Bravo: Bishops Respond to Media Bias and Inaccuracies

Bishop Thomas Paprocki : Bishop Michael Sheridan

Engaging media bigotry head-on: Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, Diocese of Springfield, and
Bishop Michael J. Sheridan, Diocese of Colorado Springs

Ever since Pope Benedict announced his resignation, the media has given a special voice to the usual cadre of anti-Catholic bigots and malcontents lashing out at the Church over the decades-old abuse issue.

However, in what may be the beginning of a positive development, two bishops are finally engaging in the public debate with these haters and calling them out for their inaccuracies. The time for bishops to speak out against the media jihad against the Catholic Church is long overdue.

Bishop Paprocki steps up

Seizing on Benedict's announcement earlier this month, so-called Episcopal priest Tom Ehrich unleashed an angry and bigoted screed in which he stated that the Catholic Church is "uninterested in sex abuse scandals beyond their litigation costs," "stuck in the 19th century," "providing safe cover for oppression and intolerance," "against oppressed peoples," and "homophobic." It was an unhinged screed of such magnitude that it easily could have found a home in the anti-Catholic New York Times or a 19th-century Know Nothing pamphlet.

However, whereas most Church leaders and spokespeople would have shrugged at such a column and done nothing, Springfield, Illinois, Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki publicly responded forcefully to Ehrich's ugly rant.

Bishop Paprocki penned a reply for The State Journal-Register newspaper in Springfield under the headline, "Tom Ehrich column promoted religious bigotry." The bishop took Ehrich to task:

"Columnists are indeed entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Ehrich got it wrong in several ways.

"I cannot imagine a secular newspaper publishing such hostile vitriol against any other religion except the Catholic church … [I]t is untrue and patently malicious to declare that Roman Catholicism is 'uninterested in sex abuse scandals beyond their litigation costs.' I know of many cases where dioceses have compensated victims long after their claims were legally barred by the statute of limitations."

Kudos to Bishop Paprocki for standing up to Ehrich's campaign of misinformation and hate.

Defending the faith: Bishop Michael Sheridan

The National Catholic Reporter is an angry, dissident rag that has little connection to the Catholic Church on faith. Its vitriol against the Catholic Church cannot be overstated, and it is obsessive in its coverage of sex abuse allegations from 30, 40, and 50 years ago as a pretext for bashing the Church hierarchy for whom it holds in such contempt for being faithful to Church teaching. In the past we have cited the Reporter for its blatant dissent, dishonesty, and mean-spiritedness.

Now, Colorado Springs Bishop Michael John Sheridan has joined Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn in calling out the Reporter for its flagrant opposition to the Church. In an article in, Sheridan cited the Reporter as "an embarrassment to the Catholic Church" and opined, "I don't understand why some of these publications use the word Catholic when in some of their editorial stances they stand absolutely opposed to Church dogma."

For far too long, bishops and diocesan spokespeople have been overly timid in responding to false and bigoted attacks against the Church. Bravo to Bishop Paprocki and Bishop Sheridan for finally speaking out in the public square and making the Church's case.

We hope that more Church leaders will follow the lead of these two brave bishops.


  1. jim robertson says:

    Brave my ass, reactionary is what these clowns are. Church as victim? Funny if you don't enable child rape; the public, at the worst, is merely indifferent to religion. Do you actually think this, Church as victim scam, will work for you?

    • Jeff says:

      Okay, Jim. It's clear you hate the Catholic Church, and you've chosen to ignore the existance of anti-Catholicism. Good for you! Join the masses! Now is your time! But who are speaking to in your questions? The "Catholic Church"? Where is your data to support that the "Catholic Church" enables child rape? And I don't mean certain broken individuals who are being tried and punished, but where is evidence that the entire Catholic Church (or even a tiny faction of us) enables rape? Of course, there is none. You've made a bigoted, idiot remark. And there lies the evidence that you're a bigoted idiot.

    • jim robertson says:

      Oh don't you be an idiot. You enable rape by not going after the pedophile priests and the prelates who transfered them. You pay their salaries and pensions. That's how you've enabled. Your Church may not be a democracy yet but there is no good reason why it shouldn't be; or are elections only for the princes not the peasants?

    • Brandon Smith says:

      Jim – do you know anyone who was actually victimized – were you victimized yourself?  I know that this isn't the place to let your story or my story take air, but I'm curious as to the source of your energy.  I would bet that whatever has happened to you or your loved ones isn't as bad as what all has happened to me and my loved ones.  I pray that Justice gets worked out so that you can come to a place where you can have mercy – because mercy is freedom.

  2. Joanne says:

    Bravo for the bishops. Get out there and lead. Faithful Catholics will support you. Turning the other cheek and being blessed while they persecute you does not preclude one from setting the record straight. As the bishop said, people are entitled to their opinion but not their own facts. Many times slanderers will use half-truths to distort, deceive, and manipulate public opinion.

    • jim robertson says:

      Or inventing a "record" that plays again and again.  We have all the victims what's not factual about us?

  3. Michael Skiendzielewski says:

    Now there's someone I'd like to join forces with when I speak out about Church issues, regardless of which side I am supporting……..criminally convicted Bishop FinnBy the way, Bishop Sheridan, the word catholic…………….as an ADJECTIVE

    1. Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive: "The 100-odd pages of formulas and constants are surely the most catholic to be found" (Scientific American).

    2. Including or concerning all humankind; universal: "what was of catholic rather than national interest" (J.A. Froude).

    3. Catholic

    a. Of or involving the Roman Catholic Church.

    b. Of or relating to the universal Christian church.

    c. Of or relating to the ancient undivided Christian church.

    d. Of or relating to those churches that have claimed to be representatives of the ancient undivided church.

  4. Tony de New York says:

    Good 4 the bishops. We catholics need to pray and work together for the evangelization and conversion of this people.

  5. Dan says:

    Good for you Jim. It is absolutely NOT about Catholic hate. It is about an organization who covers up for criminals and makes excuses for crimes. They should all be in jail. In any other organization or walk of life the business would be shut down. The people involved prosecuted or in jail. But people who continue (unbelivable so) to make excuses for the church call it "Catholic hating" or "the church has a public relations problem" that needs fixing.

    Well it should be clear…the public in general…the worldwide public…is not going to stop putting pressure on the church until things change or until the church mercifully dies off and just goes away….

    • Orestes says:

      What about the molestation in public schools happening TODAY? 


      Should we close them too? 


      Or just the Catholic church because she is not progressive enough on other issues?

    • Jeff says:

      Oh look Jim! You've got a date for prom! Like you. Dan is another misiformed anti-Cathlic bigot who can parrot the same incoherent remarks about the Church he hates. Dan refers to the same infitesmal minority within a vast Church…but then again, that's the nature of bigotry. You two (and people like you) are quite pathetic. But the bright side is that you've found each other!! Congratulations!

    • jim robertson says:

      Thanks Dan.

      Jeff, homophobia only scares bullies like yourself.

      Infintesimile? 100,000 American victims are "infintesimle" to you? And we the victim's are oppressing you by telling you we were raped, unneccessarily?

      I'm so so sorry. Maybe you should sue me for it? I must appologize to you. I told the truth about my and other victims' rapes. It's unforgivable for me to have done that.

  6. Delphin says:

    It should only take a couple of brave, honest Church leaders, such as these two bishops, to start that pendulum off in the other (right) direction. The time is ripe for the Truth. Conservatives and Libertarians (secular and/or religious) need to start defending themselves, for the good of this once great nation and for the good of faithful Catholics (one in the same). The lefties have controlled the agenda for too long. They are on the path to ruining our great country, and the ONLY barrier fully implementing their destructful agenda is the Catholic Church.

    J-Rob's TMR boycott didn't last very long. What happened, wear out the old welcome mat at the "new guys" place so soon?

    At least gift us with bright and shiney trinkets, something besides the same old tired, blah, blah, blah, antiCatholic diatribes.

    Admit it: you really missed TMR – didn't you? Where else can you unload all your vile crap and still be treated so well?

  7. Orestes says:

    Finally the Bishops repsond.  What has taken them so long?  And when will the others join them?

    • Mark'sShadow says:

      I am another one of the thousands of US catholic priest raped victims. I wonder if I can join them. 

  8. This is interesting as always, but it is also ironic.  I'm glad to see some bishops find their spinal cords to finally stand up to half-truths in the media.  Let us all remember that this decade of scandal began with a witch hunt launched by The Boston Globe's Spotlight Team which cast a very harsh light not on the topic of sexual abuse, which has been epidemic in our culture, but on the foibles of the Catholic Church. The arrogance of The Globe leadership was that Catholics en masse would abandon their Church and keep their newspaper. A decade later, there is another story brewing while the whole world is looking at the Vatican. The Catholic Church is not for sale, but The Boston Globe is. For the second time in a decade, The New York Times is trying to unload it. In 1993, The Times bought the Globe for $1.1 billion.  Today its highest bid is less than 10% of that amount. The Times itself has fallen on hard times. What was once the flagship American paper is now a distant third in circulation and clout behind The Wall Street Journal and USA Today.  There is another cleric who found his spinal cord recently.  One would think that a wrongly imprisoned priest would be counting upon a sea change in the court of public opinion led by a paper like The Times.  However, the truth is not for sale either, and this priest exposed a scandal that should have been staggering for The Times had most Catholics not simply ignored it. Here is that link:


  9. Mary De Voe says:

    Michael: Bishop Finn was found guilty of a misdemeanor. "criminally convicted" is a fabrication of your mind, pure and simple. By the way, the principle of separation of church and state, requires the state, not the church, to prosecute child molesters. Whatever the priest in the confessional hears, it is hearsay in a court of law. One witness is no witness. If the state lets corruption run amok, there is no Justice. The virtue of Justice is predicated on truth, innocence and virginity, on those people being aborted.

    • jim robertson says:

      Mary, in case you don't know misdemeanors are crimes "pure and simple. And if there were no statutes of limitation, both Cardinals Law and Mahoney would be in jail for FELONIES not misdomeanors. And FELONIES are also crimes.

  10. don dohr says:

    When Law was given a palace in Rome after attacking the victims of clergy abuse, along with the praise for Marcial from JP II , the institution showed its autthentic though erroneous stance .

  11. Mark says:

    Just picking up on Ryan's post, and for those that like to have a good laugh at the NYT:

    More evidence of the New Yuck Times' desperation and decline. The decision to rename the IHT to the "International New York Times" is not just a dumb marketing move. The sophomoric rag describes the folly as "a rechristening" for the IHT. Actually, to stay in the rather incongruously used – for the NYT – Christian idiom, the IHT is thus becoming a sacrificial lamb, as the rag tries to arrest the decline of the NYT brand.
    What a mess. The folks at the Wall Street Journal must be rubbing their hands with glee.

    By the way, I posted another link highlighting the hypocrisy of the NYT at the end of the TMR piece on the NYT's comments after Pope Benedict's resignation.

  12. Mark says:

    Good for the bishops. We – clergy and lay people alike – need to be much more direct and outspoken in countering the lies and distortions peddled by the mainstream media. The secular fundamentalist (ie mainstream) media have sold their souls and reputations to depict the Church as being riddled with pedophilia. The Church doesn't have a problem with pedophilia, it has a problem with homosexuals. Society has a problem with pedophilia. It also, by the way, has a problem with gay militants who are railroading our spineless leaders into instituting their gay agenda and "destructuring" our society. That isn't my phrase; it is that of Xavier Bongibault, head of one of the many groups in France opposed to gay marriage:What bugs me is the destructuring and dismantling of society. The first echelon of society is the familial echelon. That's where society is built. A child needs to evolve within a familial balance. This bill would suppress that need. A child has a right to a mother and a father." And before the homo-fascists start foaming at the mouth, and accuse me of being homophobic, XB is gay, as is his group.

    What has the greater chance: the Church sorting out its problem with homosexuals; or society sorting out its problem with pedophiles and gay militants? My money's on the former. You see, I'm not a gambling man. I prefer a safe bet. And Pope Benedict already has the process well under way. It will be one of his lasting legacies.

    • jim robertson says:

      More direct about what? looking mean and stupid? You know what's really biggoted? Pretending your fellow Catholics weren't harmed by your hierarchs, now that's biggoted.

    • Clare says:



  13. Publion says:

    A few thoughts.


    First, I again note the difference between the Church’s somewhat Mediterranean Wheat-and-Tares approach to sin and the secularist-‘liberal’ Anglo-Saxon maximalist approach to law (i.e. the law as written must be adhered-to to the letter) as it has blended in victimist thought with the ‘purity’ approach of so-called ‘revolutionary law’ (i.e. if any entity in any way opposes the agenda of ‘the revolution’, then the revolutionary law must strike it in the name of a revolutionary ‘purity’).


    The Church’s approach to sin is not in practice ‘purist’; rather, the Ideal (or kanon) is put forth in the law, and then one must prepare for inevitable failures to adhere to that Ideal – thus the need for forgiveness. Whereas the Anglo-Saxon approach to law requires that every violation of the law be prosecuted fully.


     (Which still leaves us with the abiding Question as to why other entities are not held to as strong an enforcement of applicable civil/criminal law as the Church is being held-to. And the other abiding Question as to why so many other entities and organizations are given a free-pass in both the sex-abuse area and also other areas – such as, for example, the government’s assorted skullduggery in ‘ war on terror’ and the financial sector’s skullduggery that led to the economic collapse of recent years here).


    I am pleased that the Abuse Matter – whatever its actual extent (never to be presumed as widespread without significant and credible demonstration) – has gotten the American bishops to consider the quality of ministry as a ‘professional Product’: the bishops must be as zealous for the quality of clerical ministry as any State’s medical review board should be about the quality of medical care provided by those whom the State – through the Board – licenses. And, as well, priests must learn to be as intuitively and profoundly concerned for the quality of their (individual and collective) ministry as any other professional group’s practitioners. This was an area ripe for ‘reform’ in the most profound sense: ever to be improved and sustained and enhanced.


    Then the mention of Bishop Finn brings up the thought that Kansas City is a particularly interesting site for Catholic ministry. KC – on both of sides of the Missouri River, in both Kansas and Missouri – is positioned with some curiously clear-cut demographics: there is a secular-liberal urban element surrounded by substantial outlying areas of rural fundamentalist/evangelical elements, neither of which are particularly friendly to the Church. (There is also a Catholic university in KC, although it is Jesuit.)


    I have mentioned Bishop Finn’s case in comments on this site: he was, to my mind, insufficiently alert to the issues of an abuse case, and created a legitimate opening for prosecution. Although the legal history of the Finn case indicates just how tenuous a case the State had to make to pursue its objectives in that case.


    But he is the Ordinary for a particularly complex geographical area (also home, I believe, to the NCR organization). I am pleased to see him take a stand on Catholic issues. And – yes – we can see precisely the playing-out of a prime objective of the Abuse-niks: well, since he was found guilty then he’s a criminal so why listen to him about anything at all? This is precisely what the Abuse-niks would like to see happen to the credibility of all Catholic leadership: get – by hook or by crook – any sort of a ‘conviction’ you can, and then trumpet the non-credibility of the Church in any matters whatsoever.


    Peter Steinfels, over on the Commonweal site, very recently opined that for the upcoming papal conclave/election he would like to see a whole bunch of non-Cardinal ‘delegates’ also admitted to the deliberations and the voting. Readers of a certain age may quickly see the resemblance to the strategy that wrecked the Democratic Convention of 1972 (and, arguably, the efficacy of the Democratic Party as a political Party ever since).


    And there remain the increasingly clear indications that the secularist-liberal strategy has resulted in a profound existential void – an abyssal loss of genuine and profound Meaning – in this country. To insist – as Correct, secularist-liberal and revolutionary dogma demands – that the only Meaning in human existence arises from whatever individual humans choose to give to that existence and that we give sufficient Meaning to life and the universe simply by existing  … can only lead to an ephemeral  surface sense of ‘fulfillment’ and ‘actualization’, built on the sand of shifting human emotions and the cacophony of various human excitements. We are rapidly becoming a nation of Shape-less lumps of visceral and intuitive desires, with no endo-skeletal frame of genuine Identity (as being made in the Image of God) and no overarching and underlying Framework that supports the struggle to live Meaningfully in this rackety dimension (not for nothing referred to in Scripture and tradition as the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ and a ‘vale of tears’).


    The Church’s ancient teaching on ‘sex’ still provides – to my mind – a far more useful paradigm than any of the left-of-whoopee approaches to sex that are built into the ‘liberation’ of Correct secularist-liberal dogma: the sexual capacity of humans is like nuclear power: marvelous if intelligently and properly handled, and lethally toxic if not so intelligently and properly handled. Paul VI warned 46 years ago that once you began making sex more a personal option for ‘fulfillment’ then you were going to wind up undermining personal morality and the very fundaments of the Family. Such has come to pass, as one can see in contemporary ‘hook-up’ culture and the current secularist-liberal dogma (or lack of it) about what constitutes ‘Family’.


    Yes, I myself have noted that there is that second creation-story in Genesis: that God created the female because “it was not good that man should be alone”, which leaves a legitimate opening for thought as to the sexual capacity being not strictly for procreation but also for relationship. But if the Church should choose to expand its teaching on sex to more fully incorporate the possibilities in that second creation-story, then it will require far more discernment and maturity and self-governance on the part of all Catholics, not – as we have seen in the West in the past decades – less. It means that any individual considering the deployment of his/her sexual capacity has to give as much care and consideration to that contemplated act as any nuclear tech in a reactor-facility gives to considering a change in the nuclear mix in the reactor. Certainly, the Church should never go the ‘Homer Simpson’ route, where that hapless and feckless cartoon character simply bumbles through his days at the reactor-facility and where Springfield’s inevitable nuclear accidents never seem to have the lethal consequences that are inevitable in a non-Cartoon world.


    ‘Delphin’ has – in my mind –accurately tagged the return of ‘JR’ to trafficking with us “immoral” types. Not even his assertions about his own course of action can be credited and relied-upon. No doubt we shall be expected to forget the most-recent histrionic departure from the stage; that’s one memory we are no doubt not expected to ‘recover’.


    ‘Ryan A. MacDonald’ brings the marvelous bit about the current condition of the Boston Globe. TMR some months ago raised the point that the then-editor of that paper, who oversaw the 2002 sue-the-bishops phase of the Abuse Crisis, suddenly up and left (for the hardly more healthy Washington Post, which derives more than half its revenues from its grossly dubious Kaplan operations). Suddenly, a few short months later, it turns out that the Globe – which lost 90 percent of its value under his tutelage – is on the chopping-block yet again. One thinks of the captain of that Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, whose captain wrecked it, assured passengers and crew that there was nothing to worry about it, took to his own personal lifeboat, and then phoned 911 from the safety of dry land and refused to go back aboard.


    So the Bishops and clergy have their work cut out for them. But it is vitally necessary work.

  14. Publion says:

    I could recommend a look at this article (link at the end of this comment) by Professor Henry Giroux. He provides another interesting list of the profound derangements in American society these days.


    The problem I find with him is that he never connects the dots to his Left. He describes some profound derangements, but never considers the effects of the deep deconstructions of the framework of Meaning that were necessary in order to create ‘space’ for the secularist-liberal agenda over the past half century or so.


    What he exemplifies, I would say, is the inability of the Correct secularist-liberals to see how their undermining of any sufficient and genuine Framework of Meaning (especially of a religious nature that deals with the Beyond) cast so many Americans of all ages loose from any sufficient Grounding and Shaping and Boundarying sources of Meaning, forcing them to look only to the this-worldly (and an increasingly this-worldly government) as their only source of meaning, fulfillment, self-actualization and so on.


    The result being that so many Americans now live lives essentially mimicking fat-globules on a hot pancake skillet: racing around aimlessly, bouncing off each other, endlessly racing and bouncing and bubbling until they finally peter out in a soundless fizzle.


    The Catholic task has never been so vital as it is now in this country.


    And as regards Bishop Finn and even Father MacRae, I would add the hardly improbable possibility that having been forced to face the awesome experience of public court-action, they are actually strengthened in their awareness of what is truly vital and what is not vital in human existence. Fire has a tendency to burn away impurities – as Andrew Carnegie realized with steel – and leave a much stronger end-product. There is that ‘crucible’ element to it all.


  15. Publion says:

    Pursuing my prior thoughts.


    Readers of the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey-Maturin historical novels (about the Napoleonic-war era Royal Navy; the 2003 film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World was made from them) might recall the lethal danger of dry-rot: wood in vital structural positions within a warship might become so infected that although to all appearances it looks solid, yet one could drive one’s fist through it and it would crumble in one’s hand. Such, I firmly believe, is the condition of American culture today. A ship in such condition, while it might still be able to hold itself together in the calm waters of a protected harbor or even under the pressure of a sea voyage on a calm and clear day, cannot survive the buffeting of any strong combination of wind and wave.


    It has always been religion’s role – and surely the Church’s in Western culture and civilization – to offer an antidote and preservative against the dry-rot. The secularist-liberal ‘replacement’ of today (meaning since the beginning of the 20th century, here and in the old USSR and other places) is to have the government use its authority – ‘hard’ law as well as ‘soft’ manipulation of public opinion – to impose its vision of what proper national ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’ must be. This not only opens up an awesomely dangerous role for government in the most intimate and human aspects of the society it (theoretically) serves, but also imposes a Mono-planar, purely this-worldly, Framework upon that society and culture and civilization.


    And since religion – and surely the Catholic Vision – requires a Multi-planar realm comprised not simply of this-world but also the Next – and Higher – Reality and ‘world’, then any such secularist-liberal government must take the Church as its opponent and as its rival. Materialism, supported by the shallow and flattening seductions of Consumerism, are the government’s primary offerings, however gussied-up with utopian visions of a fully-realized and self-sufficient this-worldly Mono-plane existence.


    Stalin and Lenin didn’t have quite so much of a problem, since the Russian Orthodox Church – following a tradition going back to Byzantium – had always allowed itself to become a court-chaplaincy to the imperial governing power. Which is something the Roman Catholic Church never allowed itself to become (although the historical record is replete with the trade-offs the Roman Church had to make in its on-going struggles with a long line of Western feudal rulers, national monarchies, and in the Modern era, Liberalism and secularism).


    Hitler saw clearly how the Church was an obstruction to his National Socialist vision, although even he could not fully suppress the Catholic and Christian traditions in Germany. Mussolini, far closer to the seat of the Church, also had to be careful – and I think laid off the Church in the hope that once he got his revivified Roman Empire going he could suborn the Roman Church as the Byzantines had suborned the Orthodox Church.


    And Cynthia Ozick – in a The New Republic article reviewing a new edition of Saul Bellow’s letters (March 3, 2011, pp. 22-9) – recounts a 1978 letter of Bellow discussing how difficult it was for Western European Jewish folk to come to grips with what the Nazis were up to: facing the shocking and sudden disruption of their lives (even before they arrived at the final camps), Bellow says that “a life of austere discipline would have made it possible for me to keep my head, but how many civilized people live such a life?”


    This is, I think, a key and very relevant point in regard to the Church’s role in American culture today. ‘Civilization’ as Bellow limns it meant a pattern of life-habits and societal structures, purely anchored in this-world.


    The Church – at her best – offers something far more than a merely (but vital) this-worldly pattern of life-habits and societal conventions. The Church offers – indeed insists upon – a Multi-planar Vision in which the ‘next’ (and Higher) world continually exists within and alongside-of (one might formally say ‘subsisting-in’) this-worldly life and existence. Thus Catholicism is not simply – and certainly is not essentially and fundamentally – a  set of cultural conventions (as important as stable cultural conventions and ‘order’ are to human beings). Rather, the Church robustly anchors the this-worldly in the next-worldly.


    Now I think that for far too long – especially in the West – the Church (and her clergy and hierarchy and not a few of her laity) became settled-into Catholicism-as-cultural-convention-and-habit. In that way, she was very much in need of reformanda, in need of reforming. More specifically, she was in need of re-enlivening her ‘Multi-planar’ identity in order to actualize her most vital Gifts.


    It is this result which I hope the Church – hierarchy, clergy, laity – will recover through the experience of this crucible of the Abuse Matter (the extent of which, as I always say, has still not been accurately determined and has been too-much exaggerated).


    Thus I am again happy to see the Bishops speaking-up.


    Nor can I see anywhere in the record evidence of any large and well-coordinated Church-driven public-relations campaign to divert attention from the Abuse Matter. There is no evidence whatsoever in the record of the type of sustained and specific campaign in the service of such an alleged Church agenda as there is a clear and voluminous record of such a sustained and specific campaign against the Church (viz., the New York Times and the Boston Globe and other mainstream media outlets of all sorts).


    And on the Web, with its open-comments, we see another curious phenomenon: mentalities that bring little but irrationality, assertion, and assorted emotionality unconnected to any demonstrable truth or evidence … are able to put themselves ‘out there’. And not only to express themselves (which is their right) but to presume that since they are ‘out there’ in the public domain, then they are substantive and useful contributions to the general public discourse and awareness.


    This is the equivalent of, say, Einstein posting on the web, being opposed by a bevy of snarky and one-liner comments, whose authors then comfort themselves with the idea that since Einstein had an idea and they disagree, then they and Einstein are equally valuable to the scientific discourse. Telling each other that, they create among themselves a folie a ménage that is rather jarringly obvious if one goes to any of a million sites on an equal number of topics in the Webverse.


    So the careful Web traveler must learn to be discerning.


    And that’s why I also think TMR provides such a service to the Church and – ultimately – to the national public discourse on the Abuse Matter and Catholicism generally.

  16. Delphin says:

    Comparing the coverage (between MSNBC, CNN, Fox and EWTN: rapid-fire remote-flipping) of the Pope's resignation/retirement today, I may be more heartened about the Church's current [self-inflicted] flu-like "condition" than I have been in years. The two lefties (NBC and CNN) were predictably, politically, ideologically (hang with me, I'll get that word right, yet!) negative. The words 'crisis", "abuse" and "scandal" were sprinkled throughout every sentence, thought, flub and flutter. Fox did a decent job of simply reporting from a secular and historical perspective, with an appropriate sprinkle of theology, while EWTN did their job wonderfully as fully theological-historical.

    What stood out was the same-o-same-o, tired and wilted, but this time disheartened, diatribes from the lefties. They're scared. There was this sense of "….what next, and will we be able to continue to brutalize as we have been, will the new guy fix things….." behind all their bile. The Pope "devil" that they (thought they) knew is safer than the Pope "devil" that they don't know – yet, in their diseased minds and souls. They were perplexed by the crowds loving and supportive responses to the Pope, and for our Church.

    As the facade rapidly flakes away from their "Most Serene and Awesome" secular leader and his notorious and inglorious inabilities (Obama), the media-nazi's work their worrybeads over the prospects of a new resurgence of our Church. These idiots are clueless. Did they really think they had the power or ability to kill our Church?


  17. Mark says:

    Delphin, interesting, I did the same thing – although I never watch CNN. Agree with your comments, and optimism. I think there is a realisation among the secular fundamentalist media, as they contemplate Benedict's retirement, that, despite all the millions of column inches and air time hours, despite the smears and falsehoods, despite the government-abeted cultural capitulation to amoral values, the Church has barely been dented by the zealots in the last decade. The biggest damage has been self-inflicted but has been confronted (by Benedict) and will continue to diminish.

    Talking of anti-Catholic media, I came across this Facebook page urging people to boycott the New York Times. Please "like" and share, folks.

  18. Delphin says:

    I went and "liked" the facebook page, and forwarded and cross-linked. I feel a- revolution that will set this holy ship straight a-coming on "like" a freight train. And, it's thanks to the "likes" of the faithful and brilliant TMR site contributors (heroes "like" Publion, Mark and so many others) and, of course, the esteemed site moderator/owner.

    Stewart just finished up on his usual Catholic-bashing, not nearly the same "zing" as it had only yesterday (and every day before that since the sad little boy has been on air). I only study, observe the enemy to understand what is necessary to fight, and win. I study them, and about them as diligently as I study the behavior and habits of the predators (cougar, coyote, bear) that threaten my defenseless (rescues) prey charges. I haven't talked (debated, cajoled, negotiated, bribed, or paid-off/settled) a cougar out of trying to take down a foal, yet. But, my pack of livestock guardian dogs has managed to convince them to abandon my flocks/herds to seek more "accessible" meals. And, this is how our Church leaders must begin to defend Our Church.

    God Bless Pope Benedict XVI, Emeritus – and, God Bless the good work done by TMR. I pray for the Holy Spirit's selection of a Pope Warrior.

  19. jim robertson says:

    There will be no great mass of Catholics standing behind you and your "Pope Warrior". ( Now that's an oxymoron.)

    Nobody"s buying what you are attempting to sell.

  20. Mark says:

    Jim, I feel for you and your like, I really do. You've failed. The Church stands strong and poised for renewed growth.

    Look at this article, my friend. It's written by the Global Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance; and it's in the PuffHo! It's all crumbling around you. The Church stands firm. She doesn't change. She and her doctrines have endured for 2,000 years. The gates of hell will not prevail against Her. You've failed. It's all crumbling around you. Beware of falling rocks, my friend. Beware.

    • jim robertson says:

      The only thing crumbling around me is your metaphore ridden litany. Gates of Hell yadayada. You want Gates of Hell have Gates of Hell. but don't expect the rest of mankind to "hang back with the apes" to quote T. Williams. And certainly since you speak of hell as if it exists, sans any evidence what so ever, it's not mandatory that I believe, is it? Or is it? But you see I don't believe what you believe. That's all. And it's not mandatory is it?

  21. malcolm harris says:

    Yes.. it is encouraging that two Bishops in the U.S. are publicly making a defence. Here, in Australia, am saddened that there is no apparent effort to do the same. Have tried to understand why? But all I can surmise is that… because Christ said to forgive enemies, and generally turn the other cheek… this is why the shepherds won't fight back!!!!

    And with very few exceptions the sheep follow the lead of the shepherds (Bishops) The other day I wrote a lettter to editor of the only daily paper in this city. Defending our Church. But it prompted a flood of negative letters in response..intended to discredit priests and the Church.. On balance I think did the right thing, in that reassured the troops with the facts. We can never hope to convince the secular world. Just hold onto our own people is the best we can hope for. In fairness to the paper the  number of published letters were balanced in number.

    Maybe the next Pope will have a different mindset. Personally believe that the high ground in this battle has been revealed to the wise.When the television station, in Ireland, had to pay out over a million dollars in damages to Fr. Kevin Reynolds, for defamation. Way to go.. Perhaps realistically the only way to go.


    March 2. 2013


  22. jim robertson says:

    Did they do it or didn't they?

    Do it means rape a child or enable someone else to rape a child?

    That's the discussion. And that's all it is. No one , but you, cares about your "Church. Did they or didn't they hurt a kid? This ain't rocket science here.

  23. Clare says:

    Hi Publion,

    Forgive me, a little off topic but timing is sometimes key:

    Joan Rivers decided to use Hollywood as a platform to insult gorgeous German model

    Heidi Klum along with past victims.  This is the never ending way of selective outrage

    for historial atrocities.  Joan Rivers, aged 79, really only has one major arch enemy:

    GRAVITY.  By the way, she fabulously demonstrates no plastic surgeon is GOD!!!

  24. Delphin says:

    Did, and do, daily, moment by moment, second by second, deviant homosexuals rape children worldwide? Of course they did, and still do. Start your research with the ancient pagans and your revered secular philosophers, then work your way up to NAMBLA and B4-U-Act. No one contests the evil these perverted demons do. What is contested (as infactual) is the insane Church heirarchy/Vatican conspiracy theory being trumpeted by the antiCatholic brigade of radical leftists and atheists (aka enemies of the Church) and deviant and militant homosexuals (aka enemies of the Church). Usually, these two factions coalesce as one-in-the-same;  groupthinks. Can't you lemmings find a nice, steep cliff? Perhaps, we can send another couple thousand demonized pigs into the lake of fire to rid you of your burden?

    Try to FOCUS. A [diseased] mind is a terrible thing to [continue to] waste.

    Obviously, a sinful (deviant homosexual, drug-ridden and hateful) life does lead to "burn-out".

    • jim robertson says:

      Isn't deviant homosexual your favorite phrase next to diseased, drug ridden, hateful, burn out? Lemmings don't leap off cliffs in real life. But how would you know.

      Lemmings should kill themselves isn't that a mortal sin? I mean a mortal sin for you to encourage suicide?

      Demonized pigs? Into a lake of fire? To rid us of our burderns you would drive us over a cliff and into a lake of fire?  Thank you.  You are the very model of Christ love.


  25. Mark says:

    Thanks for your efforts in defending the faith and Church in Australia, Malcolm. Yes, we definitely need more active defence from the clergy themselves. I'd say the bishops got it wrong in the early 2000s, paying out unwarranted, "blind" settlements to fraudsters and liars in a bid to avoid bad PR. It was always going to get bad PR anyway – fuelled by secular mainstream media and their lies and distortions. We need to more aggressively go after the false accusers (as in the Irish case you mention), and forget the PR. If anything, there is as much hypocrisy in Australia as there is here, given the horrific abuse going on in the Aborigine communities as well as the normal suspects – families, family "friends," schools, clubs, etc.

  26. says:

    Thank you, everyone, for your comments!

    I am closing this thread for now. Thank you.

  27. IllinoisCatholic says:

    SNAP's probably just a creation of a few crooked priests and laymen to siphon money out of the Church.  What I would like to know is who funded NCR in the beginning.  Perhaps the Rockefellers, who gave lots of $$$ to fund population "studies" at Notre Dame.  So the left-wing in the Church is a corporate-funded sham.  Who's behind the corporate-funded right-wing sham in the Church?  The same people?