Welcome Pewsitters!

Pewsitter’s a funny site. The anonymous people who run it have decided I am a Public Enemy because I blasphemed their folk hero Fr. John Corapi by pointing out the, you know, truth that the guy was a fraud, a liar, and a grifter and his bishop and superior were absolutely right to call the guy to heel. So, in their intensely loving Christian way, they’ve had it in for me ever since and periodically link to me with a headline meant to induce their readers into a 15 minute hate. Sometimes the headlines are merely misleading. Sometimes they are a good solid lie, as with their recent libellous claim that I am “pro-mullah” and their incredibly stupid choice to link to a piece claiming this by a rabidly anti-catholic writer on the theory that the enemy of their enemy is their friend. No vindictiveness is too petty for the gatekeepers of tribalized “orthodoxy” over at Pewsitter. And fuggehdabout writing them and trying to get a response: they know who the Enemy is and they know who the Righteous are, so conversation is out–they may contract ritual impurity if they respond to the likes of me.

Anyway, I note today that my comboxes are flooded afresh with inquisitors telling me to go back to Protestantism, or informing me that as one of those convert types, I don’t understand how things are done around here, etc. because I recorded a few days ago that Fr. Groeschel and Cdl Dolan have both noticed the same thing I did: that there is no theological block to the Church creating a female cardinal if she feels like doing so.

And sure enough, over at Pewsitter, in red, is the latest “Go, my pretties and defend the Church against the evil Protestant fraud!” sic ’em headline: “Woman Cardinal What?”

To recap: I hold no brief for women cardinals. I simply note that it is an interesting theological fact that there is nothing in the idea of a female cardinal that is contrary to apostolic tradition, just as there is nothing about a female parish council member that is contrary to apostolic tradition. Is it contrary to human custom and canon law? Sure. But these things can be changed, which is my point. I also voice the guess that we could see such a thing sometime this century. And I further say that, if we do, people should not freak out and hold God to a contract he never signed. I don’t say I think it’s necessarily a good idea. I can see arguments for and against it myself and I have no burning interest in the question myself since I have equal measures of passionate interest in the cardinalate as I do in parish councils. It’s a big yawn for me. But the anonymous cowards at Pewsitter, determined to do the full Emmanuel Goldstein on me by sending their herd of independent minds over here to decry and denounce the heretic don’t mention that. I’m thinking they might consider a proposal to NBC to cover their religion beat with the accuracy for which that network is justly famous.

On the bright side, Pewsitter always drives my traffic way up, and that’s full of win for me.

UPDATE: The link is gone: flushed down the memory hole without so much as an apology. For Catholics, those guys don’t seem to be into contrition too much. I think it was the realization that they were driving up my traffic that did the trick. I wonder if this means they will now give me the silent treatment? This could be my chance! I wonder how many outrageous things I can say before they crack and link me in an orgy of denunciations. It’s tempting. Perhaps a declaration like:

“My enjoyment of Harry Potter and happiness with the Novus Ordo led me to conclude Obama was born in Hawaii, torture is a grave and intrinsic evil, women can theoretically be cardinals, the death penalty should be abolished, Israel is not immaculately conceived, pre-emptive war is wrong, capitalism is not sacred tradition, Santorum’s cafeteria Catholicism leads Catholics astray, and Fr. Corapi is a fraud and a grifter who betrayed his priesthood, his flock, his Church, and his God”.

That should make their heads explode. Come and get me, boys!

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  • Noah D

    I did not know this about cardinals!

    1) I learn something new every day.

    2) I have more interesting fodder for ‘Future Church’ sci-fi ruminations.


  • Dan C

    Best of luck with Pewsitter. Its editorial direction is a bit mysterious.

    • Mark Shea

      That’s only because it’s run by anonymous cowards. You can generally tell what they will talk about: culture wars bitching, rah rah for Republicatholic agitprop, zeroing in on designated enemies like yr obdt. svt.. opposition to abortion and gay marriage as the sum total of all Catholic moral teaching, liturgical horror stories, cheerleading for war, cheerleading for Santorum as the archetypal Catholic (despite his contempt for big chunks of “unimportant” Catholic teaching). Standard fare for that particular subculture.

      • phillip hughes

        Calling pewsitter people cowards and other names is a great way to handle the debate at hand. When you don’t have a good argument attack the character of your opponent. BUT let’s look at the Santorum issue you raised……. Whose Catholic teachings are you refering to when you say ” (despite his contempt for big chunks of “unimportant” Catholic teaching). ”
        When the USCCB endorses “justices and peace” issues above the issue of life, they speak for themselves and their teaching doesn’t rise to the level of a “Catholic teaching”. The Catholic Church has a different teaching than the USCCB. (do we really get to pick?) The same is true for almost every political issue. Rick Santorum is a Republican because we have a two party system (YES! we all know there are more than two parties(don’t be silly)) for the most part. In the past Rick has been quite a Republican. He seems sincerely a very different person than his earlier days as a senator. May GOD Bless you Mark in all your Righteous acts, AND, May St. Michael defend us in battle………

        • Mark Shea

          What “argument”? You don’t even make sense. They called me “pro-mullah”. That’s a lie. End of argument. People who lie in print are guilty of libel. People lie anonymously are cowards. Ergo, Pewsitters if edited by anonymous cowards.

          Meanwhile, what is their side of the “argument”, phillip? Well, nothing. They made no argument. They simply printed a libellous headline.

          So, do you even understand what an argument is? I submit you don’t. I also submit that you haven’t been reading me or the Catechism if you are unaware that the Church teaches that cold-blooded murder of civilians is not “wonderful” as Santorum says, that pre-emptive war is not legitimate as Santorum says, the voting for contraceptives and abortifacients is not something brag about as Santorum does, and that sponsoring human cloning is bad even when Santorum does it. That the Catechism, not the USCCB talking.

      • jpelham

        With appreciation for your blog, the crew at Pewsitters has clearly gotten under your skin. Name-calling is unbecoming, and when protest reaches such a fever, as does yours, it allows an impression of contempt which are surely inaccurate.
        Christ’s peace be with you.

        • jpelham

          Excuse the rush: “…is surely inaccurate…”

        • Mark Shea

          What would be the proper name for somebody who falsely calls a fellow Christian “pro-mullah” and refuses identify himself or respond to requests for a retraction and correction, Joseph?

          • jpelham

            “Why should we defend ourselves when we are misunderstood and misjudged? Let us leave that aside. Let us not say anything. It is so sweet to let others judge us in any way they like. O blessed silence, which gives so much peace to the soul!” St. Therese of Lisieux

            The holiness of St. Therese will surely be ever beyond my reach, but as surely I must be ever reaching for it.

  • Spastic Hedgehog

    Inquiring minds wish to know about the possibility of the elevation of hedgehogs.

    • Mark Shea

      The Church blesses and affirms speciesism.

      • No hedgehogs?! Go back to your human-biased, women-loving bunch of…

        oh, wait. That’s the Catholic Church. Never mind. 🙂

  • Bruce

    Mark Shea, Sherry Wendell, and other folks who make money off the Church like Father Corapi used to, are not authorities on all matters regarding the Church. The profit from religion, which is not illicit, but also does not make them experts. They are not the magisterium no matter how much they would like to be. Women will not be deacons, priests, bishops, cardinals, nor popes. Is it possible? Sure. So are an awful lot of things. Will it happen? Nope. And you can bet on that, though Mark won’t. But its fun to speculate about such things, right? Sure! But while we’re at it, lets speculate on what would happen if, say, Sherry Wendell were made a cardinal who could vote for the pope. Why can’t she be pope too? Or ordained for that matter? What is tradition, anyway? What is truth? Maybe ole’ Pilate was right, after all? Why not a princess of the Church? And why not a Pope Joan? Surely there is some sort of theological loophole waiting to be exploited. After all, women’s ordination honks do this all the time. Mark does it too, apparently. Loopholes for everything! Forget about sin and truth. If it feels good, do it!

    There was a loophole for female altar servers. It seemed like an idea that wouldn’t hurt anyone. After all, there was nothing to say we COULDN’T do it…just that old “tradition” stuff that needs to get with the times. Then, after it was implemented, no boys served Mass anymore and priestly vocations suffered. Then, women’s ordination folks started to clamor for more power, and the Church had no one to blame for their inflamed passions but themselves. They were given an inch, and took a mile. The same is true of using some sort of theological loop hole to create women cardinals. It will be used as a foothold for scandal, confusion, and the loss of more souls.

    Well done, though, you found a loophole. Bully for you!

    The world would see it this way, and because of the weakness of clergy, much of the Church would fall into this error too. Will the Church fall into complete apostasy? No. That is a guarantee. Will much of it? Yes, especially when this type of crap (and it is crap) is experimented with. And that would leave a few strong Catholics marginalized by the likes of Shea and Cardinal Bishop Wendell and their clerical handlers in what used to be part of the Catholic Church.

    It might be fun to listen to Mark and others when they speak of such fanciful things. It is fun to watch them talk about how “it wouldn’t bother them” because they are so very progressive and Catholic, after all. They are the Church, and you darn traditionalists are all heretics anyway, always hating on women and homosexuals, after all. We in the “Church” have a woman cardinal who is a favorite to become pope! You mysogynists and your “male only” cardinals need to get with the times.

    Perhaps God will allow you to make this mistake, and then we can point out, years later, how it was yet another instance where men in the Church, like Mark, blundered terrifically and caused the loss of souls.

    • Mark Shea

      It’s “Weddell”. And I will happily bet that women cannot be deacons, priests, bishops, or Pope, because these require ordination, while a cardinal can, in theory, be a layperson. As to the rest of your tirade, yes: if there’s anything this blog is known for, it’s “If it feels good do it”. You have me pegged. And I am *all about* making money off the Church. No quicker way to fabulous riches than Catholic writing. You betcha. That’s how I get my kids into Ivy League schools like Shoreline Community College and get them spendy 1998 Toyotas I go swanning around in. As for Sherry, she would regard the prospect of being a cardinal with utter horror. But don’t let that stop you bearing false witness against somebody whose name you are too ignorant to even know.

      • Mark, since you’re rolling in the money you’ve snatched from Church coffers, how about throwing some my way? Our Secret Committee to Subvert the Church (TM) wants matching jackets.

      • Bruce, Mark never said their were lay cardinals. He said that the possibility exists that there could, in theory, be lay cardinals (of either sex) since Holy Orders aren’t required. (In fact, in theory, any baptized male Catholic — even ones who are married! — could be Pope.)

        Re: bearing false witness – perhaps you shouldn’t be so eager to throw stones?

      • Sherry Weddell

        To be horrified would require that I had spent a nanno second contemplating the possibility . . .

        Which I haven’t. Maybe cause I’m already fully employed.

        • Mark Shea

          Look, Wendell, your game is up. Thanks to the legendary inability of women to keep a secret, the paladins of orthodoxy at Pewsitter will be keeping an eye on you as you seduce Fr. Groeschel and Cdl. Dolan into your fiendish plot to make you a Cardinal Bishop.

      • Tom

        Mark, I think you missed the point. Bruce is not saying that you believe in women’s ordination. I think his point is that every loophole is another opportunity for the foothold of those who would destroy the church. You, by saying in a sense, “I see no prohibition here,” are opening the door. That is his accusation. That you skip right to the “If it feels good” comment is unfortunate. However, that is the problem with those who want change. There is no dire need for women’s ordination — beyond it would make some people feel good. The Church and the Faith do not require it at all. So, really if you open the door to that — aren’t you really part of the if it feels good crowd — at least on this issue?

    • Noah D

      Bruce must be new here.

      (Are the commenters talking about everyone in Third Person Condescending now? Is Noah D doing this right? Are his comments to be a Snide Aside, or more of a Greek Chorus, addressing the rest of you?)

    • KJ

      “no boys served Mass anymore”

      NO boys. Zero. None. Wow that’s amazing. I guess the boys that I served with on the altar were girls in disguise? Nope, that’s a cogent argument, right there, yessir.

      What an excellent example of the kind of illogical trolls you’ve been attracting, Mark. I mean, correlation ALWAYS equals causation, right? Female altar servers = vocations in the toilet. No other possible reasons for it. Nice and tidy.

      Nice to see that protestant conspiracy theorists don’t have the corner on the tinfoil hat market.

  • Sherry Weddell

    Hahahaha! The things I find when I innocently schlep past Mark’s comboxes.

    When I think of all the nights I’ve spent plotting to be become “Cardinal Bishop Wendell”, no wonder I was feeling tired! But I just took a three hour nap and have awakened refreshed and ready to conquer the world again. First, gotta change my name . . .

    • Bruce

      Catherine of Sienna Institute is highly suspect – perhaps a good idea, but so easily “off the rails” in the hands of people who do not understand it. Like female altar servers and mythical women cardinals, CSI could “theoretically” exist, but “in reality” should not.

      • Sherry Weddell

        Certainly, the “Catherine of Sienna Institute” doesn’t exist either in theory or reality.

        • I almost bought a Sienna…but decided on a Honda instead

        • Peggy Hagen

          I’m pretty sure they burnt Sienna, anyways.

      • Mark Shea

        Do you even have the slightest idea what CSI does? Do you have any concept of what “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” means?

    • Mark Shea

      Begone, foul temptress! Your scheme to dominate the Church is an open book to vigilante Guardians of the True Faith like Bruce. Your error was being born a gossippy female who cannot keep a secret, as absolutely all women everywhere are. The cat is out of the bag now and your plot to take over the cardinalate shall be thwarted by the vigilant vigilantes of Pewsitter who will give you a good ignorant tonguelashing in the comboxes, which always fixes everything.

  • Francis


    Women will not be deacons, priests, bishops, cardinals, nor popes. Is it possible? Sure. So are an awful lot of things. Will it happen? Nope.

    This shows a real lack of understanding of the sacrament of Holy Orders. Let’s break it down one at a time (because there are distinctions):

    “Women will not be deacons.” This is true, at least if you are talking about the ordained office of deacon. There have been women who have been called “deaconess” in the Church, but there is no evidence that this was an ordained ministry equivalent to ordained deacons.

    “Women will not be…priests.” True.

    “Women will not be…bishops.” Right again. Now we’re on a roll!

    “Women will not be…cardinals.” Oops. Now this one is a bit different, for “cardinal” is not part of Holy Orders – it is simply a title given to the Pope’s advisers – a title and office created in the Middle Ages to help make the appointment of popes more efficient. So there is no theological reason that a woman cannot be a cardinal (as Mark emphasizes), but that doesn’t mean there should be women cardinals. In fact, I think it would be a terrible idea, as it would confuse many of the faithful, who (like Bruce) don’t understand the office of cardinal. But, of course, a terrible idea isn’t necessarily a heretical idea.

    “Women will not be…pope.” True. The pope is the bishop of Rome, and as already mentioned, women can’t be bishops. Bruce’s comments about a woman cardinal becoming pope misunderstands the purpose of cardinals – they are not created to become popes, they are created to elect popes. In other words, the cardinals don’t have to elect one of their own to the papacy. Theoretically, you could have the entire college of cardinals be women and still not have a theological problem, as they could elect some bishop or priest (or even layman) to the papacy.

    Is it possible? Sure. Actually, four of those five things are NOT possible, as the teaching on reserving holy orders to men is an infallible doctrine of the Church. Now who is the liberal Catholic?

    Will it happen? Nope. Regarding women Cardinals, I personally hope not, but one can only be sure of Christ’s promises, not our own.

    • Bruce

      Ever wonder why John XXIII limited the cardinals to bishops (rare dispensation for priests, aside)? Ever wonder why canon law limited it to those who were at least tonsured or capable of Holy Orders (i.e., men)?

      Because there are good reasons for it. There are all kinds of things in the Church that are not “theologically-supported” but rather fall under tradition. They should not be changed anymore than something which is “theologically-supported.”

      Moderns have a lovely tendency to follow the “if we can do it, we must” for everything…technology to theology. It is a mistake.

      • Mark Shea

        Nobody’s saying we *must* do it. Groeschel and Dolan are simply noting it’s a theological possibility. And you are bearing false witness. Repent.

        • Martin

          Actually, much as I respect Bl. John XXIII, I am not at all sure that requiring that Cardinals must be Bishops was a good idea: The idea of a Bishop who never has, or intends to have, any care of a particular diocese strikes me as odd. Henri Cardinal de Lubac seemed to have agreed with me.

          That said, the restriction in no way “falls under tradition”, since at least down to the 19th century, there were Cardinals who were not in major orders (Pope St. Gregory VII, for instance, was a subdeacon, and a Cardinal, when he was elected Pope). The recent restrictions were made for pragmatic and prudential reasons, and can be changed if the authority sees fit to change the law.

          It would be a novelty, however, since Cardinals have traditionally been “clerics”, i.e. at least in minor orders. But theoretically, there is nothing saying that the Pope could not have a close female advisor, and such an advisor could not be a cardinal.

  • Noah D

    Elizabeth Scalia for Cardinal!

  • Sherry Weddell

    “hundreds of dollars”?

    Hahaha. Thanks for the marketing advice, Bruce. If only . . .

    Reminds me of the Jewish guy I sat next to on a plane to JFK. As we circled Manhattan, we had this exchange:

    JG: What do you do?
    SW: (thinking desperately how to describe what I do to JG) I run a non-profit that helps people recognize how they have been gifted by God for the sake of others.
    JG: YOU! You’re interesting!
    SW: Huh?
    JG: Do you believe in this Jesus guy?
    SW: Yes.
    JG: Me, you may have figured out I’m Jewish.
    SW: Aha
    JG: So how much do you charge for one of these workshops? $25,000?
    SW: (Snort) I’m Catholic.
    JG: (sympathetically) Oh. Too bad . . . Do you think I’m fat?

  • Paladin

    Let’s all pray to Blessed Hildegard von Bingen for Bruce, that God put an end to his misogyny and ridiculous, cliche-ridden rhetoric.

  • Greg

    Pewsitter loves Mr. Catholic.

    As a Pewsitter “News Clipper” I used to send Ron Paul articles
    and for weeks at a time they would censure my posts…..
    never a one would be posted.

    They really pick and choose what they are going to post
    & your long term support for Ron Paul is not Catholic enough.

    After this post I doubt if they will ever accept me a news clipper again.

    Perhaps you should send your Mark Shea Minions to become Pew Sitter News Clippers and overwhelm them with anti torture articles and quotes from
    Pope Benedict XVI Condemnation of Torture

    Here is the link Everyone,
    Go Forth and become a News clipper and overwhelm them with anti torture articles and negative articles of Mr. Catholic!!!


  • Mark Shea is Innocent! Whether you agree or disagree with him, it is a matter of fact that he *is* Innocent…. Smith, that is.

    This latest divisiveness inspired me to do this mashup:

  • Sharon

    the anonymous cowards at Pewsitter, determined to do the full Emmanuel Goldstein on me by sending their herd of independent minds over here to decry and denounce the heretic.

    This gives the readers of this blog a wonderful opportunity to catechise the Pewsitter readers.

  • Jayjay

    “And I will happily bet that women cannot be deacons, priests, bishops, or Pope, because these require ordination, while a cardinal can, in theory, be a layperson.”

    Now you have me attempting to envision what the costume of a female cardinal would look like (and whether a matching red clutch purse would be involved). I can only imagine that Gammarelli’s would have a stroke if this ever happened.

    • Mark Shea
    • stceolfrithtx

      Nicki Minaj has already dressed up as a female cardinal. So unfortunately Mark was working against that image before he started.

  • Kirt Higdon

    Actually there have been a few lay cardinals in the past if by laity we mean those who have not been ordained deacon, priest or bishop. Lay cardinals had received tonsure or minor orders so it can get into a semantic argument about where you draw the line between lay and clergy. If I’m not mistaken minor orders are now held to have just devolved to the laity as a whole and major orders are required to be appointed cardinal. But that’s just current canon law, not doctrine, so it can be changed.

  • Jayjay

    “Abbey Roads is on it.”

    Way too glam. If there’s going to be a female cardinal, I can promise you she ain’t gonna look like that. I’m thinking the look will be more like…


  • I get a link! Thanks Mark!

  • Observer

    Same as…. priests can be married… right? Wrong. Two very different cases and two very different things altogether.

    But, before going into some nitty-gritty details on the difference between an ordained and non-ordinated life in the Church, let’s get back to the original fall (how about a time machine for the moment going down memory lane.)

    I would suggest bringing a guide on your Journey. Here you go, Dr. Scott Hahn’s book on Salvation History (quite thin and should have a cd player for the accompanied audio.)

    What did Adam fail to do? He failed to defend his wife (the first Adam did not defend his bride by giving up his life for her [his children and flock as known from the espousal life of the Church merited through the salvation of Christ by giving himself up to the Father for his Bride.])

    What was Eve’s failure? She fell to temptation in power and authority in the way the devil indicated to her and tempted her (or in the words of G.K. “Feminism, or the Mistake about Woman” – “What’s Wrong with The World”.)

    Which woman was weak in faith in the Gospel (though I may be wrong, there may be one or a few if not none)? I don’t believe there were any woman whom Christ said were weak in faith. Actually, the Apostles and many other men in the Gospel were oftenly described for being weak in faith (a true and historic incident that every reader is compelled with in the Gospel.)

    It is man’s faith in God that is often tested on tumultuous waters. St. Peter, who began to walk on water, began to sink because his faith waivered. So, as the Sacrament for which Christ established and is sealed through the Holy Spirit by obedience to the Father, men can only be ordained as priests in close union to Christ (because man’s faith waivers – in the garden and at sea.) Now, if man’s faith waivers like St. Thomas the Apostle who had to hold and touch the wounds and side of Christ to believe, men need an incarnate God who will deliver them from all fear, temptation, sin, and anything that stands an obstacle to his union and filial love with his creator (Christ stepped in and made this so by help and aide of his mother.)

    Mary who was born the New Eve came to be the channel for this to happen so that men might have faith and believe through her son so that they may be saved. So, Mary worked by God’s mercy, grace, and filial love to bring this through to which men owe their redemption.

    Men must now be incarnate in God’s love through His only begotten Son to which the Holy Spirit lives and reigns in the hearts of men (like the Immaculate Heart of Mary.)

    A cardinal cannot jeopardize nor ignore the whole historical foundation and root of all things which are presented through the Church’s ministry and in the Gospel. An election of cardinal cannot undo the fact and history of Salvation.

    If a woman should become a cardinal to only jeopardize the truth or even ignore the historical incident of her fall, it would be imprudent and stand against the very history of Salvation. I’m not saying because a lady becomes a cardinal it means to jeopardize Salvation History. What I’m saying is the very notion to lend itself (the role of cardinal in the Church) with ignorance, to cast away the historical incident, and take no serious study of Salvation, no observance of historical fact only to be put aside for the sake of placing a woman in such authority without care for her well being in Salvation history with regard to the historical compromise in the garden would be counter to the Truth.

    • Spastic Hedgehog

      I’m trying to wrap my head around your argument: so men are fallen but become cardinals because their faith is weaker, women are fallen and … what again?

      • Observer

        Not an argument. It’s an illustration. So, stand back and look.

  • Observer

    As for comments regarding Fr. Corapi, he had became a figure and image bolstered by the charism which he was given. I wouldn’t say his charism isn’t genuine and not a gift from God. However, I would say he probably (and very likely) made himself compelled to keep up an image (the branded folk hero one.) And that is quite sad. I pray for him (as well for my local priest who may be faced with all sorts of temptations not necessarily to do with a folk hero image.)

    Fr. Corapi became a star and celebrity by using his talent and charism to speak very well in regard to the Catechism. Yes, his message was true and very likely genuine. But, rather than going to confession, selling his property as the rich man was told by Christ, and simply taking the medicine given to him by his superiors (as bad as that medicine might have tasted), he fell somewhere and continued to bolster himself up by his own boostraps (so-to-speak) without exercising humility.

    He became harder on himself than his superiors and will continue to make excuses until he comes home to the Church.

  • Jayjay

    “If a woman should become a cardinal to only jeopardize the truth or even ignore the historical incident of her fall, it would be imprudent and stand against the very history of Salvation.”

    So, no clutch purse then? She could still accessorize with gloves.

    • Observer

      You made the same mistake as the woman who said to my Grandma that she (being my Grandma) wasn’t feminine because she didn’t paint her nails. Thus, a purse, painted nails, fancy hair cuts, etc are supposedly definitively feminine characterisitcs and traits. However, my Grandma responded that being feminine meant caring.

      A real woman has authority in her voice as Our Lady said at the Wedding Feast at Cana, “Do as he tells you.”

      She doesn’t need to be a cardinal. She instructed the Bishops through Juan Diego, Bernadette, and the children in Fatima. Interesting, manmade conventions stand no chance against her. Neither will they stand agianst the Church who is the Bride of Christ.

  • Mike G

    Mark, You should have also said you were in favor of female altar servers and lectors, communion in the hand and against whipping your children. That would definitely get the Pewsitters boiling!

  • Dominic

    The editors at Pewsitter aren’t cowards. They aren’t hiding. If everyone went around looking for loopholes in the way things work, it would be like grade school all over again. A woman cardinal is just part of a the modernization of the Catholic Church, and a bad part of it.

    • Mark Shea

      Mhm. So who are they? And why do they not reply when I point out libel to them?

      Anonymous cowards.

      • phillip hughes

        libel ???? please explain this one……
        Me thinks thou doth make a mountain out of …………..
        (a mole hill seems much to big)

        • Mark Shea

          They libeled me as “pro-mullah”. A total lie.

    • Jayjay

      But a woman cardinal is not a part of the modernization of the Church. It’s not a good part of it or a bad part of it. There aren’t any women cardinals. This is just a discussion on a blog.

  • Lisa

    Mark, you have got to lighten up or you’re going to have a coronary. I like Pewsitter. They don’t comment on the articles; they link them. Yes, they have catchy and silly titles, but they don’t comment on the actual stories themselves. They let the articles ultimately speak for themselves…kind of like Matt Drudge. There is a place for this site as well as for yours. Relax! By all means, defend yourself if you feel you have been misunderstood or attacked, but do us all a favor, and do it in a less inflammatory way. It stands to reason that if you put your opinions out there, then you are bound to catch a bit a flack. People don’t have to always agree with you…and they can still be good people. There is room for different opinions. If someone misunderstands yours, then set them straight as charitably as possible, and then let it go and move on. This is getting old, and it is beneath you. Look at the bright side, you are getting a lot more publicity for your blog this way. Some people who might not ever have heard of you much less read you are now tuning in. Just be careful that you present the best you for them to see.

    • Mark Shea

      They most emphatically do comment–and libel. When they describe you as “pro-mullah” get back to me on how they do not attempt to smear people they have decided to target as enemies, Lisa. It is not demanding everybody agree with me to protest such baseless lies.

      They are cowards, gossips, and false witness hiding behind anonymity and teaching their readers to behave like a mob. No thanks.

      • I have been going to Pewsitter.com for years. All I see are links to other sites. Do they have an editorial page I am unaware of ? Frequently they have headlines titled “antiabortion …..”. I have emailed them saying the headline should be worded “pro-life” rather than anti-abortion”. I do NOT think they are “cowards” and will continue visiting their excellent (but not perfect) website. Oh, and you are giving them plenty of publicity and will increase hits to their website.

        • Mark Shea

          Well then. If you’ve been going there for years, that means when they libel me as “pro-mullah” it’s okay. My apologies failing to realize you’ve been going to them for years. Never mind. Their libel is fine now.

          I could not care less if I drive traffic to their site. They are the ones pursuing the vendetta, not me. I merely point out that they are, in fact, pursuing a vendetta. Anonymously. Because they are cowards.

  • Michael Demers

    I heard that B16 sees no problem with deaconesses.

  • Steve

    “yawn…” all this arguing can be so boring.

  • irishsmile

    Wow. I occasionally look at Pewsitter and have read some interesting articles. The vitriolic indictment of Pewsitter is very unusual. Disagreement over issues is natural; the extreme personalizing attack mode that more and more Catholics are utilizing against other Catholics is very troubling to me.

    • Mark Shea

      Pewsitter libeled me as “pro-mullah” and neither responded to my complaint nor tells me who they are. How do you describe that except as anonymous cowardice?

      • I think your over the top attack on them smacks of cowardice. The pro-mullah thing was what a site they had linked said, not them. Please note this post is not anonymous.

        • Mark Shea

          Nor was my post or my letter to them anonymous. But (whoever they are) they never replied. And yes, they are responsible for libeling me as pro-mullah. How challenging them on that libel is cowardice I will leave you to explain.

    • Christopher Hunt

      I agree Irishsmile! So many orthodox Catholics at other orthodox Catholics’ throats! This is where the virtue of tolerance comes in. It is a virtue to tolerate those other orthodox spiritualities that do not personally jive with ones personal tastes or inclinations. We must unite in purpose, and delve forward. We need to shed the, “I am more Catholic than you are!” mentality, and unite for victory!

      • Mark Shea

        One way to do that would be for Pewsitter to not denounce people as pro-mullah for believing the Church’s teaching on just war and not to sic creepy disgusting misogynists like this on them for agreeing with Fr. Groeschel and Cardinal Dolan about a minor piece of arcana. Another thing that sometimes helps is when somebody is kicked in the teeth by a brother Catholic, it’s better to tell the kick-er to practice tolerance than to lecture the kick-ee on this. But then, that would require knowing who the kick-er is–and anonymous cowards like Pewsitter’s editors don’t reveal that. But still, getting kicked as “pro-mullah”, smeared as a “vagina worshipper” by some sicko and then lectured on *my* need for tolerance is a perfect trifecta. Again, I apologize for punching those poor souls in the fist with my nose. How intolerant of me.


        • Christopher Hunt

          Well, if they did that to me, and I knew who they were… it would not be good for them to run into me at the bar 😉

        • Christopher Hunt

          The link to the Catholic Imperialist site has a fully nude woman with her legs spread…. Right at the top of the article talking trash on you… Just a heads up. I had a ‘WOW!!! 8-/” Moment…

          • Mark Shea

            I told you it was creepy.

  • I really do not know what you are so upset about. Like other sites in the same vein, Pewsitter links to articles-a lot of articles. They are not misquoting or making misleading statements about those articles but the headlines are designed to get people to check them out. Frankly, in the article you referred to I found the concept interesting but in the same way that I find th efact that any Catholic male can be elected Pope-even a layman. He would have to then be ordained deacon, priest and bishop since only a bishop can serve as Pope but it is not necessary to be elected. But so what! It will never happen any more than there will ever be women cardinals. Interesting and perhaps entertaining to talk about in the abstract but that is all it is as I see it.
    In short, chill out and watch you stats go up for the blog.

    • Mark Shea

      Yes. They are. The one headline is part of a pattern. In the past they have ripped me for criticizing Fr. Corapi. Recently, they libelled me as “pro-mullah”. They throw suggestions of heterodoxy and evilness to their readers and then expect them to denounce me. And the mob acts accordingly.

      Deacon, how would you like me to write a blog entry publicly defaming you as “pro-mullah”. I could make it short and sweet. I might even phrase it as a cute question so I can pretend I’m not accusing, such as “How long has Deacon Brainerd been pro-mullah?” or perhaps “When did Deacon Brainerd stop beating his wife?” All it takes is a few words, repeated a few times, and the suggestion is firmly planted: you are a wicked man and a danger to decent people. That’s what the anonymous cowards at Pewsitter do. Why do you defend that? It is a *lie* to say I am pro-mullah. Not a misunderstanding. Not a joke. Not a charitable remark. A cowardly lie by cowardly people who lack the stones to even attach their names to their lie, much less do the honorable thing and retract it with an apology.

  • Ed Roane

    Mr. Shea:

    Are there no greater problems (within or without the flock) that you could better apply yourself? I bet most viewers of PewSitter also view many other sites (including yours) and its probably time to just simmer down, now.

    Keep up your good work.

    p.s. is there any theological impediment to casting Nancy Pelosi into a dungeon?

    • Mark Shea

      It was wrong of me to punch Pewsitter in the fist with my nose like that. I apologize.

      You can cast Pelosi into a game of Dungeons and Dragons, but no actual dungeons.

  • Christopher Hunt

    The news and opinion articles linked on Pewsitter are from people that read the news there, and volunteer to be “news-clippers.” So, there may be some “news-clippers” that have it out for you, or maybe a “news-clipper.” I suggest that if you really do not like the direction of Pewsitter, be proactive, and become a “news-clipper” yourself. I was ok’ed to be one, but I have not yet done so. My mom was getting very ill with her cancer, and then she died, and I did not have the motivation to contribute in such a way.

    Nevertheless, Pewsitter is really a wonderful source of news, and a good source of kookiness as well. But, on the other hand, so is your blog. And, if I had a blog, mine would also have such a characteristic, I do not doubt.

    I have been strongly thinking of news-clipping for them now that I do not have such weighty things on my shoulders. I use Pewsitter, Drudgereport, RT, Al Jazeera, Alternet, BBC and Redstate as my sources of news, and I think that if I news-clip, I may help ad a new dynamic at Pewsitter. You can do the same.

    • Mark Shea

      I’m sorry about your Mom. God rest her soul through our Lord Jesus.

      Newsclippers don’t concoct the headlines. The anonymous vindictive cowards at Pewsitter do that. And as I discovered from experience, when you point out that they are saying something inaccurate, they neither respond, retract, nor apologize when they chose to libel me as “pro-mullah”. Protest, and these cowards simply look for the next opportunity to slime you some other falsely suggestive or flat out lying headline. What else is that but cowardice and malice?

      • Christopher Hunt

        I did not know they utilized such behaviour. But, they do link to several bad/false news sources, which can be detrimental to the spreading of truth either religiously or politically.

        I must say, I am very curious as to whether they would link my articles if I were to news-clip… as one other commentor here, I am an ardent Ron Paul supporter. I was troubled when I read his comment about denying his news-clips.

        • Mark Shea

          Santorum is God’s Candidate over at Pewsitter. Another reason they hate me, as I am skeptical of this proposition.

      • Christopher Hunt

        Also, thank you for the condolances. She had Extreme Unction that day, and we were all praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in her room when she died. If you would pray for her, her name is Regina. Thanks!

        • Mark Shea

          Will do. And sorry I was snippy.

          • Christopher Hunt

            Seriously, no problem. Pewsitter should use you as an ally, and they choose not to for what ever reason they decide. I have been in such a situation. I try to be Catholic first, American second. I have learned that many “orthodox” American Catholics take their extreme right-wing Republicanism as part-and-parcel to their Catholic Dogma. Unfortunately, there are many right-wing stances that run in the face of Catholicism. We cannot take the Republican stance on immigration, war, or the extreme hard-line on welfare programs as the uber-right does. I know and attest that the foremost social teaching that we must contend with is abortion. But unjust war, unjust deportation, shirking of the poor, and ignoring the REAL environmental issues is all against our Catholic Faith. Abortion is the main issue I vote on. But my stance I just wrote has had people question my orthodoxy. But, unlike them, I am an orthodox Catholic American, not an orthodox American Catholic. I think that these are the issues at hand here. I might be wrong.

            • Mark Shea

              You’re a man after my own heart! You refresh my spirit. Thanks!

  • W. Meyer

    And yet, Mark, on the infrequent visits I make to your blog, I so often find you spewing uncharitable speech, making ad hominem attacks, and otherwise acting in a most uncharitable fashion that I can but wonder at your understanding of what it means to be Catholic.

  • antigon

    Dear Mr. Meyer:

    It doesn’t mean an obligation to be dull. Nor to confuse charity with platitude.

    So no need to wonder.

  • Greg

    Link is back again with picture.

    • Mark Shea

      As I said, vindictive anonymous cowards.

  • Greg

    Yes, I see the point…..

    “I am an orthodox Catholic American, not an orthodox American Catholic.”

  • Matt

    Anyone can apply to be a pewsitter “newsclipper”. Once you get the go-ahead, you have this application program that allows you to send in a LINK. But, YOU get to type in the headline. The LINK does not automatically post, however. There is some sort of editor that screens these things. (as an aside sometimes I wonder if any good/positive news is allowed.) I imagine he just gives them an OK stamp or not. I bet he gets a lot of links to approve everyday.

    I imagine there are all types of Pewsitter newsclippers out there. Some humble, some with an agenda, some full of hate, etc…

  • Fr. Peter

    You certainly have a right to defend yourself and it is disappointing not to get a response to your complaint. I hope you get some response and satisfaction.
    I will say I came to this page via Pewsitter so they are at least not adverse to linking your very complaint about them on your site. I have found at times links to articles that take opposite sides of a single issue. I use it to find items that I think are interesting recognizing that the headlines are not always accurate or are sensationalistic.

    We all need to be careful about killing each other and doing the enemy’s work.

    Have a Blessed Triduum all

  • Joe the Amused

    I, too, have no problem with female Cardinals so long as they pay their dues on in the minors. Baseball is baseball, no matter who plays. Play ball!

  • I lost count on how many times you said coward. I’m outtahere. Goodbye.

    • Mark Shea

      Probably just as well since you seem to prefer defending anonymous cowards rather than recognizing libel when they commit it.

  • Observer

    Some things I highlight from Pewsitter and why these are reasons not to go overboard with their remarks:
    Found here – http://www.pewsitter.com/about.html

    Part of their statement:
    “In response to Vatican II’s call for the “full and active” participation of the laity, Pewsitter enables and encourages the laity of the Church to submit news articles, events, and even…”

    Question/Objection: How can active participation mean, from a blog/online news article posting increase a lay faithful’s contribution, more than the normal and ordinary (and quite common) participation that goes on da-by-day and week-by-week? A matter of fact, it doesn’t. I don’t think it’s a strong characterization of what Vatican II meant. Rather, I see it to mean a more deficient of view of faith..

    Another Part of their statement:
    “Pewsitter.com provides a voice for the Catholic lay faithful and allows them to stay abreast with what is happening in the Church on a local, national and international basis.”

    Question/objection: I don’t doubt this at all. How many non-Catholic news entities who may have for whatever reason to make outlandish, incredible, and aggresive don’t already do this? I’m not sure what specifically people ought be stay abreast about. Meaning, are people to stay abreast by a mere politic, moral, faithful, religious, or a more basic news interest? What is the driving motive and incentive? Is it evangelism? And what for? The statement is a bit neutral.

    Last part I’m concerned with in their statement:
    “Pewsitter also encourages the laity to share the concerns, praise, opinions and thoughts with the Church hierarchy. Though we recognize that the Church is not a democracy, and that matters of faith and morals are not open to debate…”

    Questions/objection: Okay. This is where it seems troubling to me and shakey. First, how is it amid other Catholic news/blog/information agencies that hiearchy are going to be entitled (even amid their own responsibilities) to have the time and quality to read what is published on pewsitter? It doesn’t seem to be a realistic view of what’s going on and is at stake. And finally, when does the concern and observance seem to be startling that it’s not a democracy and morals are not debatable? Peculiar, strange, and very erie.

    Okay, not so much the last concern of their statement:
    “It is Pewsitter’s objective to do this with complete fidelity to the teachings of the Catholic Church.”

    Objection/Question: Fidelity does not raise questions nor any observance about some things not falling in the place of democracy and un-debatable teachings and morals. If you’re a college student, you can figure this out. There is no cohesiveness, thesis, and consistent essence to the whole statement. The statement is full of bizarre and strange twists and turns not fully declaring to be anything specifically for and against the teachings or moral foundations of the Church. I’d rather see and read an actual statement more against (or for) the Church than some watered-down functionary to being neither. I find it to be very wishywashy, watery, neutral, and without substance. It’s a very lukewarm concern for the Church.

    And I wouldn’t waste my time taking any remarks to heart since it’s not even useful for any Salvific means accept by ignoring it and giving people something more than what the statement offers.

    • Mark Shea

      I don’t spend much time thinking about Pewsitter. I merely note that they are guilty of libelling me as “pro-mullah” and do not have the courage to either tell me who they are, nor to answer my emails requesting a correction. What libelling people has to do with carrying out the mission of the Church I cannot imagine.

      • Observer

        The weak declaration is exactly why you’re gonna get these anon types who cannot take the onus of responsibilty for making a statement: even a libel one. Afterall, there isn’t really an adequate and definitive statement outlining their values (it’s kind of generic Catholic.) And that’s why I wouldn’t put much weight into these people who really aren’t even standing for nor against the Church. If anything, they’re like a wolf dressed in a shepherd’s cloak. And since it is the practice of people who work under the entity, I would stay very far far away from them.

  • This is my first visit here. Just cruising through Catholic links on the internet… The seeming rancor and in the original post and many of the comments make me sad, and portrays us Catholics as even worse than secular folks who at least don’t presume to act in charity and love one another. The downside of instant posting is, well, its instantness. I think we all benefit when we only say what meets the criteria of being true and necessary and saying it charitably (which I’m trying to do here). These are turbulent times with serious issues. Internal squabbling on a public forum seems so petty. Our bishop’s motto is ‘Truth in Charity’. I fail often in one portion of that but continue to try. I know it’s hard, but it seems like a good direction for which to aim. If someone is writing scathing remarks in your comments section, just don’t publish it or reply privately. Being witty with words or one-upping each other doesn’t benefit anyone- it just causes division, frustration and anger and distracts from important work-