How not to Respond to Mark Shea Types


It should be clear that I am no fan of Mark Shea, Simcha Fisher, Scott Eric Alt or other like-minded Catholics.  And yes, they are Catholics, not heretics, not schismatics and certainly not apostates.  They may act very pompously, say inappropriate things in the blogosphere and make generalizations a lot of times, but they are not schismatics, heretics or apostates.  Here is a list of things not to do when speaking of them or speaking to them.

(1) Do not call them schismatics, heretics or apostates.  They do not oppose the Church on any dogma even if they impose their own prudential judgment as the Church’s interpretation of dogma on other people at times.

(2) Do not call them pro-aborts.  They never once push for abortion; this is an uncharitable attack made against them for their rather distasteful attitude towards the pro-life movement at large.

(3) Do not call them liberals.  I have seen them criticize liberals even if it is far less than the times they criticize conservatives.  Being a critic of something does not necessarily make you the opposite of them.

(4) Do not say they are not Catholic and that includes not putting the term Catholic in quotation marks, implying they are not Catholic.  We are Catholics and Christians by our Baptism, saved by the grace of Christ (Ephesians 2:8-10); not by our works alone (not to say works do not profit us either – see James 2:14-26).  None of us is perfect; so if they are not Catholics due to their imperfections, then so are we not Catholics due to our own imperfections.

(5) Do not refuse to pray for them.  Jesus Christ said, “Pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).  This includes not only our enemies in faith but those within the Church we do not get along with.  Remember, all us Catholics are made into body in Christ when we receive Holy Communion, the same Body and Blood of Christ.  To divide from them over disagreements does violence to the body of Christ as quarrels fracture it.

If you do anything of the things I mentioned not to do, then you only validate their point about anybody who criticizes them.  You have also stooped to their level and that is not way to give credibility to your criticism of somebody.


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