I recently decided to remove a blog from my list of links. Normally, this is a matter of small consequence and of no import, but this one is a little different, and may cost me a few readers and followers from my small, small list of readers and followers. The blog I have deleted is What Does The Prayer Really Say.
It was not a light decision, nor an easy one. I do not set myself in opposition to his blog- I generally agree with him- as opposing his juggernaut of a blog with my own insignificant one would be about as effectual as a flea opposing a locomotive. It was a decision that I made due to a sense of unease about his blog that has been growing for quite a while.
I have read his blog for years, and found it to be informative and enlightening at first. But over time, the tone of it changed. I suppose the first time I began to feel a little uneasy about his blog and the direction it started to take was a time when, in fisking an article in his usual black emphasis and red comments, he quoted an article which stated that a priest had been found molesting a girl, to which he commented in red "For a change." I thought of my own two daughters, and my reaction had someone written of them that a priest molesting a girl, my girl, would have been "for a change".
While in Church matters I am Conservative, and I recognize that Fr. Z. is a leader in the conservative movement, there are ways he seeks to defend the conservative movement that gave me pause, and ultimately lead to the decision to not to link to him any longer. A while back I posted about a prominent liberal priest in Canada who attacked bloggers as Taliban Catholics, and attacked us in the most vitriolic terms possible, all the while accusing us of lacking charity. The hypocrisy of demanding charity and showing none was completely lost on this priest. For this reason, this man's blindness, his vitriol, I will not link to his television website. I find that, while in politics Fr. Z. could not be further from that liberal priest, in tactics he was quite similar.
To cite just a recent example, there is this article about an article about recent events concerning Bishop Finn. Fr.Z. repeatedly demands that the National Catholic Reporter apologize for their vile insult to Bishop Finn, while at the same time repeatedly calling the news paper the "fishwrap" and even starting off the article with the line "Columnist Phyllis Zagano, whose skills in reading carefully and thinking through argument haven’t been entirely evident to me..." and concludes with the line that the entire article was"an insulting personal attack." I agree with him, it was an insulting personal attack, but so was Fr.Z.'s article. Like the Canadian priest showing no charity even as he demanded it, I doubt Fr. Z will teach anyone the wrongness of personal attacks by launching his own.
Similarly, what good is it for Fr. Z. to call the Pope the "Pope of Christian Unity" for his attempts to bring those who disagree with one Church teaching or another back into the Church, while at the same time demanding that those with whom he personally disagrees should just pack up and leave the Church? Or rather gleefully claiming that "the biological solution" (i.e. old age and death) will take care of the dissenter problem (it won't, the church always has and always will have dissenters, but I digress) even when they make the same claim about the Pope? It does not honour the Pope's intention that all may be one under Christ. It also makes us no better than them.
There are other things. The blog did once explain carefully the prayers of the Church, and patiently and carefully correct the errors of others. Now, he does not correct, he only mocks and dismisses. Even though I agree with him, I cannot agree with that tone, that way of treating one's enemies. I condemned those I opposed when they acted this way. I cannot condone it when those with whom I agree do it. Father Z. is gone from my links.