I have been checking my blogger feed's statistics, and in a weird and unexplained way, this post I did on the "rescue" of a blogger I liked, "Freyr", has attracted the most views in the month of September. Aside from possible "spam robots" on google, I don't get it. I wrote that two years ago. Well whatever brings people here to Servimus, I guess. However, I bring this post up in light of some unfortunate recent events I want to discuss, revolving around the sickening of the Catholic blog-o-sphere in the Francis pontificate. Another victim has been claimed.
When a blogger you admire for bucking the trend of his contemporaries or the status quo leaves, it's truly sad. Today, someone fighting on the side of balanced orthodoxy in Catholicism left the fray, at least on his own blog. That would be Freyr.
Yesterday, on his group blog, Freyr decided to remove himself as a contributor (now the 2nd of the original `4 horsemen` to depart from there.) On his group blog, he parted ways in the comment box, which can be summed it up to leaving an environment not conductive of the Joy of the Gospel. This is actually a pain I can relate to as I will reflect on below.
Now in my 3rd year of blogging, I've noticed a stark change in the Catholic blogosphere. In the Benedict XVI Papacy, both "orthodox" bloggers (e.g. The Anchoress at Patheos and Aleteia, Fr Longenecker, Mark Shea ...) and the so-called, mis-nomered, "Traditonalist" bloggers, were usually on the same side and co-existed online. Also, the environment of the Latin Mass associated with the "Trad" blogosphere in real life and online, was more welcome in past, in members' conduct and charity. Or at least, any misconduct was usually kept internal and not broadcast publicly, worldwide.
Lo and behold, Pope Francis appears after Benedict XVI abdicates the Seat of Rome, and the mis-nomered "Trads" are revealing their true colours, proving once again when Christ admonished Pharisees in Scripture, how their behavior is not fitting with the Way, Truth, and Life He was giving to the world.
Suddenly, numerous blogs began a hate train of bile and spew against the falsely "liberal" Pope who does everything wrong. Any cleric from Pope Francis downward, or layperson who (rightly or wrongly) behaves "badly" according to the ridiculous standards of the Radicals Misrepresenting Traditionalists (RMTs, what they truly do and are,) are punished with anything from: e-mail, Twitter, snail mail bombs, etc. to slander and detraction on the Internet, to public humiliation. These actions are in the hopes that their intended target will bend to their will. It has even gone as far as threat of lawsuit, be it layman vs. layman, and even layman vs. cleric, or even vice versa. While I am not condoning heresy, harassment of good people, sexual sin, etc., I will say that slander and detraction online only aids the Devil in his revenge against Christ and his triumphant victory on the Cross. As for the calumnious and detractors, they only dig their own spiritual graves, and weigh their souls further down to Hell.
While I still blog, I am one of these examples of those who have felt the sinful and barbaric wrath of this RMT community, in person and online. Witnessing over 4 years my local Trad communities, and engaging in 3 years of blogging, while rejecting the status quo for only that fitting of the Lord, has resulted in continual harassment, online and in person. As a result of being un-welcomed by these leaders and their respective communities, I severely limit my exposure to the TLM. I rarely even go to parishes in my archdiocese with the TLM, because people loyal to the radical elements spy for their masters, and give them fodder for additional abuse. That or the parish communities express sicknesses of sorts, lacking joy and the Life of Christ I hunger for, and have become closed off and guarded to outside people, just like Pope Francis has been warning about, with a Church that turns inward on itself and becomes sick. These days, even among praise and worship music, and priests who are lukewarm or boastful in character, I am finding this joy more often in the Novus Ordo Church and communities I frequent.
This Joy of the Gospel should be found also in the Extraordinary Form, with its Gregorian Chant, its orthodoxy among its adherents, and in the liturgy itself. This joy should also be found online on Traditionalist blogs, with the bloggers knowing that it`s an uphill battle to convert the world and those within the Church back to better holiness. These grounds which should have been fertile, are wasting, and continue to waste, opportunities to be vital components for the New Evangelization. Now, because they have missed the boat, in my personal/spiritual life, I assist through altar serving with just one Latin Mass affiliate in my Archdiocese, the St. Patrick`s Gregorian Choir. I do not feel welcome at any other affiliate connected to the Latin Mass, even those that are the ``Latin Mass`` parishes.
Sadly, people are taking notice, and getting sick of it. Even "Traditionalist/Orthodox" blogs and media pundits, that once hosted these misguided "right fighters" known for crossing a fine line with Pope Francis one too many times, like Maureen Malarkey., or Patrick Archbold, are getting axed from their pulpits. Normal blog readers are even cutting these bloggers/sites out of their normal viewing.
Worse, the Vatican and other clergy are noticing, and guess what? Those intended targets are rarely stopping their actions when it is not blatantly obvious they are screwing the laity. If anything, the efforts are backfiring, and the Church's enemies and liberals are emboldening their efforts under the Franciscan papacy, falsely believing the Pope has given them a green light to go ahead.
What I am saying, is that the Catholic Blog-o-sphere, often aligned to the Latin Mass, is becoming a cesspool of hate, anger, and pride. As Scripture says in 1 Kings 19:11-12: "... the Lord was not in the wind; ... the Lord was not in the earthquake ... the Lord was not in the fire; ... he was found in the breeze." Thankfully, Freyr has made a wise, spiritually awesome decision for himself and his eternal salvation, to not be around what is possibly, an occasion of sin for him.
However, as a whole, losing even one good, balanced voice that is an orthodox catholic and not an RMT, is sad for the whole online Catholic blog-o-sphere, and that does resonate on the ground in person with our parishes and communities. When these people leave or cut their involvement, that is one less voice proving that these RMTs are the minority in Catholic orthodoxy, and in traditional circles, even the Latin Mass.
When the voice of the devilish, hypocritical minority becomes the majority of leadership, people will reject Traditional Catholicism, and even the Latin Mass because of bad example. This means the young, "wired" generations of X (mine, late 80's to early 90's), and Millennials (born late 90's to 2000's), will only have but rotten example left to see. They will either reject all forms of Catholic traditionalism based on those few examples, or worse, inherit the sickening poison of the bloggers they see, including a erroneous form of the Hermeneutic of Suspicion. This suspicion will exhibit itself, either in becoming an RMT and isolating themselves in their online, real, and spiritual lives, or rejecting anything besides standard Catholicism in our outdated parish community structure of the Church, even rejecting Holy Mother Church Herself because of the "bad men" within it, including those supposed to be "true faithful."
So, to Freyr, here is my personal message:
Freyr, it is unfortunate that you have decided to remove yourself from the presence of the Catholic Blog-o-sphere for hopefully, just a while. I and likely other readers of your blog, enjoyed hearing your voice and being the "voice of reason" on issues in the Church, and to remind us, that our Catholic Faith is about just one social justice or liturgical cause.
We need more people like yourself out there to demonstrate and provide evangelical Witness in the Church, that this is a great place to be filled with Hope! Not the home of "pickled-faced pepper" people who are liturgical and moral policemen, akin to fictional super (/anti-?) hero, Judge Dredd, whose famous catchphrase is "I AM THE LAW!!!".
I do applaud your reasoning for leaving, as you have been wise enough to realize what the Joy of the Gospel is, and that one must care for their soul and hopeful eternal salvation of such, as a precious pearl of great price. I do hope that this will not end your foray into blogging. I do hope you can re-visit the blogosphere one day.
If you will not do it on your own, then I would be happy to, for the first time, open up my blog to a secondary author to contribute posts, whether as a guest, or as a formal contributor. You are always welcome (save violating my blog rules), to comment here on Servimus Unum Deum. Please Freyr, do not give up hope in this Archdiocese of Toronto, nor online or in person with the Catholic/Trad communities. We must continue to shine forth.
Pax Tibi Christi, Julian Barkin.
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