Friday, September 16, 2011

What is it about Mark Shea that people do not like?

Actually that's sort of a rhetorical question - like "Is the pope Catholic?"
PART I [I added a part II now!]
When I began blogging I never knew there were so many cliques.  I noted blogger award widgets on certain blogs, not realizing the awards were just someone's idea to promote their own blog - yeah - in a way!  I thought to myself, "Wow!  These guys are like professionals!"  Indeed - some got paid.  My favorite blog at the the time was Cafeteria is Closed - Gerald had a crazy combox and was quite traditional at the time.  I got into the snark and snappy dialogue. 
Now I've always regarded myself as a traditional Roman Catholic - although not part of any group within that orbit.  Little did I know Trads would think of me as a liberal.  I know! Man, I was so naive to think that striving to live my life in accord with Church teaching, practicing daily prayer, going to Mass as often as possible - if not daily, while spending time in adoration each week, and trying with great difficulty to be faithful to the duties of my state in life, while searching for ways to exercise myself in works of charity ... not to mention being a stalwart Papist - I actually thought that was the way be a faithful Catholic.
Yet after beginning the blog, while working amidst better Catholics than myself who on a daily basis showed and told me how much evil had infiltrated the Church - one guy going so far as to call a local bishop the 'antichrist', while others clued me in on all the homosexual priests in the diocese, as well as those who fathered children and drank and gambled too much.  Everyone seemed to blame Vatican II for that, and of course, the Novus Ordo Mass.  At the same time I learned about the evil AmChurch as the sedevacantists called it, the Bernadine conspiracies, the rash of possessed people just in my archdiocese, as well as the persecution the real Traditionalists suffered.  I was sucked into the outrage over Fr. So and So getting dismissed from his teaching position because of his views on the Jewish problem; and the fact that Fr. So and So had to go elsewhere to be ordained because he was kicked out of the seminary for being too traditional; or that Fr. So and So was exiled from his parish for being too orthodox; and how the archbishop refused to talk to Catholic parents who went public with their objections and conspiracy theories as to how the diocese is being run... and so on and so forth.
What's my point?  My point is this - I got sucked into that negative culture - big time.  It is so easy to do, believe me.  Especially when you are told things like, "You just might loose your soul if you don't start going to the TLM!"  Sure there were problems - there are problems - but calling a bishop the Antichrist?  Nevertheless I fell into that "morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes" which Paul warns Timothy about in today's first reading.  "From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions and mutual friction..."  And I blogged about it.  I bought into that crap.  And a lot of Catholic bloggers continue to do the exact same thing.
Very early on a very pietistic fellow blogger helped me see the foibles of a few other women bloggers whom I really knew nothing about except for their books, television appearances, and of course their blogs.  I formed my opinions from hearsay and gossip, read a few negative posts on the ladies to get some dirt - and then I wrote a couple of snarky posts about them.  All three of the women contacted me at some point asking what they had ever done to me to warrant my negative comments.  They called me out - charity.  I corresponded with them - some more than others, and hey - I found out they too were faithful Catholics!  Whaddya know?!  Likewise I used to hear that this blogger or that famous blogger was an unspecified jerk.  Although I never read them, I had it in my head something was wrong with them.  A couple of years later, I came across their blogs and I started reading these guys - whaddya know?!  They were neither jerks or bad Catholics!
If you don't know it by now, there is a huge negative culture online that does absolutely nothing to attract people to the Church.  There are band wagons rolling around the net and if they are not collecting souls, they surely are repelling them.  We need to be careful - don't jump on any of them - even if they appear as an angel of light.  And if we ourselves start to think we are a stalwart defender of the faith - if we think we are on a mission from God, be really careful:  As St. Paul writes: "watch out lest you fall."
Just for the record, I'm Roman Catholic.  I neither recognize nor do I answer to any other label.

The real nutcracker, ball-buster, a spade is a spade, whatever you want to call it.
So what else is behind it, huh?  Behind what?  Behind the covetousness of blogging?  Or why people do not like so and so - or me?  You know what I think it is?  More often than not I think it is pride, ambition, envy, jealousy and greed and the remembrance of wrongs, and resentment, and, and...
Yep.  I actually wanted to be famous in the beginning of this waste of time.  I wanted my blog to get awards and attention.  I wanted big people to link to me and link to me and praise me.  For instance, I knew a famous priest who had a blog and I asked him if he'd link to me.  It wasn't that I admired him or even liked him that much - I just wanted him to link to me.  He didn't.  So I linked to him - writing some unflattering posts at times.  In the beginning, pride, ambition, envy, jealousy, and resentment inspired a few of those posts - although eventually I got over those motivations and just enjoyed his blog for what it is.  Like Sr. Vauzou's change of heart towards Bernadette, I actually got to like and admire the man.  I hope.  My point in revealing this however, is that it wasn't/isn't just me who had/has issues when it comes to other bloggers.  Some of you reading this have the exact same issues - your comments and posts tell the story.
That said, pride, ambition, envy, jealousy and resentment and so many other evil inclinations infected my blogging even about others I never knew.  When we feel snubbed, ignored, not taken seriously, some of us get pissed if we are not as detached as we imagined ourselves to be.  We try to mortify - or rather deny the slight - but sometimes it festers.  Even with people we claim to like.  Once or twice I went to the defense of a blogger or two who felt persecuted and calumniated, incurring the wrath of their attackers - who subsequently punished me by no longer linking to me.  Eye roll.  Eventually I myself said something to offend the sensibilities of one or two of these damsels in distress, and suffered the loss of their friendship.  Ever since, I think of these women whenever I reflect upon or write about my own predisposition to ambition, envy, jealousy and resentment.  They taught me much about myself.
Not all bloggers are like this of course - but some of us can be.  Many of us like to claim we are persecuted and suffer violence for the kingdom of God, or we are in some dark night of the soul, or purification of the spirit to suffer so much - and yet, truth be told, 'what goes around comes around' and  most of us deserve what we get.  I know I do.  And yes dear martyrs, it can be a purification of sorts, after we recognize and acknowledge that we ourselves are usually the problem. 
To paraphrase St. Paul from today's first reading:  "Those who want to be famous, award winning bloggers are falling into temptation and a trap and into many and foolish harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction.  For the love of riches, fame, power, self-opinion and pride is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains."   It's so true.  If you don't believe me, just remember that in the past year we've seen a few examples of how great the fall can be.  Or just read the comboxes of posts that have well over 100 comments.  You'll see what I'm talking about.
Yeah - I think that about covers it for today.  I know.  TMI.  (Too much information - and much too long - again.)

Art:  Death's Bandwagon


  1. Here is an excellent example of things gone wrong:

    It is from a blog that advocates Roman Catholicism.

    There are many blogs that are like water; they eventually seek their own level.

    Roman Catholic?

    Everyone Baptized or converted to Catholicism is a Roman Catholic.

    The amount of knowledge of the Faith determines to what degree someone is Catholic.

    Here is an example:

    I became aware children were being Baptized using Godparents that were co-habitating; not married in the Church.

    Because I knew this to be an abuse of the Sacraments, I notified the local Bishop’s Office.

    I called the Parish in question and spoke with the man responsible for verifying documents regarding qualifications.

    I wrote to the Papal Nucio.

    No response in over eight months.

    I did read an online posting from the Archbishop claiming all Baptisms under his authority were proper.

    Without contacting me to show him to the contrary.

    If this would have come to the attention of a Catholic anywhere in the loop it went through, the matter would have been properly investigated and corrected.

    In Traditional Societies, this situation would not happen due to traditionals following Holy Mother Church's direction obediently.

    You need to prove, as Holy Mother Church has always required until now, that you were on the up and up, Sacrament wise.

    Some claiming to be Roman Catholic, others actually being Catholic.

    If someone is living the Faith as described in this post, this most certainly has to be pleasing to God.

    To attack someone like this as not being Catholic is not Charitable.

    If you know much about the Faith, put it to good use catechizing.

    But do not use you knowledge as a battering ram.

    God bless you Mr. Nelson.

    May God hear all your prayers and come to like you.


  2. Terry, you can't beat this dead horse enough.

    Thank you for the reminder.

  3. Thanks T.
    Sometimes I think you have my brain tapped and are writing specifically to me. Which is fine. A lil creepy in that X-Files sorta way, but fine.

  4. Terry, you can't please everyone. I'm afraid some folks who think they are crusading for Christ are really just crusading for themselves. They may have started off with good intentions and then let the stats, the followers, the attention and the accolades go straight to their heads.

    It seems to me some folks just want to hear their opinion regurgitated, which would explain the love affair some have with Michael Voris. I just can't listen to anyone who makes a living out of trying to convince the already convinced while condemning those they should be trying to persuade. Believe me, I get the anger, really I do, but I don't know what purpose it serves to keep hearing about them vs us, whoever the them and us happens to be.

    I'm very saddened about some of the things people have said about you, and perhaps sadder still that I said nothing to come to your defense. Rather, I dropped the offending blogger from my list. Nothing I say will matter and will, in fact, most likely result in either a YouTube video being made mocking what I say or the infamous anonymous blogger copying and pasting my comments. Have at it folks, if that floats your boat, but please don't market yourselves as martyrs. You haven't the first clue what a martyr really is.

    Anyway, you're one of only a handful of major bloggers who were kind enough to link to me. I leaves comments on other people's blogs and have added to their already-bloated following, only to have them completely ignore me, except of course to correct my spelling or a grammatical error. Whatever. It's a good exercise in humility for me, if nothing else.

    Anyway, this has been on my mind, and I thank you for the opportunity to share it.

    Now let she among you without sin cast the first stone.

  5. Bravo.

    And that's a great quote from St Paul. He was so prophetic.

  6. Mr Terry....

    One of the MAIN reasons I frequent bogs is to learn a bit more of my Catholic faith, and well as kick back and have a cold one and good conversationwith like-minded individuals.

    You have EXCELLENT tidbits on little-know saints that have wanted me to learn more..

    The conversationin many walys is ike hanging aroudnthe office water cooler...I get enough from the Mormons at work about me going to hell, I don't need it from fellow Catholics just because I wear jeans to Mass occasionally..and day by day, bit by bit, I try to grow a bit more holy.

    I'm really glad the blogs weren't around when I started my Catholic journey...I wouldn't have been abel to tell the difference between the good ones and the crazies-- I DID accidently come across a lefebrist Web page and fortunately I talked to my priest abouit it and he steered me WAAYY clear-- and I would have never crossed the Tiber....


  7. Terry,
    You know that we are on the same page right now. You and I are sharing a brain right now, at least a small part of a brain.

    The temptation to quit blogging crosses my mind every day, numerous times a day. But I find it hard to move forward with that resolve. And also, there are real people out there, like you, who I want to stay friends with and who I get something from.

    I will be linking on my blog. Excellent.

  8. Terry, God bless you, really.

    You do not waste your time.

    And to answer the question of the post, I think people hate him because he sees through bullshit. I don't always agree with him, but I think his "problem" is that he calls a spade a spade, and I think certain groups that like to feel persecute perceive themselves a persecuted, when in reality, Shea's whole point is that cliquishness and this whole crusader mindset is spiritually dangerous.

    I read his defense of Micahel Voris. But of course people will look past that and see him only as a "hater".

  9. Way to go Terry…. Sting what's left of my conscience why don't you?

    After 5 years…

    1531 posts…
    456 unfinished drafts…
    691,567 hits…
    691,567 hints from my wife to get off the computer…
    1 valid death threat (Not my wife)…
    2 PayPal donations (from the same person)…
    2 many puppet stories
    0 awards…
    0 Nominations…

    …I discover last week:
    My blog is worth $146.00….

    No, I ain’t sellin'!

    I do however plan to make a serious examination of conscience concerning my own blogging, as your post has brought up points I’ve already been considering for some months now… Thanks. J

  10. Er, er, sorry I got distracted reading the comments. I can't remember what I wanted to say now, but it was good.

  11. Anonymous5:19 AM


    In my opinion, your life is not a waste. You've helped me through your blog in ways that are hard to describe. It's subtle at times, I guess, but I have noticed more than a few times how you've influenced me.

    I'm grateful for it.

  12. Thank you for your continued excellent postings, Terry -

    God bless you.

  13. Of course, it could also be that I'm a jerk sometimes.... :)

    I figure that if there's a lot of people making similar complaints about me and there's only one me, the common denominator is probably me. Not that I necessarily know what to do about that, but it does make for something to talk about at Confession.

    Anyway, thanks for your typically thoughtful and good-hearted post. Don't stop doing what you do. You are a healing balm in a blogosphere which, as Dale Price puts it, does for civility what Stalin did for agriculture. :)

  14. Mark - thanks - I just got back from confession myself.

  15. Rhaps! Hi! Miss you. Thanks everyone for your kind remarks!

  16. Terry,

    I apologize for my inability to respond to your posts on the fracus. My oldest daughter is getting married next September and we've been looking at venues, photographers, dresses - etc. I was especially concerned that time did not allow me to respond to some of the conclusions being drawn which made you feel convicted as unorthodox or unfaithful to doctrine, which is, of course, absurd.

    Catholic blogging, especially at this time in our history, is about helping to free up truth from the negligence and errors of unfaithful priests and Bishops. Each of us has their own calling and mission. Christ ministered to people's spiritual and temporal needs in numerous ways, according to the situation. Some - like Judas, He tried to set an example for through loving him gently. Others, He provoked by saying they were dogs unworthy of reception. Others, He took the whip to drive them out. Other times, in His omnipotence - He knew the situation called for truth and mercy. There is temperament of the persons, spiritual warfare and other things involved in the reasons for these different approaches.

    Christ could, of course, do it all and in an instant. He could see it all, knew it all and in His perfection, could create a perfect storm for healing. Healing requires a submission of the person. If it relied solely upon God, everyone would be perfect in health and mind and spirit. There are different ways and different approaches according to the circumstances.

    In our humanity, we cannot. To make up for that, each of us has been imparted with gifts to carry out only a part of it.

    You have your own mission in this spiritual vortex as we try to carry on Christ's ministry. Shea has his own mission. I have mine. Voris has his.

    Instead of working as the Mystical Body of Christ, two things are happening in blogosphere.

    1. People suffer from the affliction of believing their own calling and mission is the sole ministry of Christ.

    2. The mission gets trumped by one that protects the ego, emotions and feelings of people.

    All of us can and do fall into these pits along our way. As our faith matures, we grasp number 1.

    Number 2 is always hanging around in some form or way - either in minor ways or it can take over the animus of the mission and the people near it.

    The discussions about Communion in hand were so immersed in both of these spiritual challenges that my presence in bringing them into to the light was only serving to dig their heels more deeply into these flaws.

    Since my own mission is more of the emergency search and rescue, I have a tough time watching people swimming in the river of denial without trying to cast the net. Since I felt this was conflicting with what you want to do on your own blog - I unlinked you to avoid my own temptations. My unlinking you did not mean to imply anything else. I apologize for any hurt or rejection that made you feel. The irony of it is, I was trying to spare you from me.


  17. Thanks Carol - good thoughts as usual - no hard feelings here - I assure you.

    This post wasn't really about what went on earlier w/the communion in the hand stuff, and you weren't amongst the 3 ladies I wrote about here who dropped me from their links. The three I mentioned are long gone and were a part of a situation which happened a couple of years ago. One is a former novice/nun, the two others were contemplating vocations, or something like that. Unfortunately, I've had quite a record for offending people. I've actually had many more men and priests drop me. LOL! it happens.

    Personally I like the blog to be unpopular and keeping the Follower's app low - that way I don't have to worry about trying to please anyone, play favorites, or censor myself. Readers are free to come and go as well.

    God bless you!

  18. Anonymous2:04 PM

    This blog is all about you and your various interactions with what's left of Catholicism.

    This entails being sorry for things you either haven't done or things you don't intend on remedying.

    You can always feel good about yourself by taking control of the situation and blocking comments, getting a new hairstyle or even making a new painting of Mathew Shepherd as the Shepherd, or something to really get people angry.

    Anything to feel superior and judge those who don't share your advanced spirituality and cultural talents.

    Even in a post about defendig Mark Shea, it always can come back to you.

  19. What is it about Mark Shea that people do not like?

    1. He engages in personal attacks against those who disagree w/him.

    2. He routinely constructs rhetorical straw men to support his arguments.

    3. He will try to destroy the character of those who disagree with him.

    4. He refuses to address opposing positions with any substance.

    5. He will stalk people who disagree with them and attack them on other blogs. He did this with me and did it recently with another fellow.

    6. When all else fails, he claims to be victimized and misunderstood.

    7. He indulges in false humility and false repentence, as his post on this thread demonstrates.

    8. He is a bully.

    9. He is a coward.

    10. He is a pathological narcissist who needs spiritual direction and psychological counseling.

    Word verification: exocy

    If only....

  20. Larry Coty6:52 PM

    My question: How many terabytes are allowed per reply?

  21. Larry Coty - I don't know what that means?

  22. I agree with Joseph D'Hippolito.

  23. Thank you very much, Ioannes.

  24. You are welcome, Joseph. Frankly, I have become disgusted and disappointed at self-proclaimed prophets of apologetics who make money off selling books on their blog sites, and admonish us "miscreants" to mortify ourselves, but are demonstrably incapable of doing so themselves.

  25. We blog to bring Christ to that one lost soul on the internet searching for something. God only knows how many heads we have collectively entered into.

    We blog to offset the tons of filth on the internet.

    We blog to exercise our freedom of speech, while we still can.

    We blog to build up the body of Christ and one another in a positive, truthful way.

  26. So what then does Mark Shea blog for?

  27. Joe, Ioannes, Larry:

    God bless you.

  28. 1. He engages in personal attacks against those who disagree w/him.


    10. He is a pathological narcissist who needs spiritual direction and psychological counseling.'re praying for him, right? Right?

  29. God bless you, too, Mark.

  30. Praying for Mark - indeed, for all the brethren - is a good idea. That does not mean that the critique of Mark's blogging style presented here shouldn't be presented. Mark is as imperfect as Michael Voris and others whom he routinely and publicly criticizes.

  31. I think Mark Shea is fair to Michael Voris.

    Yes I disagree with him sometimes, and I disagree with his style sometimes. Often.

    But he is very quick to apologize for mistakes and misunderstandings and overzealousness.

    One of the things I LIKE about Mark Shea is that he does not see his blog as some sort of personal calling by God to spread the truth against the Bishops (and he's not above criticizing them when they need it, though). He knows his role as a layman, and it shows.

  32. I think Mark Shea is perfectly aware of his shortcomings - which is one reason why I happen to admire him.

  33. Ioannes:

    A brief fisk.

    Frankly, I have become disgusted and disappointed at self-proclaimed prophets

    I joke sometimes about being "right all the time" when our culture does something in accord with its general course (such as moving from approving of homosexuality to approving of incest). But I don't really claim to be a prophet, as people with a functional sense of humor know.

    of apologetics

    Others call me an "apologist", I don't.

    who make money off selling books on their blog sites,

    So you'd prefer I starve? Do you get paid for what you do? If you imagine I'm getting rich off my books, then you obviously know nothing about Catholic publishing

    and admonish us "miscreants" to mortify ourselves, but are demonstrably incapable of doing so themselves.

    Two points. Could you document for me when I have admonished any miscreants to mortify themselves? Also, since this is a theme to which you repeatedly return (and by it, you mean "Shea is fat and therefore obviously a glutton whom I can feel free to condemn as such") could you, by your mystic arts peer into my soul and declare what it means that I have lost 60 lbs? Am I still unrighteous in your sight O Eternal Judge of Souls? How much more weight has to come off before I am not "demonstrably" incapable of mortification? Indeed, could you give me a detailed account of my practices of self-mortification? I await your next diagnosis, Ioannes.

  34. As far as Dark Lords go, Mark is a rather fair guy. I mean, every third Thursday of the month, he throws us mostly cooked chicken, instead of the barely cooked chicken we get the other Thursday's of the month. For which we who wallow in his Pits of Despair are ever so grateful...

  35. Mark, I had always assumed Catholic authors got filthy rich. You mean you do not make barrels and barrels of money off of your writings? Really?

    And I never thought of you as an "apologist", since the work you do and your area of expertise is quite different from say, Jimmy Akin or Dave Armstrong.

  36. I am no judge, Mark. But you spend a lot of time defending yourself. And a lot of time criticizing Voris and anyone else whom you think shouldn't be pointing out the problems in the Church in America.

  37. Larry,

    I think that Mark Shea is basically a good guy. So are most of the people here. But he doesn't like criticism and when he gets it, he takes off on the messenger. Furthermore, it isn't right for him to hold in effigy anyone pointing out the problems in the Church which are mostly due to the infestation of liberalism. Voris isn't perfect, but he's 100% right about that.

    True, my criticism of Shea's weight is wrong. I got my own problems. So I apologize. Yet I did it because I was frustrated - I wanted to show him that we all got problems and maybe if he talks about his and how he's overcoming it instead of deriding Voris or traditionalists or Corapi or those who refuse to equivocate abortion and the death penalty, then maybe he'll be more on track. And yes, he does ban anyone who doesn't agree to his ideas, or he ridicules and reviles them, making them look like crap. So when the tables are turned on him, he protests.

    Another thing: I don't begrudge him for making money on his books. St. Paul said the workman is worthy of his hire. But on the other hand he shouldn't go around criticizing Republicans or Conservatives for being money hungry and rejecting the Church's social teachings. It's Obama and his $500 million to that defunct solar power company, and enviro-wacko Al Gore and his gas guzzling Lincoln navigator - the liberal elitists - who are the hypocritical money hungry SOBs, promising social justice for the poor while raping the tax payer. And NO, it isn't govt's job to redistribute wealth. We as Christians are supposed to care for the poor, not abdicate our responsibility to nanny govt.

    And no, I don't appreciate Mark Shea's criticism of Rick Perry. He's the only guy who had the guts to have an actual prayer service (albeit Protestant). No Catholic politician did that! His record on the death penalty is far outweighed by his opposition to abortion and homosexuality, and furthermore, God in Romans 13:1-7 gave the State the power to execute criminals. You murder someone, then don't expect anything but what you gave. That being said, I don't like executions. I don't support executions. But I shall happily and proudly vote for Perry given the chance. That godless man of sin Obama has got to be defeated no matter what, and Mark Shea's obfuscation of these issues only serves to confuse people.

    The Church is torn apart by liberal clerics who don't know the faith and Democrat Party spokespersons among the laity at Chanceries and parishes who manipulate money to liberal Democrat causes. The country is being bankrupted by that filthy dirty idolator in the Oval Office. The time has come for change. Liberalism has got to go.

  38. LarryD:

    You are a funny guy. I'll kill you last.


    Thanks for apologizing about your judgmentalism over my weight. (Good news, I'm at my lowest point in over a decade, thanks be to God.)

    I am no judge, Mark.

    I think what you meant to say was "I'm sorry I judged you, Mark." Since you repented elsewhere, let me take this moment to say, "I forgive you."

    But you spend a lot of time defending yourself.

    That could have something to do with the fact that folks like you spend a lot of time attacking me. Joe D'Hippolito has made a legendary bore of himself doing it all over the blogosphere for years, while I have not responded to him--for years. Similarly, you will notice that this is the first time I have defended myself from your rather steady stream of attacks. That should give you a clue about how often I engage the various others who attack me. Generally, when I do so, it is for some pedagogical purpose, because a given attacker has said something that nicely illustrate a point I've been trying to make (though I do have to confess that when somebody screams, "You are an IDOIT!" at me that cracks me up and I have to giggle over it with my readers.

    And a lot of time criticizing Voris and anyone else whom you think shouldn't be pointing out the problems in the Church in America.

    Actually, I have only criticized Voris a relatively few times, and only because he was saying something I thought was manifestly illogical, inflammatory or unfair. I have no problems with pointing out problems in the Church per se. I do have a problem with vigilantes who smear innocent people as heretics (Priscillianists, to be precise) for the sin of doing what Holy Church permits, but Voris' personal piety has decided is a sin.

    Another thing: I don't begrudge him for making money on his books. St. Paul said the workman is worthy of his hire. But on the other hand he shouldn't go around criticizing Republicans...

    Again, I think what you *meant* to say was "I'm sorry I said, "Frankly, I have become disgusted and disappointed at self-proclaimed prophets of apologetics who make money off selling books on their blog sites". I'm glad you clarified that the real issue was a partisan political grudge and not my making a living off my hard work. I always sort of thought that was a conservative value. As to my critiques of conservatives who, as you put it are, "rejecting the Church's social teachings" I will continue to critique that, as I critique liberals who do the same. Next time, please actually just say, "You offend my political tribal pieties" and don't sublimate your anger by complaining about things I do that you later acknowledge you don't really object to.

  39. Joe D'Hippolito has made a legendary bore of himself doing it all over the blogosphere for years...

    That comment reflects Mark's talent for combining cowardice in facing issues with personal attacks.

    Let me show you all something that Victor Morton, an editor for the Washington Times, wrote in my defense on another blog in 2004:

    The reader will note above that the thread, prior to Joseph's first post, had not involved Mr. Shea.

    Joseph did not attempt to engage Mr. Shea, did not attempt to hijack his blog, did not refer to him. So it's rather unconvincing to hear "I've spent a great deal of time avoiding you. You're like a bad penny. ... I keep running into your obnoxious and abusive crap on blogs I regularly read." Everybody has some people they don't like, or can't imagine engaging even for the sake of collegial disagreement, someone at St. Blogs whose orthodoxy they question. Tough titty. (See me engaging Suspicious Severity or whateverhisnameis.)

    Mr. Shea's disagreement (he is not a bishop and has no real authority in these matters, so nothing he says can ever rise above that) is not an excuse to try to destroy somebody's reputation by repetitively injecting himself wherever Joseph may go, talking about whatever subject Joseph may, and calling him Osama bin Laden or a mass murder advocate. This was NOT disagreement with somebody, but an attempt to demonize a human being, to make him anathema as such, to pursue him like a stalking siren. And Joseph is right to protest it.

    To paraphrase an early 20th-century philosopher, "Nuf 'ced."

  40. BTW, Mark, you do not respond because you (and Victor) know that I'm right, and you have no defense.

  41. Mark, I'd prefer you admit the truth, apologize and make a serious effort to repent but that's your affair.

  42. I was going to comment, but I've decided that what I really need is to engage in more introspection. When I point my finger at someone else, three fingers point back at me.

    And, what Belinda said - hopefully.

  43. The Little Way, just because we need to be introspective doesn't necessarily mean that we can ignore people who routinely abuse others in the name of God or the Church, and speak out about it.

  44. I again agree with Joseph D'Hippolito. Now Mark Shea did respond to Joseph's questions with a pious "God bless you." yet he still hasn't answered those questions.

    And yes, I do hope that God blesses Mark Shea. But I don't say that with any sense of false piety (I am not sure I have any piety to claim). Furthermore, blessings start when we stop "abusing others in the name of God or the Church." Perhaps we've all been guilty of that (myself certainly included and Mark certainly NOT excluded).

  45. The pot really ought to be careful about calling the kettle black.

  46. Mr. Shea,
    Honestly, I am continually surprised how it is we can both watch the exact same thing and come away with a completely different understanding. If you knew Voris at all, you'd know he would never accuse any Catholic of *sinning* for receiving communion in the hand--and he never implied that in the video you reference:

    I know you think you're connecting dots A, B & C, yet you come up with Z on this one--way off the mark.

    How about giving Voris a call and *asking* him yourself exactly what he meant in his video, instead of committing the sin of rash judgment, jumping to unreasonable conclusions, then broadcasting those false conclusions to the public, to the harm of a brother's reputation? And please do not use the excuse, "Well, perhaps HE could use the same tactic toward the bishops..." If he ever calls out a bishop by name, it is because that bishop has *already* been contacted, and refuses to back down from some false or heretical position. And it really shouldn't matter anyway how HE responds; the onus is on US to do as Christ expects, regardless of how others behave.

    If I sound a bit scolding, I don't mean to; it's just that I'm a mother, and if I ever saw one of my children behaving this way, I'd be very disappointed and give him a good talking to. This is not how brothers behave with each other, and it saddens me when I see it.

  47. Terry--Good post, by the way. I took a 2-year hiatus from my blog some time back, and deleted all of my posts (sometimes we get too attached to our writing). It did my soul good.


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