A couple of things have come to my attention in terms of the day-to-day operation of the site that need to be dealt with. I’ll list them briefly here.
We have advertisers here at 1P5. Good people who pay good money to link to their products and services. These are not ads served up by Google, or some click exchange software. These are real people who pay to have access to your clicks – people whose ads I only approve of only after I become familiar with what they’re selling.
I’ve turned down advertisers in just the last couple of weeks because I didn’t think they merited your attention. I’ve also brought some new people on board. Please, if you would be so kind, turn off your ad blocker on this domain so you can see the ads of our sponsors. Click on them. Check out what they have to offer. These people are helping to support this website, and that’s important. I also plan to offer some advertiser spotlights to those who have ads up as we head into prime holiday season. I want them to tell you about their products and why they believe they’re right for our audience. We’ll give each of them who wants it a post. It’s my way of saying thank you to them for having the confidence to purchase ad space with us, and of introducing you to things you might want to buy your loved ones for Christmas.
I also want to talk about the ads that are not so great. I use Disqus to manage comments for various reasons, not least of which is the ease of sign-in from various other accounts and social media platforms. But Disqus keeps upgrading their platform, and they have implemented ads on at least one occasion that I didn’t approve of. I received emails from some of you letting me know that there were ads on our posts that didn’t fit the beliefs we espouse. For that, I apologize. Disqus pays us for the ads they include that you click on, but I’d rather forego the money than let them put whatever they want at the bottom of our posts. I’ve removed their latest addition as of today, and I want to encourage you to contact me if you see anything on the site that looks like it doesn’t belong there.
I’ve made the mistake of not creating a comment policy. It was my hope that it wouldn’t be necessary, but then again, I’ve been on the Internet long enough to know better. I’ve had to write such policies for professional organizations I’ve worked for, so why not here?
Until I get one finished up, let’s make it simple: I will not tolerate abusive or insulting language toward myself or our guests. I understand that conversations sometimes get heated; I’ve certainly been guilty of this as well. But let civility rule the day. Try to see the perspective of your sparring partner. When possible, give the benefit of the doubt. If necessary, flag comments that are abusive (I do not see them all, but I will review those that have been flagged.)
Finally, we talk about some controversial topics here, not least of which are those relating to the actions of this papacy not in accord with Traditional Catholic thought and teaching. BUT WE ARE NOT SEDEVACANTISTS HERE. If you come into a comment thread saying that “Bergoglio is not Catholic” or “Francis is not the pope” in a way that gives me any reason to believe you think you have the authority to pronounce such, I’m going to take your commenting privileges. Full stop. I’m tired of issuing warnings.
I’m also seeing a lot more aggression and frustration in the comment boxes lately. This is to be expected. People are upset. But comment observation and moderation is beginning to take up too much of my time, which takes away from the production of other content. COMMENTING IS A PRIVILEGE, NOT A RIGHT. It’s silly to have to say that, but if removing a commenter or two cuts down on my admin time by 20 or 30%, guess what I’m going to do?
Please, keep things civil.
Donations DO NOT Purchase Extortion Rights
We are a small non-profit. The money we raise through donations currently goes to two things: paying our technical and office-related overhead (equipment, etc.) and paying me to sit here and work on the site content all day. As our budget grows, so will the areas the money goes to. For now, though, the budget is small and what it goes to is relatively simple. And we couldn’t be more grateful for those of you supporting this cause.
But here’s the “but”: what donations DO NOT go to is the purchase of special treatment for donors. A particular donor contacted me on two occasions this year over grievances pertaining to our interactions in the comment boxes. They didn’t like how I dealt with them. They made sure to remind me of their contribution each time. The second time, they wound up having their commenting privileges removed because they couldn’t seem to handle them with civility, and that was when they told me I should refund their money – money from a single contribution a month and a half before the disagreement.
I love our donors. I pray for our donors. I have masses said for our donors. But what I will not do — NOT EVER — is dance to the tune of a donor just because they are a donor. Contributions entitle donors to a tax deduction and masses said for them and their intentions, NOT the ability to extort the behavior from me that they deem appropriate. I’ve seen what this kind of thing has done to certain other apostolates, and it is very much not in the interest of serving the truth.
We need donors. We need twice as many as we have now. But we don’t need donations with strings on them. Please, if that’s how you view this, just don’t send us money. It’s easier for everyone.
This is a very rare problem. In fact, it’s only happened once. I hate to even address it. But I need to make very clear that I won’t tolerate these kinds of demands. I do my level best to run this site the way I believe it should best be run, to create content that I believe serves God and His Church and the Catholic Faithful. This involves a lot of work and a lot of prayer and a lot of intuition and connections and skills that I’ve accumulated over the years in various professional positions and as a writer of untold thousands of articles and posts. If you don’t like the way I’m doing it, you might be better off taking your donation and starting your own website.
Comments? Questions? Concerns?
There are some other things on various burners that I could mention, but I’ll wait until they’re further along. I would like to take this opportunity to ask:
What are the things you’d like to see more of here? Topics? Articles? Writers? Podcasts? What are we doing that’s good? What do you want less of? What do you want more of?
Feel free to leave your comments below. I probably won’t respond to all of them, but I will read them. We’re rapidly coming up on the end of the year, and I want to begin plotting out our plans for 2016.
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.
Well said Steve.
I cast a vote for more podcasts……….you have excellent guests and commentary.
Yes, a weekly news round-up with regular panelists would go far, I think. I’m sure more than a few of the site’s fine contributors would want in.
I second that. It affords the time to multi-task. Steve, you are doing a great service to the body of Christ. I appreciate being able to go to 1 Peter 5 to get the truth and up-to-date information on the happenings in Mother Church. You are in my prayers as well; I am grateful for yours!
I’d also appreciate more podcasts. I’m very grateful for all you do.
Steve, I run ad-blocking on your site not because of the ads, as they’re lightweight and non-offensive. I do run it, however, because of the social share buttons, which do crazy, crazy amounts of tracking, the fixed position elements that take up valuable screen-space as I scroll, and the random little popups that I find very distracting like “never miss a thing” thing or the cookie notification that’s turning into a cancer on the web. My ad-blocker lets me select elements to hide and do some refactoring of the site that makes it much easier to read.
Another option to look into for income — podcast sponsorships. I doubt Harry’s or Squarespace or the other usual podcast sponsors would sponsor you guys. But they supposedly pay very well on a per-listener basis. I don’t know how big the subscriber pool is, but maybe worth looking into?
I got me two of ’em combat rosaries.
I’ll take whatever you can give and thankfully make a monthly donation.
I love the podcasts because I can listen while I work and because you’re the only person I know of doing ones on these topics. It’s either 1P5 or amateur reading on librivox. Lol
I really appreciate the articles that focus on the good and beautiful things in our faith, such as the recent article about St. Pelagius of Cordoba, or the articles about Sacred Music. I do like the articles on the scandals occurring in the Church and the other bits of news as I find 1P5 to be the most reliable, if not the first, to report on things. You clearly do a lot of research when writing those posts, as do your contributors. However, those articles that shine light on the beauties present within the Church uplift my heart in these dark times. I serve and work as a Youth Ministry Coordinator in a parish suffering from terrible catechesis and little to no (true) evangelization, so I see the effects (particularly on the young) of this papacy, the rampant liberalism of the bishops, and poorly formed priests every day. Pointing to the beauty reminds me of why I do what I do and encourages me that taking the youth to a Mozart Requiem Mass isn’t a waste of time.
Thanks for this comment in particular. I, too, would like to focus more on this. I’ve found it incredibly difficult to do so with what is going on in Rome. It occupies our minds and weighs on our hearts. Many (if not most) submissions we get these days relate to the crisis, more than to the True, the Good, and the Beautiful.
If you read our “About” page, you’ll see that my purpose in beginning this site was to remind Catholics of the timeless things. But as the crisis has deepened, and so few outlets seem to be covering what’s happening (or if so, in a way that is honest and respectable rather than over-the-top), I’ve felt it imperative that we provide here what is not being provided anywhere else.
Some have expressed concerns, privately, that this has caused us to lose our way. I hope not. I am, as always, the weakest link, because all the content here goes through me. Please pray that God give me the wisdom and guidance to serve Him and His Church alone, and not just my own agenda – even though I do my level best to align it with His, or at least, what I believe His to be.
Thanks Steve for being there . You and your writers provide confirmation, encouragement and hope to those of us who believe the Catholic Church has gone terribly off course since Vatican II. You have some terrific writers where the Spirit of God shines brightly in their words of analysis , praise and condemnation. I think you have come along way towards being the best Catholic site on the internet. Keep up the good work and my God be with all who produce, read and support One Peter 5.
Dear Mr. Skojec,
I’m sorry you’ve had some trouble with online bullies and trolls and other difficult people. I hope I haven’t been one of those. My apologies if I have been.
This is a good Catholic web site.
I agree with you that you should post, in a place where all can see, what are the parameters of acceptable comments. You have a right to set those parameters. And readers/commentators have a right to know ahead of time what those parameters are, so that they don’t get surprises when they see their comment deleted.
I would suggest also that you post in prominent place a sort of Statement of Faith. Well, you and this web site are Roman Catholic, of course. But nowadays that can mean almost anything. The National Catholic Reporter web site is Catholic too, right? In your Statement of Faith, perhaps you could say something about your stand regarding Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican II, Ecumenism, Religious Liberty, SSPX, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the Extraordinary Form of the Mass, the Ordinary Form of the Mass, and other basics that are always of interest to traditional/conservative Catholics.
Perhaps too you could post somewhere a statement about what the PURPOSE of the web site is. I mean, I would find it valuable if you could be a little more precise about what changes you want to see occur. What is the “endgame” for you?
As I see it, 1 Peter 5 is partly a web site to teach and encourage Catholic basics, and is partly a site to protest bad acts by Catholic Catholic leaders. And, it also praises the occasional good act by Catholic Church leaders.
But as we know, before the Vatican II Council, Catholic publications that protested the actions of Catholic Church leaders essentially did not exist. Then after the Council, protesting Catholic publications arose, both on the right and the left. On the right, in the early days after the Council, there arose publications such as Remnant Newspaper and Angelus Magazine.
Now the Internet has quite few such publications. But they vary with regard to what they think is wrong and what absolutely must be fixes for all to be well and right and good in the Catholic Church again. So what would it take for 1 Peter 5 to declare that the “crisis” in the Catholic Church is over? Would the Extraordinary Mass have to become the Ordinary Mass? Would Vatican II have to be denounced by the pope? Would John Paul II’s canonization have to be revoked? Would Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre have to be canonized? Well, if not those things. then what?
If the pope put you on a committee to reform and restore the Church, what exactly would be on your list of recommendations?
Well, God bless you Mr. Skojec.
Thank you all for your comments so far. I am reading and considering all of them. I see that the interest in podcasts continues to grow, and our stats are showing that they’re surprisingly popular.
I’ll divulge something here that I’m evaluating: I’ve been offered an opportunity to have a weekly radio show on a new network. I am considering whether or not this works at cross purposes with my own goals as a content producer and aggregator. I had envisioned, at one point in the past, trying to start a podcast network for the best Catholic voices out there. I still have an interest in doing this, but it’s been beyond the scope of my time and abilities to put this together.
One thing is for certain: we’ll be producing more media if that’s what our audience is looking for. I just need to better structure some things to make that a reality.
If you haven’t done so already please consider joining Awestruck.tv or another Catholic social media site. Yadyada to all those who say we need to go out to the culture. Some of us need to spend less time arguing with people who have no interest in hearing the Gosepel and seek only to drag us down into sin. Some of us need to be built up in an authentically Catholic community, which many of our parishes lack. Even if a parish still offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a reverent manner, they either can’t (or won’t) allow “fellowship.” just a thought. Thanks.