Who Is This Guy?
In the (American?) Orthodox Church, they have folks with “convertitus.” In professional wrestling there are “marks.” When someone flips to Catholicism and (partially) runs a blog dedicated to hyper-trad Cath discourse with a rabid desire to censor any dissent, is there a term for them as well? If so, will someone please share it?
The man known as “New Catholic” (I assume he’s been one for a few years now, but I’ll set that aside) recently removed another comment of mine on Rorate Caeli for its “tone.” The comment in question recounted a sermon given today by one of the priests at St. John Cantius. His message? “Sometimes a duck is just a duck,” meaning that when the 85-year-old Pontiff of the Catholic Church determines he no longer has the physical capacity to faithfully and effectively carry out the duties of his office, we ought to take him at his word. Granted, I did “go farther” by remarking that Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication was not a new invention; the precedent was set seven centuries ago. Moreover, I drew attention to the fact that numerous Patriarchs of the ancient Sees of the (once unified) Church have abdicated, as have numerous heads of the later-established Patriarchates. While I, as a Catholic, believe that the See of Rome is qualitatively different than, say, the See of Constantinople, I expressed my view that it is a mistake on the part of some Catholics to hold that it is so radically different that we should wholly distinguish the decision of the holder of St. Peter’s Chair from those other leaders in the Church who believed they could no longer carry on the duties of their office.
I suspect that the real reason or my post’s removal is that in a subsequent post I questioned the decision of Rorate Caeli to blanket block any comment critical of <I>Summorum Pontificum</I>. That decision rings strange given the fact R.C. routinely allows comments which personally attack the Holy Father, up to insinuating that he is a heretic (or, at least, has written/preached heresy). Moreover, R.C. is a major supporter of the Society of St. Pius X — an organization which has had no few negative words to say about S.P., especially as it concerns the Pope’s declaration that the Tridentine and Novus Ordo masses are of equal dignity. I asked New Catholic if he would be willing to clarify the matter and, additionally, clarify whether or not R.C. — given its condemnation of S.P. criticism — endorses that document’s declaration concerning the equal dignity of the masses. Obviously, no answer was or, likely, will ever be given.
Frankly, I’m not terribly surprised. While R.C. does provide a positive service insofar as it quickly translates a good deal of traditionalist Catholic news/items of interest into English, it is not a blog that takes kindly to open discussion and good-faith criticism (unless the discussion is over, say, whether Paul VI was a bigger heretic/neo-modernist than John Paul II). The closed-circle nature of the blog is indicative of a larger problem within the traditionalist Catholic community: A refusal to deal with dissent. Any break from its narrow ideological worldview is tantamount to heresy, and any questioning of “the line” must — in the mind of “writers” like New Catholic — emanate from some sort of theological-ecclesial liberalism — the sort which also endorses women priests and homosexual “marriage.” This is ideological posturing, not the pursuit and promotion of truth. Is it any wonder a good deal of traditionalist Catholics remain on the periphery of the Church, griping amongst themselves and winning few sympathizers to their cause? Ah, but so goes the world.