There’s been a death in the St. Blog’s family, one that has a lot of personal impact for me: Zippy Catholic has died, killed in a bicycling accident.
I got to know Zippy better than one normally does in blogging. We even met a couple of times and I visited his home in Virginia.
Zippy was old school. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody as committed to honesty, rationalism and fidelity to the Magisterium as he was. I don’t know that we always agreed, but I can say with certainty that wherever we disagreed, it was not possible that we did so because he was dishonest. The fault was either a failure to love the truth on my part or a failure by one or both of us in our honest attempts to calculate the data. It was unthinkable for him to fudge the data to fit his prejudices.
When we first bumped into each other we actually had a quarrel about something and I blocked him for a while (no idea what it was about). Eventually, we smoothed things out and he was back in the comboxes.
As the great Torture Debate warmed up in comboxes he, having a total lack of guile in his entire body, entered into the discussion like a verray parfit gentile knight for one reason only: the honor of holy Church and his increasing disgust with larval Christianist Catholics radically distorting the Tradition in order to rationalize the Bush Administration’s inexcusable torture of prisoners in the War on Terror.
He was rigorous in the application of both logic and the Tradition and fought long and hard against this disgusting and perverse campaign of lies. My respect for him did nothing but grow and I look back on that time now with gratitude for his well-fought fight. His series on contra Waterboarding over at his blog remains a fine illustration of his mind at work combatting evil and error.
It is strange to me that the internet leaves behind his blog and Twitter feed all updated so recently. A whole life just stopped, like that, in mid-conversation.
Matt (his real name) was a good husband to his wife, a good father to his kids. He was also an avid pilot and he even took me up once. We flew out over the Shenandoah Valley and circled around over Christendom College where he (characteristically) offered prayer to Christ in the Eucharist since we were over a Eucharistic chapel. He was funny, smart, and (something I cherish in a man) not full of bull.
I shall miss him greatly and I mourn his loss and the loss of him to the world. But I also know that he believed solidly in Christ Risen and so trust that, as Cardinal Newman reminded us, all who have ever lived, live still.
Father, remember your son Matt and bring him into everlasting life through Christ our Lord.
Of your charity, pray for the repose of the soul of Matt and for his family, grieving this terrible loss.