The past year in the world of Catholic new media has devolved into a grudge match, with any number of would-be church chat pundits challenging or criticizing other would-be church chat pundits, while their respective minions take to the ramparts that are the comments boxes, or through weblogs of their own.
We have watched this dearth of intellectual rigor prattle on for quite some time, wondering why these yahoos should have all the fun. Then we remembered that old saying, “If you can’t beat ’em, take charge of ’em!”
And so, we here at man with black hat are piloting what we hope to be a weekly review of select highlights from this faith-filled bandwidth of blogospheric ballyhoo, speaking the Truth with Love, until it hurts (anyone but ourselves). You probably won't find any of these weekly segments among the usual collection of "the best of Catholic blogging" or whatever (not that there's anything wrong with that), but we provide more than links here at The Black Hat Corral. We give them our own little twist.
Here's what's bouncing around the bandwidth lately:
• Elizabeth “The Anchoress” Scalia is "not into intra-blog smack downs." After all, "it’s ridiculous and small, and also because in eight years of blogging I have made a point of not speaking of other bloggers/new media folk unless I could do so positively." For all that, she'll make an exception for commentator Michael Voris. You can hardly blame her; doesn't everybody else? [The Anchoress]
• Speaking of which, Michael Voris may be right about some things, but not when it comes to natural family planning, essentially toeing the rigorist line that NFP is little more than "Catholic birth control" and is too easily used to avoid pregnancy. While this presentation blissfully ignores the teaching of Pius XI in Casti Connubi, and the address of Pius XII to the Italian midwives, there is a voice of clarity from Thomas Storck, one of the brilliant and too-often overlooked minds in the Catholic world. [Crisis Magazine]
• The mother of all rhetorical cage fights in the world of Catholic new media took place last month, with Mark Shea debating Michael Voris, at a men's gathering in Saint Paul, Minnesota, known as the “Argument of the Month Club.” An audio recording of the event is slated to be up later in the year. Meanwhile, some guy named Jeff (no last name) was there, and has some thoughts of his own on the event, including which one of the two (he thinks) was left standing. [AOTM/TRCT]
(Wow, we just did three items in a row about Voris. Who coulda seen that coming?)
• Rorate Caeli is pleased to report that it is "the most-read traditional Catholic blog in the world." Perhaps they could be equally pleased to explain why they label posts about Pope Francis as "The Bergoglio Pontificate." Getting in touch with our inner sedevacantist, are we, fellas? [Rorate Caeli]
• Father Paul Scalia (no relation to Elizabeth, by the way) raises concern “that the Church become not the New Jerusalem, but the New Sparta. And Sparta was known for only one thing: fighting. Ruthlessly, effectively, heroically at times, but only fighting. Sparta produced no great artwork, poetry, plays, or philosophy. It produced only war.” He's right, of course. He usually is. Still, we cannot help but wonder, when Saint Catherine of Siena referred to various prelates as “wolves and sellers of the Divine Grace,” whether she was part of the "Church Militant," or what the good Father calls the "Church Belligerent." You decide. [Catholic Answers]
Well, that's our story and we're stickin' to it. Remember to attend Holy Mass this Sunday. Until the next chattel of church chat, stay tuned, and stay in touch.