You stay classy, Pewsitter

You stay classy, Pewsitter September 10, 2014

Latest headline for the news aggregator for Taliban Catholics:

Sainthood cause of ‘martyred’ Oscar Romero technically reached the final stage”

Yeah, he wasn’t *really* martyred.  Cuz he was in a Central American country defending the poor from a regime in bed with Murka, so that makes him a damn librul (as members of Opus Dei so typically are, doncha know).  He pretty much got what he had coming to him.

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  • Dan13

    I’m a big fan of Oscar Romero, and it was watching videos of both Romero and the four American missionaries (three sisters and one laywoman) in high school that made me first start to question America’s foreign policy*. But there is a question of whether Romero was martyred that goes into the definition of “martyr.”

    Clearly, Romero was a good and holy man who loved the poor and was murdered by evil thugs because he loved the poor (who, were, of course supported by United States–both Carter and later Reagan, I might add). And if he isn’t a saint, then there’s not much hope for the rest of us. But, it is a theological question above my head whether being murdered for acting Catholic is different from being murdered for identifying as Catholic. There was also a debate on whether Maximilian Kolbe was a martyr for similar reasons.

    *We also watched videos about the School of Americas down in Georgia–where the US trains thugs who torture people down in South America–which starred Martin Sheen (and ended with him being arrested).

    • lavallette

      A martyr is one who gives up his life dying while witnessing Christ and his teachings. The evidence is in:

      “11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

      12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Sermon on the Mount).

      • Interesting, Pope Francis himself raised this theological question when commenting on Romero’s cause in his airplane interview. In fact I wrote a whole post about it here:

        Evidently, there is more than one kind of martyr. And Pope Francis may be thinking of beatifying more Latin American priests as martyrs if the theology is cleared up.

        Pewsitter’s “scare quotes” though, are just reprehensible.

        • RufusChoate

          Thank you, I enjoyed your blog post as well.

    • Joseph

      Not criticising your post at all, but I thought I’d extract this sentence:

      “But, it is a theological question above my head whether being murdered for acting Catholic is different from being murdered for identifying as Catholic.”
      I could’ve sworn that we are supposed to be identified as Catholic by our actions and not by our words, what clothes we wear, etc.

  • Petey

    here’s another from today: “A Clue to Where Obama Hid the Illegal Alien Children”

  • Thinkling

    Over at GetReligion, Dawn Eden’s fisking of a ReligionViewsService piece on Cardinal Dolan and St Patrick’s parade apparently made it onto Pewsitter, as several folks made it over to GR and trolled her piece until they had to close comments. Not sure I ever have seen a GR piece closed for inappropriate commenting.

    I just finished Evangelii Gaudium for the second time. Apparently it has a sequel, Evangelii Ascerbium, which is being devoured by the folks at James Todd’s site. I cannot seem to get my hands on it though, so am missing out on all the fun.

  • The weirdest link they have up there right now is the piece in favor of Joel Osteen’s prosperity Gospel — written by an atheist. ???

  • I didn’t quite get the bit about “as members of Opus Dei so typically are”. Are you implying that he as a member? I think not.

    • MarylandBill

      Technically he may not have been a member, but as this First Things article shows ( ), he was linked with the movement, knew St. Josemaria Escriva, received spiritual direction from a member of Opus Dei and wore the cilice on Fridays as a form of mortification.

      • Ok. But, still, he was NOT a member of the Opus Dei.

        • MarylandBill

          Perhaps not, but it could be argued that his world view was strongly influenced by them. I think Mark is closer to right than wrong on this and more importantly, it is missing the main point which is that Romero was no more a marxist than he was a right winger.

  • Taliban Catholics, Mark? C’mon…

    • chezami

      Perfectly serviceable moniker.

      • RufusChoate

        So than make you… Sunni or Shiite? I am going with Shiite because it conforms neatly to a fine Anglo-Saxon word we don’t use in polite company.

  • tj.nelson

    The editors at Pewsitters appear to have a conspiracy theory complex. The quotes around martyr serve to cast doubt on the integrity of the beatification process. Not a few people imagine the beatification-canonization process is politically motivated or agenda driven in other words, to promote VII and liberation theology.

    The definition of martyrdom has developed to include people such as Bl. Charles de Foucauld, St. Teresa Benedicta, St. Maximilian Kolbe and more likely than not, the Trappist martyrs of Atlas. If Romero isn’t a martyr I don’t know who is. The people who reject Romero are the same ones who cast doubt on the canonization of JPII and the upcoming beatification of Paul VI. They also tend to be among those people who have rejected Pope Francis.

    • RufusChoate

      You might want to stop by some Leftist websites for a clearer picture of how politicized the Romero canonization is. He is already a Saint in the Anglican Communion and Lutheranism.

      • Marthe Lépine

        Of course, everything in the US is neatly divided between left and right…It gets confusing for a Francophone like myself, since in French there are two different words for “right”, and therefore there is less confusion when someone want to explain that it can sometimes be a case that someone who is on the left can happen to also be right… All this to explain that to me, you sound like a person for whom nothing that a person on the left agrees with can possibly be correct. I would suggest that you go to a newer post by Mark where he quotes CS Lewis as saying that because someone has the wrong definition of a poison (such as little red things) does not necessarily mean that when that person warns you not to drink a particular liquid because it is a poison, she is necessarily wrong…

  • ivan_the_mad

    Whenever I observe this sort of caustic criticism leveled against a good and holy Servant of God, be they Romero, or Day, or John Paul II, I recall that the priests, scribes, and Pharisees despised our Lord.

  • RufusChoate

    I still find Martyrdom for Romero’s murder as an odd term for Romero’s elimination. Could you be clear on what tenet of the Faith was he supporting when he died instead of the banal moral backwash of “human rights and defending the poor” the Left puts forward? What killed him was his overt political act of petitioning the United States Government to cease aid the El Salvadoran Regime.

    Romero was political murder in an unstable country, who was eliminated because he gave justification to the Communist rebellion and fostered disaffection with the regime.

    I was a Marxist at the time, my coterie of fellow Marxists who were involved supported the Sandinista and the FMLN insurgencies were delighted with his death because with his international status we could undermine the legitimacy of the El Salvador even more. This stupid act of murder of known and beloved man made our job easier for legitimizing the insurgency.

    The fact that you think that being snarky eliminates the reality is quite juvenile.

    I am pretty sure the real difficulty in Romero’s canonization process was the lack of miraculous cures by his intercession so like the case of Jesuit. Peter Faber, Pope Francis intervened. Which is fine.

    I am not regular consumer of Pew Sitter nor a adherent of any of the other pejoratives you and the doltish clods apply to them but a faithful son of the church who assents with all of its teachings pre and post Vatican II and have great devotion to Saints John XXIII and John Paul II and Blessed Oscar Romero, Benedict XVI and obedience and respect for the slow boy currently sitting on the chair of Peter but I do know that neither Pew-sitter nor any of its aggregated sites stole nearly 2 billion dollars from the poor of the Church to pay off abuse victims and others who suffered at the hands of evil Priests supported by even worse Bishops.

    Your general lack of outrage on bad shepherds and destruction of the American Church is odd?

    • MarylandBill

      Being that his killers were never brought to justice, we can’t really know what the motives of his killers were. It seems likely (to me anyway) that like St. Thomas Beckett before him, what brought about his murder was the some total of his positions that offended those in power. Romero did fight for the poor, but also for priests and nuns who were abused or murdered by the government. Even if the government was primarily acting to curtail Marxism, it was certainly doing it in a way that denied many people a chance to defend themselves.

      And yes, the Marxists might have tried to exploit his death, but everything I have read suggests that his attack on the Right Wing government was more vigorous only because it was in power and had the situation been reversed, he would have been just as vocally against the Marxist government.

      Final thought, the whole point about the “martyr” quotes is that it is very passive aggressive. If the article wants to dispute that he is a martyr then do so; if they don’t think he is a martyr but don’t care to argue the case right now, simply say Oscar Romero or use a neutral term like slain or murdered. By throwing it in quotes they are making a petty attack at those who believe he is a Martyr without actually engaging them in discussion.

      • RufusChoate

        Romero’s death was tied directly to his public petition to the United States to cease military and economic support of the regime the week before. It was a political act that resulted in a political execution. He is a darling of the Atheistic Left for the benefit his death gave them and his growing support for Liberation Theology was a confirmation of his sympathies.

        We use to joke among ourselves as College Marxists how a dead Bishop benefit our cause more than anything else done in the war and that the idiots in ARENA saved the FMLN the trouble of shooting him after the Revolution was won.

        It was a cruel time and violence abound.

        Thomas A Becket was murdered for defending the legal jurisdiction of Church Courts over Clergy.

        • Marthe Lépine

          Could it be that, sometimes, a matter relative to the dignity of every human person because that person, like everybody else, has been created by God in His image might require interventions that involve (or look like) political acts…

          • Yes, acting in accordance with the faith and in protection of the weak, and acting in a political cause are not mutually exclusive. Romero was protecting his flock from injustice, oppression and violence. A bishop who dies protecting his sheep should be recognized as a martyr, as I trust Romero will. Most certainly he is a martyr of charity.

        • Carlos X.

          The letter to Pres. Carter was Feb. 17, 1980. Romero’s assassination was over a month later so the link, if any, is not as direct as you state. It is apparent at first glance, since the assassination occurred on March 24th, that the U.S. aid appeal occurred “the week before.” It is much more likely that Romero was killed for the appeal he made THE DAY BEFORE he was killed, calling on soldiers to disobey orders to kill civilians because they were contrary to the law of God and because God’s commands supercede immoral man-made laws. Accordingly, it is quite clear that Romero died for defending the supremacy of God’s law. And he was killed at the altar, as St. John Paul II was fond of reminding us. Seems pretty clear-cut to me.

  • David Naas

    My ignorance is evident… WTH is a “Pewsitter”? Someone who sits in their own pew?

    • chezami

      It’s an aggregator site for Reactionaries.

      • David Naas

        So — if they get all together, do they form a critical mass? Fusion or fission?