National Catholic Register Fires Two Writers Nobody Read Anymore August 24, 2016Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, blogfoolery, disaster, error, foolishness, General Catholic, pr stunts, rank stupidity, scandals, secularism, Society, the struggle for the Church.
And this is supposed to be big news? In reality, I know both writers (Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher) probably still enjoy followings far larger than mine (not that I care in the slightest), but their influence has steadily shrunk over the last several years, especially among the milieu I am primarily concerned with – orthodox/believing/traditional Catholics, or, just Catholics.
Mark Shea has serious problems. That much has been evident for years for those with eyes to see. He may have even hassled this blog a bit a couple of years ago, in a stupid and immature manner. I never read Simcha. For one thing, mommy blogs bore the daylights out of me. Beyond that, I never found her to have anything interesting to say, nor to be much of a writer (which is sort of a damning condemnation, coming from me), the few times I tried to read her. Shea, however, was something else. He reminds of someone I know quite well and used to collaborate with, another local blogger, a man possessed of such a volcanic temperament that he would literally turn his beliefs upside down in order to score a rhetorical point, to win an ideological victory.
Having said the above, does this mean anything? Is EWTN/NCR turning more orthodox or traditional? I will admit to some skepticism here. I don’t think either writer was canned for their beliefs, but for their behavior outside of NCR, which was frequently scandalous and sophomoric, especially with regard to Shea, but increasingly with Fisher, too. I think these two underwent some tragic transformation, for various reasons (though Fisher’s are more obvious than Shea’s).
Some may say using foul language, going totally unhinged in arguments, or dropping gratuitous sexual innuendos or outright statements doesn’t mean anything, that we should all lighten up, but for someone who puts themselves out as a Catholic (something of a model, whether they want or deserve to be, or not, you become something of a model when you have a large following AS A CATHOLIC), someone whose beliefs and even practices should be emulated, it’s not a good thing. There are times I’m tempted to use foul language on this blog, and I’ve let it slip once or twice in the distant past, but overall I agree that we should expect more from Catholic writers than foul language, gratuitous sex, circular firing squads (oops), constant click-whoring internecine conflicts, blanket condemnation of hundreds of thousands of the most committed, faithful souls in the Church in this country, and the kind of lowbrow, morally problematic conduct we can see on the TV anytime we want, if we still have one.
I think NCR is not leaning Trad. If they were, they’d have never let Pat Archbold go. I think they’re just reaffirming their place in the (shrinking?) EWTN/Catholic Answers/post-conciliar conservativish post conciliar Amchurch circle. They certainly have some solid content, don’t get me wrong, but they’re not going to post/publish anything that undermines that status quo to which they belong, say, penetrating analysis of Guadium Et Spes 12, or the questionable level of doctrinal authority in the various documents of Vatican II, or an analysis of the grave deficiencies, and even dangers, present in the Novus Ordo Missae. It is what it is.
And Shea and Fisher are what they are, or have chosen to become. I regret their loss of livelihood, while being jealous of the fact that mine is in no way dependent on the Church and good will of bishops and others, with all the compromises that invariably involves. Frankly, I pray for them, for many reasons, but most of all that they can find the peace they, it might be said, need, heroic practice of virtue, and fuller adherence to the Truth Jesus Christ has revealed through His Church and its constant, perennial belief and practice. I believe ever more strongly that inward rejection of the traditional Catholic understanding of the Faith tends to manifest itself in outward ways. There were not many Saints who got into virtual daily shouting matches with other people, or who would politically support a rabid pro-abort and completely amoral woman for reasons of material self-interest while posting daily “dick” jokes.
Eponymous Flower was a bit more caustic and to the point, not that I disagree:
Edit: after years of attacking faithful Catholics and clergy, their reign at the Neoconservative news organ, The National Catholic Register, Simcha Fisher and Mark Shea have finally been dealt with. They’ve been what’s wrong with EWTN for a long while. We’ve certainly been calling for these people’s ouster for a long time. Now, how about Steve Graydanus. Has anyone forgot that they fired the Cankerous?
There’s nothing more despicable than these kinds of people who feed off the American Church.
While harsher than I would say, I do not disagree that Shea, in particular, has become extremely destructive in recent years. He is not helping souls, he is in fact undermining the good of the Church.
There is probably better analysis here by Boniface, but it’s late and I wrote this in a terrible rush. Forgive me!
Also forgive me for the blogfoolery. About once a year, apparently, I let one of these fly. For the most part, for me, however, these people were really nonentities. I didn’t read their stuff, I didn’t care what they had to say, as I had long ago determined that they simply did not comprehend the Faith in the same manner I do, and had nothing positive to offer me. I have found that most readers of this blog have come to the same conclusion. I generally try to avoid negatively commenting on those who I perceive as having good will and having a sufficiently shared understanding of the Faith and what it means/how it should be applied, but both of these folks have ceased to be in that camp for a quite some time. So perhaps this is not blogfoolery/circular firing squad after all, but needed clarity.
More time, and better things, tomorrow, God willing.