It’s been one of those weeks.
The other day on Facebook I was messaged another stack of alarming screengrabs from a group called “Banished by Mark Shea: A Support Group.” For some reason, the people in that facebook group think they’re in a highly covert top secret cabal even though it’s just a closed group that’s clearly visible on a Facebook search.
Since this group has absolutely no secrecy, and since what they’re up to is so sketchy, some alarmed people have sent me word of what’s going on in there. Right now they’re planning a letter-writing campaign to libel Mark to his pastor and his bishop, trying to get the bishop to ban Mark from posting online “until Easter 2019” and to force him to undergo psychological treatment. I don’t really understand how they think the bishop will accomplish that. A bishop has zero control over whether a layman uses a blog or Facebook and they can’t have someone committed either. I can’t see a bishop doing anything but scratch his head over letters of this type. Still, I’ve been on the receiving end of bullies bad-mouthing me to a pastor in my time, and it’s a horrendously abusive thing to do to a person. Gossip is a sin for a reason. Not to mention, Joe had revealed the name and address of Mark’s pastor to a whole bunch of strangers. So I’ve reported that group for harassment and encourage all of you to do the same, even if you don’t like Mark; you can find them here.
Next morning, someone sent me another screengrab. Apparently “Banished By Mark Shea” has a new obsession, and it’s yours truly:
This leads me back to my original question. What’s the bishop supposed to DO? I don’t really think the official Patheos panties will be gotten in a bunch because one of their bloggers received some screengrabs from a hate group which she used to mitigate the results of their hate, nor do I think Facebook will. But the bishop of the diocese of STEUBENVILLE?
Imagine what it’s like to be the bishop of Steubenville. They’re currently rebuilding the cathedral and having all cathedral Masses ten miles away at Holy Rosary, and the cathedral-rebuild is indefinitely stalled. That’s on top of all the usual annoyances, the multiple religious orders that answer directly to him, there are eighty trillion people claiming to be mystics writing their stream of consciousness to him, somebody wants a second Rosary Procession a year, somebody wants to consecrate the diocese to Saint Pio, somebody wants to know the proper blessing for the sewing machine, everybody mad at the University mistakenly goes to him, and now he’s going to get letters asking him to settle a Facebook dispute between a woman blogger who doesn’t usually go to liturgy in his rite and some old coot. I wouldn’t be Bishop Monforton for a million bucks. Love it or hate it, the diocese of Steubenville is high-maintenance.
And then I cleared my throat and started to feel awkward, because these guys are actually pretty scary. One of their moderators, Andy Nowicki, refers to himself as an “Alt-right novelist” and is a loony, as you can see by watching his youtube videos.
And then there are the other things Joe, who likes to stalk people to find out who their bishop and pastor are, has said.
Maybe someone should check to see if he’s all right.
Heck, maybe we could ask his bishop.
(image via Pixabay)