Monday, July 24, 2017

Thinking things through.

The Gossips
Carol Dameron

Gossip online.

I posted a couple of quotes from Fr. X which I interpreted as a slam against another priest whose professional interest includes the study of a famous Italian writer who experienced conversion and received the gift of repentance before he died.  The repetitive statements by Fr. X seemed to me intended to impugn the character of the other priest, or to suggest something about his sexual orientation.  Why am I talking like this?  When regular readers of this blog know who and what I'm talking about?  (Because even in this discussion I run the danger of unjustly imputing sins or faults to my neighbor.)

I don't know?  Maybe it's because this appears to be a common type of innuendo bordering on detraction, and is exactly why otherwise good priests do not support people leaving a homosexual lifestyle, or are willing to work for, or sponsor a Courage group, and so on.  At least that is what I've experienced in my repentance.  There were many good priests who did not want their names attached to this stuff because they too might be branded - or have it pointed out they are 'gay-friendly'.  Know what I'm saying?

There is also a sense of irony when one person impugns the reputation of another by insinuating homosexual inclination - especially when one's friends or colleagues, or those they support may have struggled with similar issues in their lives.  Life is full of double standards, isn't it.

Scandal and gossip.

I came across a piece last night, written in defense of Michael Voris and as a put down to his critics.  Former priest Thomas Williams was maligned for saying that Church Militant has some crazy right wing ideas.  The author of the blog freely impugns the reputation of the former priest, who is now married to the woman with whom he fathered a child.  I never knew the two were married - I knew the priest married the woman - I just didn't know who it was.  The author was trying to capitalize on the original scandal when it was discovered the priest fathered a child.  The author also went after a priest with a homosexual past.  Long story short, he is publishing all of this stuff, old news to many, in an effort to defame and slander their reputation.

Rash judgement.

I've done that too.  When I first began blogging I went after a couple of Catholic writers, without really knowing who they were.  I followed the lead of former bloggers whose criticism at times could only be described as detraction, defamation and slander.  My criticism was based upon their blog posts, totally ignorant of their personal lives and in one case, the regularization of their relationship and family.  They were, and are, all faithful Catholics.  Just as the former priest and his wife mentioned in another blog post are faithful Catholics.  The husband was laicized, the couple married, and all is well.  This is how the Church works - how it has always worked.

Yet Church militant types, engaging in their spiritual combat, use the weapons of the devil to attack those they consider their enemies.  The author of the blog defended his post claiming:
Dear readers, just this brief post demonstrates to you the intricate and powerfully monied Americanist establishment within the Church in America. It, along with the usual suspects is now joining hands to attack Church Militant. - TC
An anonymous comment (not mine) objected to the content of the post, writing:

I am appalled at this post. I live in Rome, I work with many people who are giving their all here in a very difficult climate, and I know many of them personally whom you have dragged through the mud. - Anonymous

Detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

It was a long comment by an anonymous, which I shortened here because it named names.  The comment hit the mark, defending the reputations of those the author sought to defame.  These posts, so full of gossip and innuendo remind me of a dog chasing his tail.  People just begin to look dumb and dumber as they spew such vomit.

I've brought up stuff to try and fling it back - but that's wrong.  I am wrong to do that.  It's a total waste of time.  It's worse when people agree with you or include their own contentious remarks.  We don't change people with such tactics - we just destroy our own credibility, and often the reputation of others.

Unquestioning conviction about another person's bad conduct without adequate grounds for the judgment. The sinfulness of rash judgment lies in the hasty imprudence with which the critical appraisal is made and in the loss of reputation that a person suffers in the eyes of the one who judges adversely. - Fr. Hardon

My apologies to everyone for my grievous faults.

. . .

UPDATE:  Now there is this poisonous gossip which is repeated here.  They keep repeating the stories, with the intention of destroying the reputations and lives of others.  Spiteful religious people are dirty.

FROM rash judgments proceed mistrust, contempt for others, pride, and self-sufficiency, and numberless other pernicious results, among which stands forth prominently the sin of slander, which is a veritable pest of society. 
 I entreat you never speak evil of any, either directly or indirectly; beware of ever unjustly imputing sins or faults to your neighbour, of needlessly disclosing his real faults, of exaggerating such as are overt, of attributing wrong motives to good actions, of denying the good that you know to exist in another, of maliciously concealing it, or depreciating it in conversation. In all and each of these ways you grievously offend God, although the worst is false accusation, or denying the truth to your neighbour’s damage, since therein you combine his harm with falsehood. 
Those who slander others with an affectation of good will, or with dishonest pretences of friendliness, are the most spiteful and evil of all. They will profess that they love their victim, and that in many ways he is an excellent man, but all the same, truth must be told, and he was very wrong in such a matter; or that such and such a woman is very virtuous generally, but and so on. Do you not see through the artifice? - Francis De Sales, Introduction, Chapter XXIX


  1. Most know the story of the confessor who tells the penitent woman to cut open a feather pillow and scatter the inside from a roof top and return in one week. Upon return he tells her to gather all the feathers up again. She protests it is impossible. He said, " so is taking back all your gossip and the harm it has done." Blogss can be one big feather pillow.

  2. "Now there is this poisonous gossip which is repeated"

    The title of that blog is appropo I'd say since to "keep repeating the stories, with the intention of destroying the reputations and lives of others" truly is a stumbling block to trip over and land squarely into that realm of hell where gossipers are damned for all eternity.

    I am reminded of what St. Paul tells us all, "we are to live out our salvation in fear and in trembling."

    Religious folks gossiping is not a way to live that out.

    Myself is included in that bunch and your post serves me well to remember the danger of falling into that fire pit for all eternity.

  3. Things like this seem so "grade school". Oh you write about a gay issue, person, even if they are not "practicing" must be gay too!! The people who write this kind of stuff not only seem mean spirited and just like petty gossiping old biddies, they also seem to be seething with jealousy. The blog about William is just naked envy..over the guys good looks (damn he was indeed a pretty boy wasn't he..and smart, I kind of can see where Mrs. Ex Priest was tempted....) his seemingly happy marriage, his "celebrity" and his....."lavish and decadent life style" which includes...gasp..the couple becoming sommeliers!!! The follow up posts from readers are even more absurd...actually accusing Mrs. Williams of being a "beard" (which the poster helpfully explained the definition of to all the readers) despite the fact that the whole scandal was about a priest jumping in the sack with a woman (this time) and fathering a baby.

    Z just drips envy in all his acidic little posts..especially of the Jesuits but really anyone who does not have the same political views and is more successful then he. His faux machismo with the guns, and the military, arch conservatism and the queer hating don't blunt the fact that his posts sound like they come from pure bitchiness.

    I of course, embrace my bitchiness and don't try to hide it, or as they say on the bad reality shows about drunken "housewives," I own it....they should too and not try to hide behind a curtain of religious moral indignation!

    1. I embrace your bitchiness too. LOL!

      The Mrs. refers to him as her sexy husband. He's a great looking guy and I really like her. Oh the mystery of life! Anyway - everything is kosher with them - he's laicized, their marriage is sacramental, the kids are legit, they are faithful Catholics - and the Mrs. is a very reputable art historian, prof, and critic. I love her.

      "Acidic little posts" - good description.


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