12 June 2011

A difficult decision

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.


The Ranter said...

You'll only get a cheer from this corner.

ignorant redneck said...

I have found Fr.Zs translations to be very useful, and his bits on Liturgy etc.

However, I don't think I'd like to sit down to a beer with him.

I'm going to say, Bravely Done, my friend, Bravely done!

David in Toronto said...

I don't disagree that he has become a little more snarky lately (coming from one who is naturally snarky, it is not always easy for me to see it); however, I think you need to cut him some slack. His work is very important and I for one am supportive of him and Voris. Some are more outspoken than others. There are many way to battle for the faith. He continues to be a daily read for me and he is doing important work. This has been a long battle and I think he knows more about what is going on then he lets on. More than you and me.

On another note, we can say that Pope's are wrong. Not every action they institute is infallible. Indults can be wrong as the one for the laity doing the dishes; it was revoked.

The indult on communion and altar girls will, I belive, one day soon go the same way. In the fullness of time these errors will be reversed.

Yes, Pope's make mistakes in judgement.

Mary333 said...

I rarely visit his blog for the very reasons you have expressed above. A few things I might have let slide by because no one is perfect but mockery seems to have become the norm rather than the exception at his site and some of the comments that are left there are poisonous so I completely understand why you would delete him from your links. A number of others have done the same recently.

Vox Cantoris said...

Hmmmm..."mockery?" Well, I just read his fisk today on this:


I suppose he is "mocking". So, let's agree that he is mocking and has become a little cranky.

Whether or not one wished to "delist" him is of no consequence. Maybe instead, one should pray for him.

As I wrote above, his style does not bother me, I can see how it would bother some. My style is sometimes "in your face" too; I've been criticized and applauded for it, both, by both priests and laity.

I think there is a place for it. We're in a war on our faith and culture; perhaps this is our white martyrdom. We need to fight back.

Is this style the right way? For him, yes.

Some people believe that graphic pictures of aborted babies are not effective, some people believe they are effective. They are and they are not, it depends on the receiver of the message.

There is room for both.

Vox Cantoris said...

Sorry, I was logged in differently and wrote above as "David in Toronto."

Mary333 said...

With all due respect to Vox Cantoris, I think the term "biological solutions" may be considered by many as more than a "little cranky". Recently, in the combox, I read these words (in reference to an elderly lady in a walker), "soon she will be trading in that walker for a box in the ground." I have a good sense of humor but do not find anything humorous about comments such as these. It is disrespectful to the dignity of the human person. Why wasn't it deleted? I seem to remember a similar crowd mocking a man 2000 years ago and remember the words He spoke not too long before his death on the Cross, "Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."

And, yes, Father is in my prayers, as are those who leave such demeaning words in the combox.

shadowlands said...

mary333 alerted me to your post, it is very respectful. I have also been posting about my own feelings regarding Fr Z and more especially the effect and influence his words have on his followers in the comment box.

I am aghast at some of the stuff I read.

I will pray for him though, as I want to stay sober today!

David in Toronto said...


Perhaps Bear a rethink is necessary.

Maybe, just maybe Father Z is justified.

And maybe you should all go after the real enemies of the Church!