When I decided to publish Maureen Mullarkey’s essay, Notes on a Road Show, I had no idea that First Things editor R.R. Reno would make the decision to kill off Maureen’s entire blog. The piece first appeared there, but was soon thereafter taken down on Reno’s orders. Over the past year, Maureen and I have struck up a friendly correspondence based in kindred concern, and I was given the opportunity to re-publish an earlier essay of hers, To the Point with Aesop, back in May. When she reached out to me yesterday and told me that her post on the papal visit to Cuba and the United States had become homeless, I considered it a privilege to offer it a place here at OnePeterFive.
Maureen’s obvious erudition is rivaled only by her mastery of the English language, both of which are wonderful in their unpretentious interplay. Her prose is undeniably piquant, but it’s also incredibly refreshing in its raw, unflinching honesty. When I read her words, I sense that they originate in a mind that has seen and experienced a great deal, has grasped the difference between things that are simply disagreeable and those that are actually dangerous, and possesses the innate apprehension of symbol and pattern that one rarely finds in anyone but an artist. Some may see her work as courageous; it is surely that, but it is perhaps more accurate to describe it as vulnerable – a quality far more rare in theologians and essay writers than in poets and painters. When one says what one truly thinks in the public square, it is an invitation to emotional violence, and such invitations are inevitably accepted.
Which brings me back to Reno. He begins his explanation of Maureen’s involuntary departure (entitled No More Tirades) by saying that “First Things stands for something,” though he seems unable to explain what, exactly, other than a vaguely-described “reality-based conservatism,” – to which he clearly thinks Maureen does not subscribe. In what immediately becomes an uncomfortable attempt at public face-saving, he clucks about her “sharp pen and pungent style,” and segues into a therapeutic assessment that “she’s very angry about this papacy, which she seems to view as (alternately) fascism and socialism disguised as Catholicism.”
I speak here often about semiotics, because symbol and gesture and ritual are so innately ingrained in the Catholic ethos. In her final offending piece, Maureen never actually accuses the papacy of being “fascism or socialism disguised as Catholicism.” She does, however, intimate that one can tell a great deal about a person by the company they keep. Even Che Guevara’s own daughter seems to understand this better than either the Holy Father or Reno; she refused to attend the papal Mass in Cuba beneath her father’s watchful image on the grounds that it would be hypocritical. If personnel is policy, then policy is policy to an even more obvious degree, and the policy of this papacy has been to associate with progressive ideologues, to promote the Church’s internal malcontents to positions of power, and to prioritize the concerns of man over those of God.
The conclusion to Maureen’s essay summed up brilliantly the irrelevance of intentions over symbolism in such displays as we have seen: “How much the supremacy of God in Christ had to do with the sponsored product remains moot.” The images and themes of the papal visit gave aid and comfort — and the possibility of inferred approval — to Cuban communists and anti-Catholic Democrats alike. (And remember – it was only two months ago that Pope Francis happily accepted a crucifix in the shape of a hammer and sickle from an outspoken socialist.) If faithful Catholics could also find nuggets of orthodoxy scattered like Easter eggs throughout the various pronouncements of the past week, then the outcome of the spectacle is even more confounding. The image of a Rorschach papacy upon which one can project whatever ideological alignment one wills if they only squint hard enough has become impossible to dismiss.
If, as it seems, almost everyone found something to like about the pope’s American tour, then we’re left with an undeniable public relations coup. Even the revelation of grossly exaggerated numbers at papal events or the hints of what may be on the horizon for marriage in Francis’s warning against the “temptation to be scandalized by the freedom of God” can’t dampen the lingering bliss, that warm fuzzy feeling cast like a spell even over many wary Catholics, who have now fallen into acquiescent somnolence on the eve of the Synod’s coming menace. This mass-dampening of legitimate concern, which has spread out from Philadelphia like the shockwave of a spiritual EMP, has made it even more risky to utter a word of criticism about a figure who, despite previously waning popularity, is once again so suddenly and universally loved. Faced with this reality, Maureen’s broadside no doubt echoed even more clamorously in Reno’s ears.
His admonishment that “we need to have the moral and spiritual generosity to enter into our adversaries’ ways of thinking, if but for a moment” appears, in Maureen’s case, to have been a moment too long. His decision to excise not just her post, but her entire blog, highlights the current polarization of Catholics inasmuch as it has already drawn both sharp criticism and glowing praise. Every editor has to make such choices some point, and Reno is well within his purview in doing so. It is, after all, his job to ensure that his readers are getting what they came for. Sadly, it seems that in his exasperated attempt to distance himself from the passionate reactions prompted by Maureen’s writing, he has opted not to give those readers any more of something that they may actually need. Dispensing with the medicine simply because it is bitter is a very different thing than doing so because it has already effected a cure. Pat Archbold, who received a similarly unceremonious dumping from the National Catholic Register for his own honesty about the present crisis, appeared in the comment box of Reno’s piece with a candid and accurate assessment his explanation for giving her the axe: “Such editorials are only produced by failed editors. Better to make your limits clear to your writers in advance than to your readers after the fact.”
I know for a fact that Maureen’s blog was not edited; she had both freedom and control over her content. But she was hardly an unknown quantity, and if Reno’s discomfort with her approach had grown to the point where he anticipated the need to issue another public scolding, perhaps he should have found a more elegant solution than making a show of slamming a cork into the bottle — to the gleeful clapping of sycophants — after the Genie had long-since absconded.
Some people, as they say, are hammers – and to these each problem is a nail. Maureen Mullarkey is, I think, an exquisitely articulated blade: even when one admires the craftsmanship of her cut, one can’t help wincing to see the point driven home so deeply. But in today’s Church, where heretics rise to power by the will and invitation of Christ’s Vicar, a “sharp pen and pungent style” is a much-needed tonic, slicing through the noise and challenging us to actually think about what is unfolding in our midst before it is too late to make a stand.
Last week, I wrote to Bishop Athanasius Schneider, asking for encouragement in the face of such darkness emanating from within the Church. In his response, he exhorted, “God is using in this time the little one in the Church, the pure faith mostly of the lay faithful to keep the faith intact and to hand it over to the next generations. It is an honour that we can be witnesses and defenders of our dear Catholic faith not only against the enemies outside but also in the face of the traitors inside the Church, even when these traitors are bishops or cardinals.”
Just so. In any battle there are excesses and accidents, and we must take care to minimize them and do penance when they occur. Defending the faith is no different – it can be a messy business at times, and we’re likely here and there to get it wrong, to say too much, to go too far. But against the crushing weight of an overwhelming foe, I, for one, would prefer tirades to timidity.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.
Wow–wonderful words of encouragement from Bishop Schneider!
I’ll try to publish the rest of what he wrote in a future post.
Please do. It would be wonderful, and I’m sure encouraging, to read his entire correspondence.
Love this Steve!
I never consider something a lost cause, never. Maybe we can’t have a dialogue, but never close the door. It is difficult, you might say “almost impossible,” but the door is always open.
I wonder how many get this arcane reference. A perfect example of Francis the politician at work.
Only the watchers, I suspect. I’m not surprised that you caught it.
We are now on Day 544 of “Soon, soon”.
It’s a bit like Louis XIV’s “We shall see”.
I think the FFI have got the message by now…
>>But against the crushing weight of an overwhelming foe, I, for one, would prefer tirades to timidity.<<
Reading this I am reminded of Revelation 3:16…
"But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth."
Well done Mr. Skojec.
Thank you, good sir.
First Things lost its relevance when Neuhaus decided to embrace the entirety of the GOP platform, especially the Iraq war, as its first principles that had to be shoe-horned into Catholic language, no matter how much doublethink was necessary. Anyone who is on the traditional side of conservatism should have been already ignoring it.
I did ignore it, except for Mullarkey’s blog.
You’re right about that. Any way you slice it, it is a failed project. Stuart Chessman sums it up well:
“Regardless of our views on the merits of the initial objectives, however, I think we can agree on the total failure of the initiative to have any effect on American politics or society. As has been abundantly demonstrated in the last couple of years, the leading forces of American civil society and government have moved ever more forcefully to sever their last links with Christian morality. The endlessly repeated mantra of the Church speaking boldly “in the public square” – presumably as a leading force in American society – has yielded to a plea for mere toleration – “religious liberty” is the new watchword. As far as I can tell, the forces of establishment Protestantism and Judaism totally reject the positions of First Things. That of course isn’t anything new, nor is the gap between the principles of the publication we are discussing and the forces of establishment American Catholicism as represented by many hierarchs, and most Catholic universities and religious orders. But the most crushing blow is the current pontificate. Pope Francis and his entourage have denounced or relativized every principle asserted by First Things over the years and have allied themselves firmly with the theological and political left.”
Another name for this jumbled mash of ideologies is Peronism, and that seems to be the converging explanation for both the pope’s politics and his leadership style.
Great screencap. I’d missed that at the time. Thanks.
Have you actually watched the whole thing?
Especially from 2:25 onwards? It’s astonishingly incoherent. On the other hand, it’s endearing, like listening to some elderly Italian gentleman in the cafe holding forth on the state of the world to his patient friends. The expression on the other fellow’s face is priceless, as he tries to discern an underlying theme in the Holy Father’s discourse.
What is kind of sad is that the best way given by God to correct abuse of the environment, neglect of the old and young, wars, and ignorance is by converting every person to the Catholic faith and encouraging them to be good Catholics.
As long as a person is a non-Catholic or lukewarm Catholic, they will end up creating problems in the world due to following some religion or personal creed that has errors in it. Those errors will convince him that his way of life is good. There should also be no question of whether one can just be Christian and non-Catholic. Protestantism is what made many of the retarded ideas (like divorce, birth control, and sodomy) seem acceptable and compatible to baptized people who should have known better. So the end goal should be to convert everyone to the holy Catholic Church, nothing less.
Instead, Pope Francis just keeps trying other things while lamenting over problems in the world….. how can he ever hope that they will be solved?
The institutional church does not believe that everyone should convert to the Holy Catholic Church. It, in fact, discourages this by its endless dialogue, praying and worshipping with those who believe in false religions and in false gods, with its adoption of the historical condemnation of religious liberty, and the last two popes have publicly forbidden Catholics to try to convert those outside of Her, particularly the Jews (which they also claim worship the same God as Catholics and Jesus did not abolish their covenant.)
“So San Martin’s and Bolivar’s dream of a big fatherland must be restored.”
No surprise, given his expressed views on the Falklands War
You’re right. I speak Spanish (although not with an Argentinian accent so I had to listen hard to follow absolutely everything here) but this IS endearing; it’s really hard not to like this pope as a person. His is a kind of “incoherence” I learned to appreciate years ago in Madrid. What I found startling was the pope’s reference to a Hindu god and the myths surrounding it. That is something I would more often expect to hear — and in fact DO hear — from the mouths of fallen-away Catholics looking to put some meaning back into their barren lives. (Before anyone hits the keys on his computer, I am NOT saying the pope is a fallen-away Catholic, only that this is an odd reference for a pope who is the Vicar of Christ, the Vicar of God Himself. When you have Christ, all the rest is really anecdotal, isn’t it?, hardly worth a lot of mention. Wouldn’t references to His life and His teachings come first to your mind in a casual conversation?)
His off-the-top-of-his-head citation of Zhou Enlai is also disturbing.
Quite right! I forgot that one. Can anyone imagine what the row would have been like had he cited Mussolini or Hitler or Stalin, all men who managed to kill fewer innocent victims than the Chinese monster?
Zhou Enlai ?
The first communist premier of China.
@3:32, @4:00, @4:28, @4:43, @7:59
I know, right? I was like, Lord help us, they’ve elevated Chance the Gardener to the Petrine Office. The ill-fitting zucchetto lends an additional air of dottiness to the proceedings.
Of course, this papacy is no laughing matter. But watching this, you begin to understand the creepy and idolatrous cult of personality that has formed around the person of Jorge Bergoglio.
Hahahahahahaha. From the Wikipedia plot summary of Being There:
I guess I missed the endearing aspect of it. Very bizarre, very incoherent and more than a little disturbing. And what’s with citing Zhou Enlai and Hindu mythology? The religion of which the Pope is supposed to be the leader has the concept of original sin, which is a much more accurate explanation for human failures, but I guess he forgot that, along with the Incarnation, the Cross, etc.
Btw, one thing that I have heard is that the pope was greatly influenced by CL and the incoherent maunderings of Luigi Giussani. Whatever the possible positive aspects of his movement, Giussani was a typical Italian leftist intellectual, the usual wealthy Marxist, who thought that Piero Pasolini was a saint and that everything was all about a “Presence” (of what or who was unclear). In any case, maybe the Pope needs somebody to lasso his foot and tug him back out of the ether, where the air is so thin he’s clearly gotten dizzy, and remind him of what religion he’s supposed to be practicing.
Don’t get me wrong, incoherence is a very bad thing in a Vicar of Christ. And I’m under no illusions as to the nature of the threat we face.
But on a purely human level, I was imagining the Holy Father as if I was overhearing an elderly Italian man holding forth in a cafe, and were that the case, I would be thoroughly charmed. The everyman loopiness, the notions that don’t hold together in any conceivable sense, the facial expressions and hand gestures, the whole package.
When I was a child the old people used a colloquial Italian term: stunata.
I find it interesting that Pope Francis can quote Zhou Enlai, first premier of Communist China, and believes we are living in the time of Shiva. I feel nauseous after watching this clip.
How is it that it is evident that “the policy of this papacy has been to associate with progressive ideologues ,to promote the Church’s internal malcontents to positions of power, and to prioritize the concerns of man over those of God”, but so many are completely oblivious to the fact Francis is following in the footsteps exactly of Paul VI? This sentence describes him as much as it describes Francis.
I’d suggest your readers do some research into Paul VI and think hard about the destruction he began in his pontificate because it was Paul VI that opened the doors and windows to let in the enemies of Christ and of His Church.
I’m not sure that anyone here is keen to let Paul VI off the hook.
Not one of my favorite popes, by any means.
Right on, bro.
I am so thrilled to see a Catholic man defend such an amazing Catholic woman!! You both are so brilliant!! God is good!
Mullarkey is a brilliant addition to your lineup. And it is fascinating to read Bishop Schneider’s words. I wonder how many notice the irony of the good bishop’s first name given his role in the present crisis in the Church.
…making mistakes and sometimes going too far is the proof that one is actually awake and trying.
But then it is the ouch that wakes up those who would otherwise drift into coma.
Thanks, Steve, for supporting Maureen. There’s a real winnowing afoot. I’m glad to know what side you’re on…. and how!
Excellent Steve……just excellent!
“I, for one, would prefer tirades to timidity”
National Review has been doing this for decades, jettisoning great writers for their enthusiasm for Christian civilization.
Reno’s action is ho-hum. Will Buckle would at least write meandering essays vaguely alluding to the anti-Semitism of one of his writers before casting him out. In other words, Will Buckle would do a proper job of character assassination via inuendo… of his own friends. Reno is just trying to hang on to the 11 subscribers that FT has left.
FT fell into irrelevancy circa 2002 following its warmongering frenzy.
I did get an A and positive feedback from my professor on my final exam on the Just War tradition. I took apart an argument by lead warmonger George Weigel that was given as an essay topic. I try to see the positive.
Thanks George and FT!!
False prophets get praise. True prophets get the axe. ‘Twas ever thus.
Reno is a coward. There, I said it. My tiny addition to a righteous tirade. I’m sick of cowards.
And now Mark Shea, sensing cowardice, is upping the shrillness in an effort to force FT to further water down its already weak and useless variety of accommodationist “conservatism”. According to Shea, people criticize the pope because First Things. Which might come as a surprise to those of us who had let our subscriptions lapse and stopped paying attention to this relic of a bygone era.
I find myself unable to read anything Mr. Shea writes. I salute your fortitude.
Murray, I don’t need to tell you that Mark Shea is nothing but a vile Mottramist/Ultramontanist/papolater. So is much of the Catholic Apologetics-Industrial Complex but Shea and his comrade, Simcha Fisher, take it to extremes. He has to attack people because he has no intellectual ammunition (neither does she, for that matter), let alone any sense of ethics. He is what blind followers ultimately become.
I also believe Shea works for Satan. Ltiterally. I’m. Not. Kidding.
“I also believe Shea works for Satan. Ltiterally. I’m. Not. Kidding”
Naw, if that were true, he’d have more readers.
He’d also be good looking.
Joe let me be serious with you for a moment and let me try to resist my natural tendency to mix rational argument with mockery and just use argument.
Shea is a jackarse like many of the extremist Trads and conservatives he criticizes. He really is no better then any of them. The only real difference between him and Mullarkey is one of differing prudent political views but that is pretty much it. But he is still a Catholic and believes the Catholic Church is the One True Church of Jesus Christ. Anyone who believes that including Mullarkey still has a lot going for them.
But then there is you.
Joe you said to me on the First Things thread that if there is a Church of Jesus Christ it’s NOT the Catholic Church.
Why do you keep rubbing elbows with Conservative and Traditionalist Catholics when you hold an extreme heresy both would violently reject?
EENS is an infallible dogma on the level of not giving communion to persons in moral sin or so called gay “marriage” being wrong.
How do you justify this apostasy? How can you accuse Catholics of following the Mottramist/Ultramontanist/papolatry heresies when you hold the Protestant heresy and reject EENS? This is also problematic because you in effect have no objective authority to judge anything a heresy since you reject divine authority and embrace Private Interpretation.
How do you justify your weird claim JP2 “changed” Catholic doctrine or dogma on Capital punishment?
Can you back this up intellectually? I really want to know. So I offer a truce in regards to avoiding name calling and call for us to restrict ourselves to pure argument alone.
So what do you say? Do you have the intellectual ammo to back up your neo-Protestant beliefs? Because I submit you have no moral authority to judge the doctrinal orthodoxy of any Catholic if you reject the Ark of Salvation the Church Jesus founded.
Peace Joe. I look forward to a civil dialog.
I reject EENS because it places the institutional church above the Triune God. Period. End of Issue.
As far as JPII’s attitude on capital punishment is concerned, he changed the fundamental moral criterion by which murderers should be executed. That criterion is found in Genesis 9:5-6: Murder is the ultimate violation of the divine image God placed in humanity. According to the principle of proportional punishment (lex talonis), execution by legitimate authorities under due process is the only morally licit punishment. JPII changed that criterion to the state’s ability to incarcerate capital criminals.
JPII rejected counsel from a divinely inspired source (Scripture), counsel which such Doctors of the Church as Aquinas and Augustine reinforced (Tradition), to embrace an approach that has more to do with the European Union’s secular philosophy than with Church teaching. The Magisterium went along with this, blindly. As a result, the Catholic Church morally equates the perpetrators of evil with the victims of evil. That is an abomination to a holy, righteous God Who commands all those who claim to believe (let alone love) Him to “hate evil.” See Psalm 97:10, Proverbs 8:13, and Romans 12:9.
If you truly are as inquisitive as you say, then read the following;
It only takes one example to defuse the Magisterium’s sweeping claims not only of theological infallibility but also of consistency with Christ’s intent. Capital punishment is that example.
When the Magisterium has no more credibility than the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984, it deserves no respect, let alone allegiance.
As far as your criticizing my ability to criticize Catholic teaching goes, that is a red herring. If you applied the same standard to yourself, then you would never criticize liberal political ideology or any other religion outside of Catholicism. Yet you do both with impunity. Besides, since when is belonging to any particular group the only qualification to criticizing that group? You know the answer very well, because you practice that answer.
I used to be a Catholic. I reject Catholicism because Catholicism is not a moral institution. As I said before, it equates the perpetrators of evil with the victims of evil. Indeed, it seems to give succor to the former as opposed to the latter. Just look at the Catholic Church’s responses to Muslim persecution of Christians and to clerical sex-abuse.
The Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 is nothing but a self-serving means to intimidate devout, faithful people into blind submission to a self-important ecclesiastical caste. That conflicts with the rational for foot washing Christ demonstrated in John 13: He did that to show the disciples that Christian leadership consists not of self-promoting careerism but of service to all, regardless of station.
>I reject EENS because it places the institutional church above the Triune God. Period. End of Issue.
Except the Triune God reveals EENS and wills it and Christ founded the institutional church thus to reject it places one’s self above the Triune God. You are begging the question.
The saying “God has bound all Grace in the Sacraments but God Himself is not bound” still applies and is true along side EENS.
“Why do you call me Lord and do not do as I command” “Let him listen to the Church otherwise treat him like a tax collector.” “He who hears you hears me. He who rejects you reject me and Him that sent me etc”.
>As far as JPII’s attitude on capital punishment is concerned, he changed the fundamental moral criterion by which murderers should be executed.
He did not such thing. What does that even mean anyway?
>That criterion is found in Genesis 9:5-6: Murder is the ultimate violation of the divine image God placed in humanity.
A murder is worthy of death but there is NOTHING in the Fathers or Tradition that mandates the death penalty in all circumstances. Prudent Judgement must be employed & mercy can be employed as dictated by prudent judgement.
> According to the principle of proportional punishment (lex talonis), execution by legitimate authorities under due process is the only morally licit punishment.
That is not Catholic teaching or Tradition that is the opinion of Kant.
Also it is not necessary nor is it possible to have perfect proportional punishment. Can we execute Timothy Mc Vey a hundred times for each victim no he can only die once.
>JPII changed that criterion to the state’s ability to incarcerate capital criminals.
Nope, he clearly gave council we favor mercy unless there is no other way to protect society but he gave no specific guide lines or criteria as to how that should be employed thus calls from Pope Francis to abolish the death penalty do not equal calls to abolish abortion. The later is morally necessary the former is council not dogma.
>JPII rejected counsel from a divinely inspired source (Scripture), counsel which such Doctors of the Church as Aquinas and Augustine reinforced (Tradition), to embrace an approach that has more to do with the European Union’s secular philosophy than with Church teaching.
Have you not considered rather Joe D’Hippolito placed his own fallible faulty reasoning above trust in the church? Given the Church’s supernatural track record that seems to be to be the more reasonable view. Jesus has promised to protect the Church not you Joe or me or Mark Shea.
St. JP2 has not changed the Church’s teaching on Retribution nor has he taught the death penalty is now immoral.
>The Magisterium went along with this, blindly. As a result, the Catholic Church morally equates the perpetrators of evil with the victims of evil.
Not really since the State can still licitly execute a condemned criminal but the State cannot authorize an abortion. The Pope’s words can only be seen as councils for mercy (which can be granted to capital Crimes and where by Jesus and in the OT with Sanctuary cities) . I am sorry Joe but I missed the excommunications issued for enforcing the death penalty in a clear cut case since JP2.
>That is an abomination to a holy, righteous God Who commands all those who claim to believe (let alone love) Him to “hate evil.” See Psalm 97:10, Proverbs 8:13, and Romans 12:9.
We hate evil not the evil doer. Love the sinner. It is up too the prudent judgment of a Christian judge to try to determine if the criminal is better suited to be allowed to live and repent or be threatened with death too repent. God takes no delight in the death of the wicked but in their conversion Ezekiel 18:23.
You hold the opposite error of Mark Shea. He wrongly believes JP2 has effectively abolished Capital Punishment and rendered it immoral & you believe all Capital punishment must be implemented without mercy.
Neither of you is looking at this with the Mind of the Church with all due respect.
>If you truly are as inquisitive as you say, then read the following;
Your link is bad. Try again please.
>It only takes one example to defuse the Magisterium’s sweeping claims not only of theological infallibility but also of consistency with Christ’s intent. Capital punishment is that example.
With all due respect Joe your objection thus far reads like that of a New Atheist who claims “One contradiction in the Bible shows it’s not the word of God”. Well if you self-servingly read contradictions into the text you will find what you want. But as Christopher Kaczor points out in the link there is no contradiction between St JP2 vs the Magesterium.
I wouldn’t even call it a development of doctrine. Merely a prudent council.
>When the Magisterium has no more credibility than the Ministry of Truth in Orwell’s 1984, it deserves no respect, let alone allegiance.
Even if St JP2 was the Villain you imagine him to be who only got to Heaven in spite of his villainy like the guy on death row who repents last minute by Grace Augustine and the Fathers unanimously taught there is NO EXCUSE for apostasy and schism even if it is admitted the church is being ruled by sinful men.
You are putting your soul in mortal danger and you are not serving God and your witness is stunted since you are a heretic yourself.
>As far as your criticizing my ability to criticize Catholic teaching goes, that is a red herring. If you applied the same standard to yourself, then you would never criticize liberal political ideology or any other religion outside of Catholicism.
Well I don’t believe in Obummer Care or raising the minimum wage because I think it is bad policy that hurts the people it is intended to help not because I think it’s a sin. As for critiquing other religions my message is simple. They are incorrect and they all need to be Catholic. As the Apostles said to Jesus “To whom shall we go”? What is it Joe? Calvinism? Eastern Orthodoxy? Babism?
> Yet you do both with impunity. Besides, since when is belonging to any particular group the only qualification to criticizing that group? You know the answer very well, because you practice that answer.
I would intellectually respect the view of an Ex-Catholic who took a positive alternate position but you Joe well as far as we can all tell you are just the “Church of Joe”.
What is the true religion now Joe? If there is none then all truth is subjective.
>I used to be a Catholic. I reject Catholicism because Catholicism is not a moral institution.
That is a non-Catholic standard & it is against the very Tradition you claim St JP2 goes against. Jesus foretold to us there would be bad Shepherds & yet he told to the Jesus to do what the Pharisees said because they had Moses authority. Augustine said sinful churchmen is no excuse for schism. If Pope Francis was a rapist and homosexual (I would not be thrilled) but I wouldn’t leave the church over it. Why should I go to Hell just because some bishops want too? I’m staying I will be here when the lights go out on the Last Day by the Grace of God.
You should too. You don’t have to agree with me on anything else but why do violence to you soul Joe? If it’s just to spite Mark Shea well I would stay primarily for the salvation and secondarily to bug him.
>As I said before, it equates the perpetrators of evil with the victims of evil.
Not really since nothing JP2 has said mandates the death penalty should be done way with forever. Even under his standards as wrongly interpreted by Shea circumstances could change in society (like the collapse of civilization) where we revert back to have it the only way to defend society.
>Indeed, it seems to give succor to the former as opposed to the latter. Just look at the Catholic Church’s responses to Muslim persecution of Christians and to clerical sex-abuse.
Meaningless non-starter argument. Even if I concede the Church has dropped the ball on those issues (I don’t but I could for purposes of argument) the Tradition and doctrine is clear. There is no excuse for schism or apostasy.
If you leave the Ark of Salvation even if Alexander VI or Sergus III are Popes at the time you put your soul at risk(assuming invincible ignorance can’t be applied and extra-ordinary graces are rejected) and you can perish in the flood.
>The Catholic interpretation of Matthew 16:18 is nothing but a self-serving means to intimidate devout, faithful people into blind submission to a self-important ecclesiastical caste.
Then it was Jesus and the Early Fathers who where in on this conspiracy going back to the First three centuries of the Church in citations too numerous to post here.
>That conflicts with the rational for foot washing Christ demonstrated in John 13: He did that to show the disciples that Christian leadership consists not of self-promoting careerism but of service to all, regardless of station.
I am sorry but this is a non-starter argument in view of the teaching of Christ and the Tradition of the Church and the Fathers. There is no excuse for Schism even upon the admission the Church is being ruled by sinful men.
Your view is just not rational Joe and it’s not good for your soul or a good example to others. If all your charges against the last two or three Popes is correct you are committing major heresy and sin.
You need to swallow your pride and come home. Don’t do it to spite me or Shea. Indeed we are required to love one another NOT LIKE EACH OTHER. For example I want Mark Shea to go to Heaven but he is a Jerk and I you I wan you to go to Heaven but I will leave it there since I promised no insults.
But you have to admit that Pope Joseph of Hippolito DOES have a nice ring to it. And if we all could just recognize his claim to the See of Peter, think of the peace of mind! I mean, we haven’t seen a pope this self-righteous, this cocksure of himself, and this peremptory since, what, Pius IX?
I’m not going to lie. I LOLed.
I am confused are you picking on Pius IX or the current model?
Great Caesar’s ghost! You mean Pope Joseph is already in the Vatican?!?!
I meant Pope Francis.
Yes, I knew what you meant when I responded. I wasn’t “picking on anyone.” My original comment about Pope Joseph is self-explanatory.
I see….let’s me not beat this dead horse any longer. It’s been one of those days.
Cheers to you sir and God Bless.
Sad…Reno of First Things…We are going to see many accused of the same as Maureen Mullarkey. Our pansy, delicate society did not come to be so by accident! It has been “groomed” no different than a child molester grooms its victim. Step back…see the pathological dynamics swirling the darkness of gnashing teeth. Many can not due to darkened intellect caused by repeated sin with no repentance.
Posted at FT:
Mr. Reno: I recently watched a YouTube video of you talking about the problems in modern academia. One of the main problems there, I’d say, is the automatic silencing of people whose views are at odds with the establishment of the moment. This is often done in the name of politeness, niceness, various “trigger issues”, or “just not fitting in”. Is First Things about acceptable, polite and ineffectual Americanist Catholicism? Religious Republicanism?
Thank God Chesterton and Tolkien an St. John The Revelator are dead! Imagine if those real and often irritating Catholics were alive in 2015, pointing out obvious and uncomfortable truths about where we really are, the lies and spin we gobble up, and why we seem to be headed downwards in a handbasket. If they wrote unpalatably for First Things, perhaps Mr. Reno would also digitally defenestrate them and their blogs in like manner as he did for Maureen Mullarkey?
Editors edit; advise; even ask for rewrites. To allow something to be published suggests it was seen as fine, until somebody somewhere complained. If editors will not stand behind their writers in the face of controversy, then something is wrong with us, and with certain editorial backbones.
Me, I would rather listen to tirades than bromides. Trust the adults to be able to sort the wheat from the chaff, Mr. Reno. I’m glad your discarded blogger has landed on her feet over at OnePeterFive.
Thanks, Binks. Although Maureen and I have no ongoing arrangement for her work. She’s free to do as she chooses.
For those interested in the breadth & depth of Maureen Mullarkey’s writings: http://www.maureenmullarkey.com/essays/index.html
It was Maureen Mullarkey’s talent for the apodictic assessment, so elegantly presented, that caused her banishment from First Things. Better than any writer out there today, she is exposing the cult of Il Supremo that has replaced the papacy rightly understood. Of course she had to go.
I admit that I had to look up the work “apodictic.”
Why exactly did she leave/was fired ?
She’s an artist who is knowledgeable about Catholicism I take it ? I’m just getting up to speed on this stuff.
For the back story on Fr Neuhaus, he was the water carrier for the Jewish Neo-Cons who opposed Pat Buchanan, google
“No one, it seems, is allowed to connect the dots. Catholics can’t connect the dots for a very simple reason; connecting the dots leaves one open to the charge of anti-Semitism.” … nice quote, since I do wonder who the donors/puppetmasters are at First Things, Church Militant, and other “Catholic” entities so intent on alienating half their constituency.
Peron was quite the anticlericalist himself.
Well apparently the First Things moderator has decided to take the Mark Shea approach. I have been blocked from posting at their website. My posts were short, civil, and within their stated rules. I’m wondering if the fact that I pointed out the irony of them deleting my comment about Mark Shea deleting comments that don’t agree with his world view did it.
Brilliant op ed.
Ms. Malarchy offers no tirades. That term was a shameful attempt on the part if her editor to blacken her reputation.
The man is likely comfortable in his mediocrity and like so many, finds it easier to hide behind a fascade of genteel discussion than to face the full horror of the cunning and corruption that presently suffocate.
While not in anyway comparably influential, there is enough siminanity present for me to feel tempted to state that Reno calls to mind that most singularly ineffectual of His Majesty, King George VI’s Prime Ministers : Lord Neville Chamberlain
The willful blindness of those “comfortable in mediocrity” is breathtaking. They are a powerful, powerful tool for the evil one. I hear echoes of “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name…”