6 June 2015


I remind readers that I do not accept gross abuse of the Sovereign Pontiff nor, indeed, of any other fellow-Catholic. With much regret, I have had to deline a particular Comment although it made a number of interesting points. But the words "What a foolish old man!" and, very much more so, the sentence which followed that, are beyond the boundaries which I feel compelled to enforce. I would be very happy to accept the Comment without those two sentences.

I was born in 1941 and am rather a "1968" sort of person, so my preference would naturally be to do without any censorship (except with regard to what may be libellous), as I did in the early years of this blog. But, as I have explained three times before, it has been represented to me that bloggers are deemed to be, to a degree, responsible for what they enable. Hence I decline that sort of remark. To maintain a symmetry of censorship, I also decline remarks from one or two sources at the other end of the spectrum, as well as those from a repetitively Feeneyite source.

Another point I have made before: I also occasionally decline comments which contain multiple typos and bad grammar. This is because I feel that, if somebody is too busy to check through the two or three lines they have dashed off, and to emend them, then they are too busy.

You may wonder why I do not exclude all comments, as numbers of other bloggers do on their blogs. That is because I do this blog partly as an extension of my own curiosity: in the hope of finding out things from those more knowledgeable in particular areas than I am. And sometimes, to test a hypothesis ..."Will this stand up to the examination and criticism of others?"


Matthew Roth said...

Since you moderate comments, it is also a reliable way of getting in contact via email...

But my hat is off to you, because you put ideas out there and expect them to be criticized. Few do that.

Stephen said...

Hear, hear! Even if stoning my bishop, I would tolerate no disrespect of him, especially from one outside my communion.

Paul Hellyer said...

Thank you Fr for your blog. I find it very enriching. I agree with your censorship. There is no place for those who derogate the Pope. One blogger who does this also wants to burn heretics. How sad can you get?

Anonymous said...

Speaking of which ... I did post a sharp criticism of the Holy Father a few blogs back. As it was published, I must presume it did not cross the line, which of course implies no agreement on your part Father, either with its content or the manner of its expression. Even so, I had qualms of conscience about it afterwards, lest it discourage anyone who reads it, or in case it contained any rash judgement, especially pertaining to someone who holds the highest authority in God's household on earth. If so, I publicly repent of my public fault. I even wondered whether to ask that it might be removed, but what is done is done.

I do not doubt that Pope Francis believes he is pursuing the right policies (and who am I to judge!) and that he upholds the Faith and that he lives it out in personal holiness far, far better than I do. But I do wish someone could impress upon him how confusing and disturbing some of his actions and words come across to ordinary believers - and those of us who are concerned are not all died-in-the-wool "traditionalists" who seem be perennially angry with everything in modern Church and in the modern world.

A radical option for caring for the poor is utterly traditional, of course, and not at all problematic. The call to focus our energies on evangelization is equally fine. The emphasis on personal simplicity is nothing to protest about either; far from it. Encouraging the clergy to be pastoral and loving in their manner is not an issue - although I have little or no experience of the opposite, and in my opinion that is not the main problem right now. But this whole Synod agenda and the way it is being pursued is deeply worrying.

I'm sure Pope Francis would tell us to trust him, that it will all work out in the end and he won't let anything contrary to God's will happen. Well, I do trust Our Lord and his promises to the Church. I also affirm my unwavering belief in the Petrine office and my filial respect for the Papacy. But I am used to feeling deep affection and even admiration for the Pope. In all honesty I cannot feel that now. Then again, I don't suppose St. John Fisher and St. Thomas More felt any great affection for the man who sat in the Chair of Peter in their day, but they died for the Papacy nonetheless.

I also remember that Padre Pio became very angry with someone who launched a personal attack on his local bishop (who he knew well was far from saintly, shall we say, and acting very harshly at the time). Those who sit in the chair of Moses are indeed appointed by God and act as the vice-regents of Christ on earth, so we should speak of them with great respect as well as ordinary Christian charity. But that does not preclude respectful challenge when it is due and the same charity itself may demand it. Sorry about the long post Father, it has been brewing in my head for a while.

Jacobi said...

It is good that you accept comment, Father. The spread of comment-exclusion is not healthy. Like you I often just read the comment reaction as much as the original blog statement, just to learn how current thinking is going.

Fr. Michael LaRue said...

Once again, my thanks Father, for you fairness in all of this, and for enabling discussion.

One point Dr. Russell Kirk used to make was that truly free speech requires limits to be free, not to mention productive of good.