ve largely stopped reading him too when he basically said that those who support traditional marriage and understand the historical Crusades and Inquisition should stop reading him. He was in mourning at the time (having just lost his mother) but I haven’t had time to go back since to see if “Good Mark” has returned.

      • goral

        Shea is still blaming Bush for torturing the murderers that B. Husein has just cut loose. They’re both attack dogs with very thin skins. For all his good writing, he weaves facts with fiction.
        His opinions are troubling and he can only be taken seriously on a blog that is out there in left field.

    • TC

      I don’t know if Petersnet is still around, but they used to review sites for orthodoxy. The reviews were like a traffic light – Red, Yellow, Green.

      http://www.cathworld.org/worlds/cath/aveverum/petersnet.html

      • steve5656546346

        They are still around at Catholic Culture dot org. (They take a jaundiced view of traditional Catholicism generally speaking.)

  • Amateur Brain Surgeon

    Your proposal illustrates how the net is capable of policing itself whereas I doubt there are any Cardinals meeting to try and decide what to do with a Pope who, routinely, attacks part of his flock.

    His nasty and abusive name-calling is a scandal and ABS can not recall ever hearing any other Pope so publicly disdainful of those he clearly can not even tolerate nor has he ever read about such a Pontiff.

    There even exists a well-known blog that is accumulating a list of his insults.

    Fifty years ago, who could have even imagined – absent LSD and Absinthe – a Pope who would act like he acts?

    Back then, it was unthinkable , but we have rapidly become inured to his praxis, haven’t we?

    So, knowing that nobody is going to stop he who has ultimate power, I guess it only makes sense to try and control those who have no power – even though that is a bit like blaming the victims.

    • goral

      I’m not a big fan of Pope Francis but I was not aware that he exercises “nasty and abusive name-calling”. Which blog catalogs a history of his “insults”?

      • He certainly does use colorful language to describe the problems in the Church. It’s a tradeoff. People want a pope who isn’t in an academic ivory tower, and those popes will be a bit more colorful in their language.

        • Amateur Brain Surgeon

          No. He is sui generis when it comes to Popes insulting his flock.

          Ivory tower? Pope Saint John Paul II travelled more than Rick Steves (sp?)

          • bill b

            ABS,
            He was though in an ivory tower self built when he refused to examine criticisms of sex abuse by Fr. Maciel Macial Delgollado and by Cardinal Groer of Austria …let alone having been warned of the general crisis in 1985 with the Gauthe case in all papers and on tv.
            Or look at his catechism on the death penalty. You can tell he had no idea that six Catholic countries with no death penalty are in the top 20 worst murderous countries on earth.
            He believed against his own Bishop Hurley that
            South Africa was not torturing prisoners. Later the high court there backed Bishop Hurley’s early and prescient warning.
            You can travel and still have your own ivory tower.

          • Almario Javier

            Urban VI? Heck, Pio Nono? The Holy Father is not being sui generis.

    • I don’t see how the net is capable of policing itself. If it was, then posts like this would be rare. Instead, it seems the consensus developing now is that SOMETHING, ANYTHING needs to be done.
      As far as the language used, trads have long warned about the danger of becoming too reactionary within our ranks. Why is it suddenly a grave scandal when the Pope does it as well?

      For all his imperfection, he never once said that those who loved the Latin Mass were a “problem” that needed “solving”, as the CDW did, and JPII explicitly approved their statement. I think people need a thicker skin.
      We’ve lived through 50 years of crisis in the Church, and the faith has been watered down in many areas. Are we really so arrogant as to think that even we “smart” Catholics weren’t impacted by this, or that we don’t have a list of spiritual maladies that really need cleansing?

      That’s what I more ask when it comes to Francis: whatever I think of the word choice, is he describing a real problem? I think he is.

      • Amateur Brain Surgeon

        Why is it suddenly a grave scandal when the Pope does it as well?

        You denigrate trads who are too reactionary and use bad language and then you say what is so bad if the Pope does the same thing?

        That makes no sense to me; the fish rots from the tail up, perhaps.

        Were you to use foul language in front of your children,you’d never try to excuse your scurrility by claiming is was no worse then the language your chidden had picked-up from MTV.

        Our Holy Father took advantage of the complaints of five sappers within the FFI and he is dismantling that great order, Nuns and all; and one of the five sappers admitted he was not being honest.

        He has already, accurately enough, described Summorum Pontificum as an act of tolerance and who does not think that is headed for the dustbin of history?

        ABS has a thick skin and he knows it is no sin to think and write publicly about what he loves more than life itself – Holy Mother Church, The Ark of Salvation – and even Bishop Schneider is, publicly, speaking about a coming split within the church.

        He is being polite and using diplomatic language; the split occurred at V2; there was a rupture; there was a revolution within the Form of Catholicism;and it is becoming clearer every day and Our Holy father is speeding that process along.

        There are legitimate disputes about the content of the documents of Vatican Two but when the disputants bring their arguments to the Church, the Church does not settle the dispute (as Holy Writ assures us it will) but it merely tells those who find confusion in the documents to V2 to read the documents of V2 – as though the questionable documents are there own interpretation.

        Msgr. Brunero Gherardini and Bishop Athanasius Schneider are both on record, publicly, as asking for a definitive, infallible judgement of the content of V2 but the Magisterium is not willing to judge its own works; no, it is too busy apologising for the works of long dead Catholics and building peace by praying with those members of false faiths.

        Their actions are even worse than the Pope’s cavalier commentary on all things small-minded and gross.

        • John Flaherty

          I think if Vatican II would be properly interpreted both according to what the documents, themselves, actually say AND what (now St.) John Paul II wrote of them, we would be in much better shape.
          Sadly, too many seem unwilling to even admit that the Council Fathers wrote anything of import. Too many seem enamored of the “Spirit of Vatican II”, not the actual “law”.

          To his credit, Pope Francis has seemed to me to begin to admit to this problem these past few months, albeit very weakly. I don’t expect to see these trials ended until he or a large number of bishops act as though faith has serious implications.
          Right now, he and his closest advisors seem a little too intent on being friends with those who are distant from the Church. He doesn’t seem concerned as much with actually teaching anyone the hard part of the Church’s teachings. Not firmly enough, anyway.

          Too many still won’t repent from sin.

          • Amateur Brain Surgeon

            When faithful professionally trained theologians read the texts and come to completely different conclusions about the content of the documents of V2 then that alone illustrates the problems of the very documents of V2 and so they can not be the key to its interpretation for they are, rather, the very source of the disagreements.

            V2 was unlike any other ecumenical council in that it chose to conduct itself on a pastoral level but never chose to define Pastoral and so we have the cease where a Bishop of one Diocese will allow celebration of the Mass for Pastoral reasons whereas an Ordinary in an adjacent Diocese refuses permission for the Mass and he cites Pastoral reasons for doing so.

            Msgr Brunero Gherardhini isolated the crucial key to resolving the confusion about the continent of the V2 documents.

            He sais that what is needed is not a declamation of continuity but rather, a demonstration – and he notes that is an impossible task for one man but it is so huge of a task that it will require teams of experts.

            But, the Magisterium is into declamation, not demonstration; and it is far more interested in existing as Ecclesia Dialogus rather than existing as Ecclesia Docens.

      • John Flaherty

        Kevin, if Pope Francis never said that those who loved the Latin Mass were a problem, neither has he been terribly warm to the same people. If anything, I have felt personally insulted by his actions and statements on more than one occasion.

        If the media have been agog over Francis, I have rarely felt myself more an outcast. It has been in no small part because I read a traditionalist blog frequently that I have not yet come to flatly despise the man and his cohort.
        If it might be a good thing to challenge people to more deeply understand the reasons for why rules and practices exist, it’s not such a good thing to simply ignore the rules and appear to “reach out” to someone. I have never considered the papacy to be a personal ministry in the sense he has tried to offer; I wish he’d take the role of “being pope” more seriously. His example does not help in catechizing anyone. Instead, most point to his efforts and make excuses all the more stubbornly

        I also dispute whether bishops should be policing the internet.

        If something must be done, I suggest that bishops need to exercise their shepherd’s staffs a great deal more on key subjects of the day, such as abortion.
        I find it disgustingly amusing that anyone would consider policing the ‘net now: Publications such as NC Reporter have been spouting near anti-Catholic nonsense for some decades now, but haven’t been checked in any effective manner by bishops.

        If anything, the vast majority of action that I’ve witnessed these past 10 years has been to bury almost any trace of traditional mind and practice as deeply as possible.

        • Almario Javier

          The problem is that the shepherds’ staffs more often than not are restricted by such things as the Code of Canon Law, even the 1917 version. Since Trent it’s remarkably hard to excommunicate people. Unlike the Pope, the bishops are most certainly bound by the CIC.

  • Terrye Newkirk

    Nicely done, Kevin. God help me to speak up when I should. And shut up ditto.

  • John Flaherty

    I’m inclined to think that we should not attempt regulating the internet. If various Catholic factions make nasty comments, they’ll become known for having done so soon enough. I dread the idea of having the bishops at large standing guard though, because I have zero confidence in their willingness to be just.

    Given the degree of promotion of Summorum Ponitifucum that I haven’t seen from the bishops; given the occasions I’ve heard about with priests being transferred about when they said something too distinctly Catholic; given what I have not seen of the bishops reigning in all manner of dissenting voices, I think handing them more power would be a very, very bad idea.

    We need priests who’re willing to challenge the culture to be holy. All we seem to get from the bishops is endless dialogue that gives the culture too much room to run.

  • LarryD

    Good article, Kevin.

    Some of the commenters are worried that if local bishops exercised their authority over bloggers in their dioceses, those of the Traditionalist bent would be suppressed or censured. Yet the incident Kevin is referring to, if I’m presuming correctly, doesn’t involve that at all; rather, the unChristian and uncharitable behavior of two fairly well known bloggers getting paid for their work. I’d be surprised if their respective bishops, and perhaps their parish priests, don’t read them from time to time – and if so, and they choose to not address this, then shame on them for not doing so.

    I’m in full support behind diocesan oversight on Catholic blogs. It’s an idea whose time has come.

  • senrex

    So after fifty years of Revolution where Catholic bishops have aided and abetted, either proactively or by their silence the overwhelming majority of leftist theological crackpots, you expect them to police the internet? They can’t even police what goes on in the sanctuaries and classrooms of their respective dioceses.

    The real problem is that the battle for the Church has NOT been engaged. During the Arian heresy the opposing sides burnt each other’s churches down. The Church survived. It’ll survive the petty little demigods of the internet.

    • goral

      Neither can they police the colleges and universities that are under their authority. These institutions have been the breeding grounds for pseudo-intellectual, high browed, marxists who continue to mold the Faith to their liking. How about the high profile catholic politicians who enact and support laws contrary to the Church’s teaching. They are received with distinction at catholic gatherings. Now they’re all tied in knots trying to figure out what to do with the immoral obamacare they supported.
      We have great individual bishops but as a group, as USCCB, they are no better than the NAACP.

      • Almario Javier

        Problem is canon law leaves them with little ability to actually police their colleges. Most Catholic universities are run by religious orders, and their universities are run independent of diocesan oversight. Complaints of this sort are properly referred to the superior of the orders running the institutions, largely in Rome. Bishops can’t actually do something that is not in their jurisdiction; location in a diocese is not enough to confer jurisdiction.

        As for Obamacare, the main controversy is WH implementation is immoral, not the general idea per se. Not everyrhing that comes out of a Democrat’s mouth is contrary to Church teaching.

  • AugustineThomas

    I wish we had more “orthodoxy cops”.. I’m getting tired of all the simple heretics!

  • daisy

    What a terrible idea. I don’t want someone telling me what I can write on my blog.

    • Almario Javier

      But the Church, particularly our bishops, regularly and have traditionally told us what we can publish, read, even watch. No enforcement authority, but our prelates do actually have the right to tell us this.

    • Yet in the past, when nonsense seldom appeared in the public sphere, it was precisely because Bishops and superiors had real jurisdiction and oversight over what was published. Sure, it was a tradeoff (in that sometimes orthodox people got silenced due to ecclesial politics), but I’d say on the whole, the process worked, or at least we should now appreciate it a bit more today.

      I don’t think it would be practical to impose some top down solution. But greater pastoral awareness of this issue (preach about our social media behavior from the pulpits), admonishment from more clerics and bishops of these individuals, and a voluntary process with real stipulations where Catholic bloggers can have the approval of their diocese. In some dioceses that will mean more than others, and that’s a good thing. Introduce some regulation and let the market sort it out.

  • goral

    We do need the “Ten Rules for fair play and justice for all”, for the internet.
    What our bishops would give us is what the Brazilian bishops recently presented to their gov’t.

    “Another initiative geared towards rendering the (soccer) tournament ethically
    successful comes from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil and
    the Conference of Religious of Brazil in collaboration with the Catholic
    Church in Germany.

    This initiative involves a campaign called “Steilpass” that aims to
    present the Brazilian government with “Ten Rules for fair play and
    justice for all”.
    The rules given by “Steilpass” highlight the need to create decent
    work for all; access to public education; to ensure democratic control
    of justice; equitable rural and agrarian reforms; democratic control of
    the media; the promotion and protection of young people from violence;
    the preservation of cultural diversity of peoples; the fight against
    corruption and for transparency; initiatives to promote the social
    commitment of citizens; health care for all.”

    At this time in history, this is the mind and culture of the Church around the world. Best to keep them out of the internet cafeteria until something better
    than stalepass can be served.

    • Almario Javier

      What there is contrary to church teaching?

      • JTLiuzza

        It is a ridiculous leftist manifesto masquerading as the mind of the Church. That’s the problem. The Church’s primary mandate is to save souls and preach the Gospel to all nations and peoples. Where does that appear even obliquely in those “rules for fair play and justice?”

        • Almario Javier

          They seem to rely a lot on principles of Catholic Social Teaching. If a sovereign treats their subjects unjustly through specific means (which arguably the Brazilian Government has done) the Church has always reserved the right, especially in the case of a Catholic State like Brazil, to admonish said sovereigns, and present recommendations on how to ameliorate such unjust policies, and to remind them of their duties. Hardly a leftist concept. Perhaps Holy Mother Church is interested in saving the soul of those members of the Brazilian Government who are Catholic. Hardly leftist, rather medieval.

      • goral

        On the surface Almario, all are charitable and legitimate demands. The problem is in the implementation of these ambitious goals (no punt intended)
        Let’s examine them one by one:
        1. Create decent work for all – This one is too easy.
        The gov’t doesn’t create work unless we’re talking about non-productive, capital draining, mindless paperwork.
        2. Access to public education – one word: school buses.
        Up to 75% of any town’s budget goes to public schools.
        The bishops close schools that cost so much and have such dismal results.
        3. Democratic control of justice – Can these guys reason?
        You want to give gov’t the power over jobs and the money to under-educate your kids and then you want the people to have control of justice. Power and money breeds corruption, 100% guarantee.
        4. Equitable rural and agrarian reforms – need more info., the gov’t can set policy that can be helpful.
        5. Democratic control of the media – We have democratic control of the media, by that I mean the Democrat party controls the media or is controlled by the media. In any case, the truth is hard to come by. As long as the Church disseminates the truth, it doesn’t matter who controls the lying media.
        6. The promotion and protection of young people from violence – Great job for the gov’t.
        7. The preservation of cultural diversity of peoples – I think this one was inserted by the bishops’ staff worker to get a pat on the back. It’s essentially lefty mambo-jumbo that defies analysts.
        8. The fight against corruption and for transparency – See #3 9. Initiatives to promote the social commitment of citizens – See #7, mambo-jumbo times 10.
        10. Health care for all – OMG!!!!!!!
        We’ve heard this before and our bishops tripped over their cassocks on the way to the polls. They swallowed this one deeper than a cat fish takes in bait.

        In short these ten points are taken right from Barak’s campaign speech and a lawsuit may be on the way.
        Then again he might be flattered that other do-gooders are listening.

  • Going over various responses, I see a few objections:

    1.) Nobody should tell me what to say!
    2.) Under such a situation, orthodox individuals are likelier to suffer
    3.) The Market is working, stop trying to interfere!
    4.) The logistics of such would be pretty daunting.

    To which I say:

    1.) Tough. Deal with it. You are speaking about the Catholic Faith. It is not your opinions you are presenting but Catholic truth. As a result, it is accountable to someone.

    2.) This is a real concern. Yet I’m not really convinced it’s something that can’t be overcome. Summorum Pontificum is here to stay. As a result, there will be traditionalists, and they will be active in the Church. Even if a pope wanted to abolish it, he would probably only get an abolishment of a few years, maybe a decade. The trend really is set in stone. You might not see Latin masses ever being a majority in the West again. But they will be a presence that continues to grow for some time.

    Another thing to say: sometimes, we have to trust the Spirit. If we believe the message is from God, it will find a way to get out, even if we get silenced. If anything, that silence tends to get vindicated in history. Meanwhile, the nonsense which was silenced is forgotten by history. Bishops seldom are custodians of the liturgy in their dioceses. that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be, or that they shouldn’t be rightly held accountable when they aren’t.

    3.) For all the talk of sorting and the blogosphere policing itself, this is something which is more a meme than a fact. Not only has it proven incapable of policing itself (witness the growing rancor), but often times it has tried to act as a gatekeeper….. to shut down the opinions of faithful Catholics. The policing action more often than not is an act of tribal warfare.

    4.) I’m not sure we should start with some advanced program. First, priests need to preach on our behavior in social media more. Proverbs anticipated it when it condemned the actions of those who think that since they do something in secrecy and anonymity they will have a clean conscience. Bishops need to do this as well. Even if just to remind everyone that while you are part of his flock, you will practice charity.

    I’d say the final part (for now) would be as others mentioned, a voluntary system. Submit your blog/website for review. If it passes review, you can display that you were “approved.’ Yet that approval should be conditional and have real stipulations. Personal attacks and breaches against charity should lead to its revocation just as much as spouting heretical nonsense does.

    • Maria

      Someone should police the Bishops and Cardinals first. I have zero trust in them. I think someone should report you to your Bishop, just to be fair. After all, we lay people don’t know our Faith very well and hey, this sounds a little Communistic/Marxist, so just to be sure we should report you to your Bishop. Who might he be?

      • Maria

        Reinstate the Spanish Inquistion! “No one ever expects the Spanish Inquistion!” Reading a good book on the subject at the moment – Characters of the Inquistion. Worth the read.

      • Almario Javier

        If we have zero trust in their authority to, you know, lead our Church, which along with religious superiors, is their job, where does that leave us leadership wise? You don’t have to like them, but you should at least recognise their authority, the same way you acknowledge the authority of the State.

    • “… often times it has tried to act as a gatekeeper….. to shut down the opinions of faithful Catholics. The policing action more often than not is an act of tribal warfare….”
      Agreed….hardly seems a worthwhile endeavor if we are unable to “police” ourselves along the way….

    • John Flaherty

      To which I counter:

      1. You too are representing Catholic faith online, Kevin. In my opinion though, this blog posting represents the epitome of hypocrisy. You start by commenting about a controversy, refuse to even offer a Cliff’s Notes version, then proceed to tell us we ought to regulate the internet. Why? Because…you are unhappy with the state of affairs. If we’re accountable to someone, well, so are you. But I see no effort made here to suggest an appropriate authority. Makes me wonder: Who do you think appropriate? I think we’ve already made clear that we don’t trust diocesan chanceries on this.

      2. Summorum Pontificum may be here to stay, but I think the last several years prove that orthodox views, never mind traditional ones, have any real welcome in the Church today. The mere existence of law allowing for the traditional Mass has not caused the Church to review and revitalize older practices. Anything from before 1970 still very much struggles to survive.

      3. If you wish to see less rancor or if you believe the blogosphere has failed at policing itself, it’d be wise to explain why certain publications have not been publicly condemned or why various dissident voices in the Church have not suffered public censure. I find it incredible that anyone would consider the troubles in the Church, then decide to assault the internet. If anything, the internet merely allows everyone to more openly discuss the serious flaws that everyone has known about for some time.

      4. To whom would you suggest that a website should be submitted for review? I might point out to you that we already have a “mainstream Catholic media” group that suffers criticism from others who’re not so ecstatic about how the Church currently handles matters. I think we all have begun learning more about who is the bishop of what diocese; I don’t see that being a help to anyone.

      More than anything, I think this sort of idea tends to foul the waters even a little more.
      We don’t need more regulation of the internet by the Church. We need bishops to teach Truth and expect their priests to act likewise. Most of the internet difficulty will clear itself after they take faith more seriously.

      • Almario Javier

        On the third point:

        We already submit books for diocesan review. One certainly isn’t free to publish a book and call it Catholic theology without approval from one’s bishop. Why, aside from practicalities, is the internet suddenly exempt?

        • John Flaherty

          Where did the “suddenly” part come from?
          It’s true enough that books have required an imprimatur and/or nihil obstat. I’m not certain when that began, but it happened primarily to ensure that when a person found a book that proclaimed to be Catholic, that the reader could know that a Catholic had actually reviewed it, the better to ensure they didn’t start reading nonsense.
          I would point out though that such an approach to the internet would be highly impractical, and unneeded, if only because of the number of web sites that people have assembled. If someone doesn’t like what one web site has to say, they can certainly find a differing viewpoint elsewhere.
          Again, if you wish to argue that bishops need to exercise greater control over the teaching message of the Church, we still need a competent explanation for why publications such as NC Reporter still exist. That publication has been notorious for decades with regard to their typical degree of fidelity to actual Catholic teaching.
          I think it absurd to attempt to regulate the internet if they won’t take action against long-standing, possibly heretical, print publications.

          Internet sites exist in no small part because numerous of us grew weary of reading drivel.

      • 1.) There is no such thing as free speech when it comes to the Gospel. As Pius IX, Leo XIII and Pius X were keen of reminding us, error has no rights. People might have rights, but error does not. If people want to see bloggers offering profanity and rumor campaigns on trying to get others fired, they can do so elsewhere.
        2.) If you expect a few years to change a course that has been happening for roughly a century, I’m not sure what to tell you. Personally, I’m not too interested in some massive “restoration.” It ain’t gonna happen. But what can happen is I can help build up tradition locally. There it will flourish, and it has flourished where I am. And it flourishes because traditionalists have taken th etools given to them (a big one being Summorum Pontificum) and work.
        3.) Bishops failing to do their job doesn’t mean they get a free pass from still being told to do the job. We can walk and chew gum at the same time, so we can still decry heretical publications in print, heretical blogs, acidic commentary in print, and acidic commentary in blogs.
        Consider me skeptical that the problem corrects itself when people start acting like angels and do everything right. I thought pit and parcel of being a traditionalist was understanding that this sort of stuff will always be around, ergo you take that into account when speaking on matters.

        • John Flaherty

          1. Baloney! If error has no rights, it’d be good to know why various publications that’re only thinly Catholic still exist. If you’re peeved that people curse on the internet, let’s be bothered to remember that such public displays generally do not encourage further worthwhile debate. If someone curses on the ‘net, the conversation usually doesn’t last much longer.
          2. First, the Novus Ordo was imposed in 1969, not 1914. That being the case, you can’t argue that traditional ideals have been hampered for a century. If you don’t see a great “restoration” as a practical option, I point out how the typical Novus Ordo doesn’t seem to be leading people to deeper faith very well. If anything, people return in spite of it. If we want to see the Church grow, i think the bishops will need actually follow the requirements of Summorum Pontificum. When a parish in this area winds up proclaiming itself as the traditional Mass parish of the Archdiocese, I’d say there’s a distinct problem.
          3. I think people have already been making their choices, whether the bishops act or not. I don’t think we need bishops telling us what we can read and what we can’t if they aren’t willing to begin preaching more vigorously from the pulpit and fighting off the IRS for doing so.

          I’m not sure what you mean by the last. If you mean that traditionalists might have a more ready knowledge that they won’t be embraced with open arms, well, I think that’s pretty clear. I think that’s part of the problem. I don’t see the riffraff of the internet disappearing merely because a bishop tells them to shoo. They haven’t in print, why would they otherwise?
          If the bishops or we faithful wish to see the Church’s ideals have an impact outside the Church, we’ll need to behave ourselves. Again though, I don’t think that’ll happen if the bishops flail away at the internet, but ignore all the other nonsense going on.

          Most internet idiocy that I’ve seen has come about primarily because the bishops have simply ignored existing problems for too long.
          Trying to forbid someone from saying something won’t change that; it’ll merely mean that people grouch in whatever other venue they can find, possibly a worse one, like their local community.
          Best that they be allowed to vent on the ‘net where they’re quasi-anonymous.

          • 1.) Again, it’s wrong to say that a Bishop who does his job badly means he shouldn’t be doing the job. The Bishops job is to be custodian of the liturgy. A lot of bishops don’t do that. Does that mean good bishops shouldn’t? Should Bishop Schneider allow heretics to publish in his diocese, since most bishops don’t do anything when it comes to heretics?
            2.) The crisis in the Church is not caused by the Novus Ordo Missae. It didn’t help, but the modernist crisis (and its offshoots) have been going on for a long time, and Popes have battled against them with varying degrees of success.
            I also see only one parish being a “traditional mass parish” per diocese as a problem. But endless whining online isn’t going to do much about that. The only way that gets fixed is if one actually goes out and recruits people to the cause. telling someone “lol, you’re not really catholic unless you come to my mass” probably isn’t going to do that.
            3.) What I meant by the last is I think you are being a little too utopian. The problem will mostly solve itself once the Bishops start acting perfect. The Bishops won’t ever act perfect, and they won’t even come close. Even in golden ages, you had a lot of bad leaders, or at least alot of indifferent leaders. Is the internet the cause of the crisis in the Church? Of course not. Lax leadership has done a ton of damage.

            But good bishops should be able to tell bloggers in their flock (and all of us for that matter) to stop swearing, stop trying to ruin the careers of fellow Catholics, and for crying out loud, use a bit of charity in your writing. That God notices your actions when done in pseudo-anonymity, even if nobody else does. That most bishops might be bad bishops doesn’t change that fact.

          • John Flaherty

            1. I think you misunderstand my point. Whether a bishop allows for error to be espoused in public or not, the error will certainly not cease to exist. Handing the reigns of web content to bishops will not cause error to cease being proposed, it’ll merely either find another way to express the same idea, or else find some other means to express itself.
            I think it best to allow the internet to be primarily self-policed. In that way, we can have the debate “in public” where everyone who wishes to see and hear may do so. Trying to regulate that won’t help anything. A Syllabus of Errors that explains why a group of ideas may not be held would be good; trying to suppress access to the internet would not. Correct behavior, not thought processes. Though processes will ultimately be corrected by means of having to behave in a fitting manner.

            2. Even if the Novus Ordo didn’t inflict the crisis, I would say that the Ordinary Form has succeeded in allowing the crisis to grow more quickly. When you walk away from required rubrics, allowing “more judgement” on the part of celebrants and their advisors, you already allow for preferred practice to be casually dismissed in favor of “innovation”. In doing so, you dramatically increase the possibility that error will be inculcated widely.
            Thus the problem with the Novus Ordo.

            3. I have no idea what you mean about being utopian. If you’re trying to point out how bishops should be able to tell bloggers–and blog readers–that they need to be civil and cease attacking other without cause, I remind you that… bishops already possess that authority and capacity.

            If a bishop should read a blog posting that he considers promotes grave error, all he need do is find out who the blog owner is, then either contact said owner himself or contact the bishop of that area.

            Point is, I don’t see any need for new regulation of the internet because I don’t believe the bishops have need for tools they haven’t already got.

            If they simply lack interest, time, or financial resources to review internet content, I suggest that’s a ,matter of priority for resources and interest. It’s not a reason to regulate the internet.

  • J D

    If Athanasius and Nicholas thought as you did, we’d all be Arians now, with authentic Catholics being martyred long ago. Normalcy bias is a horrible thing. You sound like Establishment Republicans bemoaning the Elite having to answer to the unwashed masses! The thing that Neo-catholics have to understand is if you don’t oppose the present nadir in Church History, charitably and adamantly, then you must answer to THE MOST HIGH for all that She is committing and omitting. All of it! Can you really use The Nuremburg Defense (‘just following orders”) to justify your inaction? Today, the Lord gives poor people, but rich in spirit, the ability to speak Truth-to-Power, via this vehicle, and you would use gestapo tactics to silence them, like a certain American Administration is doing presently? Have you people no shame? If you heard a traumatized child begging for help in your house, would you mindlessly console yourself saying, “Father’s in there. It cannot be as it seems, sounds like..” Really? You can look at the before/after v-2 statistics and proudly proclaim, in Assembly-of-god gibberish, we need to double down, triple down, multiply exponentially what we have been doing the past 5 decades? Please read Our Lady of Good Counsel’s words in Ecuador, Our Lady’s words in Lasallette, Fatima, and Akita, all approved. This Church is The Church in Sardis, with the reputation of being alive, but at the point of death, if she doesn’t remember what She is, and restore. SALVE REGINA MATER MISERICORDIA ORA PRO NOBIS! VIVO CHRISTO REY!!!

    • I don’t even know where to begin here. I guess the fact I’ve been going to the Latin Mass almost exclusively since the Ecclesia Dei days, and now I’m a “Neo-Catholic” is a rather interesting turn of events.
      The rest of this is just a bunch of gibberish that was exited from a talking points generator.

      • John Flaherty

        I thought JD was pretty coherent, Kevin. All he really said was that the traditional movement has long suffered the torment of those who wish to wrestle the faith into saying something it really doesn’t.
        If you’re having problems with talking points, consider that your points don’t appear to me all that different.

        • I write a column saying that people shouldn’t be jerks online towards others. Mind you, the reason this started was a so-called “conservative” Catholic shouting off profane nonsense and their minions trying to get a traditionalist fired for you know….. reporting.
          He writes about establishment Republicans, neo-catholics, how apparently disagreeing with him means you aren’t taking action, and a reference to a bunch of private revelations.
          What does any of that have to do with civil behavior on the internet? So I’m glad you agree and think he was coherent. But I think anyone can see that it had absolutely nothing to do with what the discussion actually is. So….. talking points generator.

          • J D

            The truth, and these observations do not originate with me, is that if you don’t adore every machination of a particular diocesan chancery, one’s ability to speak, sell a book, or start a ministry are effectively destroyed by the PROFESSIONAL CATHOLIC ESTABLISHMENT, who have all dutifully received their 30 pieces of silver to melodramatically extoll the, heretofore unknown, esoteric, “ecumenical” virtues of Baal. You must pay proper tribute to the Bernadins, Mahoneys, Weaklands, Maciels, Dolans, or Bergoglios, in a certain diocese, or you will be effectively black-balled. This, of course, is one of only two conciliar dogmas enforced with the greatest ferocity, and by every canonical means: ADORE v2 and ADORE every Bishop. Every other Dogma, Doctrine, Discipline, or Deliberative Body can be looked at anew, even disparaged, mocked, demonized, just so long as the only two that matter to council fathers are rigorously adhered to.

          • Almario Javier

            You don’t have to like your superiors. Certainly you can disagree with them. But we are bound to obey them in all that is not sin.

            You cite Athanasius. But Athanasius was a bishop speaking to bishops, as was Nicholas. He had the right to do that. Unless there’s something you are not telling us, you are no bishop, nor an abbot nor any other superior. We as laymen can express our concerns, but in the end, we are no-one’s superior.

            You denigrate Vatican II as merely being a pastoral council. Some parts of it were prudential decisions as any other cpuncil has been. But on doctrine, they certainly were approved by the Pope, and certainly they intended to exercise magisterial authority over the universal Church. Sounds pretty binding to me.

          • J D

            A tree is known by it’s fruit. The virtue of obedience you cite is true. Cardinal Kaspar said all the documents of v-2 were purposely written ambiguously, so it could be all things to all people, projecting onto the documents what they wished. This is diabolical sophistry using cultural semantics as a pretext. If what you say, the conventional conciliar argument, is true, then The Church had been awash in lies before v-2. What is even more troubling is if a “modern”, “ecumenical” (masonic) Church can tacitly suggest all the Ecclesiology, prior to it’s own dubious, revealing genius, was deficient, then the precedent is set for it to happen to all and every part of The Church. ALL and EVERY part. This crisis was FORETOLD by canonized mystics, Doctors of The Church, and The Queen of All Prophets. Herself. If you would like more info on these warnings, merely ask. Wake up my brother, wake up, the hour is late..

          • Almario Javier

            So you deny that the doctrinal pronouncements of an ecumenical council, understood in the light of tradition (remember, these were approved by the Holy Father, without which the Council would have no magisterial force, as set out at Trent) are orthodox?

          • J D

            V-2 was a pastoral council, as such, unlike other councils, it was not established to address formally some DOCTRINAL difficulty, but to attack and dismember Traditional Ecclesiology, using “ecumenism” as a pretext. The Church is only saved from teaching error, as Benedict said, in a minimal sense. She is only prevented from teaching error as Dogma or Doctrine. She may fail to teach a Truth, without explicitly denying it. Bishops may be abject failures, Popes believe something privately, as Bergoglio has dome a hundred times the past 18 months, that is not in line with Church Teaching, but he will never FORMALLY teach that as See of Peter, not because of His Holiness (more a prayer than a title), but because THE HOLY SPIRIT will not allow him to, V-2 did not define any new Dogma or Doctrine, just introduced a new Ecclesiology. Approach can never be INFALLIBLY DEFINED. So, it was spectacular sophistry to have papal approval to a new approach, not DEFINED DOGMA or DOCTRINE. The Neo-Catholics have had their 50-year trial run. The Church has never been worse. Either they are liars or The Virgin, The Doctors, The Saints, the Mystics, and our eyes are. So who are you with?

          • J D

            In fact, to illustrate this circular-logic fallacy they employ, let’s look at “collegiality”. This infernal notion concocts the idea that Peter cannot act without the consent of the Bishops. Rank heresy! But, if you dress it up as an amorphous, spectral ideal, then The Pope can bless an ambiguous, vague approach. It is relativistic, intellectual farce. It’s sort of like saying is GOD so powerful he can make himself not divine? If the Pope has Supreme Authority, can he use that authority, so he doesn’t? This kind of occult thinking is based on beliefs that seek to manipulate realities for desired ends, not as a recognition of Truth and Love. The inference is clear. None of the authors of this mess were stupid. So there’s only one alternative..

          • Almario Javier

            Because God forbid he Holy Father should not exercise prudence in consulting with thpse tasked with implemwnting many of his decisions. And God forbid the bishops refrain from excessive airing of dirty laundry in dealing with someone who probably does not fall under their jurisdiction.

          • John Flaherty

            It would be very helpful if this comment would make clear what you’re referring to. The last comment I saw in this area dealt with Vatican II. I have no idea what you’re speaking of with reference to a person whom a bishop doesn’t “control”.

          • John Flaherty

            Nor is a bishop a layman’s superior in the sense you seem to argue. We’re not required to cease critiquing him and/or sit down and shut up if we disagree. Quite the contrary.
            I think it patently absurd to declare that we ought not criticize a bishop or priest merely because we aren’t ordained ourselves. They aren’t any less human for having been ordained, so it’s perfectly normal that we should emphasize the causes of disagreement. At times, people go over the top. Well, bishops do that too, sometimes. I think it acceptable to critique that.

            As to the nature of the views of Vatican II having been approved by the pope, I’ve read some interesting commentaries these past few years that seem to suggest that Vatican II was anything but infallible. I’ll let the experts in such concerns sort that one out, but in the meantime, I think it acceptable to critique a bishop when he seems to distort the meaning and intent of Vatican II.

          • Almario Javier

            Never said that you can’t crticize a bishop. But if the bishop makes a judgment xall that is not sinful, we should respect that fact and not immediately assume he is out to destroy Tradition some do. There is also a difference between critique, which is acceptable, attacking, which is not.

          • John Flaherty

            Seems to me we have a problem here. If we can agree that we shouldn’t attack a bishop, but criticism is OK, we do not always agree regarding what constitutes an “attack” and what constitutes “criticism”. Here again, I’m back to the problem that I don’t even know what conflict came about that spawned this blog posting, so I can’t tell whether someone has genuinely acted poorly–by my judgement–or if someone has merely said or done something that others don’t wish to hear.

            For what it’s worth, the only action I’ve heard about in the last few weeks relates to a traditional priest from South Africa. This priest has been withdrawn from active ministry in New York for unstated reasons, but we do know that a recent sermon included comments about New York’s attitude toward the traditional Mass. I think the timing is pretty suspicious.
            If that’s what the original dispute is all about, I think we have a real problem; in fact, one that highlights why I think regulating the Catholic internet wouldn’t work well.

          • J D

            I’m always flabbergasted when contemporary wise-men belittle the words of The MASTERPIECE OF THE MOST HIGH’s HANDS, The Scale THAT MAGNIFIES THE LORD. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that if everything in creation were exponentially multiplied for a trillion years, all of it, every known and unknown, would be like a grain of sand compared to the universe that is The Immaculate Heart. Yet, if The Most Blessed Virgin were multiplied, in the same way, for a trillion times a trillion years, She would be no more than a grain of Sand to THE UNIVERSE that is THE MOST HIGH! In this way, She MAGNIFIES THE LORD, like a scale in a photograph. These prophetic gifts given by THE MATER DEI, in these Heavenly Visitations you demean, to encourage The Remnant in these days, are as powerful today, as they were then, to the life of every soul. I will be most curious, during the general judgment, as to how those dismissing the words of The FATHER’s Handmaid, The SPIRITs Spouse, And The SON’s Mother might explain themselves. Of course, owing to the conciliar cravings to sacrifice the MATER DEI to syncretistic ideas of universal salvation, it really is no surprise that it’s adherents would describe her as a sort of “terrorist” blackmailing the Vatican with “illiterate prophets of doom.” What one of us can be saved WITHOUT Her Maternal Protection? I pity you, sir, I pity you..

          • Almario Javier

            But private revelation does not supersede the teaching and disciplinary authority of Holy Mother Church, which is derived from public revelation binding on all faithful. While approved private revelations are worthy of belief, the faithful are not bound on pain of even sin to lend them credence.

          • J D

            Correct. The Teaching Authority of Holy Mother Church is based on a tri-pod of sorts supported by Tradition, Scripture, and The Magisterium. Tradition is what The Church has always Historically taught, Scripture is accepting The Bible as the Word of God, neither adding nor omitting. The Magisterium is the proper ruling authority of The Church. Like Heaven, The Church has a Hierarchy. So does a Family, but I digress. Now, The Magisterium is inerrant so long as she rests on Tradition and Scripture. There have been objectively evil Popes. Honararius, Liberius, and Alexander the VI were just a few. Drunken debaucheries, private heretical musings, mistresses, bastard papal children made Cardinals by Papal fiat, but THE HOLY SPIRIT did not allow any of these evil men, pray they repented, to teach error as The See Of Peter. This is what the madmen would have you believe, that today, you have to see Popes as indefectible as CHRIST. This is not so, in fact, I often have to apologize to Evangelicals, so much better on the social issues than typical poorly-catechized Catholics, who are convinced that Bergy can wake up in the morning, declaring The World oblong, with every Catholic adoring such statements. tantamount to any syllable in Scripture. This Neo-catholic obfuscation is purposeful as a hedge against 1960 years of Church History, for the most part, declaring their NEW ORDER as merely old lies, repackaged as inspiration of “The Spirit”. That a spirit was involved at v-2 there can be no doubt, but one is reminded about OUR LORD’s admonition about all sins being forgiven, but sins against THE HOLY SPIRIT. One of which is to KNOWINGLY call evil good and good evil. This said, I would not discount heavenly heralds because they are troubling. They are warnings. Scripture is full of them, as well as tradition (small t). The Church in Sardis, this Epoch in Church History, can choose to be Ninevah or Sodom. But know this, whatever it is that happens, The Roman Catholic Latin Rite was to blame, firstly. Hell, The World, and The Flesh have not changed and are woefully predictable. The only thing that has changed is The Latin Rite of Roman Catholicism. The only institution with the resources to mitigate the damage of Her familiar foes, now seeks only to “dialogue” with them. God help us all.

          • John Flaherty

            Here again though, you refer to some unidentified person who has been profane on the ‘net, according to you, but you offer no evidence for me to evaluate for myself. Instead, you simply declare that we need to regulate the content of Catholic web sites because you, yourself, believe someone has acted in an unacceptable manner.

            I’m simply commenting that I think it’d be more effective to allow the alleged perpetrator to make a case as best he will, then judge the case on it’s merits. If he merely poses a large wad of screaming profanity, he’ll eventually be avoided, except for those who like reading such rubbish.

            If someone has acted stringently, but still within reasonable bounds, I don’t wish to see him silenced merely because someone doesn’t like his “tone”.

            I didn’t have a problem making sense of his comparison with secular officials or other groups. Quite the contrary. Glad to see someone else thinks that our nation has gone nuts.
            If that’s some sort of talking points generator, well, so be it. Talking points are not inherently bad; they provide a useful framework for presenting an argument.
            Seem to me the only reason you complain about talking points is…you might disagree with the content.
            That’s not a reason to shut down the conversation; that’s a reason to engage the debate and refute the merits of the points that have been offered.
            Or simply refuse to respond to idiocy, if it is, indeed, idiocy.

          • goral

            My feelings exactly. The left loves policing, but never their own. They will allow their brethren to carry matters ab absurdum while making every attempt to silence or censor their opposition. You can recognize them by these very tactics. To the lefties, the statement: let the man have the floor!, means face down, hands behind and a jackboot on the neck.

        • J D

          Thank you, sir.

      • J D

        It’s not a Latin-Mass ghetto we need, but a return to Traditional Ecclesiology. With regards to “talking points generator”, I have no idea what that means, but I do know Ecclesia Dei crumbs from the ground of the Devastated Vineyard are no consolation to anyone. You were “graciously” given the style of worship to stem the tide of the critical substance inundating and indicting this NEW ORDER Church. I gather the dirt and crumbs you ingested have you quite full. You are right in pointing to the genesis of these disorders as having been generated all the way back to Pope Leo XIII condemnation of the :Americanist” heresy to St. Piux X’s attempt to reign in modernist/occultist academics during his papacy. With two wars threatening humanity, Catholic Academics cravenly dressed up cowardice and modernism as “dialogue” and “ecumenism”, while The Holy See was trying to navigate the most maniacal century in World History. The “pastoral;” council was a haunt for hippie-heretics, groovy hymnals, and masonic concoctions masquerading as liturgy. I’m sure you can tell yourself the taste of rancid fruits, dirt, and some distant recognition of what nourished the soul previously, has always been the case, but that would be to slander the entirety of our Triumphant Tradition.

  • M. Dalrymple

    Mr. Tierney,
    Thank you so much. This post is brilliant. To note how we all sometimes write imprudent things (human nature) and then to follow it up with the rest of the post which perfectly illustrates that point! Genius!