Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let's talk about Patheos...

known around our house as "the barn where every religion has its very own stall."  

Even Scientology. What? 

I loathe combox flame wars and never engage in them.  They are pointless and a complete waste of time.

 However (always listen closely to what follows either "but" or "however"), my good friend and blogger extraordinaire, LarryD, of Acts of the Apostasy, did a post last week - The Problem With Patheos

In his post, he expressed some troubling aspects on the site, mostly focusing on some misleading information on the Catholic faith, and he questioned whether some of the other faiths were also being described incorrectly.

For those of you who not aware of Patheos, it is a big site where every religion has a "portal" with it's own little group of bloggers and columnists.  When a blogger is invited to join, their entire personal blog is subsumed into the Patheos site and they cease to exist as an independent blogger.  I believe they are paid on a "pay per click" basis and, as Larry made very clear, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

I've always thought the Patheos site was a jumble of incoherency and terribly hard to navigate, which has become even worse since their recent re-design.  All manner of articles are jumbled up together on the main page with no indication of what religion is the basis for the article, making it a modern day Tower of Babel.

Larry never attacked or demeaned any of the writers at the site and only pointed out a few deficiencies.  What followed was a fairly predictable event, as the Catholic bloggers from Patheos piled on Larry, doing their best imitation of outrage at how anyone could question their fidelity to the faith (which Larry never did), and to express the wonder of having tripled their readership.  This increased readership was touted as a way to promote more evangelization of the faith.

Leading the pack was one of their "star" bloggers, a certain Mark Shea (no link on purpose.)  This would be the same Mark Shea who routinely rips to shreds anyone who dares to disagree with him.  The same Mark Shea who, when Father John Corapi was under investigation last year, proceeded, along with one Deacon Greg Kandra and Elizabeth Scalia, to demonize Corapi and denounce anyone who dared to say that perhaps they didn't have the full story.  Guess what?  We still don't have the full story, and Corapi has completely dropped from sight.  That resulted in all of them piling on again to declare; "See, we were right all along."  Huh?

Or how about Michael Voris, president of St. Michael's Media, which produces Real Catholic TV?  In one of Mr. Voris' presentations on the Vortex series, he made a reference to "professional Catholics."  Mr. Shea's ego went into overdrive thinking that certainly Mr. Voris just had to be referring to him.  Ummmm - I don't think so, Mark; your sense of self-importance is not shared by everyone.  What followed was article after article denigrating Real Catholic TV, Michael Voris, and anyone who actually liked Mr. Voris and what he had to say.

If this sort of thing is what passes as "evangelization" in their world, they are sadly mistaken.  If they were really serious about evangelizing, maybe they should consider toning down the snarkiness and "eating of their own" and try promoting the beauty of the Catholic faith.

This blog started out as a "Catholic" blog and eventually morphed into politics.  The vitriol I found on so many Catholic blogs became a complete turn off.  Politics is tame in comparison.  Are there problems with some of the goings on in the Church?  You bet there are!  Churches are made up of people and people are not perfect.  In order to continue as a "Catholic" blogger, I would have had to air some dirty laundry in public - something I'm not comfortable doing anymore than I would be comfortable airing any personal family problems I may be having.

Those that have taken up that mantel, like Michael Voris, should not be demonized and ridiculed.  I say, "God bless them and may they continue their fine work." 

 Lest you think I'm dumping on all Catholic blogs,  allow me to disabuse you of that notion.  There are many fine Catholic bloggers out there.  People like Patrick Madrid, Karl Keating, founder of Catholic Answers, Matt and Pat Archbold of Creative Minority Report, and yes - LarryD of Acts of the Apostasy, who is one of the best examples of a fine Catholic husband, father, and son that you could hope to find and did not deserve to be attacked. 


Another good assessment of Patheos and defense of Larry:

Mundabor's Blog:   Patheos and Catholicism

Speaking of Michael Voris:


Sydney Gay Catholic Group 
Soho Masses Video 

No comments: