Thursday, September 23, 2010

Am I a "Taliban Catholic"?

I think Catholic Voices is a good thing, I think every parish in the country ought to have three or four people who can speak or write articulately on the Catholic faith; people who can and are willing to write to newspapers, put over the Catholic position on local radio, even take part in internet fora.

The Catholic Church in this country has suffered in the past by not having such a group, we desperately need such a group of intelligent, well informed, loyal lay men and women if we are to engage with secularism in the way in which the Holy Father spelt out during his visit.

Now, if I were running the not normally very articulate Catholic Media Office my first priority would be to get together lists of prominent Catholic lawyers, scientists, doctors, politicians, artists etc who would be willing to write or speak in defence of the Magisterium. My next priority would be to train diocesan, deanery and parish groups to do the same.

But who would one ask to speak for the Catholic Church?

John Allen interviews Austen Ivereigh, one paragraph has caused a rumble in some parts of the English Catholic blogosphere, which deals precisely with this, "Who?", in this case, who was suitable for Catholic Voices.

We didn’t get an application from a Lefebvrite. We did get a few from what you would call the “Taliban Catholics,” who of course have become very vociferous on the blogosphere in the last few years. They’re very critical of the bishops for compromising too much with modernity and not promoting Catholic truth as they see it. We also had applications from people in favor of the ordination of women, and who in general believe that the reforms of Vatican II have been insufficiently implemented, and who are angry at the bishops for the opposite reasons.

We had one application from a woman called Pat Brown, who made it to an interview because we didn’t quite understand where she was coming from. In the interview she said, I believe in the ordination of women and I want to use this, when the pope is here, as a vehicle for talking about that. We said that’s not really right for us, and we explained. She got very upset, which led to the formation of what’s called “Catholic Voices for Reform.” It’s slightly annoying they took our name!
Ivereigh is perhaps a little less urbane than Uncle Jack Valero and his use of what The Sensible Bond describes as the "boo word" / phrase: "Taliban Catholic" does make one ask quite who is acceptable. It makes me ask if Mr Ivereigh had me in mind as a Taliban Catholic, or pne or two other priest bloggers, or John Smeaton or other passionate Catholics.
Ches highlights this passage:
They’re very critical of the bishops for compromising too much with modernity and not promoting Catholic truth as they see it.
 I would describe Damian Thompson as a "Taliban Catholic", and I thank God for him, for highlighting some of the silliness in our Church, he is highly critical of the bishops - and some clergy. I believe having a loyal but critical laity is of great importance, if for no other reason than saving the Church from itself. Few could have stopped the Irish clerical abuse horrors but maybe a loyal critical laity holding the heirarchy to account could have stopped some of the wickedness which has multiplied the Church's woes which has come as result of the cover-up of these "unspeakable crimes" by the Irish bishops. A large part of the Irish problem was having a laity who refused to question and co-operated with the Bishop's sin, even their crimes in the cover-up.

In 1535, all the English Bishops, except St John Fisher, who might well have been described as a "Taliban" Catholic by Ivereigh, sold out the Church. The message of 1535 reminds us ordinary priests and laity of the importance of loyal criticism, of holding our bishops to account.

At the last Ad Limina visit the Pope said to our bishops:
So what when they refuse to recognise dissent for what it is?
It is important to recognise dissent for what it is, and not to mistake it for a mature contribution to a balanced and wide-ranging debate.

What do we do when it appears that the CES allows Connexions to teach those things which are contrary to the faith in our schools, or appoints the former MP Greg Pope, with his appalling anti-life voting record to the same Education Service?
What do we do when after 13 years of Catholic education or young men and women seem to know little and believe even less of our faith?
What does a loyal Catholic do when a bishop himself publicly dissents from the faith and seems to fan the embers of dissent into a flame?
What should we have done when Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor  receive Tony Blair into the Church without any statement that might have suggested he was also a convert and actually agreed with the Church he was received into?
What does one do when the bishops seem to advocate, or rarely contradict, the views of Pepinster, Mickens and Beattie when they seem to depart from the Magisterium? It saddens me that their rather insular, elitist, middle-class, view of the faith has become "establishmemt Catholicism" and their failure to copntradict them seems to be tacit agreement.

The Holy Father called on our bishops not only to teach the faith but to teach it in its fullness. Surely we have a right to ask for this fullness and more than just a dergree of congruence with the Magisterium and Engish Catholics have both a right and duty to ask why a particular

The Holy Father has given us a broad understanding of what being Catholic is, one of his first acts was to invite Hans Kung for dinner, on the other hand of course as the "Pope of Christian unity", he has been desperately trying to fully regularise the SSPX and has been promoting a reading of theology that favours the hermeneutic of continuity rather than rupture.

Ivereigh is right however to want "mainstream" Catholics as his Voices. His use of the phrase "Taliban Catholics" is crass, so too is his apparent promotion of whatever the local equivalent of Ultramontanism. For this Pope obedience to the Tradition is important, not slavery to his own particular teaching, he sees the Roman Pontiff as the servant of the Church not its master, that is the same role we should expect from our bishops and also from a well informed laity, including Catholic Voices.
Do read Ches' sensible post

43 comments:

Laurence England said...

Yes, Father.

Let's just embrace the label and go and offer food to the homeless, love to prostitutes and drug addicts, mercy to adulters, rebukes to heretics and forgiveness to our enemies.

I wonder what Ivereigh would have made of Our Blessed Lord during His Ministry!

Bob Brookes said...

Under this criteria I would be honoured to be a taliban Catholic!
What a great article - You have summed up so much in a nutshell.
Thank you and God Bless.

Michael Petek said...

Didn't we use to have the Catholic Evidence Guild?

JARay said...

I have a very great respect both for Ches and for Damian Thompson. If they are to be designated "Taliban Catholics" then I would be honoured to be listed amongst them. From a few letters to my local Catholic newspaper, I have been introduced to some people by my name and the comment "You know, he writes those letters to The Record!" (Our local Catholic newspaper)and when I met with the Editor just recently he said, "Keep those letters coming"!

Delia said...

Quite so. Very well said, Father.

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Why do you think he's referring to you?

when I read that comment it didn't occur to me that he was referring to you.

Another catholic blog that has acted as a platform for spiteful people with grudges against certain clerics was what came to my mind.
Even recently comments such as this one digging for dirt and gossip:

"so tell us, give us the identity of the young gay man Fr. X was set up with"

And this nasty warning:
"X is from the Archdiocese of Cardiff. He has Fr.Bad's history at his fingertips ....watch and learn...
As for taking the name of Fr. Good in vain, that just goes to show everyone here what a despicable person you are!
"

I think that deserves the "boo" word.

Having returned to my faith with gladness I got an extra spring in my step when I discovered all these faithful "happy to be catholic" blogs.
I quickly added more and more to my reaader and felt such fondness and kinship with you all.
I felt a great bond of affection for my fellow catholics who were boldly making their presence felt online.

I am slowly waking up to the reality that the catholic blogosphere can be as nasty and uncharitable as anywhere else.
In fact often more so.
My atheist friends have more virtue in the way they speak about their "enemies" and they do a seem to have a better understanding of the golden rule.

Have you never used a "boo" word?
I have.
I loathe this tone of contempt for people who are saying it wrong or doing it wrong.
The "wrong sort of catholics" in other words.
A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Why can't we be faithful and true and be bold witnesses for beauty of the full teaching of the church without constantly scrutinising others for fault and poking accusing fingers?

So Austen said "Taliban Catholics". I would probably say "noisy gongs and clanging cymbals"

It's too sad.

Mac McLernon said...

Fr. Ray, if you're a Taliban Catholic, then I shall be right behind you in my manti... sorry, burqa!

;-)

berenike said...

Claire, do read Ches's post. I have no idea what's going on with that Oratory business, I find D. Thomson a guilty pleasure (he's bad, but I read him anyway), Fr Ray and Ches are thoughtful, charitable and worth reading. Do read Ches's post.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Clare I am not too sure who Mr
Ivereigh refers to or what are the limits of his description of the "Taliban".
It certainly struck me he was describing anyone who criticised the bishops. His words are,
"They’re very critical of the bishops for compromising too much with modernity and not promoting Catholic truth as they see it."
There is nothing about rudeness or sheer nastiness or gossip.

I thought I read most of the more popular or "vociferous" blogs on the blogosphere. I don't think I read the one you describe, nor would I if that kind of comment came up. We have to be discerning in our reading.

Annie said...

Great post, Father.

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Oo oo! Can I be one too? I'm terribly evil, ask anyone.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Father. Please put Romulus down as a Taliban Catholic.

Romulus

SPQRatae said...

Interesting when Mr Ivereigh talks about Pat Brown.
I presume it's this Pat Brown, hilariously described as a 'young Catholic' by BBC Leeds:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/leeds/hi/people_and_places/newsid_8977000/8977137.stm

(Incidentally this BBC article is beyond parody. Apparently they wanted to get the views of young Catholics in Leeds on the Pope's visit and, to their shock and horror, the youngsters all turned out to be orthodox Catholics who loved the Pope. In a panic, they contacted our Pat to 'balance' the article.)

Party game: guess which one is the dissenting Pat without reading any of the words...

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Fr Ray and Berenike
I did read Ches's post and he makes some thoughtful observations.
However, Austen explains what he meant over on Laurences blog in the comments
here.
Here's part of what he said:
"You've been provoked by the 'Taliban' reference. I said in the Allen interview, "what YOU call Taliban Catholics" because Allen coined the phrase some months ago -- see http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/dallas-experiment-orthodoxy-and-openness, where he says it describes a mindset:

"On the one extreme lies what my friend and colleague George Weigel correctly terms 'Catholicism Lite,' meaning a watered-down, sold-out form of secularized religiosity, Catholic in name only. On the other is what I call 'Taliban Catholicism,' meaning a distorted, angry form of the faith that knows only how to excoriate, condemn, and smash the TV sets of the modern world."
"

I think it's unfair to be too quick to assume the worst, especially when the same people ( Jack V and Austen) I seem to be coming in for a regular drubbing.
It just seems to be ok to pick on them all the time. I find it unkind and it makes me wince.


You can also see my own comments there regarding the popular "vociferous" catholic blog I am referring to.

Commenters asking for restraint and charity are abused in the combox and called names. I recall one very gentle commenter was rebuked as a "pious moron".
Some commenters were speculating about Austens lack of a family.
Some of these comments are so cruel they make me gasp. These are human beings they are taking apart. I am shocked that other bloggers have turned a blind eye to what has gone on there.
I would link to some of the particularly egregious examples, but I don't want to spread the muck any further.
Honestly, I think Taliban is a perfectly apt "boo" word for the bullying that has been going on there.

shadowlands said...

I'm more of a Tali-'gran' Catholic so my ageing opinions are not even heard anymore, let alone adhered to by the bright young things.

With hindsight however, I would advise the young, Pray your rosaries, it will all work out much better eventually, if you do. Our Lady promised.
Wish I had learned that truth years ago.

Austen Ivereigh said...

Fr Ray, The term was used by Allen himself a few months ago, and is worth reading how he understands it -- here: http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/dallas-experiment-orthodoxy-and-openness. I think he's onto something. In the interview I said we excluded those whom "you" (that is, Allen) would call "Taliban Catholics".

Paul, Bedfordshire said...

The problem is that "the bishops" is a bit too vague, if the problem is with all the bishops then you are verging on the schismatic and this description could be apt.

If the problem is that "the bishops" in a specific geographical area are either going against or being very lukewarm and reticent about certain universal catholic truths and doctrines then the person is arguably doing no more than fulfilling his obligations as a catholic layperson (so long as its done with the neccesary level of charity)

There is no such thing as an English [Roman] Catholic, only a [Roman] Catholic who happens at this moment in time to live in England.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Alright Austen, but I don't see that much "rage" and "television smashing" here, unlike the US, so who in your opinion on the blogosphere is, and who isn't?
Or must we assume that you assume everyone who expresses concern at the state of the Church is Taliban?

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Fr Ray and Berenike
I did read Ches's post and he makes some thoughtful observations.
However, Austen explains what he meant over on Laurences blog in the comments
here.
Here's part of what he said:
"You've been provoked by the 'Taliban' reference. I said in the Allen interview, "what YOU call Taliban Catholics" because Allen coined the phrase some months ago -- see http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/dallas-experiment-orthodoxy-and-openness, where he says it describes a mindset:

"On the one extreme lies what my friend and colleague George Weigel correctly terms 'Catholicism Lite,' meaning a watered-down, sold-out form of secularized religiosity, Catholic in name only. On the other is what I call 'Taliban Catholicism,' meaning a distorted, angry form of the faith that knows only how to excoriate, condemn, and smash the TV sets of the modern world."
"

I think it's unfair to be too quick to assume the worst, especially when the same people ( Jack V and Austen) I seem to be coming in for a regular drubbing.
It just seems to be ok to pick on them all the time. I find it unkind and it makes me wince.


You can also see my own comments there regarding the popular "vociferous" catholic blog I am referring to.

Commenters asking for restraint and charity are abused in the combox and called names. I recall one very gentle commenter was rebuked as a "pious moron".
Some commenters were speculating about Austens lack of a family.
Some of these comments are so cruel they make me gasp. These are human beings they are taking apart. I am shocked that other bloggers have turned a blind eye to what has gone on there.
I would link to some of the particularly egregious examples, but I don't want to spread the muck any further.
Honestly, I think Taliban is a perfectly apt "boo" word for the bullying that has been going on there.

Thomas Mullett said...

The article Austen links to by John Allen is very interesting. Allen defines 'Taliban Catholic' in a broad sense that also includes a "certain type of liberal catholic" who reacts angrily to suggestions that Pope Benedict is not rolling back Vatican II.

However Austen does not adopt such a broad definition in his interview, suggesting it only applies to vociferous bloggers but interesting not to the women who wanted to use the visit to promote the cause of women priests. Allen would have seen both as Taliban Catholics.

Most people do understand 'Taliban Catholic' in the way John Allen does, and I have only heard it used as a snide dig at those who uphold the Church's teaching the area of sex and love. I thus find the term quite term quite unhelpful.

Mike said...

“It makes me ask if Mr Ivereigh had me in mind as a Taliban Catholic, or pne or two other priest bloggers, or John Smeaton or other passionate Catholics.”

Hmmn. The only pne I know is Preston North End. We nearly beat Wigan yesterday, by the way.

Now the serious bit.

Austen Ivereigh referred to “Taliban Catholics” so he is referring to more than one person. He is clearly referring to people other than the one who is most often blamed.

Yes, he is thinking of John Smeaton. See one of his comments on “Bones’” blog:

“I think Clare's description of Preece's blog matches Allen's definition. I think both he and Smeaton typify that mentality -- angry at the bishops for what they see as "compromising" the faith, and combing the bishops' words (and those of others, including regularly my own) in search of heterodoxy, distorting and misquoting those words in the process. It's a mindset that undermines communion, using "orthodoxy" as a weapon, much as the Taliban do.” (A. Ivereigh)

Note that John Smeaton does not even get the courtesy of a “John” or a “Mr”. A more loyal Catholic than John Smeaton would be difficult to imagine, but there you go.

Who else is he thinking of? Who knows, but he is obviously referring to any blogger who has ever been critical of the Bishops of England and Wales. So he might well be referring to you, Father.

And if it comes to the views of the CBEW on sex education, gay relationships, Catholic education or abortion, then you can count me among the ‘Taliban’ too.

Volpius Leonius said...

So by his definition would Mr. I who goes on to criticise the Vatican and the Pope consider himself a Taliban Catholic?

Or is it only the Bishops of England and Wales who should never ever, ever, ever be criticised?

Do I sense hypocrisy?

On the side of the angels said...

I don't think it's too wide of the mark to suggest that I was one of the 'Taliban Catholics' interviewed for Catholic Voices ; and even though I'm very much a tiny fish in a massive pond ; am truly proud that Dr Ivereigh should refer to me in such a way.

Might I also remind everyone that were it not for 'Grand Mufti' Damian Thompson's Spectator article on the disastrous Papal visit mismanagement - compelling intervention from David Cameron by appointing Lord Patten - we might very well have had no Beatification Mass at Cofton Park.

I'm sure Messrs Valero and Ivereigh will claim a great deal of the credit for the success of the Papal visit and for 'turning the media' in a Papally-conducive direction ; but I will always opine that with friends like them ; we most assuredly do not need any more enemies...

Caroline said...

"Taliban Catholics" are "very critical of the bishops for compromising too much with modernity."

Modernity? Would that by any chance be the same thing as Modernism?

If it quacks like a duck....

Thomas Mullett said...

Correction should have written:

Most people do * NOT * understand 'Taliban Catholic' in the way John Allen does...

Doh!

Mike Cliffson said...

Mr Iverleigh is doubtless wellmeaning: but the interview on the link is mm too unchallenging ? dunno the best word- at the edges.
It smells awfully like all the "But NFP IS catholic contraception" stuff: all on THEIR turf.Hmm: More water in your beer ? Near London, under 40, briefed by jesuits - just a touch slick.
Doesn't quite seem 100 4 1 + persecution reward- focussed, (tho it may well be very much so in practice: do you know anyone the happier for involvemnet with the MSM?)
Personal animus : Having had clear traditional catholic doctrine described as "your opinion" my reaction is visceral and 100% Old Adam!
ButMain point:
MSM putupjobs of "feeling the public pulse" are only part of the public square the Holy father wishes the Church's voice not to be absent at.
In such forums I feel we oughter just quote the penny catechism if we haven't the bigger newer mentally installed as lampjuice, CTS pamphlets verbatim -id est, stick to the truth, and if the Holy Spirit thinks the situation deserves inspiration, we'll get it.
If they flay us alive verbally, SO WHAT.If the bishops stay mum and don't back us up, SO WHAT.
( Yes I know it hurts - family member reguarly mauled on Local radio et al over the years on abortion, from 67 on)
If in our hour of need for MSM programmes Divine providence condescends to send us-is anyone praying for them?- a few more bloodcrazed ferrets or chesterbelloc beasts, so much the better!
The media ll only invite them once.

The MSM are dying, anyway.
There's meetings at schools- Sure, Ive hated being a minority of one in "catholic schools"- but just WHO are we following anyway ? WE should be more than, to all appearances, just failures of provincials beaten and messily strung up on sticks?
Suppose somethings like town meetings and tea parties come to these shores?, instead of just coworkers chats over nescafe?
Suggestion for fainthearts like me: rosary in pocket with standard cruxifix, have Christ reigning in glory on the cross in the living room at home for the cupatea after.
(and godforgiveme : the moan to sympathetic ears about clerical softness)

Jacobi said...

If I may comment as a "mainstream", middle class catholic in the pews, on the basis of my pre-Vat11 RE and Apologetics classes,which the Pope has assured us has not been changed at all by Vat11,


1.Bishops who compromise with modernity or modernism are compromising with a heresy as defined by Pius X.

2. Those who support women priests are rejecting Papal Authority and are in dissent and separation from the Church.

3.Those who knowingly teach a false version of Catholic belief are putting others, children usually, in a position of "bad faith", a serious sin.

4.Catholics who accept Catholic teaching but ignore it have, with any luck, although they are chancing it, a solution. Its called Confession. Remember that word? But, it must also include a firm purpose of amendment!

Its all quite simple, really, middle class or otherwise - and no one has to stay in the Church. Its a free country after all!

23/9/10 10:36 PM

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Mike Cliffson@10.51
Yours was a blog comment in the style of a Joycean stream of consciousness!
(I say that in affectionate good humour,not criticism.
Reading it just brought to mind my teenage summer spent with Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man)
Has anyone ever told you you write like James Joyce?

JARay said...

Michael Petek raises an interesting point.
Yes, we did have the Catholic Evidence Guild.
That was in the days when Catholics knew their Faith and were willing to defend it. In those days there were Catholic Truth Society pamphlets at the back of every church. People bought them, read them and knew what the Faith was all about. Those were the days when children learned the "penny catechism" in school. I can still remember much of it myself.

Ches said...

The crux of it all, Fr Ray, is here:

"As you proclaim the coming of the Kingdom, with its promise of hope for the poor and the needy, the sick and the elderly, the unborn and the neglected, be sure to present in its fulness the life-giving message of the Gospel, including those elements which call into question the widespread assumptions of today’s culture."

Pope Benedict to the Bishops of Enland, Scotland and Wales, 20 September 2010

We have to hammer on this 'fulness the life-giving message of the Gospel' until we can hammer no more!

Catholic Voice said...

Close the Comboxes, Save the World.

Sharon said...

Of interest might be Bishop Vasa's pulling no punches talk about bishops' conferences

http://www.insidecatholic.com/feature/the-bishop-and-the-conference.html

Sharon said...

JARay those were indeed the days - when sisters and brothers everywhere taught only the orthodox Catholic Faith, when priests everywhere preached only the orthodox Catholic Faith, when religion text-books presented only the orthodox Catholic Faith, when the idea of parish shopping to find a liturgy which simply said the black and did the red was unknown. Ahh the bad old days!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Jacobi, you wicked Lefebvrist, you!

+ Wolsey

St John said...

Dear Father Ray,

It seems to me that Austen Ivereigh was referring to people in the blogosphere whose contributions are frequently characterised by extreme negativity and a complete lack of charity, combined with a degree of self-righteousness, when they commentate on the latest developments in the Church.

It is surely and indisputably right to speak out when members of the Church, clerical or lay, are doing wrong, or failing to act as they should. What puts many of us off, though, is the harsh and hostile language, and lack of balance or compassion, too frequently employed to do this.

Fraternal correction is good and necessary, but it must always (and particularly in the public domain) be carried out in a way such that onlookers will say "See how these Christians love one another!" If love and charity are absent from people's (otherwise laudable) defence of the Faith, it will have the unintended effect of turning people away from Our Lord, and thereby frustrating His prayer "that they may be one".

Fr Ray Blake said...

I son't look at James' blog that regularly but I don't see the things on it some people mention in the comments that have been published, or in those that are unpublished.

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Respectfully Fr Ray, if you don't see those comments it's because you haven't been reading them.
Maybe I'm being touchy, but the way you worded that seems to imply that what I have said and quoted isn't true.

One can campaign zealously for othodoxy and fidelity to the teaching of the church ( a position which one doesn't have to be a WRCB* to share btw ) but without charity then one is nothing more than a gong booming.

I think that we need to regularly remind eachother of that. Can we not, in friendship, hold eachother accountable without being seen as "belonging" to the other lot?

What I have seen, and been on the recieving end of over the past few weeks in the run up to the Papal visit has made me feel ill.

I echoe StJohns plea:
"Fraternal correction is good and necessary, but it must always (and particularly in the public domain) be carried out in a way such that onlookers will say "See how these Christians love one another!"

(*Widely Read Catholic Blogger)

Fr Ray Blake said...

Clare,

No, simply it is not part of my regular daily reading.

I tend to read only those things on the net which I find spiritually or intellectually helpful.

I can do my own ranting so I tend to avoid other peoples, they are not helpful, so I don't see them.

Fr Ray Blake said...

p.s.
When I do read James' blog I don't agree with a lot, sometimes at sigh at what he says but I rather like it. Often it is irreverent, virile and fiesty, bit like a student ragmag.

epsilon said...

Have you been a "Taliban Catholic" insurgent in any way, i.e. one who has criticised Bishops in England and Wales? You might like to join me in burying the hatchet - or AK47 as the case may be.

You may have in the past, abandoned your TV - or put your foot through it - when you found people around you were imitating Eastenders

You might have said an extra decade of the Rosary - or posted a rude comment about a particular bishop on your blog - when he cleared the altar, shared the pitta bread and passed around the earthenware to drink from

Maybe you wrote a respectful letter to the Bishop of Nottingham about the Catholic Education Service - or you spoke angrily to the Bishop of Liverpool when a Catholic school in his diocese was about to be entertained by "Inju5tice" and he didn't seem to care less

Come on over and sign an open letter to the CBE&W letting them know how we would like to help them carry out the work begun by the Holy Father last week.

Who knows, maybe even us hatcheteers and AK47ers might find it in our hearts in the process to forgive each other as well...

Clare@ BattlementsOfRubies said...

Fr Ray, I have also enjoyed James somewhat irreverent blog, that's why I added it to my reader.
However if a student rag mag printed comments making allegations about your sexuality, your sexual conduct and trying to get information on young male friends of yours you would surely find it devastating?

I consider it my obligation to protest this kind of thimg, and if the same thing happened to you I hope that others would spring to your defence. I know I would.
One cannot fight injustice with injustice. Calumny and detraction are damaging and sinful.
It's not merely the japes of a student rag mag and I'm sorry that you don't see that
I am beyond disappointed that beyond a few blogless commenters and myself, the 'inner ring' of catholic blogs who all subscribe to one another have remained silent about this.
Because that appears to signal tacit approval.

Ben said...

Mike Cliffson's comment looks as if it has interesting things to say, but is written in a strange language. Can anybody decode it for me?

Annie said...

Sorry Father, but as interesting as your criteria is for the use of Taliban and Catholic together, I just can't agree with its use. The two together just leaves a really bad taste in my mouth. We aren't Taliban and we shouldn't be trying to give a good meaning to a name that will be forever associated with a terrorist organization who's sole purpose is to turn the clock back to the stone age when survival by any means was the name of the game.