Back in November, while Fr. Tom Rosica was in Rome attending a session of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, he gave this interview with CNS in which he was very critical of Catholic and pro-life websites. The impetus for this, of course, was the fallout of the scandalous Kennedy Funeral which most Catholics were rightly scandalized at, but which Fr. Rosica had no problem with. Along with the Development & Peace abortion scandal and other unwelcome news stories of the year, Fr. Rosica became alarmed that people were very upset and actually had the nerve to challenge and sometimes brusquely chastise those in authority for their scandalous witness.
In his recent blog post on the subject, Fr. Rosica talks a lot about charity and anger, all the while conveniently failing to recognize the plank in his own eye. It’s quite rich to seek to enlighten your brother when you grope foolishly in the dark for the switch. Near the end of his post, he offers some “Guidelines for the Internet”. I think Fr. Rosica, however, should apply some of his own principles to his own blogging before he seeks to suggest them to others. He writes:
Allow me to offer some guidelines for Catholics on the Internet who have developed a wide-ranging set of blogs and websites, some of which claim to be “Pro-Life” or “Catholic” websites. Such sites with life issues and a variety of Catholic matters. Many times these sites set themselves above the Church, and do not abide by any journalistic ethics or concern for the unity of the Church, the integrity and truth of the stories. Writers or masters of such sites do not realize the confusion, harm and disunity they bring to faithful Catholics and those who would like to support the causes of life, but are often deterred from doing so because of false information, inflammatory, erroneous stories filled with half-truths, and uncharity that is found in spades on the Internet.
On the two central issues that started this controversy: the Kennedy Funeral and Development & Peace, just who, dear reader, was guilty of spreading “false information”, “inflammatory stories”, and “setting themselves above the Church”? It wasn’t this blog or other pro-life news sources. Every jot and tittle that has been written on these subjects has been absolutely true. On the contrary, it has been Fr. Rosica who was helping to spread the denials of Development & Peace. Fr. Rosica needs to understand that moral authority is not always granted by the laying on of hands. It is also earned (and lost) by one’s degree of fidelity to the truth.
Moreover, the charge of purportedly setting ourselves above the Church is absurd since we are the ones calling the Church’s leaders to abide by its canons and basic Catholic morality. This is hardly “setting ourselves up against the Church”, and we are most certainly in good company in believing so too.
Fr. Rosica likes to talk about hurt feelings and generalities, but when it comes to specifics and sound moral arguments, he’s got no answers.
In Fr. Rosica’s Church, we have room for the Left, Center, and Right, or so he tells us. Everyone seems to be welcome, except the guy who calls out the elephant in the room.
No John the Baptist or the Gospel of Repentance is welcome in the Church of Fr. Rosica.