Finding Truth by Engaging People With Whom One Disagrees

Finding Truth by Engaging People With Whom One Disagrees September 22, 2022

One of the favorite pastimes of social media Catholics is to hunt down, dissect and put under a spotlight something they perceive as objectionable by other Catholics. Because someone somewhere online is always giving their opinion about something, it is easy to find that off-putting remark and retweet or repost it on your platform so the person in question will feel shame.

Mark Brumley@mabrumley (Sep 13, 2022) A friend joined Twitter. He asked: is so-and-so always at war with other Catholics? Answer: yep. And such-and-such? Answer: yep. Where do they find time & energy? Answer: Sith Midi-chlorians? Psi corps mind control? Dark algorithms? Time loop? The World, the Flesh, & the Devil?

I like to search out others I disagree with and see if there is some statement, thought, post or tweet that I do agree with. I want to find the good, truth and beauty in other baptised Catholics words and videos and highlight it for all to see.

I quote Francis hating Rigorous Vortex Catholics and Francis loving Liberal Hippie Catholics if they write something good, true, or beautiful about Christ, His Church or the wonderful world he created. I explain it more here. Using The Kind Gaze to Look Past Splinters . I like to gather these diametrically opposed Catholics and put them all together in one nice peaceful blog post bringing together various voices in The Broad Chorus of Catholic Thinkers. That’s my goal.

But one fellow Catholic blogger thought my gathering of certain Catholics quotes from those outside his particular tribe was a very vile thing in terms of true faithful Catholic writing. Now I should just let this go and move on. I don’t have to explain myself to them. But yet this stinging remark is itching my brain. So I’m writing about it. I don’t use the writers name because my goal is not to heap scorn on a particular person but to just let out my ongoing nagging thoughts on this topic.

Catholic Bard Critizer: You are promoting trouble, and not even pointing out they are trouble but act like they are good solid Catholics, then you are being deceitful and cause scandal. Shame on you. You know what you are doing. You are promoting those who attack the church as good Catholics, encouraging people to listen to them, and in doing so, causing people to go astray and support those who attack the Pope. You are causing scandal. You are trying to normalize them, act like they are good, solid, faithful Catholics to listen to. They are not. Shame on you. Shame. Shame. Shame

My above criticism is not unlike this criticism about fellow writer David Mills and one of his articles.

David Mills Critizer: I am not trying to convert the Catholic Left (including the guy who wrote the article). My mission is to *warn* good folk, confused foks, to say away from such people and writings, as they will become confused and unable to separate from the world.

Catholic Left? David Mills is the guy who said “If you don’t want traditionalists, don’t trash the tradition,” in a statement about Freeing the Latin Mass. He also said “Following Jesus can mean being taken where you don’t want to go.”  Talking about the rules of the church he said, “The Church’s impositions make me a little less self-centered than I would be otherwise.” If David Mills critic actually looked at the scope of his writings they would see that he has things in common with the Catholic Right writer who criticized him.  My critic, if they dropped “you must separate yourselves from your list of enemies,  might realize “To think like this is to close one’s mind to the truth, the truths that one gets from engaging people with whom one disagrees.” Only in this case , I draft blog articles where I’m quoting folks I generally disagree with but not with the particular statement I have shared.

Abigail Favale@FavaleAbs: For the record, I think it is possible to have the occasional point of agreement with someone while also having broad disagreements that person. To believe otherwise is to be captured by ideological tribalism.

I don’t agree with everything from the sources I quote. Some of them I don’t particular like because of their nastiness. It is also easy to create a post where I point out what I hate about someone’s writings, but much harder to draft a positive post. Seriously some writers have little to no good material in which I can find anything worth sharing. On the other hand some folks I do agree with most of the time and like as writers, but who can also be nasty. It’s not just one side or the other.

I want the Where Peter Is crowd to actually see writers at One Peter Five as brothers and sisters in Christ who can at times say something that is not negative towards the pope. I want the National Catholic Register group to  see the National Catholic Reporter writers as siblings who love their God and their church. I put these quotes from these two groups together in some of the same posts to show that all Catholics can indeed find common ground. WRN # 18 Cool Tunes From the Broad Chorus of Catholic Thinkers.  We actually had a Patheos writer who has some articles at One Peter Five. She also loves Word on Fire. There was a Left Cath who penned an article for Crisis. Although that person doesn’t want me using him as an example.

Rick Rice@BoldlyCatholic: I’m reminded this week, and it’s a sad reminder, that just as the ideological Christian Right has a fundamentalist wing filled with those who simply can’t see any view but their own, there’s an ideological Christian Left who match that myopia, only the fundamentals are different. God grant me the much needed humility, wisdom and guidance to stay off either path.

 Where did the following quote come from?

Those who deny that Francis is pope diametrically oppose the fundamentals of Catholicism and thus are on a spiritually dangerous path.

Was it from a anti-Francis Rad Trad or a Pro-Francis Social Justice Catholic?

If it was from a Rad Trad would I be promoting their right wing agenda by quoting them saying something good about the pope?

Fr. Casey, OFM@caseyofm: Twitter (and to some extent the internet as a whole) is an echo chamber. It’s amazing to me to see so many contrary opinions in one place coming from people who are convinced that their opinion is objectively correct, in the majority, and unquestionable. Anger is not, in itself, a sin. But even righteous anger, seeking “justice,” can be sinful if it’s all-consuming and lacks charity. So many pages here are nothing but criticism, sarcasm, judgment, and outrage. There’s no place for that in Christianity, no matter the issue.

I’m not saying you should ignore errors or writers who are part of the church of ‘mean legalistic Pharisees’ or the church of  ‘sugar sweet Pollyanna nice’. I’m saying you don’t always have to complain about MAGA Conservative Catholics or those Democratic Liberal Catholics. “ And you don’t always have to be nasty in response and retaliation.

Here is an Example of a bad statement and some fairly good responses.

Timothy Gordon (Rules for Retrogrades Show)@timotheeology:
When Vatican Two concluded in 1965, there were ZERO female doctors of the Church.

Now there are four.

Left, center, right wing: over half the Catholics found this factoid as conspicuous as I did when I learned it years back.

My love for the Little Flower amd especially Catherine of Siena makes it no less conspicuous. SORRYNOTSORRY

�� Chris «�Слава Україні�» Smith, SJ ��@Chris_SmithsJ: Vatican 2 just keeps on winning! Thank you for a reminder of another reason why the council was the best thing to happen to the church in a millennium. *Bloop*

Greg7190@greg7190: So a young layman passes judgment on an entire ecumenical council presided over by 2,500 Bishops and Cardinals and a Pope and also on four of the church’s greatest canonised saints, all declared doctors by very conservative Popes…who is likely to be in the right here? All these female saints were also nourished by the same Latin Mass or a near variant too, which traditionalists claim produced far more ‘spiritual fruit’ than the NO. What gives here? Was the Latin Mass ineffective merely because these ‘saints’ were female?

Fr. Casey, OFM@caseyofm (, 2022) When Vatican II closed in 1965, there were no Minions movies. Now there are five. Still think it’s such a good council…??

Michael Humpherys@LendHopeNothing: Well something good did come out of Vatican II. Thanks for pointing this out for everyone.

Jolz �@Jolz_Aust (Sep 15, 2022) Timothy Gordon’s purgatory is going to involve long talks with Mary AND the female doctors of the Church.

Nick Marzullo@NickMarzullo: Teresa of Avila Therese of Lisieux Catherine of Siena Hildegard von Bingen

So I don’t blab on and on and on, here are some final thoughts and advice.

“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.”
-G.K. Chesterton

If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” Romans 12:20

“In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” -Rupertus Meldeniu

Fr. Casey, OFM@caseyofm (Sep 12,2022)
Your millionth reminder that you don’t have to denounce every bad thing you see on Twitter.
1) you’re just giving a bigger platform to things you don’t like.
2) the punishment (onslaught from a mob) is often far worse than the crime (a bad tweet).

“Beware of condemning any man’s action. Consider your neighbor’s intention, which is often honest and innocent, even though his act seems bad in outward appearance. —St. Ignatius Loyola

I believe will all be in purgatory till we learn to get along with those we will spend eternity with. Better start here on earth.

And a pleaful type of prayer.

I plan tomorrow to do what I can to try to make the world a better place than it is today. Our ideals may differ in some respects, but I am human and you are human, and I bet we have some things in common. Deacon Steven D. Greydanus


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