Sunday, September 1, 2013

Do We Really Need More Professional Catholics?

There's a lot of talk of "professional Catholics" lately. I'm really not going to go into too much of the detail. It was a stupid debate that got started and continued by more stupidity. Apparently intelligent people thought that the most gripping questions of the day were who makes what at what apologetics organization, and who applied for what job when, and the implication that people involved are just butthurt hypocrites. Even if this were true (who knows!) apparently detraction is the cool thing to do in the blogosphere nowadays.

This is what happens when the blogosphere gets bored during a slow news cycle. Instead of focusing on relevant issues, Catholic radio goes after "radical traditionalists", even when everyone has acknowledged those terms are incredibly damaging to faithful Catholics. Instead of using the wisdom of the tradition to live a holy and devout Catholic life, Michael Voris needs to throw red meat to his base about how awful others are. Some believe Catholic Answers lost donations money because of that show. Karl Keating denies that, and I see no reason to doubt him. Here's an alternate theory: people aren't coughing up money because this kind of talk is worthless. Most people look at these professional Catholics starting pointless fights and they correctly decide to use their limited money in a better fashion.

Fr. Longenecker believes we need more professional Catholics. If by "professional Catholic", you mean people extolling the Beatitudes such as blessed are the poor from luxury cruise liners, count me out. We don't need more of those professionals.

We need less speakers on cruise ships, and more catechists at the local level. We need fewer radio and youtube hosts looking to gin up controversy, and more priests in the confessional. We need fewer organizations that serve to rahrah their respective bases, and more groups like these. If they can focus on things of actual relevance, then yes, let's get some "professionals."


  1. Such controversial remarks are why I have to moderate this blog. You tread carefully with your inflammatory affirmations Mr. Stuart!

  2. Thank you for your kind words about St. Paul Street Evangelization. Let me know if you'd like to get involved!

  3. Kevin--I have to agree with you about the term "radical traditionalist," a term very much like "pop TOB evangelist" regarding the damage it does to the faithful and to individual faithful fellow Catholics who bring their own unique gifts and perspectives to the Church.

    If only we were all able to see ourselves--and others--just as God Himself sees us. We probably would be spending much less time criticizing each other and diminishing the dignity of human persons and more time trembling in our own shame at our own weaknesses and failings.

    As it is, we stand all too ready to "name names" and go after our brothers and sisters in Christ. I agree that doing so is worthless. I pray that someday, particularly in digital Catholic media, we turn the corner on this and find a way to safeguard the reputations of other workers in the vineyard...

  4. Fr. L. apparently hopes for “professional Catholics” who are well educated, devoted and ready to serve God and his church."

    1. And when we limit it to that, all is well. Yet the "professional Catholics" father is defending go a bit beyond that.


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