|'Be prepared' for a three-fingered salute...|
Anyway, I thought I would just warn Catholic bloggers to 'be prepared' for the individual. He is called 'Scout', at least that is his avatar name and whoever it is, the individual is so concerned at the rise of the Catholic blogosphere that he has decided to start a blog called 'Catholic Internet Watch'.
The 'Catholic Internet Watch' blog is, as you can expect, rather anti-Catholic in tone, devoting itself to 'exposing Catholic lunacy, prejudice and hypocrisy on the internet'. My personal opinion is that there is something a little 'lunatic' about spending your life bewailing the opinions of Catholic bloggers, when you are not even a Catholic. I mean, should I just dedicate one blog against the, how shall we say, misunderstandings, of our brother pilgrims in the Islamic religion? Sounds a bit silly, if you ask me. I mean, if I did, I could be accused of being some kind of 'Islamaphobe' and I might even deserve the name. Still, that's his choice, I guess. Other 'scouts' were into other pastimes like orienteering, doing a good turn once a day, tying undeniably intricate knots and putting up tents in the dark, but if you want to troll around the internet, mate, commenting on the blogs of faithful Catholics, dissecting the opinions of their (sometimes incredibly eccentric) commenters, posting them up list-like on your blog and generally being angry with the Catholic blogosphere, then, well, its your life.
The individual himself, however, remains enigmatic. In defence of his Catholic-baiting, the individual protests...
'I am the grandson of three Catholic grandparents and count Catholics amongst my friends. Real anti-Catholic prejudice is something I deplore. Growing up in London during the 1980s and 1990s, I remember the suspicion against Catholics at the time of the IRA bombing campaign. [Read: "I can slag off Catholics and the teaching of the Church which they often re-iterate on such topics as abortion because my grandparents were Catholic and I know some Catholics. I don't think Catholics are all dangerous Irish terrorists, but I do dislike them immensely. Especially the faithful ones."]
Critics ask me, "Why focus just on Catholics?" It is true that narrow-mindedness can be found amongst the members of other belief systems [Really? You mean, like those of 'humanists'?]. I could start a blog called "Protestant Internet Watch", "Muslim Internet Watch" or "Atheist Internet Watch" and find much of legitimate concern to blog about. If I wanted to be even-handed, I could do an "Everybody Internet Watch" and devote each week to a different misbehaving group. [Why not Scout Watch? I was only in Cubs, but I reckon those Scouts are well dodgy. It never seemed natural to me.]
The fact of the matter is, though, that my time and knowledge is limited, and as the old dictum goes, "it is best to write about what you know best". I believe I am, or hope I am, well-placed to study Catholic internet goings-on because I was immersed in that world for a while myself [Okay, but are you now, will you ever be or have you ever been, A CATHOLIC? Because if you are not inside the Church, in full communion with the Pope, then you are going to find it all a bit confusing. It may very well be the case that the best you can do, in your current position, is respect the right to religious freedom and its expression...]. But that does not make me "anti-Catholic". In fact, I admire the more beautiful aspects of Catholicism, and was at one time very personally interested in the religion on a positive level. [Is he talking about the Latin Mass?]
What eventually turned me off was the effect Catholicism has on so many of its followers. [Something incredible happens to Cathoilc believers. They believe! Not only do they believe but they publicly defend and proclaim the Catholic Faith! Outrageous!] That is why Catholic Internet Watch was born. The internet is a largely anonymous forest where you can often best gauge what people are really like and what they are really thinking. It is here that I learnt about the darker side of the collective Catholic mind, and I believe it has to be exposed if people are to become aware of the problem that exists. In many ways, the Catholic leadership fails to deal with or even encourages bad thinking and bad behaviour, and this is also something that needs to be exposed. [Clearly, Scout has not been scouting so long as to pick up on Catholic blogdom's oft-repeated exasperation with the Bishops Conference of England and Wales].
Catholic Internet Watch encourages Catholics to build on that which is good and beautiful within their movement, and challenge that which is bad and ugly. My blog could not be more pro-Catholic in the most authentic sense of that term. It is only by taking on the hardliners and challenging the Catholic community to address them that progress can be made in taking the Catholic Church forward, both morally and reptutationally.' [Read: "The liberal ones who don't really believe are okay, but the ones who both believe and endeavour to teach or preach the Faith in its fullness are 'hardliners'. Frankly, they're a bit like terrorists."
Oh, we're so 'hurt' and so 'offended'. We should really call the 'Equalities Hotline' immediately because some troll has set up a blog devoted to carping at Catholic bloggers. I can't believe Austen Ivereigh would sink this low! That was a joke by the way. Still, I'm at a loss to explain which Bishop could possibly be responsible for this deeply uncharitable blog. That's the Catholic Internet Watch blog, I'm talking about, by the way, not mine.
That said, I do rather recoil in horror at some of the things Catholics have been writing about marital rape according to one blogpost that CIW pens and some of the things Catholics say about Jews on the internet which can, as we know, be most unpleasant. All in all, however, I do get the impression that this individual must have to spend quite a bit of time to get to genuinely offensive Catholic blogs and I get the impression that this individual might just generally also despise faithful lay and priest Catholics and perhaps, maybe, just maybe, the Pope too.
Personally, I think this is a case of 'spiritual envy', because he has noticed that Catholic believers have Faith, which he doesn't have, Hope, which he doesn't have, and Charity (though he could be forgiven for thinking we need to work on all three, especially the last). With that I will end the post. So God bless you, Scout. I will certainly pray for you, not so much for the success of your blog, because it is awful, may God strike it down and bring it to ruin without harming your computer, but for you, that the Lord may shower you with blessings, both spiritual and temporal, that Our Lady watch over you, the Saints intercede for you and that God may grant you His peace in this life and the vision of Himself in the next.