The name Michelle Arnold might not tell much to you; but when I was alerted to this article, it rang a bell with me.
Is this not the same woman who suggested to a wife that she disobeys to her husband and puts a third party “counsellor” between them? Yes, she is…
Now, the same woman who has no qualms in putting other people’ s marriages in jeopardy, and in encouraging wives to disobedience to, actually, blessedly Catholic husbands, finds it oh so bad that certain priests – actually, one certain priest – invites donations on his blog and sells articles through it.
Still, this woman doesn’t have the brass balls of the Tablet journalists, who attack that certain priest without any qualm. Rather, she goes around him in circles like an overweight hyena; not saying, but implying; not making the name of any particular priest, but suggesting him; not writing of him, but rather of others.
This is not the first time this particular priest (defined as “the” celebrity priest, so you know that yes, it is he who is meant) is attacked by the “c”atholic press or bloggers, though in this case the attack is meowed rather than roared. Not gently meowed, mind. Meowed, rather, like a very bitchy, overweight cat would meow when she hasn’t eaten.
In the past, I have defended that certain priest (Father Zimmermann, or Zuckerberg; or perhaps Zeckendorf; I forget …) from attacks against him openly, and would do so again if he were to be openly attacked again. But as the fictional bitchy cat hasn’t even dared to openly show her claws, I will do the same like the good bitchy-cat chasing fictional Catholic Dobermann I am.
The, ahem, non-attack moves on two, ahem, non-fronts.
1. Beware of star priests. Look at Father Corapi!
Yes, some priests have qualities Ms Arnold will never have. Such is life. Yes, this will lead to temptations, and those of them who are vulnerable or particularly heavily attacked by Satan (can’t imagine this will ever be the case with Ms Arnold) will be at risk of falling in Satan’s trap. That’s life, too. I notice here that my last information is that Father Corapi has gone back to his monastery and is undergoing a period of punishment and penance. Very frankly, I do not want to “duckduckgo” him to see if this is still the case, because yes, I liked the man, and I like to think that he is on his way to redemption.
But be it as it may, yes: there are dangers in being very, very good that the very, very mediocre will never experience. Actually, anonymity is a very good way to avoid these problems. But then if you are anonymous, some bitchy cat will accuse you of just being anonymous…
2. Look at the warning signs, which I give you because I am smart.
At least one, actually more, of these “criticisms” (some of them very stupid, like “how open is he to criticism”? Go figure…) are directly aimed at Father Zimmermann, or Zuckerberg, or whatever. The message is clear enough: “The “star priest” that shall not be named is a bad one, but I can’t tell you who he is because I will have a bunch of Dobermann chasing me in no time. Forcing me to skip a meal. Which, you must know, I truly hate”.
Tellingly, not one of the warning signs is the only one that people should pay attention to: does the star priest teach anything contrary to Catholic teaching, tradition and common sense? Because you see: if he does, he will do a lot of good to a lot of people even if he ends up (God forbid!) in hell himself; if he doesn’t, he can be “Father Theresa” in his private life and live in a cave, but he will be a rotten priest anyway.
The only measure of orthodoxy is orthodoxy, and this is also the only measure of the goodness of a priest’s preaching, or of a blogger’s blogging. I never enquire about the private life of a priest, and am content with a blogging priest not being openly sinful. I know privately they all are, as we all are, though hopefully in lesser ways than Ms Arnold or I. But you see: it is not sinful at all to sell articles on the internet, or to ask for donations, or to have legions of fans. These perks are generally deserved. What is really bad is when a blogging priest: a) gives scandal, or b) undermines the faith.I have supported Father Corapi as long as he was orthodox, and have censured him when he started to give scandal and talk like an egomaniac on cocaine. But I have not cancelled one single quote of him from my “quotable Catholic” page, and hope the day he dies the good he did to me and many others will be taken into account.
Talking of giving scandal and undermining the faith, the Bishop of Rome does both. Day in and day out.
I sense Ms Arnold isn’t really upset.