Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Looks like Fr. James Martin, S.J. got Catholic Vote shut down ...

Saint Dominic dispute with Albigensian heretics 
subjecting their books to a trial by fire.
Pedro Berruguete 

Actually CV has only been suspended.

For 12 hours.  Is that a big deal?  Not really - unless 12 hours off Twitter means loss of income?  Loss of what else?  I don't know.  Don't care.  I'm not on Twitter and I don't read Catholic Vote.

Did Fr. Martin feel threatened by a tweet suggesting a Dominican beat him up?  Maybe.  But maybe he just got tired of the attacks against him and chose this 'threat of violence' as one threat he could take to the censors?  The Dominican versus Jesuit thing was obviously an academic/scholastic type of jib-jab, nothing to really feel threatened by.  Yet in our PC climate - even kids in kindergarten can be suspended for terroristic threats if they say something mean or 'homophobic'.

The thing about this story is it demonstrates the mean spirited climate online and in our discourse in daily life, and how everyone seems to be waiting to be offended and all too ready to lash back.  Everyone seems to be ready for a fight.  Everyone is ready to retaliate.  Everyone is blaming others.  Everyone is on the defensive.  I've done that.  It has no reward.  In my case, I just ended up looking like a nut, or a disgruntled employee.

In the James Martin battle, everyone involved is looking pretty desperate.  Fr. Martin's defense seems reasonable to me when he is constantly under attack and labelled - pro-gay, homosexualist, heretic, perfidious, out-of-the-closet, and so on.  His critics who rage are actually helping him to sell his book.  In fact, they are probably the best ads he and his publishers could hope for.  In some cases they actually demonstrate the need for a book like Fr. Martin's.

On the other hand, Fr. Martin's complaints and reports to the censors, strikes me as protesting too much.  He's too close to the fire and it's only to be expected he's going to get burned.  He writes one thing, but seems to say another - and good people worry that he's contradicting Catholic teaching or suggesting a change in Catholic teaching.  Although Catholic doctrine can't change, if that is what he is trying to do, his efforts compromises the faith.  Faithful Catholics need the truth.  Like it or not, Fr. Martin needs to respond to his critics, and not try to silence them.

Having said that, the entire affair tells me that behind the scenes, people are working to take down others; making calls, writing letters, calling people out, trying to get people fired, or taken offline.  You can be sure Fr. Martin's superiors and the Vatican is getting letters on him.  I'm sure Fr. Z has enemies writing letters about him.  People are watching and reporting.  The problem for the 'watchmen' is this, their lives are disrupted and preoccupied, and even obsessed with this stuff.  Egos are involved.  Status and prestige and reputation is involved.  It goes beyond righteousness, it goes beyond who is right, who is wrong.  There is a danger of corruption, of dishonesty involved in these battles.  Not that it is any of my business, but they all seem to be worried about 'saving souls' with their tactics, or worried about leading others to perdition.  I wonder about that.

Finally, there is the danger of scandal.  Scandalizing the faithful.

Lately I've been more scandalized by Fr. Martin's opponents than by him.

Song for this post here.


  1. Rad Trad Dave Domet aka Vox Cantoris is big on aking calls, writing letters, calling people out, trying to get people fired, or taken offline......

    I got one of my blogs shut down

    and got booted off of Google +

    Oh well....

    1. He doesn't sue people though - he knows how scary that can be - remember when Fr. Rosica threatened to sue him? Oh the outrage!

    2. actually he did threaten to sue a Canadian blogger unless he took down a post about his 1st and 2nd marriage.

      You are right to be concerned about threatening words against clergy.

      The Priests and religious are the ones who took vows - the laity only take one vow - marriage - and $700 can help a married laymen get out of that vow if he so desires.

      Seems Rad Trads are pissed at the men who take vows.

      I still think this war of words will lead the Rad Trads to take further steps in committing violence against priests etc...

  2. We are worse then Middle School children who play she said he said games to stir up trouble. Religious men, adults are a sorry sight play this same silly game. Years ago there was a lot of attention to evaluating the psychosocial development of men seeking ordination. The idea being we could weed out the delayed and immature men who were unsuited to religious life. Looks like it did not work. You can spot a solid mature priest a mile away. They are a rare bred. In my experience growing up many served in WW II. I see Fr. Jonathan Morris on Fox regularly. Another young media priest who seems sincere. I worry the media spotlight will destroy his vocation. I wonder why the appeal to media fame and following overtakes the message of the Gospels? It is an interesting phenomena but sad and scary too.

  3. Fr. Martin is a heretic and should be censured. He's a tool of the devil. I pray for his conversion to the faith.

    1. I am praying for him too, especially tonight at adoration.

    2. Good for you! We must pray and sacrifice for public heretics.

  4. Is it my imagination or is the bantering of the epitaph heretic getting a lot of use these days? On a Facebook site there is near hysteria about a parish hosting a 500 year Protestant Reformation event. Any one who goes, according to most posters, is risking excommunication and a secret heretic. We learned in Grammer school about all that stuff. I bet the nuns had no idea they were subverting our Faith. I am just too tired to really care. There are a lot of wacky ideas out there. I do not have to listen or follow any of them. I will stick with Pope Francis. Now I know there are those who will say I am following a know what.

    1. Dear WH,

      I'm with you. I am in no position to toss the word "heretic" around much less call someone by that overused word.
      I am of the opinion that soon, very soon, the meaningful meaning of the word/label "heretic" will simply cease to exist due to excessive overuse.

      Prayers for all the "alleged heretics" and for those who are in no position/authority of any kind to call them such.

      Have a blessed weekend wh with the new bouncing bambino!

    2. Thank you Yaya. All babies are beautiful gifts from God. So yes we are enjoying him immensely. We have been prime child care providers for his two lovely sisters since retiring. We will have him too when his mother returns to work two days a week. God is so good to us. Still praying to St Jose as you started. Adding a request that these little ones have a better world in their future.


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