In just a month and a half, OnePeterFive will have been online for four years.
Can you believe it?
In some ways, it seems as though it’s been much longer than that. In others, it’s hard to believe so much time has already gone by.
I recently watched a video I had put up on our Facebook page about a week before we first launched the site. I was so excited about what we were starting. I remember the passion. I felt like we were about to change the world.
And in many respects, I suppose you can say that we did.
But looking back at that video, I barely recognize myself. In July of 2014, I was visibly younger, thinner, had more hair, a lot less gray in my beard, and one fewer child. I had not yet endured some of the hardest trials of my life, which would follow soon after I started the site — and probably not coincidentally.
I could not have anticipated then, as I set forth to shine a light into the dark corners of the Church, just how deep that darkness really was, and how seemingly inexhaustible those who fought to keep it would be.
Many of you have been here from the beginning. You’ve fought along side of us, supported us, defended us, prayed for us and our work, and helped our influence to grow.
Thank you for coming with us on this wild ride.
Now, four years later, it feels as though we stand at a crossroads. Do you feel it, too? I said at the beginning of this year that I sensed a turning of the tide. That I suspected this year would be the beginning of the end of a uniquely troubling pontificate.
That assessment has not changed.
The scandals and crony clericalism continue to mount. The world is reeling at the overwhelming loss of the once-Catholic Irish people to the demonic bloodlust of legalized abortion — and they have taken note of the silence of the pope on the matter in the days leading up to that event. Now, the pope’s native Argentina stands on the same precipice after their lower house voted by a narrow margin to decriminalize abortion, and the vote will soon move to their senate. (One Argentinian Catholic noted on Twitter that the night Argentina’s legislators were voting to make abortion legal, Pope Francis only sent a tweet greeting the nation’s soccer team as they began their World Championship competition in Russia.) The Chilean clerical sex abuse scandal seems to have reached its denouement with the mass resignation of their bishops in the leadup to the accepted ouster of Bishop Juan Barros, but others accused of covering up the abuse or misinforming the pope — notably C9 member Cardinal Francisco Errázuriz and Jesuit papal adviser and Barros friend Fr. Germán Arana — have stayed well clear of any consequences. A new case of crony clericalism is unfolding now in Bolivia in the matter of one new Cardinal-designate, Toribio Porca Ticona, who controversial life is bringing scrutiny to yet another consistory.
And we have not yet even begun to see what the Amazonian synod, which appears to be taking aim at clerical celibacy — and quite possibly even some form of female ordination — will bring. Meanwhile, the World Meeting of Families in Ireland in August will feature a visit from Pope Francis — but not until one of his hand-picked communications team, the American Jesuit Fr. James Martin, brings his pro-LGBT message to the Catholics of Ireland. (This is a theme that was already present in the initial literature about this “Catholic” event as early as last year.)
In other words, friends, we’ve got our work cut out for us. The irresistible force of Francis and his program of progressive “reform” of the Catholic Church continues to meet the immovable object of orthodox Catholics like you and the entire 1P5 community.
But we need your help to keep going. Bringing this fight to the enemies of Our Lord in the Church day after day isn’t a cakewalk, and we’re stretched thin. In addition to the news and analysis you’ve come to depend on we’ve recently branched out into video. We’ve gotten very positive feedback from our initial efforts, and we’re hoping to continue to build upon and expand those offerings, which will help us to reach new audiences with Catholic truth.
Of course, all of this costs time, effort, and money. We need to spend more on the help and resources we need, pay for upgrades to bandwidth and equipment for our more resource-intensive new offerings, and continue to identify and support a core stable of regular professional writers.
Personally, I’ve come to realize that I have had way too much on my shoulders for these past four years, and I have to begin delegating more tasks or I’m going to crash and burn. 1P5 is, in that sense, also at a turning point. We have plateaued, and we can either adapt and get through the pain of necessary change and growth, bringing in the talent we need to keep doing what we’re doing (but doing it better) – or we can begin sliding into obscurity and irrelevance as we lose momentum and focus.
June has traditionally been one of the low points in our donor cycle, and this year is no exception. As of this writing, with only 12 days left to go in the month, we are at just 35% of our fundraising goal.
It never fails to amaze me that with over 120,000 unique visitors every month to this website that we have been carried these four years by fewer than 3,000 financial supporters. They are the unsung heroes of this enterprise, and I encourage each and every person reading this to pray for them and their intentions. They are the reason why we are able to continue to provide all this content free of charge — no subscriptions, no overlays forcing you to turn off your adblocker, just the real, unfiltered truths of our faith provided to anyone who cares to know them.
They have been so incredibly generous over the years, and their joy and humility in doing so has been unbelievably impressive to me.
Today, I am asking you, if you have enjoyed the content we produce here and you’ve never financially contributed, would you consider doing so for the first time right now? It doesn’t matter if you can’t give much. We have strength in numbers. We need your help to lift June out of the doldrums so we can go into this hectic summer on a strong financial footing.
You can do so simply by using the donation button below without ever leaving this page. Those who prefer to donate by mail can always do so, and of course, at any time our supporters can go to onepeterfive.com/donate. (We are a US 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and contributions are tax-deductible as permitted by law.)
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director 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.