as, for instance, Michael Voris apparently does, then you should give him a wide berth.
That includes me, by the way, if you are one of those deluded souls who thinks that some loudmouth like me with a gift of the gab is somehow more to be relied upon for delivering you the Catholic faith than Holy Mother Church. When I get mail from some deluded fan who imagines something that I wrote makes me a more reliable guide to the faith than the bishops, it makes me shudder. Because sooner or later, I know I will get another letter from somebody saying, “I used to believe in you, but then you let me down. I don’t know if I’m Catholic anymore!” I’m tempted to say, “Yeah? Well, get used to it, cuz I ain’t your personal Lord and savior. I’m not even a bishop, fercryinoutloud. Stop with the perpetual celebrity anointings and fanboyism and grow up into the Catholic faith.”
The cult of celebrity is poison. People need to stop hoisting aloft every internet chatterer who thinks God has given him the power of excommunication against those who don’t happen to know their suffocating small constellation of shibboleths.
Read and heed. We internet loudmouths are not to be obeyed like bishops. When one of us pops off about Earth Day and stupidly declares, pronounces and defines that “if the priest even so much as breathes a word about Earth Day, throw nothing in the collection plate, finish your Sunday obligation and resign from that parish on Monday”, that does not constitute a de fide teaching of the Church. This sort of blind Pavlovian stupidity which teaches the faithful to respond to acoustic cues (“He mentioned Earth Day! Abandon ship!”) is a reflection, not of an intelligent Catholic approach, but of the kind of culture warrior mobthought that so much of the blogosphere facilitates.
It is, in fact, a mirror image of the sort of cult of personality one sees in Fr. Pfleger’s parish.
When I compare and contrast the audience reaction to this priest whipping the mob into a frenzy against the mean Church and Voris fanboys whipping the mob into a frenzy against the mean Church, the only difference I can see is that the combox crowd dislikes the politics of the former and not the latter. So the former is vilified and the latter lionized.
No doubt, if there were a combox full of Pfleger’s groupies (I haven’t checked the National Catholic Reporter), they would look like a mirror image of the Voris groupies, full of adoration and the certitude of victory for their hero and full of loathing for Voris for his sin of batting for the wrong tribe.
Moral: Democracy truly is that form of government that chooses Barabbas over Jesus.
Second moral: Don’t put a mitre on the head of any loudmouth in the blogosphere or Catholic media, especially me. A gaggle of apologists and bigmouths like me is not the Magisterium