Wednesday, December 10, 2014

And the world gets crazier

Did you catch this litte jewel by Simcha on the transfer of Cardinal Burke?

"Have you heard the latest about Cardinal Burke? I haven't. I also haven't heard the next-to-latest, or the thing before that, or the rumors that were circulating about the possible repercussions of what might happen if the rumors that had been previously circulating turned out to be true-ish. I don't know, and I don't care. And it's been a deliberate decision not to care, and a deliberate decision not to know what's going on."

And you are supposed to be a credible go-to person for commentary on current Catholic events because...why?

As she goes on to explain, what goes on in Rome is "not important" to the layman:

"I've seen the headlines speculating, refuting, predicting, reassuring, warning, and celebrating. And I haven't read any of them. Why not? Because it's not important to me.
Me, as a layman with a job and a family and a personal conscience that keeps me busy enough all by itself. And if you were honest, you'd admit that it really isn't important to you, either -- not unless you work directly for Burke, or are his personal friend and will miss him when he moves to sunny Malta, the lucky son of a gun. It only seems important if you are addicted to following all the ins and outs of a 24-hour religious news cycle that has about as much to do with the Gospel as the schematics for the HVAC system at the Metropolitan Opera House has to do with music."

So, unless you are Burke or work directly for him, Burke's transfer - and all other news coming out of Rome - has almost nothing to do with you and you should admit it's not important (by the way, Simcha, the headquarters of the Knights of Malta is not literally on Malta; it's in Rome).

Here's the real gem:

"...It would be weird if you constantly followed the every last move a CEO makes when he decides to hire and fire and make changes in an organization that you don't work for, and it's weird when you do it to the Pope."

Except it is precisely neo-catholic bloggers and apologists who for the past twenty-years have been insisting that we do just that - pay attention to every little sneeze out of the Vatican, publish the transcript of every single papal interview and commentary, no matter how casual, and insist that the faithful hang on every word out of the pope's mouth. This has been standard neo-cath fare for decades now. Now with Francis, we are being told it's "weird" and "really isn't important" - even though under the previous two pontificates this sort of hanging on news from the Vatican was extremely important, or so the neo-caths told us so.

She goes on: 

"If you feel personally attacked or personally vindicated by something that is happening to Cardinal Burke, then guess what? You're imagining it. Nobody's doing that to you. You're doing it to yourself, by insterting [sic] your fears or desires into something you can't possibly have any inside knowledge about."

So...because something bad or good did not happen to me personally there is no longer room for consternation or rejoicing? While it is true that we don't want to have an obsessive interest in matters that don't concern us, the idea that the criterion of whether we should care about something is whether or not it touches us personally is problematic on many levels.

She ends her piece with this little diatribe:

"You, with the subscription to Whimpers in Blogvillia! You, with your Blackberry set to play "Dies Irae" every time Four Lattes Daily resets their Novus Ordo End Times Ticker. You, with the Lady Cardinal robes in your closet, still in the dry cleaner bags, waiting to be whipped out the moment it Finally Happens. You, with your all your personal clocks set to Central European Time, so you don't miss a moment before you weep or break out the Chateau de Schutte '79 every time the doorman at the Roman Curia unlocks the front door, sweeps off the doormat, and chases the homeless cats away in preparation for another day of things that never do and never could have any affect on your personal life."

Very professional.

Now let me ask you this:

Why is this sort of rambling nonsense from a typical Patheo$ blogger considered credible while an extremely professional, well-written and informational blog like Rorate Caeli is not? Rorate - a blog whose track record at breaking important stories is as stellar as any professional investigative journalism outlet - is taken as an unreliable source while the author of the article quoted above gets featured regularly on the front of New Advent, as if the above-cited ruminations are some sort of revelation of insight that the Catholic world just can't do without?

We are no longer at war with East Asia. We are at war with Eurasia. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

The Catholic world keeps getting crazier.


Maximus said...

Incidentally, the HVAC system in an Opera House is extremely well thought out, both for practical reasons, such as fire prevention and comfort of guests, as well as technical reasons, such as noise prevention. So, it affects the music, and, were it done poorly, we would notice it.

St. Benedict's Thistle said...

Could it be she is really admonishing herself, in a projection sort of way? Maybe that's a step forward for her. The dissonance is getting harder to justify so she's decided to ignore it all and 'graciously' counsels the rest of us to do so, too. :-)

BM said...

The papacy of Francis has had quite an effect upon the interior Catholic culture. All sorts of Catholic commentators I would have dismissed only a couple years ago now seem downright prescient, while those I used to enjoy reading, if only for a quick diversion, now seem insufferable.

Even Catholic Answers, which has done a lot of good work in the past, seems almost quaint under these circumstances. It is silly to argue with a Protestant about this or that technical point while those leading the very church to be defended are actively undermining her doctrines or speaking and acting on the world stage as if they don't matter a whit.

Boniface said...

BM, That is a very interesting comment. Yes, Francis has had a very strange effect on the internal Catholic culture. I know what you mean about the "quaintness" of Catholic Answers...what good does it do to convince a Protestant of a particular point of doctrine only to find out that the Magisterium itself is not "backing us up" on the very doctrine we are striving to convince Protestants of?

We go to such lengths to bring others to the Church only to have them find out the Church is ashamed of its own teaching?

Anonymous said...

Right... because we shouldn't be concerned about the misuse of power within the church, it dosn't effect us since we dont belong to it, Oh wait...

I'm with the sainted thistle I think what the article says implys more about the author than those she is complaining about.

Steve Dalton said...

Simcha Fisher, Mark Shea in drag.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Mark Shea is the Yosemite Sam of Patheos and he is continually leading that posse into rhetorical box canyons and poor old ssimcha has only herself to blame for following novelties which Holy Writ and Tradition teaches us to shun as profane novelties but if it were not of the success of profane novelties, Patheos would not exist

Radical Catholic said...

This is strongly reminiscent of a rant Mark Shea made back in June of this year entitled "Me and the FFI" in which he proudly proclaimed his willful ignorance of the whole sordid affair. In short: he doesn't care, so neither should you. It seems poised to become the standard response of the neo-catholic to the un-spin-able.

Anonymous said...


With regard to professionality and credibility, I always go to Rorate first, and have never gone to Simcha's blog (nor Mark Shea's, the anchorette's, or any other Patheos blog) without being directed there from other sources. I did enjoy the Crescat a long time ago, due to her obvious love of Catholic Bling, and great sense of humor.

For Catholic News, Rorate is first on my list, then Fr. Z, then other stuff. Even then, I don't talk-radio-endorse them (Oh! Host! Everything you say is always right!).

I did agree with Simcha when she urged us to buy our priest a beer though. She also does have a point in that we can't get too overworked by a Pope's shenanigans, even if she might not be consistent - it is still a valid point. That's why I removed the bookmarks for the blogs of Verrechio and Mundabor, even though I still visit from time to time.

Quite truthfully, I believe that as long as there is a mass to go to, Orthodoxy will be a personal fight for Catholics, and not much in Rome or in the blogosphere will affect where I end up.

Monique d'Auteuil said...

Perhaps some sunshine in "sunny Malta" would do Simcha some good, so that she could put down her projection machine and meditate on the profound consequences for everyone when Catholics like Cardinal Burke are persecuted.

JM said...

Two things:

We all "work" for the Church is we are faithful, and so why would we not be concerned?

Also, the same people who follow that stuff follow her, or she would not have a blog. Talk about wildly unself-aware. But all in all, she is obviously protesting too much. Which means she also knows there is a problem. EVERYONE now knows there is a problem, or at least a situation. Cardinal George blew the cover of all the NeoCaths.

Anonymous said...

This comment is really bizarre:

"...It would be weird if you constantly followed the every last move a CEO makes when he decides to hire and fire and make changes in an organization that you don't work for, and it's weird when you do it to the Pope."

Is she actually suggesting that our relationship to the Church is in any fashion analogous to our relationship to a company we don't work for?

News flash: Our relationship to the Church is much, much more intimate than our relationship to any company, whether we work for it or whether we don't. The Church in one important sense consists in the Catholic faithful, and the notion that how the Church is governed is of only the most distant and tertiary concern to the people who comprise its members is downright idiotic.

The only conceivable reason she is taking this stand is because she knows good and well that personnel is policy, in the Church as in every other organization, and she would really rather that nobody paid attention to the policies of this particular Pope. So she takes the tack that there is something actively wrong with you if you find this story in any way remarkable.

Well, if she's genuinely uninterested in such matters, that is her business, but normal people want to know whether a purge is happening in the Church to which they belong, and if so, why. If she doesn't want to write about it, that's her business, but castigating other people for finding it a worthwhile story to track only makes her look defensive and desperate.

c matt said...

Hmm... so much for the Church being the Body of Christ, and we members being part of that Body. Why should the big toe care what the left eye is doing? It's not like if the left eye ignores the rock in our path, the big toe might get stubbed or something. Well, what did you expect from Patheticos.

Anonymous said...

BM, That *is* a very interesting comment.