Monday, April 20, 2009

Yeah? So, what's your point?

"often right-wing, polemical and vituperative"

You say that like it's a bad thing.

"...the Tablet newspaper launched an attack on my parish because one of our four weekend precept Masses and one of our six weekday Masses is said in the extraordinary form.


"...that bloggers around the world were left in little doubt about the character of the Tablet. Whereas many people before had rather ignored it as a possibly slightly highbrow English weekly, they now took a closer look and realised, from various articles and snippets that were published and fisked around the web, that it is the English voice of dissent from Rome;

Almost overnight, the Tablet's position as a leading opinion former was compromised by the democratic and rather scary freedom of ordinary Catholics to write on the internet without editorial censorship. It is no surprise, then, that the Tablet has chosen to launch a blanket attack on Catholic blogging during the two weeks leading up to the Low Week meeting. After all, it would be very much in their interests if the Bishops were to go along with the idea that blogs are rather bad and dangerous.

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is how angry it makes the left.

They're used to running the show, you see, and having the last editorial word in nearly every venue of public life. The fact that bugs like me can have a voice in public, or even worse, that an ordinary parish priest could have a means of countering and exposing them at every underhanded dirty little trick,

drives 'em nuts.

And that's the fun part.

Of course, all the usual suspects are dancing with glee at the Suppository's little temper tantrum.

Damian returns briefly to his previously amusing vituperative form:
The most revealing detail of all, however, is that the Tablet has to explain to its readers what the word blog means – "a corruption of web-log, invented in America".

Not that I'm surprised. A couple of months ago I accidentally walked into the Pill's annual lecture. Blimey. I don't want to be rude, but most people there looked liked they only knew what a mobile phone was because they'd been given one by their middle-aged children in case they had a fall.

Fr. Blake links to Fr. Longenecker, an American priest with ties in the UK who puts his finger on it:
that the readers have to have 'blog' defined for them is hilarious. Don't be misled. This is not a journalistic attempt at clarity--it is a classic, upper middle class English attempt at a back hand slam. It's an example of English snobbery. See, when you're really upper class you don't even know what such common and vulgar things are.

I think he might be missing a little nuance here, in that in England, "liberalism" is fashionable for upper class Catholics for much the same reason it was expedient for recusants in general to keep a low profile. It was a subtle way of blending with Anglican, society. I suppose a variation on Americanism in the US Church. A way of saying, "Well, yes, we're Catholic, but it doesn't have to make us social or political pariahs now does it?" Now that Anglicanism has completed its 500 year transformation into hard-core anti-Christian secularism, it is incumbent on the English Tablet Catholics to keep up. Hence the kind of Catholicism of a Fr. Finigan - all anti-abortion rallies, Rosary processions and vulgar plaster statues of St. Mary the Virgin - is a source of deep-seated English snobbery which comes from fear of association.

You will note that most of the Plaster-Statue-Totin' Catholics in the UK have names like "Finigan" and "O'Donohue". Not a coincidence.

It reminds me of the kind of "pro-lifer" you usually find in All-Party Parliamentary groups on either side of the Atlantic. "Well, yes, of course, we're pro-life, but it's not like we're fanatics or anything. We can be pro-life and still affirm a woman's right to choose."

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