Self-Castration To Spite The Wife: Reflections On Father Rosica And The Blogosphere.
It is now the third day (I think) since Fr Rosica's threat to sue a Canadian blogger for being Catholic has been made public.
I have been reflecting on what moves a man who should know a thing or two about publicity and PR work to do something so incredibly senseless. This is not even, say, the itchy province priest who takes exception to any criticism levelled at him by sincere Catholics. This is, or should be, a media professional. A smooth operator. A shrewd publicity machine.
Does Fr Rosica not know that an action like this must, must, bring exactly, exactly the bad public name he wanted to avoid, but multiplied by twenty at the very least? What moves a person to such an autolesionist behaviour, particularly when it is his very job to appreciate the damage this will do to him? I have no idea, and I think there is no rational explanation. There are, however, a couple of irrational ones. Let us see if they might have applied.
1) Father Rosica thought his counterpart would fold without posing resistance; that he would decide that it is wiser to cancel some posts and continue blogging in peace. This is no smart thinking, because even if this had been the case, the blogger in question could have kept writing one blog Post a day about him, year in and year out, all of them very politely critical, and make a far bigger damage in the long term on every present and future search engine. But even so, it is not very smart to think that the man would fold in the first place. When the upside is immediate but only temporary victory, and the downside is immediate, multiplied and permanent bad publicity, I do not think action is a very smart conduct.
2) The two contenders know each other personally, or have a long story of disagreement. At some point, Rosica is unable to be cool and “professional” about that. Again, we are all human, but this does not reflect well on him professionally. Would you want to have a chap like that as your deputy press guy?
3) Father Rosica collects donations for his “salty and darkness” thingy, and started to notice emails and enquiries concerning the facts (as in: facts) publicised by Vox Cantoris. He might have decided that he had to act in order to avoid further damage. Again, I am curious as to the long-term effect of this controversy on his donations.
These are only some hypotheses, the fruit of the attempt to explain the inexplicable: a man of the press attacking a small blogger, perfectly well knowing he is attracting a damage ten or twenty times bigger than the one he wanted to avoid.
In Italy we say that this is like a man castrating himself to spite his wife.
Father Rosica has no wife, but it seems to me that he has delivered a perfect example of this colourful saying.