Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

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“Get a Life”

June 12th, 2010, Promulgated by benanderson

In the same week that CF 2.0 went live, we get this from Fr Antinarelli in the OLV bulletin:

I have one more unrelated topic to address.  Blogs. I have heretofore not addressed the topic and since so many people look at them daily, I have something to say. We live in a prurient society.  Everything we say, do, and now think is out there for all to scrutinize and for anyone to misinterpret. I read blogs sparingly because they are usually filled with a lot of trash and half truths and other forms of misinformation. You can read them all you like. I’m not stopping you. I just want to say that they are what they are, namely, someone’s opinion. That’s all they are and can ever be. The internet can be a good thing but it is often a thing that is abused, and one of the principle abuses is when people think they are learning something just because some idiot posted it in a blog. That’s like getting your information from an alley wall spray-painted by someone who ought to get a life.

NO!  Say it ain’t so, Fr. A!

Everyone should know that we love Fr. Antinarelli here at Cleansing Fire.  Both the man himself and his defense of orthodoxy have been endorsed and defended here repeatedly, so I hardly doubt he’s intending his comments for this blog.  If you’ve been around OLV much, you’re also probably familiar with his sense of humor which shines through in the above comments.  As painful as it is, it is now necessary to challenge Fr. Antinarelli’s claims.

I read blogs sparingly because they are usually filled with a lot of trash and half truths and other forms of misinformation.

I don’t know what blogs he’s reading, but it sounds like Fr. Antinarelli should take a look at the list that Christopher put together.

I just want to say that they are what they are, namely, someone’s opinion. That’s all they are and can ever be.

I don’t know what to say except that this statement is false.  It seems Father Antinarelli isn’t aware that you can use something called references in the blog world just the same way you would in a book.  Opinion’s are sometimes shared here, but more times than not, we aren’t expressing our opinions.  Any opinions we have are illuminated by church documents.  As much as possible, we try to keep our opinions to a minimum and point directly to Church documents when discussing doctrine.  For news articles, there’s always a source provided whether it is a parish bulletin or some other news clipping.  Besides, how can you isolate blogs in a charge like this?  The same thing could be said about any news outlet, a book, or a priest’s homily.  We are Catholic.  We have an ultimate authority.  I think I speak for all of us at Cleansing Fire when I say that we in no way intend to put our opinions over the authority to which we subscribe, but rather wish to humbly point to what that authority teaches.

The point is well taken, though, that we must always question what we hear (no matter the source).  When we hear an opinion or a statement of fact we must check the references.  Perhaps there are people reading blogs as if the author is the pope himself.  If that’s the case, then Fr. Antinarelli’s message needs to be heard by those people.

If you’re going to OLV this weekend, perhaps we can jokingly share that blogs are capable of doing more than expressing opinion.  It should not be ignored that blogs are one of the attributing factors to the renewal of orthodoxy here, in the USA, and in the world.  That fact cannot be understated.

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16 Responses to ““Get a Life””

  1. Surprised he forgot to say that bloggers wear pajamas.

    His is a rather old schooled rant familiar to those who remember the media’s reaction to bloggers taking down of Dan Rather.

    Certainly blogs are people’s opinions because they are written by individuals with a worldview. When those opinions are informed by the truth of the Catholic Church they become opinions informed by the truth.

    Though not everything is all perfect in St. Blogs. People do make rash judgements and jump on news stories and draw conclusions based on what might turn out to be false information from the start. I’ve been reading Catholic blogs for close to 9 years and blogging myself for 8 years and have certainly watched the Catholic blogosphere grow from a small number that could all be read in a short period of time to thousands and thousands of Catholic blogs. Mostly they have been a force for good and have made known stories that might not have been known to a larger audience. The complaint about bloggers not having editors is ridiculous in the face of so many reporters who make huge blunders in regards to the Church despite them having editors.

    Even better is the fact that the large majority of Catholic blogs are faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. A fact that annoys dissenters to no end. I remember several years ago Commonweal being annoyed by the fact that there were hardly any progressive Catholic blogs – they even took some pot shots at my blog. There are certainly more dissenter blogs now than there use to be, but still they are the small majority.

    Oh well, maybe Fr. Antinarelli will come to realize what many others have. Plenty of people who use to be anti-blogger seem to have passed that reactionary stage. Instead he should rejoice that so many defend the Church and work towards spreading the Gospel

  2. avatar Dr. K says:

    I was very surprised by his piece on Catholic blogs. In all honesty, were it not for the Catholic blogosphere, OLV might not have experienced the 300 person infusion that it has witnessed since 2008 while other Rochester parishes descend into the lower 400s and 300s. It was blogs like Ten Reasons, DoR Catholic, and Rochester Catholic that helped parishioners of St. Anne escape from Sr. Sobala’s den of progressivism and find their way to the orthodoxy and tradition of OLV. Same with people from other less-than-orthodox parishes.

    Countless Rochester Catholics have turned to blogs to find support from others who are enduring the same battles for orthodoxy. The blogs have done so much more good than evil, in my opinion.

    He is correct that blogs are the opinion of the people who write for them, though I would like to think we cite our sources and write based on facts, not B.S. However, the same could be said about newspapers, television news, radio news, etc.

    Very good post, Ben.

  3. avatar Bernie says:

    Perhaps a little behind the scenes arm twisting going on?

  4. avatar benanderson says:

    Thanks for your comments all. Jeff, I enjoyed hearing you on CA Live a few months back. You did a great job!

  5. avatar Nerina says:

    At the risk of sounding melodramatic, I don’t know what would have become of my Catholic faith were it not for Catholic blogs. Truly. They were the one place I could turn for liturgical, theological and doctrinal sanity. I know there is junk out there, but I am thankful for the blog writers who sacrifice their own time and pleasures to provide support to the rest of us.

  6. avatar SISTER EMILY says:

    Could it be that Father is being obedient and following marching orders? Whether he likes it or not he must be obedient. I will be the first to admit NO ONE can put words in Fathers mouth.They may die trying. When i go back and read this post (over and over)he is probably right. He did not singel out C.F. After all Ray Grosswirth has a blog,right? If he reads more than one blog he’s right. I bet it’s not easy working on Buffalo road these days. STA has been given support in many different forms, some of it as a result of people reading C F. I am certain the DOR is tired of reading about themselves at C.F. Just maybe if they keep reading they too may learn something. One thing certain cleansing fire will not back down from defending the truth.

    I happened to be up on Bay street this week mingleing with the new muslem owners. At first they would not let me in. (At times I can be very convincing) I got in! They told me that the Catholic Church (probably the DOR) called and told them people in Rochester were upset about them smashing statues etc. They were told it was all over the internet. He said they decided not to let anyone in anymore.( my guess is they = DOR) He also said the media had been there and they did not let them in.

    One day before the OLV bullentine came out a different Priest approched me about blogging. Coincident? I think not.

    Just perhaps Bishop Clark is feeling the heat.

  7. avatar Anonymous says:

    I doubt very much that he was ordered to say anything. For all you can criticize Bishop Clark on, this isn’t one area you can. He just doesn’t order people to say things. He may ask people to not comment on certain things, but he won’t order any individual to actually say something.

    So unless 99% of all the pastors’ columns in the bulletins throughout the diocese are in the same vein, it’s no one else’s opinion but his.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    Oh, and Sister Emily, when “they’ decided not to let anyone in – how could the diocese prohibit anyone from entering a building the diocese does not own nor have any control over?

  9. avatar SISTER EMILY says:

    ANON.6:27 AND 6:29 P.M.

    Not sure the answer to your question. HOWEVER…why is “the Catholic Church” calling the Muslims and telling them, people are upset about them smashing statues if they have no communication or influence with each other? Items weren’t being sold until “the Catholic Church” called them. Since the calls they have changed their mind, now items will be auctioned at a later date and donated to Catholic Charities. I wonder who suggested that?
    A Muslim?

  10. avatar Gen says:

    By “they,” Sr. E meant the Muslims, not the DoR.

  11. avatar benanderson says:

    he certainly wasn’t ordered to say this. There’s no way Bishop Clark would order people to say such things and there’s no way Fr. Antinarelli would take such an order. This is just Fr. A being Fr. A. It’s not a long dissertation or anything. I’m sure he’d probably agree with just about everything we’ve said and done here. I know I sometimes make sweeping statements and have to say, “no, I didn’t really mean that to be as broad as I said it” once I realize how sweeping the statement was.

  12. avatar Christopher says:

    That’s it, I’m off this blog, yer all idiots. 😉

    I think Fr. A has a point here in that we have to be careful what we read (and hear from the pulpit as well), meditate on it and question it where appropriate. Whenever you think that someone is the greatest thing since sliced bread and everything they do is right you might be careful. We need to be careful though we do not become disillusioned though and be paranoid of everyone. For example, a misinformed protestant might agree with Fr. A and put the catechism of the Catholic church in the same category as blogs. So there is a careful in-between.

    Another point comes to mind, if your reading cleansing fire everyday and it takes the place of reading scripture or other books recommended by the Catholic church (such as Confessions by St. Augustine), that might cause you to pause. Maybe one of the reasons Catholics are so stupid is because they are reading too many blogs. Again, I say “takes the place of” so don’t get all pissed off at me.

    I think this goes message does apply to you all as a warning when writing something in the public forum. Is it clear to your readers what you are writing is fact or opinion? Is what your writing serving a good purpose, is it clear from your writing? Sometimes people can become confused, but hopefully the readers are smart enough to distinguish. I think this blog does have both opinion and fact.

    As I’ve said before, I think this blog does a good job of informing people of some problems in the local church, but it could go much further in helping educate those of us who read it in each post where applicable. Speaking for myself, about a year ago I wouldn’t have known that saying Mass outside in a park was against Church law and I wouldn’t know where to find those statements. I think it’s safe to say there are a lot of lurkers on this blog who may not know as well. Some of them might may even be planning to attend these Masses still not knowing.

    Like them, I still have a lot of learning to do.

  13. avatar benanderson says:

    “if your reading cleansing fire everyday and it takes the place of reading scripture or other books recommended by the Catholic church”

    very true Christopher. Daily devotional reading and prayer must come first. This is something I failed at while I was a protestant looking into the Catholic Church. I spent so much time comparing doctrines and what not that I forgot about my spiritual life.

  14. avatar Anonymous says:

    Sr. Emily, one of the five pillars of Islam is to give alms to the poor. In fact, every Muslim is required to give 5% of their net worth yearly to the poor. If they cannot give that, they are to give as much as they can. Mohammed went on to say that if you cannot give anything of your material gain, you are to give your kindness..even a smile.

    I can imagine a conversation happening between the diocese and the Islamic Imam of that community, expressing their concern over what was going on with the sacramentals. If you and people you know stopped in, there are probably many others who also stopped in and called the diocese. If memory serves, there was a recent joint agreement, not sure if that’s even the word, of cooperation and mutual support between the Catholic diocese and the Muslim community of Rochester. So, yes, the Muslim community may themselves have taken the initiative to donate the proceeds to Catholic Charities. It’s not beyond the possible.

  15. avatar Dr. K says:

    If memory serves, there was a recent joint agreement, not sure if that’s even the word, of cooperation and mutual support between the Catholic diocese and the Muslim community of Rochester.

    That was Bishop Clark’s “covenant” with the Moslem community. I think we had one with a local Jewsih group as well.

  16. avatar SISTER EMILY says:

    My 7:16 comment should have said items WERE being sold not weren’t being sold.

    What they said to me was they are no longer selling items because the “Catholic Church” called them and told them Rochester Catholics were upset they were “smashing statues.” As a result of the call they no longer will sell the items, INSTEAD, they will auction the remaining items at a later date and THEN donate the the money to Cathoilic charties.


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