A Plea for Some Discernment

Clueless, discernment-free, folk hero worshipping, Church-ignoring Catholics, should really listen to Bishops like Ratko Peric, who has denounced Medjugorje saying the alleged messages contain “contradictions, falsehoods and banalities.” Because you are soon going to have to listen to Rome or continue your clueless, discernment-free, folk hero worshipping, Church-ignoring cult in the teeth of her teaching. One good start is to listen to common sense and not the rubbish of the UK media.

We got lied to by Maciel and rushed to defend him. Fair enough. “Fool me once, shame on you.” But to watch so many (though not all) “faithful conservative Catholics[TM]” continue exactly the same discernment-free pattern again and again and again with Euteneuer, Corapi, Voris and above all the massive fraud of Medjugorje, endlessly treating as Folk Heroes and Anointed and Unquestionable Prophets people who range from “feet of clay” to “out and out frauds” is just amazing to me. “Fool me a dozen times, shame on me.” No, not all these figures are crooks and liars (as the “seers” are). Some such as Euteneuer were mere men with feet of clay who have done due diligence in submitting to their superiors after their sin. Others, such as Corapi, have betrayed their vows and abused their flock with no sign of repentance. Some, such as Voris, are not crooks, but demagogues who poison the faithful against perfectly good Catholics and fine bishops and gather a cult of personality around themselves while sowing discord and destructive party spirit (a work of the flesh, sez St. Paul).

The common denominator is not that that all these unreliable Folk Heros are all committing the same sins, it’s that “faithful Conservative Catholic[TM]” folk hero worshippers respond in *exactly* the same way every time one of their folk heros is very legitimately criticized: by circling the wagons and making the same stupid accusations against the critic as though he is an enemy of the faith. So we were told that critics of Maciel were enemies of the faith–and then told the same things again about those who warned of the dangers of Euteneuer and Corapi.

Euteneuer, we were told, was being persecuted for being a prolife Catholic.  Turned out, not so much.

Corapi was a brave truthteller baselessly persecuted by human devils bent on destroying  a living saint.  Actually, turned out he was a fraud who grifted his flock while inventing tales of his Green Beret/Special Forces heroism, then betrayed his vows and held a fire sale on his priesthood when the truth closed in.

Now we hear the same “Living Saint Persecuted by Forces of Evil” about those who warn of Voris’ McCarthyesque demagoguery as he does things like tar the bishop of Corpus Christi as a member of a gay cabal for disciplining Corapi, or tars people who receive communion in the hand with heresy, or tars the Knights of Columbus, or EWTN or the Register or Catholic News Agency as somehow being enemies of the Faith. In short, his bread and butter is not attacking progressive dissenters. It is attacking faithful Catholics and calling them progressive dissenters–when in fact they are disobedient to no precept of Holy Church–and teaching his followers to do the same.  The focal point becomes in each case, not the Faith, but faithfulness to the Folk Hero–in this case, Voris.

And in exactly the same way, we are constantly instructed by Medjugorje partisans that critics of Medjugorje “hate our Lady” (not that they hate religious charlatanism practiced in her name). The reckless and unreliable Fr. Gabriele Amorth, who is himself treated with a complete lack of discernment by his fans, despite a long history of popping off with demonstrably false and absurd claims declares that those who don’t buy Medjugorje are “fools” and skepticism toward this is treated, not as common sense discernment, but as dissent from the Creed by the partisans of Medjugorje. The amazing regularity with which “faithful conservative Catholics” (again, not all, but an absurdly large representative sample on the Internet) keep on repeatedly exercising a sort of anti-charism of discernment in anointing Folk Heros and manage to not see the bleedin’ obvious amazes me.  We gotta do better than this and I refuse to believe we can’t.

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