It has lately been troubling to be blogging here.
My wife is becoming more and more set against it, as my time spent doing this can become consuming, and the controversy this blog engenders is beyond belief - and from a certain perspective, utterly unnecessary.
For example, during the Lying Debate, I received more than one phone call from people doing their best to dissuade me from either criticizing James O'Keefe or from daring to say that the Catechism of the Catholic Church actually teaches Catholic Doctrine, and for daring to suggest that we ignore this doctrine at our peril. Indeed, I lost a few friends along the way over that debate (one of whom I'm grateful to have recently reconciled with).
During the Corapi Scandal, I was told in several emails by complete strangers that I was an anti-Catholic bigot doing the devil's work because I dared to suggest there was something wrong with a priest renouncing his priesthood and openly disobeying his superior and his bishop. Not to mention his proclivity for drugs and hookers.
My criticism of Bishop Finn of Kansas City elicited at least one threat of physical violence, as a reader from KC vowed physically to assault me, "even at Mass", for my criticism of a bishop who failed to protect children and who facilitated the destruction of evidence in a criminal investigation. I am often in Kansas City, but I will not go to Mass at churches I used to frequent there just in case this person is serious. St. Thomas a Becket is a role I need not play.
And most recently, my critique of Christopher West ended with someone threatening to destroy my reputation and my livelihood unless I took down this blog.
So ... why on earth would I do this??? Why not simply take down the blog? Why put up with abuse from friends and total strangers?
Well, an odd little confirmation came from friend and commenter Tom Leith today. Tom writes ...
If West is advising people to seek out near occasions of sin, or if he's telling people that near occasions of sin are not near occasions of sin, he should be stripped of his EWTN Rock Star status as Fr. Corapi was and denounced as a heretic; then every bit of media he ever produced should be consigned to the Memory Hole. If he's saying that unavoidable near occasions of sin present an opportunity to practice virtue, he's right. If he's saying this does not at least begin with keeping custody of the eyes, he wrong. Very wrong. Stupidly wrong. Deserving of a rebuke from Mrs. von Hildebrand and implicitly at least from Archbishop Chaput.
I call this a confirmation because it shows that these issues are really quite simple. I should add that West teaches that the traditional Catholic practise of keeping "custody of the eyes" applies only to the spiritually immature. Meaning, it seems, certainly not to him. So West would say he teaches what the Church teaches ... but he doesn't. It's convoluted, but really quite simple.
Indeed, very simple. We should heed the teachings of the Church outlined in the Catechism. We should be wary of priests who openly disobey superiors and who "quit" the priesthood. We should speak out against criminal negligence, especially when it involves a bishop. And we should call a spade a spade, refusing to brook heterodoxy, even if such is proclaimed by a Catholic media celebrity.
The first line of critics will say I'm being "judgmental", but I say, I am not judging these men but their behavior; we should pray for them, for we are all sinners as great or greater than they.
The second line of critics will say I'm just a dumb actor and what do I know? I say, exactly. There's no reason for anyone to pay any attention to what I write.
The third line of critics will get ugly and nasty.
And I say, I will (by God's grace) wait on the LORD.