Thursday, September 25, 2008

Apology to the Folks at the Fish Eaters Forum

I have decided to take down the entire controversy-filled post and the complete set of combox comments from all involved parties from my site, regarding the recent controversy with members of the "traditionalist" Fish Eaters forum. I urge all sides to refrain from further comments on this incident on my blog. Thank you.

I have to look at myself and my behavior first, according to the frequent teaching of our Lord. I didn't respond as I should have to criticisms of one of my papers, and was uncharitable and overly caustic in far too many of the exchanges. Thus I offer a sincere, heartfelt apology to all the folks at Fish Eaters to whom I replied in this negative fashion. That's not to say that I believe I was completely wrong in everything I did. No; but I was wrong and uncharitable enough to issue this apology; I do know that.

Especially now, after I have seen some very constructive internal criticism and probing questions about member behavior on that forum, in the same thread, I realize also that sweeping statements that I made about the people over there were inaccurate. Indeed, there are now several people on that forum who are quite troubled by what happened and how people conducted themselves on both sides, just as I am, and who are expressing it in no uncertain terms.

I was delighted and heartened to see that (it saved me from a great deal of cynicism and disillusionment), and may this hopeful, sunny trend continue all over the Internet. And I thank these conscientious observers for helping me to see that what I had to do was take down my portion of the controversy, and wash my hands of it, and issue an apology. I could clean and air out my house. That was one thing I definitely could do to try to improve things. What others do with their house is up to them. I renounce my entire set of replies, as unhelpful, inflammatory, and insufficiently charitable: all the ones I have now deleted. I apologize to my blog readers as well.

Satan would love to divide Catholics in any way he can. While I will continue to make arguments about theological issues I strongly believe in (including critiques of "traditionalism"), based on my best lights and with the aid of God's grace (the more the better!), I want no part of harmful Internet fights that lack almost all substance. Defending myself is almost as inane and pointless as some of the attacks thrown my way. I don't need to defend my apostolate or myself. God is my judge and my readers are the witnesses to whatever worth is present in what I do, by God's grace alone.

Time is too short and the fields are ripe for the harvest. I want to be one of the laborers and to not get distracted by happenings that are, in the end (and again, I am 'fessing up to my share of the blame) the ploys of Satan to whip up division among Catholics and to get our minds off of the truly important tasks that lie ahead. Tryin' to keep my hands on the plow and my eyes lookin' straight ahead . . .

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