(I know… I know… Chaff is seen as “good” today… Still…)
Everytime the Pope says something enormous, you see a predictable and at times rather funny phenomenon: the Pollyannas reckless abandoning themselves to loud praise of the Bishop of Rome, and then being caught in off-side by the dismay of the Catholic world at the very event they had so highly praised. It goes to show how Catholic some “c”atholics think.
Sadly, I notice that every now and then someone we thought on our side slowly, or not so slowly, proves to be on the fence at the very least. I also notice that at times Pollyannas who had, in the past, uttered a mild criticism tend to revert to full Ray Charles Mode, as they are conflicted between the fear that their readers will go away if they criticise the Pope and the fear that their readers will go away if they don’t.
There were two recent examples of this; one predictable, the other less so. Names will not be made, and I ask you not to make them, or hint to them, on the comment box. Where it can be avoided, I think that this blog should not be a window for inter-Catholic (however intended) strife, but rather for education and warning to the reader. I will endeavour to tell you how to recognise a good apple. When you go to the Saturday market, I trust you will be able to recognise the bad apples yourself.
The first example was the blogger who tried to explain to us how wonderfully enriching the papal interviews are. The article itself is, unwittingly, rather hilarious; but even more so are the comments, with an army of true blue Catholics asking him if he is joking and making other more or less salacious, and always correct observations on the matter. Apparently, a lot of punters recognise the bad apples all right, and do not hesitate in politely telling the stand owner that his ware is inedible and good for the pigs.
The second example is the other blogger who tried to downplay and normalise away the scandal and shock caused by The Most Astonishing Hypocrite In Church History (TMAHICH), in a Pollyann-ish effort that belies both his knowledge and his intelligence. Basically, it is an implicit invitation to wear some very robust blinkers in order to avoid having to see what this papacy is doing. Add to this the downplaying of the scandals themselves, and the attempt to attribute them largely to differences in communication style with his predecessors, rather than to differences in thinking, teaching, acting, I would say almost breathing, with them. This is clearly offensive to the intelligence of his… intelligent readers.
Whenever the Bishop of Rome says or does something enormous, take the time to search the blogosphere and read what Titius, Caius or Sempronius have written on the matter. Give particular importance to what they have written before the scandal erupted (it always take some time). Look at the difference between those who are concerned with the desecrations happening at that joke of a Jumbotron Mass, and those who see in it such a wonderful experience. This is the best way to see what kind of apples you are being sold everyday.
Caveat emptor, or “let the buyer beware”. The quality of the merchandise will decrease dramatically in the next months, and who knows what kind of market will remain after October if TSHTF.
Now, more than ever, it pays to be an attentive customer.