A reader asks about somebody named Ann Barnhardt

I know it has been a while since I wrote and hope all is well. I really enjoy your website and reading your material. May God continue to bless your ministry.

I am excited about our new Pope Francis. I pray for him. Like many others, I am learning more about him and his wonderful humility. However, I recently came across an article from Ann Barnhart’s site entitled “On Francis” and it is very disturbing. Ann is a catholic and I have read a lot of her writings. She seems to be very intelligent regarding the Faith. I am just wondering what your thoughts were on this? I hope these are not true.

I’ve never heard of her, but she reads like a Urine and Vinegar Traditionalist hysteric and Pharisee to me. Has it occurred to her, for instance, that the Pope *can’t* genuflect because he is 76 and maybe his knees don’t work any more. Has it occurred to her that a kid’s Mass is not the end of the freaking universe?

I would avoid stuff like this. She’s a panic vendor. She sells poisonous fear and judgment. It’s not the voice of the shepherd.

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  • http://thedevoutlife.blogspot.com Mindyleigh

    I have encountered her writings once before. I think you summed it up truthfully: “panic vendor” who “sells poisonous fear and judgment” and “not the voice of the shepherd.”

    Out of curiosity, I just watched again the consecration at the Inaugural Mass. Immediately after the consecration of the Host, the camera panned away and it is not entirely clear if we are seeing the whole footage, but Pope Francis clearly genuflected after the consecration of the chalice (although it may have been a deep, profound bow). I also remember seeing him do a small shake of the Consecrated Host over the chalice at one point as though to ensure no particles would be falling from It elsewhere. I felt, after watching that Mass, moved by his obvious reverence toward the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and our Lord.

    Her attitude toward the eastern Orthodox is not correct; the Catholic Church does view their apostolic succession and sacraments as valid. They are, according to her, not in communion with the Pope…but as far as I can tell, neither is she. This is a toxic approach and attitude. I feel sorry for her and for all who are influenced by her writings and led to such fear. I think I had the same response the one other time I read her blog.

    Finally, I have to wonder if some of these people have ever actually read the Church encyclicals which teach about the need to care for the environment, etc. The Vatican is the greenest state in the world, apparently.

    I guess I’m preaching to the choir, though, Mark. :-) Peace, and thank you for all your writings.

    • http://thedevoutlife.blogspot.com Mindyleigh

      I really shouldn’t comment on posts…too nitpicky and wanting to go back and edit and clarify. Anyway, she IS correct, of course, that the Orthodox are not in communion with with Bishop of Rome, but still the Church teaches other than what she is asserting. Okay, moving on.

    • Subsistent

      That, unlike the Eastern-Rite Uniats, the Eastern Orthodox are not in FULL communion with Rome, I admit. But that they are not in communion AT ALL, I must deny. Thus, after reading in 1971 an article by one Père M.-Vincent Leroy, the prominent 20th-century Catholic essayist Jacques Maritain was persuaded to the view that there has really never been a COMPLETE break from Rome. In note 35 of Chapter XIX (“The Canticle of Canticles”) of his posthumous book Untrammeled Approaches, he wrote that “despite all the historical misfortunes, the mutual violences and the mutual excommunications, a certain unity, obscurely lived in the depths, has in fact continued to exist in spite of the schism. One would say that under the instinct of the Holy Spirit the popes, even those who expressed themselves most harshly, have always taken care that, in fact, the rupture not be pushed all the way to the end, ne soit pas poussée jusqu’au bout: be it that they have ACCEPTED practically, and in refraining from every formal interdict, a good many things that make the very life of the Orthodox Church (as the validity of the episcopal and sacerdotal ordinations and in general of all the sacraments), be it that in certain cases (as in matter of spiritual jurisdiction), they have themselves given A FREE DELEGATION.”

    • Marthe Lépine

      I remember a parish priest once who was rather corpulent and walked slowly, apparently with some difficulty suggesting some other physical problem as well. He explained once that if he genuflected he would need the help of two men in order to be able to get up. That would probably have been an unwanted distraction! I also have to wonder, not for the first time, if people attending mass with the attitude of closely watching, and criticizing, every little liturgical thing that they disapprove of, are really there to worship and show reverence to God… They seem to be rather too distracted to be doing this well! Something like the speck in someone else’s eye compared to the log in my own eye…

  • http://thedevoutlife.blogspot.com Mindyleigh

    By the way, we have had a priest here from Mexico who did not genuflect after either elevation. I wonder if there are variations which, while liturgically incorrect, are relatively commonplace for whatever reason? I don’t know.

    All I know is that it’s painful to see this kind of scrupulous attention paid and venom spewed in the face of what is so much reverence.

    And on a side note, can you imagine celebrating your own Inaugural Mass as Pope? Good grief…I’m surprised anyone manages to hack their way through it while fully conscious. I loved watching him read the Latin so carefully.

  • Ellen

    I’ve know several priests who were unable to genuflect because of physical ailments. I was at a Mass, one that was very reverent, and the priest who was rather young did not genuflect. I wondered why not, then I found out that he had severely arthritic knees. Another one I know has spinal stenosis, and yet another was in his late 80s.

    I’ve read Ann Barnhardt a bit and she is an angry traddie through and through.

  • Stephen M. Barr

    Barnhardt claims that the Pope did not even bow. But if one looks at the video, it seems to show him bowing after the consecration of the host. It is hard to see, because the camera suddenly shifts from a close-up of the Pope to a shot from a long distance behind the altar. But it appears to me that the Pope did bow. This is how myths are born.

    Even if Barnhardt had a point, this kind of campaigning against the Pope just lacerates the Body of Christ. It is curious how people sometimes begin to resemble those they have fought against for a long time. Among those who want to uphold tradition and orthodoxy, there has emerged a fringe element whose attitudes are just like those of the radicals and progressivists in the 1960′s and 1970′s: a contemptuous dismissal of the Pope, the arrogant belief that they know exactly how to set the Church right. Many of us who are old enough to have lived through the immediate aftermath of Vatican II and suffered the liturgical and other insanities visited upon us thereafter have had to learn some patience and trust in God and have struggled against the temptation to bitterness and lack of charity. Others, however, have allowed their resentment to fester until it has become toxic. They do only harm to the causes they care about.

    • Susan

      Amen. And since Patheos won’t let me post a one-word reply, again I say Amen!

  • Mark R

    Anyone who makes such a big deal about Cyprus can’t be taken seriously. It is just another excuse for the finance community to benefit from fake hysteria.
    In re. Catholic issues, she is just another member of an already full field of cottage craft Catholic experts who are in over their heads.

  • Brother Cadfael

    The crucifixion of Pope Francis will come from many sides, and it will be vicious. Keep the Vicar of Christ, and his detractors, in your prayers.

    And, yes, he very clearly bows if you go to the time stamp Ms. Barnhardt directs you to, despite her statement to the contrary. But that seems almost beside the point here, if showing reverence to Christ could ever be beside the point. Spend five minutes with Pope Francis and five minutes with Ms. Barnhardt, and decide for yourself which one is appropriately reverent before our Lord.

  • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

    “1. The final collapse of western civilization will be pegged to March 19, 2013 when all notions of personal property rights were officially extinguished.”

    Okay then!

  • Shawna Mathieu

    I went to her site and was disgusted within, oh, 30 seconds. Her first article on Pope Francis started out by calling him a disaster. About the point she called the Novus Ordo Mass, the “Nervous Ardor”, I gave up. I noticed she doesn’t seem to have any place for comments – she did refer to some people writing to her and point the holes in her ideas, which just set her off more. I’ve run into blogs like this before – if you disagree, well, you’re not actually Catholic, not like her. Oh, and I bet Mark will agree with me here, I’m almost sure that if you question her, and mention that you’re a convert, she’ll dismiss anything you say and act like you’re an agent provocateur. Bleah. I wonder what her pastor or bishop would say if they read some of this tripe?

    • frenchcookingmama

      Ironic since she herself is a convert – received into the Church just two years ago.

  • http://commonsensecatholicism.blogspot.com Kevin

    9 years ago traditionalists had Seattle Catholic, Jeff Culbreath, Steve Skojec, and lesser names like myself providing good traditionalist commentary. (SC was a place that was mostly just links, but loaded with a lot of relevant info on the news and commentary of the day in the Catholic world.)

    Nowadays we’ve thankfully got some priests blogging and in social media, but the popular names are those like her. Welcome to why I decided to start blogging again.

  • Margaret

    Someone online (probably in a combox) pointed out a few days ago how limited his shoulder range of movement is. Sure enough, watching the touching footage of HH drive through the square before his installation Mass, you can see it, especially the shots from behind as he rides. He’s waking at

  • Margaret

    Curse my stupid fat Hobbit fingerses…

    Waving at & blessing the crowds, while his elbows never move more than a few inches from his torso. Should look familiar to anyone with joint pain. If his hips feel anything like his shoulders seem to, he might be afraid of falling sideways or not getting up again if he genuflected to the floor. (Says the pregnant woman with an unstable pelvis who had to give up genuflecting at about 18 weeks.)

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Holy_See_missions_accreditations_and_relations.png Tony Bell

    She’s a neo-con, pro torture zionist who likes the old mass. And, she has a big mouth

  • joeclark77

    I thought I should maybe try and defend Ann a bit, since her blog was the catalyst for me to get out of “superfun rockband church” and become Catholic. Up until the election of Pope Francis, I would say, Ann’s blog has been a great read. The thing she is most famous for, probably, is closing down her brokerage (at great personal loss) after the MF Global fiasco because she knew that the rule of law in the future markets was weakening and could not morally advise her clients to put money into them. (Link: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/entire-system-has-been-utterly-destroyed-mf-global-collapse-presenting-first-mf-global-casualty). Cyprus vindicates her on this point entirely… just wait until the Greeks figure out they’re next, and the bank runs begin. Ann has been a great commentator on matters of finance and monetary policy that most other conservative bloggers don’t even understand. I came to her site through my interest in politics (not through other Christian or Catholic blogs) so it was “by accident” I might say that I discovered through her some very strong arguments for the truth of Catholicism. That led me to other blogs and books, and finally to enter fully into the Church (next saturday! can’t wait!).

    Ann’s reaction to Pope Francis is uncharacteristic and frankly shocked me. Just a couple months ago she wrote a pretty sternly worded argument against the sedevacantists and was urging the “good guys” in the SSPX to abandon that group and re-join the Church. So… I don’t intend to explain or defend the last few posts on her blog, but I will say that she’s a courageous woman and I can testify that she’s brought at least one family back home to Rome. I hope she fixes her perspective soon.

    • Marye

      Congratulations! On your full entry into the Church. God bless you! And welcome!

    • http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/ Zippy

      The thing she is most famous for, probably, is closing down her brokerage (at great personal loss) …

      I’ve seen no evidence that her “brokerage” was any more notable than my neighbor’s dormant real estate license; nor that she sustained any losses at all. When she wrote her melodramatic letter — “Finally, I will not, under any circumstance, consider reforming and re-opening Barnhardt Capital Management, or any other iteration of a brokerage business, until Barack Obama has been removed from office …” — it did feed into the economic apocalypse porn popular in some political circles, and launched her as a kind of Ann Coulter web-wannabe. But I’m not sure it provided any concrete reason for cool-headed adults to take her punditry seriously on any subject, let alone finance or religion.

      • joeclark77

        Oh, I hadn’t thought of it that way. I guess I’ll go back to being a Protestant, then. Thank you for sharing your wisdom in charity.

        • http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/ Zippy

          I’ve done you the courtesy of saying what I honestly think, rather than treating you like a fragile child. You are welcome.

          • joeclark77

            Let’s be frank: you regurgitated out a bunch of emotional non-facts onto the page to vent your feelings. I thought about trying to “debate” your “points” but why bother?

            • http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/ Zippy

              Let’s be frank: you attempted to insulate Barnhardt’s economic commentary from criticism by tying it to your personal conversion story. You asserted without evidence that she experienced “great personal loss” from her decision to shut down a “brokerage firm” that nobody ever heard of before her “the world is ending” rant got picked up by Zerohedge, launching her mini-career as a mini-Coulter. You snottily told me that criticizing Barnhardt was tantamount to telling you to go back to being a Protestant.

              Since we are being frank.

              • joeclark77

                The purpose of debate or argument between rational men is the pursuit of truth. Is there a single sentence in your reply to my original comment that was not a political slur or emotional venting? Nothing you wrote served any purpose but to display contempt for an enemy. I get it that you’re a political liberal. You’ve marked your territory. Congratulations. But there’s nothing in any of your comments here that represents an attempt at understanding facts, nor anything that invites correction or explanation. What would you have me teach you? I think I’m going to stick with “cast ye not pearls before swine”…

                • Mark Shea

                  Believe me, Zippy is not a political liberal.

        • Debby

          Greetings Joe:
          I too read Ann B’s blog from time to time. She sounded the warning about MFGlobal going down the tubes, stealing investor funds, two weeks before it happened. Although in sounding the warning she thought it would be two months out, as opposed to two weeks. She does have some insight into financial conditions here in America and around the world and has given advanced warning on other issues – BGBest is another example. And yes, she did make her living brokering.
          I am put off by her harshness, crassness and total disregard for any attempt to behave like a daughter of our King. She has missed that part of scripture and this, in my opinion hurts her message overall.
          We are, those who have a personal relationship with Christ, called, in scripture to press on to become Christ like in our actions. The Bible is very clear about our witness to others for Jesus. Many times, he cannot be seen because of our actions. However her behavior is her own issue, I have mine.

          My question for you is: Did you choose to worship and serve in the Catholic Church because of their doctrine and/or worship style suited you best?
          Those who have accepted Jesus as Lord, which is called being born again, are of the same faith, with Jesus as central.
          Catholics and Protestants worship the same God the Father through Jesus Christ, when we being of an accountable age, make a personal decision to to accept his gift of salvation, (or not) and become a Christ follower.
          While we worship and service Jesus, we do have different doctrine beliefs and there is a broad difference in worship styles both in the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church, but Jesus is central to both.
          Thank you for allowing to explore my curiosity.
          A Sister In Christ

          • joeclark77

            Dear Sister, the simple answer to your question is: I chose to become Catholic because I have come to believe that what the Church teaches is true. Once I believed that our Lord is really and physically present in the bread and wine of the Eucharist (the Lord’s Supper, Communion), well, I had to go to the same church that He goes to! But I am very happy to consider you a sister in faith. We are truly united by baptism, which marks us for Christ, and by the love for Him and desire to serve God and our neighbors. We should not dwell so much on the differences as much as what we Christians all have in common.

            My perspective is, I would say, that Ann B’s biggest hangup is that she is too quick to assume that others are acting with evil intentions, when the truth is we are all struggling to know what’s the right thing to believe, the right thing to do.

            Now, on the subject of ‘worship style’, I should tell you that it’s actually an all-you-can-eat buffet in the catholic Church! We have the very ancient and beautiful Latin mass with many layers of meaning in every gesture. We have the modern mass in every language under the sun, it looks a lot like a Protestant service. We even have a variety of Eastern liturgies that resemble what the eastern orthodox churches do. That’s one of the fun things about being a catholic – lots and lots of different types of spirituality that are all linked together.

            • Debby

              Thank you.
              So much in common.
              I agree, we followers of Jesus, need to build on what we have as central in Jesus, walking as we go, in love.
              I believe our Father is not pleased when one chooses to cling to the differences; He calls for us to be united as followers of Christ.
              May He richly bless you as you press on, to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus died for you.
              The blessings of knowing Jesus, as our work in progress continues!

  • Ron Van Wegen

    I emailed her a while back and criticized her views on the death penalty for pedophiles. Her response was to accuse me of being a pedophile. I stopped reading her blog.

  • Scott W.

    I read waaay too many Catholic blogs all the time, but I never heard of her until after the election of Pope Francis. Sounds like I didn’t miss anything.

  • The One

    Don’t see how people can say going into people’s bank accounts is justified. Have to separate out the financial commentary apps the theology. Don’t both with Zippy Joe, he doesn’t answer direct questions on the subject of Ann Barnhardt.

    • http://zippycatholic.wordpress.com/ Zippy

      What is there to answer? The proposed property tax on Russian mafia deposits in Cyprus was rejected. I’ve argued myself that property taxes may be intrinsically immoral; but why one should be up in arms about one kind of (proposed and rejected) property tax on a small Mediterranean island while blithely ignoring massive property taxes here at home is a subject left unbroached, probably because it would distract people from Barnhardt’s “THE END IS NEAR!” sign.

      • joeclark77

        It’s not a “property tax” they’re talking about, it’s a surprise theft. If you think about it for five minutes you’ll realize that when the banks re-open (*if* they re-open), there’s going to be a massive run on the banks and they’ll fail almost instantly unless the EU coughs up a massive bailout. When the Greeks figure out they’re next, there will be bank runs in Greece. Then Portugal, Spain, Italy, etc. The Eurozone is probably not going to survive more than another year at this rate. We will soon have even more massive inflation here in the US if our banks don’t start failing entirely. So it doesn’t matter how you characterize Ann B’s message, the point is that she was right. If we were smart, we’d all have gotten out of paper money a year ago and be richer for it.

  • The One

    *from the theology