The last Lay pulpit article, Oh What a Tangled Web It Was – and Is, drew another comment (as did a previous article) from a reader who goes by the moniker “Simply Catholic.” I need to thank “Simply Catholic,” for he gives me another opportunity (and reason) to bring up a subject that needs to be repeated and reinforced every now and then – Hypocrisy. “Simply Catholic” accusingly labels this writer as “abominable” and “obsessed” for (presumably) what this writer has said about clerics Daniel Dolan, Anthony Cekada, and Markus Ramolla.
And his reasons for condemning this writer are (presumably) that these men are Alteri Christi (or, as he put it, “priests nevertheless”) and therefore “off limits” as far as having any criticism leveled against them – the time-worn, threadbare “Alter Christus” argument. According to this non-logic, one could not say anything against Martin Luther or Rasputin, because they were “priests nevertheless”; and Christ, Our Lord Himself, could not (and ought not) have leveled any criticism against the Scribes and Pharisees, because they were the “priests nevertheless” of their day. When will this illogical notion be dispelled?!
The sad thing is that people like “Simply Catholic” don’t practice what they preach. He has oceans of respect and concern for the “reputations” of Bp. Dolan and Frs. Cekada and Ramolla – but where is his sympathy for Bp. Paul Petko and Fr. Bernard Hall? Why the selective concern? Why is not his “respect for the clergy” uniformly applied? That’s because he is probably one of the three aforementioned men himself or one of their ardent supporters (actually, it’s the latter), and he’s afraid of the truth coming out – so he invokes the Alter Christus “clause.”
That is the ploy that all scoundrels use when they don’t want the truth to get out. They have no valid arguments to give themselves – no facts, no evidence, no truth to offer -- so they try to silence their opposition with “guilt-trip” name-calling, labeling their adversaries as “abominable” or ”slanderous” for daring to speak out against the evil of latter-day Pharisees. They know that they can’t refute what is said, so they employ the old “ignore the message and shoot the messenger” tactic. They have no defense, so they rely on offense. Again, when will this illogical (and blatantly fallacious) notion be dispelled?
The fact is that this moronic notion will never be completely dispelled, because there will always be a pool of narrow-minded people who will fall for this illogical tripe – especially the “don’t-confuse-me-with-the-facts” contingent whose steel-trap minds are already made up and who are afraid to “open up their minds and let the sun shine in.” They’ll unhesitatingly believe unfounded hearsay (as many did concerning the false charges against Bp. Petko), yet label the hard truth as “calumny and detraction.”
One who is truly logical (and intellectually honest) must keep an open mind. Unfortunately, this is all too often a rare commodity in “traddie-land” these days. So many, once they take a position, will stubbornly stick to it (and brook no other); they are too proud to admit that they are (or have been) wrong. They’ll never change because they don’t want to change. And, like the Pharisee in the parable, they’ll take the phony “moral high ground” and disdainfully look down their noses at those “publicans” who dare to expose the truth about bad men; yet they’ll swallow baseless lies leveled against good men. They’ll let bad priests “hide behind the collar,” yet vilify good priests, simply because their allegiance is to the former and not the latter. And because of that allegiance, they’ll be too proud to admit to the truth and change their position, because this makes them “look bad.” What they fail to see is that if one is to have “respect for the collar,” it must be uniformly applied, not selectively doled out in a pick-and-choose manner.
But the whole idea of not speaking against someone because he is “a man of the cloth” is itself pure hogwash – and wrong. It is, in fact, sinful. God’s commandments are for everyone; everyone, whether lay or clergy, is subject to them. No one is exempt. Those fools who think otherwise would do well to consider what happened with Vatican II. If no one spoke out against those “priests nevertheless” who promulgated its errors, then there would be no traditional Catholicism today at all; and the errors of these evil priests (and bishops and cardinals) would go on unabated. Come on, “Simply Catholic”! When will it “sink in” that no one is above the law – especially God’s law! When will this realization penetrate your skull?
Sadly, good men have been vilified throughout the ages for standing up for good and opposing evil. One – the God-Man -- was crucified for it. And, sadly, as long as there are people like “Simply Catholic” around, this (unfortunately) will continue. Let us hope and pray that such attitudes will be eradicated in time. One thing for sure: “Simply Catholic’s” comments will not deter this writer from getting the truth out; it will only strengthen the writer’s resolve. And speaking of “resolve,” I would like to direct the reader’s attention to a website – Athanasius Seminary, Inc. -- whose title, interestingly enough, is printed in pink (perhaps to commemorate “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month”?). It exposes -- in a subtle and highly humorous way -- Fr. Ramolla’s “agenda.” In closing, let us hope that “Simply Catholic” (and people like him) will, in future, confine their comments to the facts -- and skip the accusatory histrionics – because, as this writer told “Simply Catholic” once before, what he is doing is simply un-Catholic.