Pro-Life Catholics Deserve Better Than These Writers

By Stephen Herreid Published on July 31, 2016

Last month, blogger John Paul Shimek published a piece at the National Catholic Register in which he roundly insulted and dismissed conservative Catholics. The piece was removed* and replaced with a note telling readers the blog had bypassed editorial review and “did not reflect the Register’s editorial views.”

I was glad the Register took Shimek’s piece down, but Shimek isn’t the only Register writer who seems to lack impulse control when it comes to insulting pro-lifers and conservative Catholics. This is perplexing precisely because the Register is one of the more reliably orthodox Catholic publications.

Consider the views of Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher, two of the Register’s most prominent writers. Shea and Fisher are very active on Facebook and Twitter, where they share their work and interact publicly with their readers. All of the quotations below are taken either from their blogs on Catholic websites, or from their public social media feeds.

Calumny

Shea is hostile to conservatives, but especially to pro-lifers. Lately he has found a new way to insult them: lumping them in with the most unscrupulous supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump:

A man who will not answer the question of whether he paid for abortions for his sexual conquests. An adulterer with credible rape charges against him, including one from a thirteen year old girl. That is what the prolife movement now stands for and is committed to defend. [emphasis added]

Of course there are countless godly men and women still working tirelessly within the GOP, and many of them are stern critics of Mr. Trump themselves. But Shea is no mere Trump critic. Consider what he writes about pro-life conservatives in general:

  • What the GOP — and above all conservative “prolife” Christians both Protestant and Catholics — still orgasmically [sic] support. They *love* torture! Love it! And they wonder why the prolife movement is dying in the US.”
  • And once again, we see the continuous message of American Movement Conservatism: Poor people are scum. Nothing is more important here than that poor people be punished. Nothing. *This* is one of the *real* core values of the right. And if the families they long to throw out of their jobs are thereby placed under intense pressure to abort their children by the poverty the “prolife” conservative *longs* to afflict them with, well too bad. Money, not unborn human life, is the *real* treasure.”
  • The popularity of Ted Cruz is Reason #92943792837 I call for the surgical removal of the parasite called American Conservatism that has attached itself like a lamprey to a large percentage of American Catholicism.”
  • Very rarely do I encounter conservative prolife Christians who actually believe that human life is sacred from conception to natural death. The overwhelming majority support unjust war, torture, maintenance of our gun violence regime, the death penalty (and fighting the Church to maintain even though it guarantees that innocents will be executed), xenophobia, apologetics for the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (which the Church calls a “crime against man and God”), grinding the faces of the poor, denial of health care to the poor, and (as the popularity of Donald Trump illustrates) overt racism. The habit of “prolife” people is to battle the Church on some or all of these issues and to appeal to abortion as the rationale for doing so. “We should be focusing on abortion!” they say. But in reality, they spend all their time and energy fighting the Church, not focusing on abortion.” (Emphasis added)

Hatred

Shea even relishes the prospect of Donald Trump destroying conservatism and discrediting the pro-life movement altogether.

  • It will be exquisite if the prolife movement succeed in electing the first president to have personally paid for an abortion for one of his mistresses. Crowning glory for the Wrong About Everything Party.”
  • My Republican chum here in Washington is already declaring it the end of the GOP.”
  • May [Trump] destroy the whole party and leave it in smoldering ruin.”

On a near-daily basis, Shea campaigns for gun control by sharing stories about black shooting-victims and adding: “Today’s human sacrifice to the gun cult.”

He recently went so far as to express anger that while blacks die at the hands of police, some “crazy gun-toting white ‘patriots’ are still breathing despite posing an obvious menace.” This was in the main body of a blog post addressed to Shea’s colleague Simcha Fisher. As seen below, Shea and Fisher seem to bring out the worst in each other.

Childish Bullying, Revolting Language

On Facebook, Fisher recently joked about the design of a Trump campaign logo: “It’s like, half swastika, half b*** j**.” (Asterisks added.)

When a reader took issue with Fisher’s language, she replied, “What the h**l are you even doing on my wall….? If you don’t like this kind of joke, fine. Move along.” She later accused her critics of only “pretending” to be upset that she “said b*** j**….” The real reason they were upset was “because they like Trump” or because they were in “a tizzy about Hillary.” (Asterisks added.)

For his part, Mark Shea simply replied with another childish gag. “Oh Simcha, live forever. Thank you for your penetrating analysis.” He then shared a slightly censored version of Fisher’s joke on his blog: “Most Freudian/Nietzschean Campaign Logo Evah! … Half Swastika/Half Love That Dare Not Speak its Name.”

This was not an isolated incident with Fisher. This is generally how she presents herself. Last time I looked at her (public) Facebook, she was joking about “making America pen** again,” (“Sorry,” she scoffed, “did I say ‘pen**?’ I meant ‘pen**.’”) and telling readers to “vote for my left butt cheek … at least when my butt talks, it knows what it’s talking about.” (Asterisks added.)

She went on to say that she plans to either vote for Hillary Clinton, or for a third party candidate. When a woman objected that she would never vote for a Leftist, Fisher retorted, “You can write in my right butt cheek, then … I only advise against taking a centrist position, if you know what I mean.”

Simcha Shea5

Again, Shea shared Fisher’s crude joke with his followers.

Thrilled to learn that republican candidate isn’t prolife.”

As in the case of Shea, Fisher is no conservative Trump critic either. Her frequent anti-conservative rhetoric seems partly motivated by the fact that she and her family have resorted to various forms of welfare:

  • “We’re way, way past the era of Republicans merely opposing the expansion of welfare. They are now openly encouraging people to despise the weak. It is very, very hard to call them pro-life.”
    Simcha Shea5+
  • “… [W]e may soon have health insurance for the first time in, like, twelve years … thanks, Obamacare. … Thank you taxpayers.”
    Simcha Shea6
  • “… [W]e’re still comfortably below the poverty line. Tax money going to get keep the Fishers healthy – not seeing the problem there.”
    Simcha Shea7Simcha Shea8
  • Fisher tells her readers about buying steaks with her food stamps, and reminisces with her husband that they were “good steaks, too.” “I especially liked that gravy we made out of the blood of hard working Americans. That was delcious [sic].”
    image [232915]
  • Again on Facebook, Fisher complains about “the cold hearted monstrous conservative right. …”
  • Thrilled to learn that republican candidate isn’t prolife. Now I can vote for the dem, who is also not pro-life but hates poor slightly less”

Fisher seems to agree with Shea that conservative policies “pressure” the poor “to abort their children,” and conversely that the big government policies of the Left can be considered “pro-life” because they reduce that pressure. When a reader points out statements from Catholic authorities who condemn voting for pro-abortion candidates, Fisher objects:

You can’t vote for someone who says he’s pro-abortion *because* he says he’s pro-abortion and because you hope he will keep abortion legal, but you can vote for someone (that same person) who says he’s pro-abortion if you think that, on balance, his actual policies are, *in effect,* pro-life.

Simcha Shea10

After all this rhetoric, it should come as no surprise that Shea is now actively encouraging his readers to vote for Hillary Clinton, and even strongly suggesting that a vote for Clinton is a Catholic’s duty:

Indeed, if I lived in a swing state, I would not only feel free to vote for Hillary with a clear conscience in order to stop Trump, I would actually feel bound by my conscience to do so, precisely *because* of my Catholic–prolife–faith. [His emphasis.]

Simcha Shea11

Pro-Life Conservative Catholics are Tired of the Insults

One can grant that, for all their vitriol against conservatives, Fisher and Shea have also criticized the far Left. One could even grant that Fisher and Shea are sincerely pro-life, and merely think — as Planned Parenthood itself has argued — the best way to “reduce” abortions is to empower the Democratic Party’s agenda of growing the State’s tax-funded support (and control) of the vulnerable and the poor, and thus — as Shea puts in — reduce the “pressure to abort.”

What cannot be denied, however, is that Shea and Fisher use vulgar and insulting language online, often directed toward pro-life conservative Catholics, which at some point must prove embarrassing to the National Catholic Register. As Fisher once publicly stated in her own style — almost as if daring those who publish her work to try and stop her disrespectful behavior:

People do reflect on their employers, though, so I think there’s something to be said for understanding that your public image isn’t entirely your own. For instance, since I started working for Aleteia, I stopped saying “f***” on Facebook. [Asterisks added]

 

*This article originally indicated that Shimek’s post was removed “after a social media outcry.” That suggestion has been removed in keeping with the following correction from the Register‘s editor:

It was taken down because I read it and was shocked that it was on our site. I checked in with the team and no one had given him permission to post. We did not become aware of the “outcry” until later. The reason for the decision to take it down was as Jeanette stated.

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  • ARB

    Of course, all that welfare she praises so highly *demonstrably* destroys poor families, as we have known for years (see the Moynihan report) and condemns them to perpetual poverty. And those black unwed mothers, deprived of both economic as well as physical resources, are far more likely to be tempted to commit feticide. And that’s how the tragic fact that over half of black lives (in NYC) end in abortion became so.

    In fact, given that jobs and job security are so essential to the role of a father, and that Trump emphasizes the development of jobs which would enable these African-American (and generally poor) fathers to actually fulfill their roles, it would appear to me that, despite all of his personal flaws, a compelling argument could be made that Trump is the more ethical choice of candidate in this election.

    • Terri N. D.

      Many people, Catholics and Conservatives included, fail to see how a man who makes profits by failing to pay his workers, shipping jobs overseas, and strategically buying out/declaring bankruptcy is really going to create jobs or help the economy. Others also wonder how it’s prolife to refuse to provide medical care to poor infants and children because we think their parents are lazy.

      • Strife

        What the **** are you talking about? The entire reason that that
        scenario IS our economic reality is specifically attributed to the OPEN
        BORDERS policies that the Left and the Corporate elites have forced down this nation’s throat. Oh but – how many jobs has HildaCankles created? And when and where has the pro-life movement denied medical care to poor infants and children? And how do you propose to combat poverty by increasing taxes on the citizenry? And how do you propose to combat poverty by allowing unvetted waves of Latin America’s impoverished to flood over our open borders and to increasingly turn our free market system into the dredges of their third-world h#!!hole of a socialist failure?

        • Terri N. D.

          I think we have very complex problems in this country that can’t be fixed by soundbytes and easy assurances. I also find it ironic that this specifically is an article criticizing two Catholic bloggers for using profanity and that you have stooped to profanity in your very first response to someone who disagrees with you! A bit of googling will show you a plethora of source material for each issue I’ve mentioned, all are well supported and documented. Do a little research or ask a polite question before calling who everyone who disagrees with you foul names. Should I even ask why you think it’s appropriate to criticize a politician’s body rather than her specific policies? I don’t personally have any proposals to fix the issues you mention, but I’ve got to be honest, I don’t see where Trump has made any realistic proposals either.

          • Strife

            No actually it’s not that “complicated”. And neither is your overt use of political correctness as the ultimate vestige of false victimization. And I would suggest that you do some actual research on the matter – other than the predictable liberal/progressive sources that the leftwing Google always throws out. And polite? You want polite? Polite as in – selling baby-parts is a big money-maker for Planned Parenthood polite? Or maybe the politeness of the “What difference does it make!” response of the HildaCankles Benghazi deaths? Or perhaps the polite unprecedented corruption revealed in the recent DNC email leaks? That kind of “polite” sweetheart? Oh but wait – Trump is mean! And no, no you don’t have any actual solutions to the economic problems you just finished whining about. Because liberals NEVER have any viable solutions. They only have emotions in the form of good intentions that always (ALWAYS) end up in the predictable failures at the expense of everyone else’s tax dollars. Just like all socialist schemes ALWAYS do. So here’s an idea, why don’t you politely take your estrogen-laden emotionalism away from here, and let the people with actual reasoned logic and sustainable ideas talk some serious shop. Now go make yourself useful and rustle up some sammiches for everybody.

          • Terri N. D.

            Wow. Girls are yucky and you don’t like them, so I should leave. I am now definitely convinced that your arguments are well-reasoned, carefully thought out, and based in a spirit of Christian love. You’re totally right. The Register should definitely fire those bloggers for being ugly on the internet and hire you instead.

          • Strife

            Girls are fine. Women are even better. But whiny latent feminist social-justice-warrior nags like you are an insult to true feminine strength and beauty. And like all relativists, your definition of Christian “love” is little more than the modern pablum of “tolerance” “dialogue” and the ubiquitous tripe of “non-judgementalism”. And all of your reasoning and arguments consist of little more than the primacy of hyper-emotionalism.

            And the premise of the fundamental complaint here isn’t the “ugliness” of these “professional” Catholics. But rather, it’s the inherent ugliness of their pseudo “catholicism”.

        • Master Samwise

          Ha! Person complaining about others swearing bleeps out his own swear. Is it ok to swear if you bleep it out?

          • Strife

            Uhm, I wasn’t the one complaining about swearing – you were.

      • AugustineThomas

        It’s just less pro-death than supporting the murder of even born alive babies like Hillary Clinton.

    • Master Samwise

      “Of course, all that welfare she praises so highly *demonstrably* destroys poor families…” The irony of your comment here on Stephen Herreid’s article is too delicious for me, having known the man personally.

  • kiwiinamerica

    Thanks for the heads up. I don’t follow these social media micro-celebs and I’ll be sure to give them a wide berth in the future. The screws progressively tighten in the culture wars and the Church has far bigger problems with Caesar than a couple of sneering, potty-mouthed, blowhards. They’re a dime a dozen on the internet.

    Let the blogosphere swallow these yapping nobodies. Their fame clocks are at 14 minutes and 57 seconds.

    • Terri N. D.

      You know, these two have a tremendously large body of work, and taking a few out of context snippets that look ugly tend to ignore how very thoughtful, well researched, carefully analyzed, and compassionate Fischer’s work especially is. Her NFP book has been a tremendous comfort to many struggling with family planning and both writers have helped bring or keep many struggling people in the faith. That’s not worth nothing. A bit of gallows humor or sarcasm in a long form article may actually help convince people (myself) that the Catholic life holds up to scrutiny and difficulty and bring a sense of comfort and camaraderie, even if it sounds extremely strange as a one liner. It may not be your cup of tea, and that is fine, but don’t try to paint these people as heretical (they’re not), hostile to the faith (they’re not), or not worth reading (they are), as they are a help to many.

      Additionally, many of the points they bring up are real problems within American Conservatism/the Republican party that need careful reflection and problem solving, not just sneering dismissal. Don’t you think it’s worth considering WHY people who have dedicated their lives to the prolife movement may feel unwelcome there and may feel compelled to vote for Democrats in this election?

      • Strife

        Name an intrinsic evil that the Democrat Party doesn’t embrace as a proud advancement of their progressive ideology.

        • jbk

          I do not find it difficult to believe how a liberal or moderate Catholic would vote Democratic. I can see many Catholics who might consider themselves conservative in today’s politcal climate choosing to vote Democratic. But I can not see a Catholic who professes to be Pro-life voting for Clinton. That does not add up. Her agenda is in stark contrast to pro-life.

      • AugustineThomas

        Fisher is an intellectually mediocre apologist for her favorite sexual sins.

        • Master Samwise

          Because you are the Thomas Aquinas of the modern age?

          • AugustineThomas

            Never. I simply revere the great saint. You don’t name things after people you respect?

          • Master Samwise

            Oh, you should probably read him over again. Name calling is a thing he would likely disapprove of.

          • Strife

            Really? How about “You brood of vipers! You white-washed tombs filled with dead men’s bones!”

            Want to guess which famous person uttered those little impolite jewels? Here’s a hint: He also made a whip, kicked over some tables, and drove human beings like cattle out of His Father’s temple.

          • Master Samwise

            He was also the son of God, which made him really the only capable of making that judgment. He is also the one who taught Sirach, “A kind mouth multiplies friends and gracious lips prompt friendly greetings.”

          • Strife

            Here, allow me to introduce you to actual Christianity:

            “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.”~ St Augustine of Hippo

          • Master Samwise

            Huh, I think you should read “Principles of Christian Morality.” It may give you some insight on what things we can do and what things only Christ can do. For example, our dying on a cross does nothing, but Christ dying on a cross saves souls. It is key to understand that not everything Christ does is something we can literally do as well.

            If Shea and Fischer have broken God’s law, then God can arrest them.

          • Strife

            Ratzinger over St Augustine? You can’t be serious.

            Here’s a newsflash for you: Christ was made flesh to show us the way. In all things. Especially by his example. BTW – we are actually CALLED to pick up our cross and to be crucified WITH Christ. And we are certainly commanded to call out sin. And yes – to pass righteous judgment on sinners.

          • Master Samwise

            Seeing as Benedict XVI is Pope then to a degree, yes.

            Your Augustine quote, dubious in its origin as it is, doesn’t show how we are supposed to imitate Christ literally in this case. Note the word literally. I said it last time but you seem to have overlooked it and come up with this objection about carrying our cross. Are you literally carrying a cross? No? Ok then, my argument stands and you made yourself look foolish by tilting against a windmill in my opposite direction.

          • Strife

            Seeing as how SAINT Augustine is a SAINT and a DOCTOR of the Church who lived some 14 centuries before Ratzinger, yes he does trump the pope. So see? You’re really not very good at BSing are you. Well no. No you’re not. LOL

            And Christ’s literal carrying of the cross validates our redemptive suffering by his example. Just as His literal example of righteous judgement validates our righteous judgement of sinful actions. See how that works? LOL

            BTW Peter actually WAS crucified with Christ. Literally. So see how idiotic your BSing is? See? Now I actually feel embarrassed for you. LOL!

          • Master Samwise

            Again, were Augustine alive today, he would submit to the Pontiff. In any case, the paragraphs I cited from the CCC would overrule both the Pontiff and the Church Father.

            Yes, but our literal carrying of a cross does nothing still. You are still making an argument out of whole cloth.

            Peter was crucified after Christ and Peter’s crucifixion merited nothing for anyone except maybe himself. But then the manner of his execution was irrelevant in that regard; it would have been the same if he had died in any other manner since the literal dying on a cross did nothing. Christ’s merited salvation by his literal dying on the cross which is what I have been saying this whole time; Christ does things we cannot. That is why he was both God and man. Christ can drive people out of the temple. We cannot except certain people in certain circumstances. This is neither the person, nor the circumstance.

          • Strife

            Uhm, the pontiff isn’t beyond space and time. And no nothing you’ve cited over ruled Augustine’s point.

            And my point was that Christ literal carrying of the cross did indeed give redemptive value to all of our struggles when they are surrendered to Him. Especially the struggles that LITERALLY imitate his Crucifixion or any literal martyrdom.

            Why do you think Christ openly displayed His righteous anger in a very physical literal way? Was He bound by the timing of the circumstances? And then had no choice in the matter but to act accordingly? Hardly. He is omnipotent. His anger was manifest openly LITERALLY for ll to see. And why? For all to imitate accordingly. But more to my point: after He drove the money changers out of the temple – nowhere do you see Him telling his disciples not to imitate His actions. In fact – His entire incarnation was specifically manifest TO show us how to live. Your entire argument is more protestant than Catholic.

            LOL

          • Master Samwise

            Augustine’s own sermon where he said that anger is a root and hate is the tree?

            Ok, but there is nothing in Catholic teaching that supports imitating him in the temple, at least not in comparison to the calls to imitate him on the cross.

            There is nothing in Scripture or Tradition that says Christ was angry. Indeed, God cannot be angry except analogously since anger is a lack of charity which God cannot lack. Basically, know your limits.

          • Strife

            There is anger and hate, and then there is righteous anger and righteous hatred.

            On the contrary, why did Christ even display His anger in a very human temporal way UNLESS it was as an obvious example for us to follow? And IF He didn’t want us to follow that example – why didn’t He say as much? And if fashioning a whip and driving people away with it isn’t anger – then what is? And if calling people “a brood of vipers.” and “white-washed tombs filled with dead men’s bones” isn’t anger – then what is?

            And Paul clearly states: “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger” ~ Ephesians 4:26

            And yes God can certainly be angry. In fact “charity” which actually means “love” demands righteous anger if that love is abused and neglected. In fact, that’s the spiritual nexus of the Just War doctrine.

            “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ~ G.K.Chesterton

          • Strife

            From an irrefutably authoritative source: St Thomas Aquinas ( Summa Theologiae)

            “he that is angry without cause, shall be in danger; but he that is angry with cause, shall not be in danger: for without anger, teaching will be useless, judgments unstable, crimes unchecked,” and concludes saying that “to be angry is therefore not always an evil.”

            “It is unlawful to desire vengeance considered as evil to the man who is to be punished, but it is praiseworthy to desire vengeance as a corrective of vice and for the good of justice; and to this the sensitive appetite can tend, in so far as it is moved thereto by the reason: and when revenge is taken in accordance with the order of judgment, it is God’s work, since he who has power to punish “is God’s minister,” as stated in Romans 13:4

            Source : The Catholic Encyclopedia

          • Master Samwise

            Riiiight, irrefutable except with regard to the Immaculate Conception? Take the Angelic Doctor’s own advice regarding his writings: “The end of my labors has come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.”

            Aquinas is not irrefutable since he has been refuted and by authorities greater than himself. Shall one man be held higher than the Magisterium? No, that is not how the Church works and it is not what Aquinas would have taught.

            “It is prescribed (Hebrews 13:17): “Obey your prelates and be subject to them.”

            I answer that, Just as the actions of natural things proceed from natural powers, so do human actions proceed from the human will. On natural things it behooved the higher to move the lower to their actions by the excellence of the natural power bestowed on them by God: and so in human affairs also the higher must move the lower by their will in virtue of a divinely established authority. Now to move by reason and will is to command. Wherefore just as in virtue of the divinely established natural order the lower natural things need to be subject to the movement of the higher, so too in human affairs, in virtue of the order of natural and divine law, inferiors are bound to obey their superiors.”

            The Magisterium was founded by Christ himself and therefore Aquinas must conform it the same as us.

          • Strife

            Whoa – so now Aquinas (a Church Doctor) and his Summa Theologica are without merit? Really? Prove that.

            And his assertion that his writings we so much straw didn’t mean that they weren’t true – on the contrary – it simply meant that Thomas’ love for Christ could not be adequately contained in his writings.

            And show me any authoritative doctrinal source from the Magisterium that specifically dispels the passage I cited from the Summa. Show me. Prove it.

          • Master Samwise

            I never said they were without merit. Strawman.

          • Strife

            Riiiiight. That was obviously your strongly implied point. And if it wasn’t – then *what* exactly *was* your point, troll?

          • Master Samwise

            Implication does not equal assertion.

            My point is that I obey the Church, not your idea of what the Church is via your pull quotes and insults.

          • Strife

            Implication does not equal assertion? LOL! Congratulations troll – you’ve just destroyed the entire moral reasoning of your anonymous accusations against Stephen!

            Are you seriously that incapable of sustained logical reasoning? Seriously?

            I’m actually embarrassed *for* you at this point, you hypocrite troll.

          • Master Samwise

            “…you’ve just destroyed the entire moral reasoning of your anonymous accusations against Stephen!” I haven’t really implied anything except in cases to protect the identity of others. It does nothing to diminish that Stephen knows what he did and how serious it is.

          • Strife

            You’ve implied nothing? What? Then WHAT exactly was the point of your unsubstantiated detailed accusations, troll? Mere theory?

          • Master Samwise

            Stephen knows these things are true. I really don’t care what you believe.

          • Strife

            Prove that. Prove that these “things” are true and that “Stephen knows these things are true”.

            Prove all of it troll. Go ahead. Put up or shut up.

          • Master Samwise

            Why should I shut up? Who is Stephen to you? Or you to Stephen? I don’t need to prove anything to you.

          • Strife

            So no. No you can’t substantiate your lies.

            So now you can shut up. Because all you’re proving at this point – is that you’re an unmitigated lying troll.

          • Master Samwise

            Stephen can but he won’t because he is just the same as he was in college.

            I can say what I like, when I like, where I like. You have no more right to tell me to shut than I have to you.

          • Strife

            LOL And there it is: “Oh yeah? Because I SAID SO!!!”

            LOL!

            And I have every freedom and every right to reveal the unscrupulous nature of your fallacious claims in here – troll. And you’ve proven that you can’t back up any of the allegations that you’ve made. And I have revealed you to be a complete liar. You’re welcome 😉

            Now put up or shut up, you lying troll.

          • Master Samwise

            Have you? Ask someone from the TMC class of 2013 what they remember of him. That was going to be the class he was to graduate with until he left his junior year and went to Magdalene aka Northeastern Catholic.

          • Strife

            Yes. Yes I do have those rights. And I’ve been utilizing them. See how that works?

            And why should I or anybody else have to do any footwork to help you substantiate your lies?

            And all of the elementary points that you’re stating could have easily been obtained by a little biographical research on Stephen. After all, unlike you, he’s a successful established writer.

            So here’s an idea, instead of digging your hole of discredit any deeper in here (if that’s even possible), why don’t you just shut up and go troll someone else on the net – like the insufferable little hacktard that you are.

          • Master Samwise

            “And why should I or anybody else have to do any footwork to help you substantiate your lies?” Because you are the ones asking questions a have literally no obligation to answer. I didn’t come here for you.

            “And all of the elementary points that you’re stating could have easily been obtained by a little biographical research on Stephen.” I’d love to see the places where it states that he complained to the faculty–specifically Dr. Blum–when a student in my class dated someone much younger than himself. If you can find it, please tell me.

            If by “established writer” you mean he hung onto Dr. Zmirak’s coat tails long enough for Zmirak to give him his job at Intercollegiate Review and subsequently get published elsewhere, then yeah, established.

          • Strife

            Actually the validity of your claims obliges you to substantiate them. But we all know that you can’t. Because they’re all lies. And you know that as well. And the only reason you came here was to dishonestly discredit the reputation of the author of this thread. Because you’re a leftard troll hack. And that’s exactly what leftard troll hacks do.

          • Terri N. D.

            Calling people names and insulting them does not lead them to Christ. I don’t know what your business here is, but it is most certainly not protecting the Church from scandal.

          • Strife

            Who said I was trying to lead anyone to Christ? Why should I in this case? On the contrary:

            “Purge the evil person from your midst.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:13

            And here’s the real scandal with all of these professional “catholic” mouth-pieces: They’re bastardizing true Catholicism:

            “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father.” ~ Matthew 10:32-33

          • Master Samwise

            Furthermore, Stephen here has made a rash judgment with regard to the Register that was later corrected by Mr. Burke. He has also made a detraction by disclosing the faults and failings of people without an objective moral reason–you know, like a grave sin being committed which bad language necessarily cannot be since it is not grave matter–to others who do not know them personally. Finally, Stephen has committed a calumny, especially with regard to the bit about the woman saying she would never vote leftie. The actual context of the remark, that Stephen conveniently edited, shows that she was talking about butts the whole time. This means that Stephen deliberately–he would have needed to take the time to edit the screen shot–misled everyone here. This is true of several things he has said here. You may want to revisit CCC 2477-2478. You know, actual Catholic teaching rather than pull quotes from the Fathers to support your defense of the indefensible.

            So when trying to take the moral high ground, trying standing somewhere other than a sink hole.

          • Strife

            Well now, did you just pass judgement?

            BTW – the Augustine quote stands. You’ve cited nothing to dispel its premise. But you have demonstrated your hypocrisy. lol

            Here allow me:

            If Stephen has broken God’s law, then God can arrest him.

            Bwaaahaaaahaaa. Hypocrite. lol

          • Master Samwise

            You mean like knowing the quote is on page 136 of a Robert McAfee Brown book? Augustine may be an authority but Brown certainly isn’t.

            And I don’t judge Stephen. I state these things a matter of fact, not a matter of judgment. His arguments contain what I have just described and are subsequently invalid and irrational.

          • Strife

            Yeah, I just Googled the same source check you did. And guess what: it doesn’t discredit McAffee’s sourcing. In fact – his research is impeccable. LOL

            And yes – you’re “facts” are a matter of your interpretive judgment. Just as Stephen’s are his.

            Hypocrite! LOL

          • Master Samwise

            He has no source. The quote has no source. In fact, it is more likely that the quote is misatributed since Augustine said in his 58th sermon, “Anger is a weed; hate is the tree.” So how could Hope be related to hate? It cannot.

            Really? Do you mean to say that Stephen’s judgment that the Shimeck article was taken down due to social media outcry was not rash and was, in fact, back up by the facts?

            Do you mean to say that Stephen had an objective moral reason for disclosing personal exchanges to people who were not privy to them in the first place?

            Do you mean to say that Stephen did not deliberately mislead the readers of this article by taking screen shots out of context?

            These are facts that have a yes or no answer. There is not subjective stance here. Either he did or did not. I don’t presume that he is immoral as he has done not do I make a judgment on the state of his soul. Rather, I say he has committed certain acts that are clearly demonstrable. Whether he is actually guilty is between him and God. But the fact remains that these things were done under the pretense of righteous indignation. Necessarily, that places a rather large beam in his eye.

          • Strife

            Actually the quote is in dispute – but not refuted. And as far as hope and hate:

            ““If any one comes to me without hating his father* and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.” ~ Luke 14:26

            Now you assume to know Stephen’s heart and mind. And yes the facts do support his judgement. You’re use of the word “rash” is purely subjective to your “rash” judgement. And so are your “rash” subjective definitions of Stephens supposedly “grave” sins.

            Oh how righteous you are. Now who’s imitating Christ’s righteous anger? Well YOU are! LOL

          • Master Samwise

            “Now you assume to know Stephen’s heart and mind.” Where do I make that assumption? I merely showed what he actually, objectively did. I gave precise instances of his behavior that corresponded to each thing. I took the CCC’s definitions and applied them to what was written here.

          • Strife

            No, you gave your subjective interpretation of his actions. Starting with your subjective use of the term “rash”.

          • Master Samwise

            That was taken from the Catechism. Take it up with the CDF.

          • Strife

            “Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger” ~ Ephesians 4:26

          • Master Samwise

            “Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.” Again, deliberate misleading=righteous anger?

          • Strife

            Your definition of falsehood is a falsehood in itself.

          • Master Samwise

            Take that up with the CCC; I used its definition.

          • Strife

            You applied it with your subjective discernment of the situation and your subjective reading of Stephens motives.

          • Master Samwise

            I never read Stephen’s motives. I would like you to prove that.

          • Faithr

            He was jesus. His anger was always righteous. Us? Not so much. I don’t recall the Apostles going around calling names. They talked about their own sinfulness and unworthiness.

          • Faithr

            I just remembered reading Shea making this same argument (Brood of vipers, etc) to justify his own name calling and harshness. Kettle meet pot!

          • Strife

            Really? What do you think you know that The Doctor of Grace didn’t know?

            “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are
            Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that
            they do not remain as they are.”~ St Augustine

          • Master Samwise

            You do know that this is not a confirmed quote right? It first appeared in “Spirituality and Liberation: Overcoming the Great Fallacy” by Robert McAfee Brown in 1988.

          • Strife

            You do know that you’ve cited nothing to dispel McAfee – right?

          • Master Samwise

            Seeing as the quote appears no where in print anywhere else, I consider it apocryphal.

          • Strife

            That’s merely your own “rash” subjective judgement. Hypocrite, LOL!

          • Master Samwise

            Riiiiight………

        • Terri N. D.

          Really? Promoting nfp and large families is a sin now? The level of discourse found on this site doesnt make an accusation that someone else is intellectually mediocre very convincing.

          • Carol McKinley

            Terri, while chicanery and willful blindness is entertaining, it doesn’t have a place in this discussion. I’m sure that you are aware that there is some conduct that makes one ineligible for an apostolate at EWTN, or any apostolate in the Catholic Church for that matter.

          • Terri N. D.

            Chicanery like this post, directed to me? “”So here’s an idea, why don’t you politely take your estrogen-laden
            emotionalism away from here, and let the people with actual reasoned
            logic and sustainable ideas talk some serious shop. Now go make yourself
            useful and rustle up some sammiches for everybody.” Because that is SUPER Catholic, right there.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            Oh, goodness. The whole “well they have a big family, so they must be perfect” is getting old. I have a big family. Most of my Catholic friends have big famiiies. At our parish four kids is considered a small family. So you really can’t just hide behind your number of children and think that it covers anything you say or do.

        • CS

          How dare you. What a vile comment. Unmanly and disgusting.I hope Damien Fisher punches you in the nose.

          • cristy

            Amen!

          • AugustineThomas

            Damien Fisher wouldn’t stand a chance against me.
            The truth isn’t unmanly. Your feminized perspective on the world is what’s unmanly. Pathetic little, hypocrite shmuck. All the boy-women in the Church, like yourself, are a huge reason that no men will go.

          • AugustineThomas

            (If you’re female, sorry. It’s impossible to tell a male who attends the Novus Ordo apart from a female who attends the Novus Ordo. They act exactly the same in almost every respect because they’re pretty much Secularists and not really very Catholic.)

      • John Doman

        If they were serious about constructive criticism of the conservative movement, they wouldn’t use such disgusting hate-filled language. No. They just want to vent the bile that’s in their hearts.

        • Master Samwise

          Perhaps that is because they learned their “hate-filled” language from the “conservative” movement they left. I sure did. Take a gander at what you have said yourself about people, in theory, you have never met. Stephen is talking about people he knows personally. This article he has written is a glorified Facebook feud blown out of proportion and plastered on the internet for everyone.

          • Carol McKinley

            Samwise, the discussion is a serious situation where a solid apostolate, one that could previously be counted upon to deliver solid Catholic theology, has now become yet another unreliable resource. It is another refuge that we have been robbed of. It is the antithesis of what Mother Angelica worked for her entire life.

          • Master Samwise

            Really? You must not have known Stephen Herreid during his undergrad. All this article is is a Facebook spat he has been having with his family for years. Go check out HIS Facebook and judge his conduct there based on his own standard. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks.

          • Carol McKinley

            I don’t have time to chase down your conspiracy theory. This article hits the nail on the head of the scandal at EWTN that is well known in Christendom. And it isn’t a little scandal.

          • Master Samwise

            That is probably because you don’t know Stephen personally; I do. If you want to call this some sort of scandal because someone who only has a job because Dr. Zmirak gave him one, by all means do so. This is Stephen yet again arguing with his family and friends in public articles for his own ego boosting.

          • Strife

            No you don’t know him, you troll. But of course, that doesn’t stop you from making up endless detailed lies about him with enough facts gathered from his old FB posts to make your character assassinations of him seem credible. You really are unhinged. In fact you’re a borderline stalker at this point. Oh and, you’re a world-class hypocrite.

          • Master Samwise

            Ask him how much he paid in room and board at TMC.

          • Strife

            More character assassination with your unsubstantiated claims. If Stephen denies any of your fabricated details – you’ll simply claim he’s lying because he’s shamed by your supposed esoteric knowledge of the details. You hypocrite troll.

          • Master Samwise

            Also, dying over you calling this discussion serious when clearly this is no more than a glorified grade school spat. “Teacher, Simcah used a potty word! And Mark was being a meany pants!”

          • Virginia Munoz

            HAHAHAHA! *dying*

          • Kimberly

            So to be clear, your well reasoned response to seemingly legitimate criticism was, “I know you are but what am I?” Or, “The Devil made me do it!” Weak. Weaker than tea in Paris.

          • Master Samwise

            What seems to be at issue here is that people are taking personally the things Shea and Fischer say about “pro-life conservatives.”

            Do all of them support torture? Do all of them condemn welfare? No, but if I had the time that Stephen apparently has, I could provide ample screen shots of numerous examples. Now, this is not a defense of foul language, but it is certainly a pot calling kettle situation. Let’s take a comment John Doman said just 8 hours ago.

            “John Doman jammyweinstein1969 8 hours ago
            I would call you retarded, but I don’t want to insult retarded people.”

            People in glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks. That’s all I am saying. As caustic and crude as Shea and Fischer may be, several of their detractors behave in like or even worse manner.

      • Carol McKinley

        The theology is sophomoric. I know a lot of Catholics. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t checked out of the National Catholic Register because of the conduct described in the article. The apostolate has fallen to the dogs.

        • Master Samwise

          Seeing as none of the conduct linked in the article occurred on the Register, your argument is invalid.

  • Maggie Sullivan

    Excellent reporting…….

  • Dennis_Moore

    Maybe Simcha and Fisher will came out in favor of Ad Orientem mass, then the USCCB will take swift action . . .

  • Dan Burke

    To be clear, the Shimek piece was not taken down due to social media outcry – this is a misrepresentation of an important fact. It was taken down because I read it and was shocked that it was on our site. I checked in with the team and no one had given him permission to post. We did not become aware of the “outcry” until later. The reason for the decision to take it down was as Jeanette stated.

    • CS

      That’s all you have to say? About this piece on two of the other NCR bloggers?

    • AugustineThomas

      What kind of fool allows intellectually mediocre shmucks who curse and make crude jokes like teenage boys onto his website? You guys are so pathetic trying to be “relevant”. Any young person actually seriously about the faith would just see you all as pathetic, irrelevant idiots. You’re not converting anyone. You’re a gossip site for church marms and feminized old men.

      • Master Samwise

        “You’re a gossip site for church marms and feminized old men.” Ok, but you said, “What kind of fool allows intellectually mediocre shmucks who curse and make crude jokes like teenage boys onto his website? You guys are so pathetic trying to be “relevant”. Any young person actually seriously about the faith would just see you all as pathetic, irrelevant idiots.”

        Thomas Aquinas and Augustine would see the blatant hypocrisy here.

    • Stephen Herreid

      Thank you, Dan. A valid point.
      Please see the above correction.

      • Dan Burke

        Thanks Stephen

      • Master Samwise

        Whaat? Stephen Herreid making rash, unqualified judgments that later get corrected by facts? Where have I seen THAT before?

        • Llámame Jorge

          That is his sin, and he will sin again.

          And Jesus likes that.

          Get joyful already.

          For my sake.

          • Master Samwise

            What?

          • tallorder

            What he means is, be joyful that “conservative” rags are employing lefty neo-Catholics to “make a mess” of things in this jubilant year of the most merciful.

          • Llámame Jorge

            Why are you pretending not to understand what I say?

            Do you suffer from the dumbness?

            Are you from Osorno, Chile?

          • Master Samwise

            Ah, troll account.

          • Llámame Jorge

            If a troll has good will and seeks the Lord, who are you to judge?

            Especially if he does it more concisely than you!

    • Anastasia

      Please spare us your shock and surprise, Dan Burke. YOU are Executive Editor of National Catholic Register and YOU are responsible for hiring and keeping on staff Simcha Fisher, Mark Shea and John Paul Shimek. All three of them have been writing from a very nasty left-wing, anti-conservative perspective for years so you can’t pretend you don’t know what they are about. Call us crazy, but isn’t it safe to assume that you hired these writers based on their writings? Furthermore, you clearly don’t have a problem with their filthy online behavior as you have personally engaged in it — e.g. (for one instance of many) on a Simcha Fisher Facebook post littered with profanity where the two of you are discussing “dog balls” and such. I have the screenshot & would be happy to post it. The bottom line is: YOU are responsible for the content of National Catholic Register & YOU hired these writers. Why on earth EWTN allows you to get away with this is a mystery. Again, spare us your shock and surprise – unless you’re just shocked and surprised that someone finally called you out!

      • Dan Burke

        Please post it Anastasia.

        • Dan Burke

          Note – No screen shot…

          • Kimberly

            I notice you didn’t deny engaging in said online conversation with Fischer. Do you deny it, or are you just silent until someone posts a screenshot? Are you waiting for the proof of a screenshot before admitting to it or are you denying it?

          • Dan Burke

            Kimberly – do a little investigation on me. You will find that this is something I just don’t engage in, ever.

          • Anastasia

            Oh yes you do.

          • Anastasia

            Note – it’s there…

        • Anastasia

          I did.

    • Carol McKinley

      Dan, Forgive me, but this is simply not credible. You are certainly aware of their conduct as I personally know hundreds of folks who have reached out to you and provided you examples.

      The real question is, why do you continue to employ individuals whose reprehensible and indefensible conduct is inconsistent the mission of EWTN?

      • Dan Burke

        Thanks Carol. What is “simply not credible” to you in what I have said?

        • Carol McKinley

          Dan, the part that isn’t credible is that you were shocked by Schmeck’s conduct. That’s his shtick. That’s Shea’s shtick, Simcha’s shtick. There is a pattern of recruiting and employing Catholics who display this conduct. It’s a bit like hiring Amanda Marcotte and Charlie Sheen and then expressing shock when the content is published at the Register. Does that make sense?

          • Master Samwise

            Except that none of the links in the article are to things written by Shea or Fischer for the Register. They are all Facebook posts which, were you to be friends with Stephen on Facebook, would see similarly incendiary things, mostly to his own friends and family. Basically, Stephen got into a huff because he lost a Facebook argument and went on to defame people close to him. Again, NONE of this content was on the Register. ALL of it was either on Patheos or the personal Facebooks of those involved.

            @@stephen_herreid:disqus, This is despicable and you know it. I honestly can’t understand how you, knowing who you are and who these people are to you, can do something like this. How you can, in good conscience, trespass on the kindness of others is beyond me. There are so many low blows I could throw at you but I will be content with mentioning that, were we to judge freeloaders like you do, then I demand repayment for the half a pack of cigarettes you bummed from me over the two years I knew you.

          • Jim Russell

            You seem to be missing the basic and central point: that is, unless you approve of the schizophrenic thinking that gives us “personally opposed to abortion, but…” thinking exhibited by certain Catholics in politics.

            The basic and central point is that we Catholics are called NOT to bifurcate our public and private faith lives. We are called to be a *consistent* witness to Christ and His Church by intently pursuing our call to holiness from the inside out.

            As such, one’s “personal” (though quite public) Facebook page had *better* be the place in which we both express and pursue all the Christian virtues.

            Anything else would be downright pharisaical, wouldn’t it?

          • Master Samwise

            Are you friends with Stephen Herreid on Facebook? You might see something shocking there as well. Did you know him in college? You may have a different opinion of him if you suffered from his constant bullying and demeaning insults on a day to day basis. But these are not things I would write an article about, calling for his resignation.

            Honestly Deacon, if you knew the man and knew his relation to the people in the article, you would, by your own statement, be forced to denounce @stephen_herreid:disqus. He knows what he has done. This isn’t some Catholic blogger he doesn’t agree with. He brought out personal dirty laundry everyone to see, but didn’t bring his own. I could throw it out there for him, but I am vindictive like that I prefer to continually make reference to it until he eventually gives it up in a heat of panic and fear. Because I, like Shea and Fischer, am not a perfect person and sometimes I do bad things. Yes, their personal Facebooks should probably be cleaner. But that is not Stephen’s job as I am sure you would agree. Would that not be better handled by their pastor under the seal of confession?

          • Jim Russell

            Right now, your claims of personal connection have no credibility because “Master Samwise” could be anybody. Share your real name for the sake of verification of your claims, and perhaps it will be easier to assess those claims….

          • Master Samwise

            Stephen Samuel Ferry, class of 2014, Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts.

            Stephen Herreid was a sophomore when I was a freshman and the first time I met him on the porch of the guy’s dorm, he conducted himself in a manner that makes his above article so immensely self-righteous and “downright pharisaical.”

            Sufficient verification? Do YOU know him personally?

          • Jim Russell

            Seems you are basing accusations about the author of this essay on events from his college years?

            Look, let’s be realistic–the author is not presenting himself as a longtime paragon of virtue in contrast to those connected with the issue he is raising in his essay. Frankly, the author could be the worst of sinners among us and *still* be absolutely correct in his assessment of the subject of his essay.

            Any of us–including me–who have failed in the past regarding social media and charity may well be even more passionate about improving such conditions, precisely because of that lived experience. Calling for greater self-mastery in virtue from public Catholic writers should elevate us *all*.

            Right now, you seem more intent on *lowering* the bar by your accusations against the author. Why not assume the best here–namely, that the author is calling all of us–including himself–to the more virtuous standard that is the real solution to the counter-witness outlined in the essay…

          • Master Samwise

            “Seems you are basing accusations about the author of this essay on events from his college years?” No, I am basing my knowledge of his character on what I knew then and what I know now. This article sounds just like one of the famous rants he would make about some outrage he perceived. Clearly he hasn’t changed in that regard. But as I said before, that is the past. If I knew Stephen to act in any other behavior than what I have known him to do, then my opinion would be different. As such, he is behaving in this article like the bully bumming things from people I knew in college making everything he says wildly hypocritical.

            “Any of us–including me–who have failed in the past…” Is that a reference to the article where you attack Fischer’s brother for not having the right ideas about being gay and Catholic? If so then I think that is admirable of you.

            But zeal for virtue should not destroy towns as the sons of thunder found out. Stephen is destroying towns. Either take my word for it or ask him. I am certain you would find the article to be less savory and more petulant if you knew what I did. I agree that online conduct should be more elevated, but he is calling for the resignation of these two writers by questioning their employment. He is not attacking their ideas; he is attacking their livelihood.

            Except that he doesn’t. I could Deacon, if he wrote the article that way. But Stephen destroys all doubt. He frames the article as being about these two, especially with the title. This elevates nothing. This takes private things that no one would really know besides family, friends, and their confessors and puts it out for judgment. He offers no call to virtue, just calls for blood.

            Personally, I have no dog in this fight. But there are people who do and Stephen should remember that.

          • Jim Russell

            ****I agree that online conduct should be more elevated, but he is calling for the resignation of these two writers by questioning their employment. He is not attacking their ideas; he is attacking their livelihood.****

            Where in the text above is this happening? Can you cite something? You’re shooting the messenger here, seems to me. The essay is describing *self-inflicted* “attacks” on the livelihood of public Catholic writers–no one is coercing public Catholic writers to display decidedly un-virtuous conduct when *not* writing for a publication that would not and does not tolerate such displays on its own site.

          • Master Samwise

            “Pro-Life Catholics Deserve Better Than These Writers at the National Catholic Register” You don’t think that Stephen is deliberately, by this title, implying that these writers should not be writing and that others should be? If not, then I am not sure what to tell you. The English language and common parlance would support my contention. Even the people commenting here got that meaning from his article and are crying out for their removal. So I don’t believe that you alone are the sole person who didn’t get the meaning of the article. But it was a nice deflection. It means you can ignore everything else I said and still seem wise.

            Similarly, no one is coercing anyone to follow either of these people on Facebook, a medium typically reserved for family and friends to converse. Again, a public article is not the medium for this and Stephen is not the person to address it. Like I said before, no one has strung out HIS dirty laundry and lampooned HIS articles for what he has said on social media, ironically because the same people he attacks are too kind to do it. Personally, I just like to see him squirm now that he knows that there are people commenting here who know who he is and now his dirty laundry because, as I said before, I need to go to confession.

            Have you considered at all, Deacon, how vicious–un-virtuous is incorrect in this context–Stephen’s own behavior has been in this article or do you have such a vendetta against Fischer and her family that you will jump on a train with the devil to lynch a thief? Consider: was the conduct worthy of concern. Perhaps. So what would have been Stephen’s first recourse? Should he have not written to the editor, @disqus_hsf4IREERK:disqus? That would have been prudent, surely? Failing that, perhaps a general article about how our online presence is important to keep pure would have achieved the goal you assumed Stephen had i.e. raise the standard of online conduct. Was he concerned with their souls? If so, their respective pastors would have been the men to contact, right? There is nothing in the article that says Stephen tried doing either of these things.

            When talking about virtue, it is good to think of prudence. This article lacks it; that is plain. There was a way that was less intrusive and less public that Stephen could have done and no evidence shows that he did so. How prudent was that? Where was the temperance? Where was the fortitude? Where was the justice? Where is the Faith? Where is the Hope? Where is the Charity? Deacon, you don’t need to defend the indefensible just because you had a spat with the subject matter. It doesn’t do you credit and it makes it seem like you have no sense of humor.

          • Jim Russell

            When something has been a certain way for *years*–something public–and when it is even widely known that private efforts have been attempted previously to address this particular something, then I cannot see how it is uncharitable to address this public issue publicly.

            Clearly we won’t see eye to eye on this. I do have one question–I note that a comment you made above has been deleted–did you opt to delete your own comment, or was that deleted by the site itself? Thanks.

          • Master Samwise

            What private efforts? I mentioned a couple but you don’t seem to have given the almighty evidence that you demanded from me in you last post. If it is so “widely know” shouldn’t Stephen have referenced that?

            I deleted as I said because I don’t like my personal information swirling around the internet. The post served its purpose in identifying who I was to you so I took it down. See? Prudence. Something not evident in Stephen’s article and a virtue you failed to show Stephen exercised. Could it possibly be that this is an instance of everyone behaving viciously? I mean, look at it objectively and put your personal business with Fischer aside for a moment. Was what Stephen did actually virtuous or was he capitalizing on people’s dislike of certain persons? Is it prudent to fuel such feelings of animosity?

            We clearly do not. I seem to think that hoisting out the personal lives of people for no other reason than to shame them for page views is vicious while you seem to believe it is some noble crusade against some monstrous cacodemon. You are the cleric so I suppose you need to tell me or should I ask Archbishop Carlson? What would be the prudent thing to do with such a disagreement? Discuss it civilly, notify your bishop, or post an article with all your social media posts and say the Archdiocese of St. Louis deserves better deacons?

          • Jim Russell

            Adios–this comment from you a few hours ago over at Patheos is sufficient to let me know our discussion is at its end:

            ****Hey Mark! I have followed your blog for a while and really enjoy it. You are the reason I converted from the Conservative Catholic Church of GOP American to, you know, the actual Catholic Church. Not a very exciting conversion but one that has profoundly affected my life and blood pressure.
            Anyway, I just wanted to reach out to you as a member of the American Solidarity Party–the Vice Chairman of the Virginia Chapter no less–and extend an invite to our party and to learn more about us.****

          • Master Samwise

            Oh, I see. Since I follow Shea, somehow all of my arguments are suddenly invalid? It seems you are either incapable or unwilling to look at any topic without your personal vendettas. I don’t like what Shea sometimes and I disagree with him on many things. But some things he has said I have found rooted in the Church Fathers and the Tradition of the Church. Really the main thing was that, if I am going to believe in anything, the only thing worth believing in is the Church so anything contrary to it is to be rejected. That included my GOP/conservative upbringing.

            I find it immensely ironic–and even a little hilarious–that you have pontificated about not judging Stephen for his sins so as to not shoot the messenger, but you have moved that goal post when it comes to me. But you give me hope. If they have allowed you to the diaconate, then I should be a shoe in despite my own failings. Peace to you Deacon. I sincerely hope you can reconsider what I have said and perhaps we could have a more fruitful discussion later.

            Also, stalker much? Either you stalk me or you stalk Shea. Neither of which seem particularly worthwhile, especially for a cleric. I always imagined clerics had better things to do. At least I know now that entering the diaconate won’t be too time consuming.

          • Strife

            Stalking? Really Commie Troll Stalker?

            Ahem:

            Master Samwise to Stephen Herreid

            15 hours ago

            ” I have no Facebook account, and haven’t had for several years.” You had it long enough to have deleted me off of it. Also, I just did a
            Facebook search and I found it unless there was another Stephen Herreid who went to “Northeast Catholic” aka Magdalene College?

            Remember that time in the cafe when you insulted my nose, laughed about your joke, and then said, “Sorry, I don’t know why I make fun of you?” No?
            Funny.

            You know what you are doing Stephen. You know it is wrong.

            ———–

            That’s some mighty fine stalking, trolling, and character assassination, and all from an anonymous stalker who loves to accuse other people of character assassination and stalking. Your hypocrisy is simply off the charts.

          • Master Samwise

            Pot, kettle is on the phone. He says you’re black.

          • Strife

            Really? Show me where I’ve been stalking anyone by searching their name on other sites and fabricating unsubstantiated details. Go ahead – show me that, you sick stalking hack troll.

          • Cindy

            @ Jim Russell too;
            I am a sinner and I’m guilty of petty arguments online. In fact, right now, I should be folding my laundry and doing the dishes. I must go to confession for the irritation at being told by so many different Catholics how I’m personally responsible for the coming evil to befall the country for my vote as it seems no matter how I vote or don’t vote, I’m personally guilty of some wrong according to some one. I would not even be irritated if I just stayed off social media but I’m stubborn and disobedient.

            Anyway, guys, take a breather. I know how difficult it is to decline a response once you’ve gotten going but you have to. Outside of this blog, outside of the Register, and outside the accounts of all those mentioned here, there are too many Catholics arguing over politicians and parties. Heck I’ve seen priests have daily comments about politics and politicians. I’m guilty of it too. I’ve shared and posted sarcastic comments about all stripes of politicians but I was wrong to do that. I’m not cured either. I’m still tempted to get carried away by politics. I’m a Christian first and so are you guys. Don’t let politics do this to you. None of us should be getting into these petty arguments over what ultimately amounts to disagreements over politics.

            If it helps, imagine Our Lord is standing right next to you looking at your screen and reading these comments out loud. What do you think he would say about it?

          • Master Samwise

            Politics does nothing to me. Stephen Herreid’s revenge for a Facebook argument from years ago does. It is a low blow at people who are actually too good natured to do the same to him.

          • CS

            Why is the discussion at an end? Because he follows Mark or because he realized that the Catholic Church and the US Republican Party were not one and the same?

          • CS

            Don’t bother stalking me. You will find lots to convince you I am beneath your consideration, DEACON.

          • Jim Russell

            What are you talking about?

          • Jim Russell

            FYI–it’s interesting how someone who has sniped at me in comboxes over the course of the last year or so is apparently concerned about being “stalked” by me….ironic, that.

          • Jim Russell

            Because, although his portrayal here has been as one who really “knows” the essay author and how unworthy he really is to write on this subject, his admission elsewhere is to be a partisan–not only regarding one of the subjects of the essay, but also in an explicitly political sense.

            My interest here has nothing whatever to do with politics.

          • CS

            Sorry that reason doesn’t jibe. He can agree with Mark Shea in his hyper-criticism of the Republican party AND ALSO know the author of the essay. You aren’t proving anything but perhaps your inability to engage with people who are challenging you, without your making it personal.
            FYI I don’t support his trafficking in gossip (although he has been restrained) and I don’t like Mark’s bombastic way a lot of the time. But I think you are just being dishonest here. And while we are on the subject of worrying about scandal: your public facebook behavior has caused me scandal more than once

          • Jim Russell

            Says the anonymous commenter.

            I don’t care whether or not you accept my reason for no longer being interested in continuing to converse with someone online. It’s my reason, not yours.

          • MotherGinger

            “This takes private things that no one would really know besides family, friends, and their confessors and puts it out for judgment.”

            Not so. All these comments are on their public Facebook posts. You don’t have to be ‘friended’ by them to see these; the posts are set to ‘public.’

          • Master Samwise

            @stephen_herreid:disqus, knows this is just a continuation of a Facebook argument he got into years ago with the same people. It was no less shameful then.

          • Stephen Herreid

            Whoever he is, Master Samwise certainly couldn’t be anybody who knows me well: I have no Facebook account, and haven’t had for several years.

            The sheer number of MS’s comments is becoming sinister, especially given his repeated claim of knowing me personally and his habit of mentioning my family.

          • Master Samwise

            ” I have no Facebook account, and haven’t had for several years.” You had it long enough to have deleted me off of it. Also, I just did a Facebook search and I found it unless there was another Stephen Herreid who went to “Northeast Catholic” aka Magdalene College?

            Remember that time in the cafe when you insulted my nose, laughed about your joke, and then said, “Sorry, I don’t know why I make fun of you?” No? Funny.

            You know what you are doing Stephen. You know it is wrong.

          • Strife

            Congratulations troll, you just made unsubstantiated accusations against Stephen, and you did it as a completely anonymous poster with enough feigned detail to make it appear credible. Here allow me to play YOUR little troll game in here, you hypocrite:

            III. OFFENSES AGAINST TRUTH

            2475 Christ’s disciples have “put on the new man, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”274 By “putting away falsehood,” they are to “put away all malice and all guile and insincerity and envy and all slander.”275

            2476 False witness and perjury. When it is made publicly, a statement contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes false witness.276 When it is under oath, it is perjury. Acts such as these contribute to condemnation of the innocent, exoneration of the guilty, or the increased punishment of the accused.277 They gravely compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial decisions.

            2477 Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:

            – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;

            – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;279

            – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

            2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

            Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.280

            2479 Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor.Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.

          • Master Samwise

            Not an accusation, a recollection. I wonder if he remembers the chanting of someone’s name on their birthday. I wonder if he would be pleased to know it survived until I graduated. He might “a happy a so manys” or however that “accent” he always used to go around campus using went.

            You want substantiation? Ask Stephen. Seeing as I made this comment to Stephen as the other Stephen on campus at the time–I went by Sam in those days because the other Sam was in Rome–you have butted into a conversation you have no business in.

          • Strife

            Really? A recollection? Says you and who else? Prove it. And of course if Stephen denies it – you’ll simply say he’s lying because of course the details are so very very accurate. BTW troll – have you stopped beating your male live-in lover?

            And how exactly have I “butted into” a conversation that you have intentionally posted on a completely public forum? Riddle me that troll.

            And then riddle me this, troll: How can any of your claims ever be substantiated until you first reveal you true identity in full with proof?

          • Master Samwise

            Where did @stephen_herreid:disqus deny it? Unless you are Stephen’s sock puppet account that he uses to argue with people.

            “BTW troll – have you stopped beating your male live-in lover?” Hm, can you “substantiate” the allegation that I have a male live-in lover and, if I had one, I would beat him? You are seriously very funny.

            If Stephen read my previous comment, then my identity is known to him. Furthermore, I revealed my identity to Deacon Russell for the purpose of discussion because he was nice about it. You, on the other hand, have been ironically abusive and vitriolic–see you allegations of having a male live-in lover.

          • Strife

            LOL and there it is, the entire morally bankrupt sewerhole premise of character assassination: So now Stephen has to specifically deny every wild@** unsubstantiated accusation you pull out of your troll-stalking @**, or else he’s…..

            tad-ah! GUILTY!

            But since you’re specifically posting these things in a public forum with the obvious intention to defame his reputation with calumny – the burden of proof begins with *you*. And that begins with your real identity. So what is it, troll? Who are you? Prove your identity.

            Because Stephen is innocent until proven guilty. And accusations from anonymous internet trolls do not substantiate anything.

            So go ahead troll, reveal your true identity – with verifiable proof.

          • Master Samwise

            You said Stephen denied them. Where did he do so?

            You can call me a liar all you like. I know these things to be true and so does Stephen.

            No, the obvious intention is to knock some sense into him. If you knew him, you would know that he has insulted people beyond just Fischer and Shea, people entirely innocent in this matter.

            This isn’t a court of law. Also, by your own standard, I am also innocent until proven guilty because you have not revealed your own identity.

          • Strife

            Actually, I said Stephen shouldn’t HAVE to deny them because they are completely unsubstantiated claims made by an anonymous hack.

            Exactly what part of “Innocent until proven guilty” seems to be eluding you, troll?

            And while we’re at it – have you ever stopped beating that male lover you were shacked up with in that sleazy apartment complex right off of campus? You know the one. The one that infected you with HIV? The tall blond one whose first name was Brent? Remember? He drove the red Prius and always painted his left pinky nail black? You know the one….

          • Master Samwise

            “…have you ever stopped beating that male lover you were shacked up with in that sleazy apartment complex right off of campus? You know the one. The one that infected you with HIV? The tall blond one whose first name was Brent? Remember? He drove the red Prius and always painted his left pinky nail black? You know the one….” To prove this, you would have to reveal your identity and mine by your own scrutiny. Since you decline to do the former and cannot do the latter, I find this very silly.

            But I am not anonymous to Stephen, who will, no doubt, remember who I am by now. Seeing as that was my whole object to begin with, whatever you demand of me is entirely out of scope of what I intended to do and reasonably will do. You see, if you went to the same school as Stephen and I, you would know that there is a tremendous sense of responsibility among the students and former students. We take care of each other and call each other out when we are being silly. Again, I never needed YOU or anyone else here to know who I am, just Stephen who should know by now.

          • Strife

            “To prove this, you would have to reveal your identity and mine by your
            own scrutiny. Since you decline to do the former and cannot do the
            latter, I find this very silly.”

            Uhm yeah. That’s kind of my point, troll.

            And as far as the rest of the unsubstantiated nonsense you just spewed:

            PROVE IT.

            And the only way you can is to start by revealing you’re own true identity. So go ahead troll:

            Put up – or shut up.

          • Master Samwise

            I have sufficiently revealed it to the people who have positive knowledge of the events in question. Since you neither know Stephen or I, revealing my name would be useless information for you.

          • Strife

            No, you actually haven’t revealed anything that substantiates your claims – troll.

            We’re now at the stage where you are reduced to simply responding:

            “It is SO! It is SO! Because I said SO!”

            Now put up or shut up, you sick hack.

          • Master Samwise

            Really? Check how many Stephens were in the TMC class of 2014. Again, the information is useless to you since you know neither me or Herreid so why bother?

          • Strife

            Well then, why are you so afraid to reveal your name in here – WITH some sort of sustainable proof to link your posts in here to that name? Which shouldn’t be too difficult to do for a stalking troll like yourself.

            So have at it, scrunt. Prove your case.

            Put up – or shut up.

          • Master Samwise

            Because I don’t need to and plastering your name on the internet is never a good idea. You keep demanding my name but you seem to overlook that I have no reason to give it to you. You say that I need to in order to prove my claims. That is true, BUT since the only person I have been trying to prove anything to has been Stephen and Stephen knows who I am, then revealing anything more is pointless to my objective.

          • Strife

            If this is only between you and Stephen – then why are you posting it in this public forum?

            Oh and plastering your name on the internet is not a good idea – but plastering unsubstantiated lies about someone in order to defame their reputation IS a good idea?

            And yes, the ONLY way to prove your claims is first and foremost prove your true identity. Until you do – nothing you claim about Stephen’s personal details will ever have one once of credibility. And they never will. Because you’re a lying liar.

          • Master Samwise

            Because this is the forum Stephen chose.

            Unsubstantiated to you from your perspective. To Stephen’s, it is history.

            They have credibility to Stephen, which was my goal all along so, again, I have nothing to prove to you.

          • Strife

            No troll. Unsubstantiated from the objective reality of the facts. You’ve proven nothing sustainable or even remotely provable. Nothing. But we’ve been over this ad nauseam at this point.

            So again: put up or shut up.

          • Master Samwise

            The objective reality of the fact, being objective of both our perceptions, would be true regardless. What you are tacitly saying here is that your perception creates what is objective reality such that, if I say something that does not conform to it, then what I say must be false.

            Equally ad nauseam, I have stated that I have not desired to prove anyone else but Stephen. If you are Stephen, perhaps you should reveal that. Otherwise, your fixation that *I* specifically cease talking is rather interesting and rather hilarious.

          • Strife

            Uhm…No. The objective reality (which is not created by mere subjective perception) is that you have provided no verifiable evidence to substantiate any of your accusations.

            That’s not a mere perception on my behalf – rather – that is the objective reality of the observable facts.

            But again – put up – or shut up. Prove that you know Stephen personally. Reveal your real identity. That’s the only way. But you can’t because you’re lying.

          • Master Samwise

            “he objective reality (which is not created by mere subjective perception) is that you have provided no verifiable evidence to substantiate any of your accusations.” So objective reality=empirical sense experience? Sorry Immanuel Kant, I don’t buy that.

            What you have consistently failed to realize that a) the facts once presented would be meaningless to you and b) I don’t care what you think.

            No, it is not “the only way.” Even if I DID reveal my identity to YOU, it would solve NOTHING since you don’t either Stephen or I personally. So the knowledge would be absolutely pointless as the persons involved are strangers. If I told you my name was John and that I went to Rome with Stephen and his wife, you would have no idea who I was. I am not John, though Stephen knows John and I know John. You do not know John. Thus, knowing that my name is Stephen as well but that I went by Sam would be sufficient for both Stephen and John to know who I am but you, without the personal knowledge of any of us would be completely useless.

          • Strife

            Objective reality = the fact that you have presented nothing sustainable to verify your accusations. Not exclusively empirical no. But certainly guided by obvious logical reasoning.

            In other words 2+2 = 4 not 5

            And you haven’t proven that you even possess 2

            And yes – you do care what I and everyone else thinks – or else you wouldn’t be obsessively responding. Which you are.

            And merely claiming that Stephen knows you really doesn’t prove anything. Because – see (now stay with me here – this is a toughie) that is simply one more baseless claim that you’re using to prop up all of your other baseless claims.

            It’s obvious at this point that you truly believe that throwing more words at your continued false reasoning will somehow make you more credible. Oh but wait. You don’t care what I or anyone else in here thinks, which is exactly why you will respond to this.

            And you will respond in 3….2……1….

          • Master Samwise

            “And yes – you do care what I and everyone else thinks – or else you wouldn’t be obsessively responding. Which you are.” Have you considered that I may just enjoy seeing you go into fit every single time I mention a personal detail about Stephen’s life?

            Your mathematics example doesn’t really fit. What is really going on is that you are operating with two unknown terms–Stephen and I’s personal histories–and you are frustrated when I say, the terms being known to me, the answer is 4.

            My argument is that, were one term known to you i.e. Stephen’s then you would be able to solve for the proverbial x. But you can’t because either identity is unknown to you and therefore pointless.

            But you ARE funny. I’ll give you that.

          • Strife

            Yes I have considered the fact that you take great joy in stalking and trolling your political enemies and defaming their reputations with your fallacious character assassinations. That’s quite obvious in your hyper-obsessive posting in here. Which you began before I even entered the scene.

            Congratulations – you just confirmed my initial analysis of your delusional reasoning. Your entire equation is predicated on your subjective assumption of “2”, which you claim is known to you and Stephen – and yet – where can I find any external proof (objective evidence) to validate your definition of “2”?

            All you’re doing is stating that “Y” is your version of “2” and as such “X” equals what ever you say it equals.

            Lies and fallacies draped in the facade of esoteric “truthiness” are still lies and fallacies. All you’ve proven – is that nothing you’ve claimed has been proven.

            And that’s a sad joke indeed. But at least your derangement is funny to you.

          • Master Samwise

            “Yes I have considered the fact that you take great joy in stalking and trolling your political enemies and defaming their reputations with your fallacious character assassinations.” Seeing as you have no evidence that I have commented on any of Stephen’s articles besides this one, you can’t make that contention without revealing your identity. Man. Hit with your own “logic.”

            No, I am saying that I am one term and Stephen is the other. To you, the equation is x+y=4 because you know neither Stephen or I. If you knew Stephen, then one term would be known and you could solve for the other unknown. But since neither term is known to you, you cannot solve it and blame me for your ignorance. It is not my fault you have no knowledge of these events and I frankly don’t care. You clearly just like debating and demeaning people so I have let you indulge.

            I still don’t see why you can’t understand that I have nothing to prove to YOU. You are nothing to me and I have no obligation to you. So what if you call me liar? How does that affect my life? It doesn’t. I am not sure it actually affects your’s either. So why bother?

          • Strife

            Here let me dumb this down for you even further (if that is even possible)

            You have yet establish any proof that you even know Stephen. So stop right there. That means you’ve not established anything. All you have are unproven variables. In fact, they aren’t even variables – they’re fallacies. They’re baseless claims.

            And if you have nothing to prove to me – then why do you keep responding?

          • Master Samwise

            “You have yet establish any proof that you even know Stephen.” See, right there. You assume I have an obligation; I do not. I don’t HAVE to prove anything to you. It was never my intention to and you have given me no reason for me to change my intention. Thus, you can call me all the names you like and say my claims are unsubstantiated, but you can’t say they are not true.

            Fortunately, the verity of a thing is not dependent on whatever evidence I do or do not give here. The things happened. Now, what you talking about is evidence to make you BELIEVE that they happened. For example, water has always been comprised of H2O. Whether or not people believed it was or knew it was does not change the verity of the fact that water is comprised of H2O. In the same way, whether or not you believe or know that these things happened does not affect whether or not they happened. Stephen and I know they happened. You do not. Your ignorance is not my problem and it is not to my detriment except in your mind.

            “And if you have nothing to prove to me – then why do you keep responding?” Cuz you are hilarious and poking you is fun.

          • Strife

            Now see – all of those useless words puked out on the wall – and you *still* have not proven that you even know Stephen.

            And see, water (H2O) – is objectively known. It can be universally discerned through independent empirical evidence.

            But see – your claims – can not.

            Did I lose you there? Do you need a nap? Does your head hurt?

          • Master Samwise

            “Now see – all of those useless words puked out on the wall – and you *still* have not proven that you even know Stephen.” And after all your diatribes, you still are convinced I need to.

            “And see, water (H2O) – is objectively known. It can be universally discerned through independent empirical evidence.” Sure, if you have a microscope and knowledge of atomic theory. So if you knew Stephen or I, as I said before, you could verify what I said yourself. As such, you do not and cannot. So, in order to get the means to do so, you feel the need to insult me, thinking that doing so will incline me to divulge anything, especially when I have no actual need to.

          • Strife

            “So if you knew Stephen or I, as I said before, you could verify what I said yourself. As such, you do not and cannot. So, in order to get the means to do so, you feel the need to insult me, thinking that doing so will incline me to divulge anything, especially when I have no actual need to.”

            Now see, there you go again, like a Pavlovian mutt returning to his own illogical vomit.

            Once again you cite the subjectivity of your own unsubstantiated claims. LOL

            And no – the objective reality of water is ubiquitous. It doesn’t require that every individual posses a microscope and atomic theory to discern it’s long revealed structure and characteristics.

            But *your* personal claims on he other hand – have no such independently substantiated and established universal discernment.

            Oh but hey, maybe if you throw my idiotic words and imbecilic reasoning towards it – your claims might magically become a tad more truthy!

            I’ve wasted all this time debating a special-ed troll……. *facepalm*

          • Master Samwise

            “Now see, there you go again, like a Pavlovian mutt returning to his own illogical vomit.” You mean like the bell we would ring in the cafe to get everyone’s attention at meals? Stephen rang it many times. Do you know what he did his sophomore oration for Dr. Zmirak’s Writing Tutorial I class on? It was an oration against the use of Santa Claus during Christmas where he argued that it was false charity and told a story about when his family was in poverty, someone gave them a television and this gift was a true sign of charity and reminiscent of Saint Nicolas. Now how would I know any of that via stalking on social media? Perhaps it is because I was there, the only Stephen in the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts class of 2014.

            But it is fun to see you name call like a teenager. Your outrage at how someone could post personal details about Stephen and then not give you biographical information is most entertaining. If I didn’t know any better, I would say you WERE Stephen.

          • Strife

            Really? Prove all of that. Substantiate it with something other than your own claims. And you can start by revealing your real identity.

          • Master Samwise

            “And you can start by revealing your real identity.” Which would do what, exactly? We have been over this. Revealing who I am does nothing for you since you don’t know who I am. Get the picture?

          • Strife

            That’s precisely my point dumb@ss. You’re anonymous. So your stupid self-attributed claims are completely baseless.

            You really aren’t very astute at logical reasoning are you. Well no. Obviously not.

          • Master Samwise

            And my point, which it seems you fail to grasp, is that even knowing my identity would serve no purpose to you since you don’t know who I am anyway. My name and any verification would be pointless because you wouldn’t know who I was even when told.

          • Master Samwise

            You still seem to not understand. Even if I told you my name, it STILL would be the same as being anonymous. My name would mean nothing to you so your persistent question for information via insults and repeated demands are a laughable ego trip for you and nothing more.

          • Strife

            On the contrary, if you revealed a verifiable name in here – you could easily link it to your FB page, or twitter account, or a variety of other social media sources and then post a confirmation on one or several of those sites for simple cross verification. Not to mention you could surely post some pictures of yourself attending the same college as Stephen – and even some sort of class listing with your name to verify the dates of your attendance.

            Oh but hey, why am I telling these obvious elementary steps to you (a troll and a hack) who has had no problem quickly delving into whatever online search you needed to advance your fallacious points – even citing Stephens past FB posts from sometime back for crying out loud.

            Yeah, it was just be impossible for you to give any strong credence to the validation of your true identity. – *giant eyeroll*

          • Master Samwise

            Again, even if you had such verification, it would still be useless to you. Because if I were to say that I was Stephen Ferry and you can see me in the 2014 graduation pictures, you still don’t know me and telling you that Stephen did his junior project on a book he wrote himself would equally be useless since you have no idea what a junior project is or what kind of audacity it was for him to basically do a project on himself.

          • Strife

            I wouldn’t have to know you personally. As I said before – you could easily link your troll name in here with cross verification from social media accounts. And then with the graduation pictures of the 2014 class at Stephen’s college. That in and of itself would at least make your claims feasible. But let’s be real here: all of this is just your little ongoing charade, because I called you out in here and destroyed your entire premise. And anyone who even cared has already read that miles back in this thread. So your credibility is officially dead, troll hack – and I killed it.

            You’re welcome 😉

          • Master Samwise

            What idiot would give an unidentified troll his social media account? That is just asking for cross channel attacks.

            My credibility to you perhaps, but not to Stephen Herreid which was my point all along. In that regard, you did not destroy anything and could not destroy anything. I know who I am and so does Stephen. You are a nobody with too much time on his hands that ironically invalidates Stephen’s whole argument about Fischer and Shea lambasting conservatives for being hateful by being hateful yourself.

            You style yourself as some champion of justice when in reality you are some nobody anonymously attacking Shea and Fischer for conduct you yourself engage in. Anyone who has bothered to read this exchange can see that you are the case in point for all Shea and Fischer criticisms. In your ‘defense’ of Stephen’s “honor,” you have merely proved the case of his opponents.

          • Strife

            LOL! Unidentified troll is now concerned about unidentified trolls. LOL! Congratulations troll: Irony just r@ped you.

            If your main point concerned only Stephen, then you could have contacted him personally as opposed to trolling up this public forum. So your claimed purity of your intentions is pure bunk. Oh but *you* know who you are! Yeah…and? But you claim Stephen knows who you are? Really? Prove that.

            Meanwhile, you’re nobody. A truly unbalanced nobody who is obsessed with stalking Stephen. Which makes you dangerous at this point. And see? You just got r@ped by irony once again hypocrite.

            Now then – when did I ever mention Stephen’s “honor”? Cite that. Because my consistent premise all throughout this exchange has been Stephen’s innocence until proven guilty. And you have YET to prove any guilt on his behalf. None. Nada. Zip. Zippo.

            Oh but wait! You actually know that you know that you know that what you know is true because you know it’s true and if anyone doubts that then they can just ask you because you know that you know that you know…. that Stephen knows what you claim he knows because you know he knows and that proves that he knows what you know and ….you know what? I know, I know, – you already know. BWAAAHAAAAA!

            So you see – my “style” is simply reasoned commonsense. Something in which, you are incredibly lacking. And that is just too much for you, because I have thus pummeled you into the predictable hissy-fit meltdown that you just had. And BTW – you’re some anonymous nobody troll who seems to have some sort of very personal and twisted fascination fueled by envy and rage towards Stephen. And again – you sound completely unhinged. So to that end – I have truly performed a humble service to this entire site by tweaking you just enough for you to expose yourself for all the world to see.

            And again: You’re welcome.

            Now go get some professional help and stop beating your mother. You’re welcome again. 😉

          • Strife

            LOL! Unidentified troll is now concerned about unidentified trolls. LOL! Congratulations troll: Irony just r@p#d you.

            If your main point concerned only Stephen, then you could have contacted him personally as opposed to trolling up this public forum. So your claimed purity of your intentions is pure bunk. Oh but *you* know who you are! Yeah…and? But you claim Stephen knows who you are? Really? Prove that.

            Meanwhile, you’re nobody. A truly unbalanced nobody who is obsessed with stalking Stephen. Which makes you dangerous at this point. And see? You just got r@p#d by irony once again hypocrite.

            Now then – when did I ever mention Stephen’s “honor”? Cite that. Because my consistent premise all throughout this exchange has been Stephen’s innocence until proven guilty. And you have YET to prove any guilt on his behalf. None. Nada. Zip. Zippo.

            Oh but wait! You actually know that you know that you know that what you know is true because you know it’s true and if anyone doubts that then they can just ask you because you know that you know that you know…. that Stephen knows what you claim he knows because you know he knows and that proves that he knows what you know and ….you know what? I know, I know, – you already know. BWAAAHAAAAA!

            So you see – my “style” is simply reasoned commonsense. Something in which, you are incredibly lacking. And that is just too much for you, because I have thus pummeled you into the predictable hissy-fit meltdown that you just had. And BTW – you’re some anonymous nobody troll who seems to have some sort of very personal and twisted fascination fueled by envy and rage towards Stephen. And again – you sound completely unhinged. So to that end – I have truly performed a humble service to this entire site by tweaking you just enough for you to expose yourself for all the world to see.

            And again: You’re welcome.

            Now go get some professional help and stop beating your mother. You’re welcome again. 😉

          • Strife

            You know, at this point, your unhinged stalking of Stephen is really starting to appear dangerous.

          • Master Samwise

            Riiiight, because you can TOTALLY find out all this info from some magic biography somewhere online. I’d like to see it.

          • Strife

            Nooooooo. But you can certainly find out the basics: College, year of graduation, etc.

            The rest of course, is just your ridiculous lies.

            But now you’re just boring everyone.

          • Master Samwise

            Right because I am just as obsessive as Stephen Herreid.

          • Strife

            Stephen isn’t stalking people and trolling their websites with phony defamatory attempts at character assassination – like you are troll.

          • Master Samwise

            It isn’t really stalking when you used to be their friend on facebook.

          • Strife

            Why wouldn’t a stalker befriend their obsession on FB? That’s exactly what would be expected from a disturbed and obsessive personality like yours. And the fact that you actually view that compulsive indicator as a contradictory validation of your disorder, only reveals the true depth of your delusional thought process.

          • Master Samwise

            You must have little joy in your life.

          • Strife

            Actually, you’re giving me immense joy right now. And you’re insignificant.

            See how God has smiled upon me?

          • Master Samwise

            Please yourself then.

          • Strife

            I have been. You’re welcome 😉

          • Strife

            “This isn’t a court of law. Also, by your own standard, I am also
            innocent until proven guilty because you have not revealed your own
            identity.”

            It doesn’t just apply to a court of law. That logical axiom is actually the moral reasoning of all justified accusations.

            And no – you’re not innocent. Because YOU ARE THE ONE making specific, detailed, and completely unsubstantiated defamatory claims about Stephen.

            You really are terrible at logical reasoning. But then – you are nothing but a troll whose only specialty in here is merely spewing BS. Because actual applied reasoning is….hard and stuff.

          • Master Samwise

            What have I said that is actually defamatory? My comments regarding the discrepancies about the article–that you gave up trying refute–don’t require revealing my identity so you must mean the instances where I reference when I knew Stephen in college. It should suffice that I was a freshman when he was a sophomore at TMC. He was class of 2013 and I was class of 2014. Further identification is not necessary for my purposes so I see no need to divulge more. I don’t know your own purposes so I decline to divulge that information to you. You further make it clear that such information would do nothing for you except provide you a means of accosting me elsewhere, so I have to decline. Perhaps if you merited that information like Deacon Russell did, then I would oblige you.

          • Strife

            You’ve got to be kidding. You made accusations about Stephen’s supposed drinking and his supposed insults of you – and now you have the stones to turn around and innocently claim “Wha wha what I do?!!!”

            You’re a real piece of work, troll. And all of the benign facts that you’re posting about him could have easily been mined from various sources on the net. All you’re doing is building your own fallacious association with him around those facts to give your lies a tinge of credibility. Oh but hey – if you really want to give your story any credence – then you can start by revealing your true identity. So go ahead troll – put up or shut up.

          • Master Samwise

            You seem rather keen to defend him. I really do wonder why.

          • Strife

            Actually, YOU seem really keen to defame his reputation with baseless accusations.

            And THAT’S the REAL mystery here. Of course the answer is:

            You’re a nothing but a lying hack troll.

          • Master Samwise

            His reputation is not that great among those who know him personally. But I really don’t care about his reputation. I care about bringing to his mind the people he is hurting with stunts like this. To be honest, I pity him.

            But you. You don’t know either of us to my knowledge. If you do, perhaps you should disclose that.

          • Strife

            See that? You didn’t actually add anything new to your ongoing failed attempts to unscrupulously defame his reputation.

            Oh but see? Now, you’re trying to obfuscate. Now you’re trying to take the spotlight off of your obvious reluctance to reveal your true identity and thus – all of your lies.

            So go ahead troll, Put up – or shut up.

          • Strife

            Master Samwise said – “There are so many low blows I could throw at you but I will be content with mentioning that, were we to judge freeloaders like you do, then I demand repayment for the half a pack of cigarettes you bummed from me over the two years I knew you.”

            And the character assassination of Stephen continues from you troll. A complete anonymous hack feigning accusations with contrived details as if Stephen really knows *wink wink* but of course – if he denies this calumny of yours you can merely claim he’s lying because only you two share this esoteric insights to his supposed shame.

            You really are a piece of work from the primordial slime of creation aren’t you pal. It’s not surprising that you would gravitate towards Shea. Birds of a feather…..

          • Master Samwise

            Ask him about how drunk he was when he was on the guys dorm porch his first night back on campus my freshman year and if he remembers what he said to Jonathan Gotlieb about Israel.

          • Strife

            More character assassination with your unsubstantiated claims. If
            Stephen denies any of your fabricated details – you’ll simply claim he’s
            lying because he’s shamed by your supposed esoteric knowledge of the
            details. The only way you can ever prove any of this is to reveal your true identity and the identity of witness. BTW, I heard that you used to beat your male lover after you contracted HIV from him. Tell me – did you ever stop beating him, troll?

          • Master Samwise

            But he hasn’t, has he? Stephen knows who I am. He knows that I was the “other Stephen” on campus who went by Sam when the other Sam was in Rome. I don’t need to reveal my identity you, stranger as you are who likely never met @stephen_herreid:disqus in person. I met him in person and the first time was on the guy’s dorm porch and he was drunk as a skunk. Again, I don’t need YOU to know who I am. I just need Stephen to. Then he might remember what he is actually doing.

          • Strife

            Really? So says…..you. And only you. LOL! Now prove all of that.

            And yes, EVERYBODY needs to know who you really are, because you specifically have chosen to defame Stephen’s reputation with your unsubstantiated character assassinate on a very public forum for EVERYONE to see.

            Stephen is innocent until proven guilty. So the burden of proof is on YOU, troll. And that poof begins with YOUR real identity. So go ahead anonymous troll – remove your cowardly hypocritical mask.

            Now then, weren’t you the one who was citing the Catechism and lecturing everybody about falsehoods? Well…YES! Yes that WAS you you hypocritical troll! LOL!

          • Master Samwise

            This isn’t a court of law. Even so, the TMC class of 2014 remembers him as someone always borrowing clothes and never returning them; always starting arguments and holding grudges over them; and starting the tradition of chanting someone’s name on their birthday. Ask Stephen who I am. I have no reason to tell you, a stranger.

            If these things are untrue, refute them. I doubt you were there. If you were there, give YOUR name. Your burden to me is equally cumbersome to you.

          • Dan Burke

            Carol – Shimeck was not authorized to write for us after his last assignment. I was shocked that he showed up because no one is allowed to post without pitching the idea and then getting approval to post.

          • D Hunnell

            This is only the latest concerns about Fisher and Shea. I wrote about them in 2014 when the following comments on FaceBook specifically insulted readers of the National Catholic Register. I brought these comments and concerns to the attention of the NCRegister’s editorial staff, but never heard back. This public disdain for readers of the National Catholic Register harms what could be a very valuable apostolate.

            Damien Fisher: The Register commenters are living up to expectations. The real culprit in Garner’s death seems to be the welfare state. Also, fatherless homes require a police state, so what are you gonna do? Plus, the protesters are making people late for work, which is really inconsiderate.

            17 hrs · Edited · Like · 6

            Mark Shea: Damien Fisher: You beat me to it. A cop could walk up to a black guy, shout “Revenge for the South!” and discharge his service revolver right between his eyes and there would *still* be a good 5-10% of Register comboxes posts explaining that it was justified, the victim had it coming, and we need to reverently never question the Power Figure in Uniform when he deploys Sacred Fascistic Violence against the weak person in dark skin.

            15 hrs · Like · 2

          • Carol McKinley

            Dan, this is a great comfort to Catholics fighting against the injustice of murdering infants. But, good grief, why did you ever find his shtick to be worthy of writing for the Register to begin with? And he is not the only problem, though I concede his content was the frosting on the cake.

            I don’t have to explain to you the number of apostolates that become unsafe for our families to read. Like it or lump it, the conduct and writings of your staff outside of the Register is relative. Otherwise you would invite Sr. Chittister or Donald Trump to write op-eds.

            God Bless.

    • Llámame Jorge

      Please keep John Paul on staff.

      He does good work.

      He does my work for me.

      Shimek Subito!

      • Jude Thaddeus

        Best laugh of my morning.

        • Llámame Jorge

          This comment fills me with the joy of love and a strong desire to care for our common home.

          • Craig Roberts

            Bwa HAAA! Stop, you’re killing me! It’s got to be a sin to have such a big laugh at the pope’s expense.

    • Jude Thaddeus

      I stopped reading the Register specifically because you continue to publish Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher. I will still read Pentin, but usually can find what he has written summarized elsewhere.

  • crissyfield

    What happened to that paper?

  • Carol McKinley

    They were shocked it was on their site? LOL.

    In other words, they acknowledge their employees are vulgar, crude, enemies of Catholics who practice their religion, but they continue to fund them so long as they don’t publish the fatwa on their site.

    Please.

  • Human Being

    Sometimes it seems that the Catholic sector abides by hiring practices similar to that of the secular sector, insofar as it privileges applicants from highly ranked universities. Of course, the problem with that tactic is that Ivy League pedigrees by no means guarantee Catholicity.

  • Faithr

    I have liked and agreed with many an article written by Shea or Fisher, however, they really do have anger issues. They might know the faith intellectually, but they are very short on charity. They both are very clever with words and smart, but again the vulgar anger issues really get in the way. I think they do a lot of harm by alienating people. Each has a sort of self-righteous arrogance that can be quite abrasive. When I am in a cynical mood I think they might retreat to ugliness as click bait since they both often talk about how they don’t make much money. Notoriety might raise more revenue. What did St. Paul say, if I have not love I am but a clanging gong? I have read books by Mark Shea and I read Fisher’s book on NFP. So I can appreciate the good they do. God bless them for that. Sometimes they hit the right note and other times they are very obnoxious clanging gongs. The clanging makes me sad for them.

    • Disqus_disqus

      True. And they accuse the very people attack of arrogance and lack of charity. They need to look at themselves first in the mirror.

      Do not click and write their articles. It just feeds on their egos.

      • Faithr

        Then again. We are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. It would be lovely if somehow fraternal correction, done in love, would be heeded by them. In this very divisive world, it would be heartening to see a loving change away from wrath. But as comboxes everywhere show, that is a very rare thing!

        • Jude Thaddeus

          Many people have tried to do exactly that, but have been blasted by Shea and Fisher in return.

          • Master Samwise

            I have seen such “fraternal correction.” It often takes the form of convoluted arguments and accusations of heresy.

    • Master Samwise

      Oh dear, you mean THEY MIGHT SIN TOO???? Oh no! Doesn’t the Register know that their writers have to be PERFECT?????

      • Llámame Jorge

        Those are their sins and they will sin again.

        And Jesus likes that.

        • Master Samwise

          I am not sure what you mean.

          • Llámame Jorge

            My teaching is very clear.

            Look it up.

      • Gina101

        Straw man argument. Willfully and continually being uncharitable and crude is the issue. It takes thought and deliberation to willfully write this way unapologetically.

        • Master Samwise

          Are we talking about Stephen or…Funny thing is that the comment about never voting for leftie was a joke initiated by someone else about voting for a posterior, not a brave defense of conservative principles that Stephen makes it out to be. Seriously, the woman was talking about butts to begin with, not political ideology. Stephen deliberately edited out the rest of the exchange that made that clear. Man, what is that called? Oh right, lying.

  • Stacie Tonucci

    A fb page is where personal views are expressed, not published pieces only. It’s not to be held to the same standard as say, a column in a Catholic newspaper. Your article seems as uncharitable and personally nasty as what you accuse Simcha of. You painted her with a single brush. Sometimes she is profane or crude on her fb page. Maybe she is challenging the prolife and conservative movements, and that’s not anything to be afraid of. Rebut, rather than attack. Most of what she writes for the Register and Aleteia is beautiful, encouraging and insightful, particularly regarding NFP and finding joy and beauty in motherhood even when it’s overwhelming and really, really hard. She has also freely said she’s working through depression, poverty and raising 10 kids. Stephen Herreid, you also should practice charity when writing and remember she is a person and your sister in Christ. If she’s gone past “earthiness” into profanity or leading others into public sin, there are channels to pursue…editors, dialogue, etc. Taking what seems like a personal feud to the public arena, I’m sure, wouldn’t be advised by your confessor or a boss nor is there a spot in scripture to go about addressing issues this way. It has the mark of a personal grudge. Now, Mark Shea….he’s another story…..he seems very angry and I don’t agree with many of his opinions, so I just don’t follow him. I think a number of people have tried to reach him and help him back from whatever place he’s in. In the end, you’ve given a lot of extra publicity to two bloggers you really don’t like.

  • Chris C.

    I appreciate this article greatly and hope it will lead to changes at the National Catholic Register. These two, Shea in particular, are very uncharitable to those of opposing views. Shea seems to assume the very worst of those who challenge him. I don’t think either one belongs on any authentic Catholic publication.

  • Diane Korzeniewski

    Shorter version of what I’ve posted elsewhere:

    1) Could have done without the food stamp issue.

    2) I do take issue with profanity and crude, and even raunchy language on the personal, but public social media accounts of those who write for the NC Register. I’m surprised there isn’t some kind of code of conduct that keeps this in check because it is a reflection on the Register, and ultimately EWTN when the same people who follow them at the Catholic site, find them in social media and follow them there. As Catholics, we are on display. We are the face of the Church. They must always be aware of the fact that they can easily scandalize others. That such profanity and crude language is not used by them in Register articles, but do on their own comment boxes (or one another’s comboxes), shows they know it’s inappropriate, and can restrain themselves, but choose not to. You wouldn’t think that a code of conduct is needed for Catholics on how they talk on their own public social media, but obviously, they haven’t figured it out themselves.

    The usual argument they give is that they want others to feel they are down to earth; or, they feel they are reaching people where they are. There’s no basis for this in Scripture where Our Lord Jesus Christ is the true measure of virtue. We don’t see him speaking in gutter language to the poor, and upright to the rich. We don’t see Pope Francis do this either. There is a general lack of understanding of the virtues and why dropping the F-Bomb three times after someone objects to the first use (doubling-down on purpose), is nothing short of prideful arrogance.

    This problem is a growing one among younger writers and it’s clear that there is a lack of understanding of certain virtues and why they should be cultivated, no dismissed, or worse, mocked. Purity in language is good and is rooted in grace; crude language, profanity, and use of sex-act expressions to describe something comes from our fallen nature, and appeals to those whose fallen nature is attracted to it.

    3) Simcha, I unfriended and unfollowed upon reading the post discussed in the body of the article. I felt like I was in a bar on the other side of Eight Mile Road after midnight and that just happened to pop up in my news feed. I couldn’t believe the defense of it in the comment box. It’s a pity, because while I may disagree with some things she writes, there are other things she triggered me to reflect on, given her struggles, and while being such a great witness through her openness to life despite those struggles.

    Having once had the mouth of a trucker myself, there is a certain freedom that comes from cutting loose and letting language fly as I pleased. But, once I began to take my faith seriously, I didn’t need anyone to tell me that the same mouth which tells others about the beauty of God shouldn’t be using such coarse language. I still slip, especially in person, but I’m never proud of it as it is an imperfection. We are not called only to root out serious sin, but also venial sin and imperfections. When that is scoffed at and ridiculed, it sends the wrong message.

    4) I have always had some difference of opinion from Mark, but like with Simcha, it was good to have someone in the background dropping posts that fell in my feed making me think about the other side of something. I can’t reconcile the advocacy for Clinton, as I had seen, and included in the body of this post, or the broad-brushing of conservatives and pro-lifers in very rash ways. I understand Mark is against war, as we should all be, but our faith doesn’t call for radical pacifism in the face of grave evil, as Fr. Rutler pointed out in a column this weekend. There is no possibility for prudential judgment for abortion, as there is with war. I know Mark is against the death penalty, but the number of convicted criminals who are put to death each year pales in contrast to the millions aborted. Dismissing that fact is count the unborn as not equal to those who have been born. Mark is concerned with the poor, and so are conservatives, but helping the poor means helping to help themselves, and not creating dependency, which is false charity. Do poor people die as a result of policies? Sure. But unlike the unborn who are aborted, there is no certainty that they will die. That’s why we cannot put these issues on the same level. So, I understand Mark making some noise for the poor, and against war, and to end the death penalty, but to talk as if there is nothing prudential on everything here but abortion, and broad-brush people as war-mongers and anti-life, is over the top. Him too, I had to unfriend/unfollow to get the toxicity out of my newsfeed.

    • Gina101

      I wished you’d posted this thoughtful and brilliant comment on both Fischer and Shea’s comment boxes. You are 100 percent spot-on regarding charity, the most important of the virtues lacking in their posts. If we don’t have that, everything else doesn’t matter, something about clanging cymbals or something… 🙂

      • Master Samwise

        And there is virtue in this post?

        • Llámame Jorge

          Or this reply?

          • Master Samwise

            Ha, blocked troll.

          • Llámame Jorge

            Do you not know that the goal of dialogue is more dialogue?

            Why do you thwart dialogue?

      • Diane Korzeniewski

        I, along with others, had raised objections to no avail. In fact, I was left feeling my concerns were simply dismissed and mocked – the experience I see others have had.

    • Disqus_disqus

      I also unfollowed Shea on Facebook because I just kept on seeing negative posts against gun control, the ‘evil’ Republicans, the prolife movement and even Fr. Frank Pavone, almost everyday, seriously. They’re indeed toxic.

  • Misty Kiwak Jacobs

    Mark Shea is an orthodox Catholic who endorses every facet of Catholic teaching. If his calling out Republican hypocrisy for what it is makes him ineligible to write for the National Catholic Register, then the NCR answers to Republican dogma, not Catholic teaching.

    • Faithr

      Is it the calling out or the way he calls it out? I actually agree with him on lots of things but I do wish he said it with some wisdom and kindness. He shuts down dialogue with his vitriolic attitude. It creates disunity among Catholics. I appreciate his books and I used to read his blog and columns faithfully but in the end he became an occasion of sin for me. He does sometimes apologize but then he goes right back to the same old same old. He just seethes with nastiness sometimes. It became repulsive to me. I actually was having the same reaction to him that I do when I listen to reactionary talk radio. Like I needed a bath! Imo, that is not serving the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

      • When it comes to Catholic theology, Shea is insightful and intelligent. When it comes to the politics of the day, he is venomous and dumb, a terrible combination.

    • Jude Thaddeus

      And yet, if he has not charity, then what is the point? Sure he can put words on paper to earn a living. Everything he has written has already been done by the saints, apostles, popes, fathers, and doctors of the Church. What Shea and Fisher have is marketing, attitude, and occasional crudeness as they regurgitate the work of others and try to give it a modern spin. Not worth reading.

    • tallorder

      Indeed, if I lived in a swing state, I would not only feel free to vote for Hillary with a clear conscience in order to stop Trump, I would actually feel bound by my conscience to do so, precisely *because* of my Catholic–prolife–faith.

      Is this the line of reasoning that allowed Pelosi to say “As a practicing and respectful Catholic, this is sacred ground to me…. This shouldn’t have anything to do with politics.” … when she wouldn’t support a bill banning late-term abortions?

      Boy, these “orthodox Catholics” you neo-Catholics hold up are some twisted individuals.

      • Kimberly

        Please stop using the word “neo-Catholic.” It sounds like the same tactics employed by Shea and Fischer to shut up all of the opposition. Why throw words around like the pejorative they sound like when it will only alienate people? There is no such thing as an “Orthodox Catholic” or “Neo-Catholic” or for that matter “Roman Catholic” (which if you know history was a pejorative used by Henry VIII to alienate Catholics who refused to swear allegience to him and his government.) Isn’t this what Shea and Fischer are trying to do to “Conservative Catholics?”
        You are either Catholic or you are not. You are either educated about what that means or you are not.

        • tallorder

          It aptly describes the new ‘Catholicism’ that was born after the Council in the wake of the creation of new rites of Sacraments, a new Mass, a new evangelization, and a new orientation toward the world.

          These folks represent a Catholicism of the Moment where doctrine is reinterpreted with every new pope.

          Like it or not, that is the reality.

    • Stephen_Phelan

      It’s this kind of bad faith nonsense that frustrates people who otherwise appreciate a good critique of the Republican party. Shea often begins with a good point and exaggerates it with unnecessary flourishes that assume the worst about large swathes of people. No one is saying such a critique of a party makes him “ineligible” to write for NCReg, but that his personal and vile attacks on pro-lifers and conservatives as a group may disqualify him. That’s up to the NCReg. But the spiritual ugliness of it all is only multiplied by the personal detraction in the comments that follows.

      Shea’s apologetics are very well done. But when he engages in the ugliness, and then criticizes others for their lack of charity, it shows a certain self-blindness that is just bad form for a writer. Same with Fischer. If they lose their gigs it won’t be because they were “attacked” by some writer on the Stream, but because their bosses decided that the ugliness and detraction that surrounds them online is bad for NC Reg’s image. Were this to happen, NCReg would learn in short and ugly order what happens to those who criticize Shea and Fischer, proving the point.

      • Master Samwise

        “Shea often begins with a good point and exaggerates it with unnecessary flourishes that assume the worst about large swathes of people.” Sure, he has a penchant for hyperbole. That doesn’t make him immoral.

        “No one is saying such a critique of a party makes him “ineligible” to write for NCReg, but that his personal and vile attacks on pro-lifers and conservatives as a group may disqualify him.” Are they really pro-lifers or are they anti-abortion? She has written some very compelling articles regarding the different that, yes, mock the anti-abortion crowd very strongly, but it is a group that sets up its own ridicule.

        My beef with @stephen_herreid:disqus’s article is that he took all this personal business and made it public. Not only is that seriously petty, but it lacks the very charity that he claims they lack.

        • MotherGinger

          Not hyperbole. Lies. Conservative pro-lifers stand for adultery and abuse of minors? Conservative pro-life Catholics orgasmically support and love torture?

          From Mrs. Fisher: Republicans openly encourage people to despise the weak.

          These are LIES. They are calumny against millions of good Catholics like myself. I despise Trump and will not vote for him. I identify much more as a conservative than as a Republican (and as a Catholic above all of it). But these two lump me, and millions like me, into a vile pile based on their despicable biased view of those who aren’t as progressive as they. This is nasty behavior, dishonest behavior. I call people out on it whether they’re doing it from the left or the right.

          • Master Samwise

            “Conservative pro-lifers stand for adultery and abuse of minors?” Some do, yes. Are you one of them? If not, then why take offence?

            “Conservative pro-life Catholics orgasmically support and love torture?” Again, are you one of them? No? Then why do you care? If it is not about you, then how can it be a lie?

            They are accurate representations of people claiming to be conservative pro-life Catholics that have argued with them in the past.

            This seems to be a game of perceptions. For example, your agreement that Brock Turner is not a monster certainly earned you a certain amount of flak. Some other conservative pro-life Catholic believes you support rape.

          • MotherGinger

            “Some do. Are you one? If not, why take offense?”

            This is one of the most illogical arguments, I’ve ever seen.

            “Catholics rape children. Yes, some do! Are you one? If not, why take offense at my statement?

            Shea’s is an accurate representation of a tiny minority of people who label themselves as “conservative pro-life Catholics.” It is entirely disingenuous to pretend like this represents the majority. It’s just as dishonest and/or ignorant as the common atheist argument that Christians are anti-science nutjobs, just because a tiny minority of worldwide Christians are young earthers.

            If you can’t see how wrong this tactic is, I don’t know how we can discuss anything any further. I beseech you – really – to take a moment and reflect on this.

        • Stephen_Phelan

          Perfect example of Sheaism, or the branch of it that quickly devolves into absurdities like this. “Immoral” is your word, not mine. And if you think that his blog posts and Facebook posts somehow comprise “private” communication, you’re using the word incorrectly. And this post, like most of Shea’s taunts, assume that those whose pro-life priority is ending abortion don’t care about other related issues. This is bad faith argumentation, and invites the vitriol that inevitably follows.

          If you can look at the posts quoted above and find them charitable, and therefore feel free to question the charity of critics, we are past the point of rational conversation. Mr. Herreid’s article makes fair points. I’d rather see Shea and Fischer clean up their act than lose livelihoods. They are both talented writers. But the ugly and hateful “I know you are but what am I?” Diatribes have to go. Maybe they would do better in another setting where they can curse and condemn to their hearts’ content without worrying about how it impacts he reputation of NCRegister.

    • Jude Thaddeus

      So really you don’t think it’s a problem when they make fun of the readership of NCR? What would happen to an employee who was making fun of his company’s customers on Facebook?

      • Master Samwise

        If the glove fits the readership, then certainly.

    • Virginia Munoz

      Perfectly put.

  • CW Betts

    Kowtowing to the GOP is not a requirement to be Catholic.

    • Carol McKinley

      I suppose defending the conduct with foolishness is the only ammunition you have, but it doesn’t make it any less painful to read.

      • CW Betts

        Straight to the ad hominem i see.

    • Craig Roberts

      What is required is refraining from committing the sin of calumny against other Catholics when engaged in political discussions.

      • Master Samwise

        You mean like deliberately editing a screen shot so it looks like Fischer is attacking a woman for never voting for a leftist when the woman in question was actually talking about butts the entire time? What is that except lying by omission.

        • MotherGinger

          This is a weird defense, given that he *also* criticized Mrs. Fisher’s work for her third-grade bathroom humor, of which this is a prime example.

          • Tori Long

            And Jesus said, “don’t ever say butt”?

          • MotherGinger

            Since we’re not Protestant, I don’t think we’re going to resort to requiring direct quotes from Jesus to negate the righteousness of any particular behavior, are we? But that has nothing to do with the point I made.

            Master Samwise, read what I said again. The “defense” was referring to *your* defense of Fisher. Yes, it was a defense, yes, against an attack by StephenWhoever.

          • Master Samwise

            Actually, the comment above in no way defends the exchange being about butts. Instead, it points out that Stephen falsified information to defame someone. How is that not an attack on Stephen Herreid and an ironic attack on Craig Roberts objection to CW Betts? When tossing around accusations of calumny and defamation, Stephen Herreid can be lumped in too and that was my whole point. You inflated that, contrary to what I have said elsewhere about the language–yeah I don’t agree with it–Fischer used, to mean some defense of foul language.

            Nope, just a good old fashioned attack on the blatant and self-righteously printed lies of @stephen_herreid:disqus. You may say that I cannot judge him and say he could have made a mistake or something. Find the Facebook post for yourself then and see that he edited. Check Fischer’s Facebook now; the author of the comment herself denounces Stephen’s claim as a lie.

            So taking that into account and not your seeming need to argue about foul language–which was never the subject of my above comment–how do you answer my original comment with the context now clear?

          • Master Samwise

            It is not a defense. It is an attack. Stephen is throwing bricks all over his glass house. Read that exchange because I follow Fischer on Facebook. Stephen then edited the screen shot so it looked like Fischer was being even more crude when in reality she was joking with a friend. Was it crude? Yes. Did the woman in question object that she would never vote for a Leftist? Absolutely not.

            This is Stephen attacking people who he couldn’t win a FaceBook argument with YEARS ago and he finally has a medium to vent his grudge.

      • CW Betts

        It seems to be what you are doing be engaging in the free-for-all bashing two excellent writers.

  • Dolly

    This fighting has been going on for far too long, is scandalous, and must stop. The Church is big enough for all of you. People are watching and saying, “look how they hate each other”. More importantly, my teenage and adult children are watching, and coming to the conclusion that Jesus isn’t present in the Church.

    • Llámame Jorge

      That’s perfectly fine, my dear bishopess.

      I believe in God, not a Catholic God.

      • Dolly

        What? What is perfectly fine? That Catholics behave uncharitably towards each other? Or that my children leave the Church? Why do you call me bishopess? And what does your non-Catholic belief in God have to do with any of this?

        • Jude Thaddeus

          I’m guessing you don’t speak any Spanish.

      • Jude Thaddeus

        I have to say that I always love it when you throw a monkey wrench into the works, leaving yourself open to the surprises (and the surprised) of the com boxes. Hagan lio, right Jorge?

  • Tori Long

    FYI to the writer — the comment about “voting for a leftie” was itself a comment about a left butt cheek. If you had bothered to read the whole thread, you would realize that the entire thread you screenshotted was a joke about butts.

    • Master Samwise

      He read it, but intellectual dishonesty has been a penchant of Stephen’s for a long time.

      • Llámame Jorge

        He’s only emulating the best.

        I mean, it is my church. Can you blame him?

        • Master Samwise

          Zmirak is hardly the best.

          • Llámame Jorge

            Who is Stephen Zmirak?

    • MotherGinger

      Did you notice that his primary complaint in that section (the heading, in fact) was about childish, revolting language? This very much still qualifies as support for his subpoint.

      • Tori Long

        Actually, the point of the entire piece is that Fisher and Shea mock and are hateful to conservatives, and this particular example was (wrongfully) used to make it look like Fisher was responding to a genuine concern (which it was not) with snark. She was joking with a friend who started the joking. To frame that as heinous is dishonest at best and scandalous at worst.

        • MotherGinger

          There were two main points – that they are mocking and hateful to those with whom they disagree, and that they use obscene words and descriptions to make their points. His primary point in the section we’re discussing (butt-cheeks) was the latter.

          It’s important to note what part of the article was referring to what. Check the headings.

          • Tori Long

            Now you’re just splitting hairs to defend someone misrepresenting a joke about butts to make a point.

    • Virginia Munoz

      Isn’t that hilarious? It’s like that old joke about McBeth’s fatal flaw. He wasn’t a careful reader and it caused every tragic misstep after that first act.
      Of course, I think the article writer IS a careful reader and he’s knowingly editing the quotes to seem like something else.

  • Maggie

    Some reasons to not subscribe to the Register.

    • Kimberly

      Agree. You can’t trust the judgement of the people running that publication if they haven’t done even basic research on their hires.

      • Master Samwise

        You mean like Stephen Herreid who deliberately doctored the post about butt cheeks to make it look like Fischer was attacking someone for not supporting Leftists when in reality she was talking about butts the whole time? Hmm, potty mouth on Facebook or deliberately publishes doctored information and rash judgments (see retraction)? Who would you hire?

  • cristy

    Shame on you for your divisive and puritanical lambasting. Shea and Fisher are as prolife as Jesus. Sorry that you have no sense of humor or sarcasm. If it’s not your style, move on!

    • Jim Russell

      Oh good: *Finally* someone is here to extol the virtues of foul, vile language, f-bombs, vitriolic personal attacks, lack of verbal self-control, etc.

      Well….don’t stop….no….seriously….go ahead….I’ll wait….

      • Master Samwise

        Point of order Deacon. Is swearing a mortal sin? If not, then why is this such a controversy?

        Also,

        “Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.278 He becomes guilty:

        – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor; (Accusing the Register of moral fault with regard to Shimeck’s article.

        – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them; (Where is the obective valid reason if foul language is not a grave matter?)

        – of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them. (Editing out the bit where the woman refusing to vote leftie was clearly talking about posteriors is contrary to truth)

        Stop defending the indefensible because you have grudge.

        • anna lisa

          He also allows the troll that makes fun of Pope Francis, allowing him past moderation, but wouldn’t allow my comment because I don’t approve of this witch hunt. Can you imagine how much *time* has been spent here on anger, and vitriol?

          • Master Samwise

            Depends on how long it took Stephen to write this article. Editing all those Facebook comments so they looked the most damning must have been time consuming.

          • anna lisa

            I realized after reading all of the comments that I had personally misused my time. I think I do it, just to keep reminding myself what these people are really about, but now I have a giant pile of work I need to catch up on. I start thinking I’m being too hard on the trads, but then they launch this kind of character assassination, and I read it to remember how they operate–they prefer to *write* about virtue, than to actually perform virtuous acts. I’ve known very few that get their hands dirty. They think they are conquering the world for God with their almighty keyboard, and prefer this because it is much cleaner work (and a high road for minds that are so gifted!) but they fool themselves. I too shudder and worry about being one who cries “Lord! Lord! We did all of *this* for you!” Every single one of us knows that we need to answer for how we spend our time. This is what worries me the most about the “Catholic” internet.

          • Master Samwise

            Amen.

          • CS

            Not to mention how long, either, he saved those “somechop” quotes, or how deeply he dug for them. It’s been *years* since she used that handle.

          • Master Samwise

            Oh it probably didn’t take him too long to find them considering his history with Fischer.

        • Jim Russell

          Point of order–is swearing virtuous?

          • Master Samwise

            Nice deflection. I can do it too, see?

            “2481 Boasting or bragging is an offense against truth. So is *irony aimed at disparaging someone* by maliciously caricaturing some aspect of his behavior.”

            Rather apt description of your response to Cristy there, huh?

          • Jim Russell

            Sorry, we operate out of two different mindsets. I’m done debating you. You can have your “hey, if it doesn’t send you to h*ll, don’t worry about it” mindset.

            I’m sticking with the, “hey, if it doesn’t help you get to *heaven*, it’s worth worrying about” mindset.

            Good luck.

          • Master Samwise

            Wow, if I didn’t have such a high opinion the clerical state, I would be led to conclude that you are immensely arrogant. As such, I have too much faith in the episcopate–I say this non-ironically–and must not be understanding your comment since it is seemingly obvious hypocrisy by holding everyone to a standard and then seemingly violate it in the same thread.

            Quick question: how does this discussion get one to heaven? How do you know, specifically, that their swearing is such a major obstacle to their faith that Shea and Fischer are crippled on their way to heaven?

            You never answered my questions which leads me to believe you either can’t or won’t. The latter likely is due to not being able to admit fault lest you lose all credibility. The former is likely due to your own personal business that I think is the more likely and I can’t make judgments about.

            I have also noted the hilarious way that you used my interrogatory to pigeon hole me into a position I never held, thereby allowing you to disparage “my mindset.” That was, objectively, a glorious piece of sophistry and I shall have to write it down so I remember it. It is lapidary.

  • Kimberly

    Shea and Fischer sound like a couple of frauds, claiming catholic identity for the purpose of promoting their paid writing gigs aimed at a niche readership while setting themselves apart within that very small pool using the same vile, despicable language employed against “the other” by both the alternative right and the ultra left. I guess they figure they are increasing their readership that way by appealing to people who hate all the right people just like them.

    • Virginia Munoz

      LOL. Because falsely “claiming Catholic (it’s a big C) identity” usually comes with ten kids.

      • Kimberly

        My grandmother was a protestant and 1 of 7 children (she also had 6 of her own) so whats your point?

  • Evan

    If Shea and Fisher were using NCRegister as a platform to be “calumnious, hateful, use childish and revolting language, and attack the pro-life movement,” you would have a point. As it is, such descriptions are inaccurate even to describe their facebook pages; and their writing at the Register is professional, doctrinally sound, and good apologetics. Whatever colorful jokes and strongly worded claims they make on facebook or their personal blogs, that does not mean their writing at NCRegister is inappropriate or a bad representation of Catholicism. This stalking/screen capping their facebook pages merely betrays an odd fixation with them, because it appears they’re not as conservative as other Catholics would like.

    • Jim Russell

      Classic playbook reply–make the author look creepy, odd, fixated, just because he actually has *evidence* to support a claim.

      If there wasn’t evidence, the classic playbook reply would be–“oh, yeah, show me your evidence!”

      • Master Samwise

        Doctored evidence as the comment by Beth Hershom was not actually supporting what Stephen alleged it was and was actually and truly about butts the whole time. But hey, Stephen is attacking a mother of ten and her comments on her personal Facebook that you likely would not have seen otherwise who you disagree with so blatant doctoring of the evidence is ok, right? Its not lying if you disagree with them Deacon?

        • dal23

          Absolutely. The whole “butt’ exchange, while perhaps a bit tasteless, was not at all in response to someone stating that they would not support a leftist candidate. It was part of a running joke – banter with that person. I’m sure it’s still up on her page if anyone wants to look. This piece was highly misleading. The author should be ashamed of himself.

          • Virginia Munoz

            It was a long, long thread with many people commenting in a silly and light-hearted manner. I’m very disappointed that none of my comments were chosen for this hack article. They clearly weren’t as high a caliber as Beth’s.

          • Master Samwise

            He should be, but if @stephen_herreid:disqus is still the same–as he appears to be–as when I knew him in college, then he is not, at least not openly.

      • Evan

        If he had evidence, he would have links to inappropriate pieces they had written at the Register, which would make it so that no stalking of facebook pages was necessary. But there aren’t pieces at the Register by Shea and Fisher which would backup his claims.

        • Jim Russell

          You miss the entire point. The Register will *not* keep such examples in print. That’s the point. It knows better. It deleted the terrible Shimek piece. And I know that the Register has had to delete at least one post published by one of its other bloggers because it was not in keeping with its standards.

          The point is that there should be *one*–not two–sets of standards at work among Catholic writers.

          And please get over your use of the pejorative word “stalking.” Public Facebook pages are just that–part of the public record.

        • Terri N. D.

          Poor excuse for evidence. Out of context quotes can be used to make, for example, the Bible support chattel slavery.

          • MotherGinger

            You keep saying these quotes are out of context, but they’re not. I read both bloggers for years, and these types of comments are the norm for them. They do, in fact, put words in the mouths of those who see differently from them. They do, in fact, paint those people as having absurd straw men versions of the positions they actually hold, and then they do, in fact, beat up the straw men. They do, in fact, lie about what motivates conservatives, as you can see above. They do this regularly.

            I noticed these tendencies long before I noticed they were applying them to political differences. They apply the same tactics to religious differences, parenting differences, medical differences of approach, etc. It’s sad to see such very talented Catholic authors fall prey to such nasty temptations. I love their work when they’re not assaulting “the opposition,” but I can’t continue to support the good because the bad is so very bad.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            Republicans do openly encourage people to despise the weak. Mr. Herreid did it in this very article when he shamed Fisher over eating steak on food stamps.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            It wasn’t about shaming. He used it as an example of why she refuses to see those who think the government welfare programs are wasteful, abused, and contributing to social ills are heartless.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            Right. The implication was that her experience, rather than giving her opinion more weight, further pigeonholed her as a leftist who was somehow at odds with church teaching. And yes, it was also about shaming, pretty clearly. The whole point of Simcha’s post was that people who eat steak on food stamps are shamed, and she was trying to explain why someone might do that.

            Using that deeply personal story against her absolutely is an example of shaming the weak. And if you don’t see that, you’re part of the problem.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            If you are buying steaks on someone else’s money, then you should be ashamed on your own without anyone else needing to point it out. She would have done better to not write about it. No need to air your family’s dirty laundry in public. My mother found herself left to raise five children and went on food stamps briefly when I was a newborn baby. She would never have dared to buy steaks with those food stamps. That was seen as the behavior of vulgar people. As soon as was feasible, she worked hard, often double shifts, to make sure that our family was never again on food stamps.

        • BXVI

          When you blog for a major Catholic website, you make yourself a public figure. At that point, you can’t be a jerk or drop the F-bomb in “public” (even on social media). It’s not acceptable behavior and in my opinion it is entirely appropriate to call it out.

          • Evan

            But the author is not just calling them out; he’s suggesting they should be fired from NCR because they don’t behave like he does online. And I’m still of the mindset that occasional (or even frequent) vulgarity on one’s facebook page does not discredit one’s apologetics on another website if all the writing on that website is professional.

    • Virginia Munoz

      It’s creepy and the online version of someone recording your phone conversation. Legal in some states, but distasteful all the same.

    • Sarah Pierzchala

      Since their Facebook exchanges are completely a matter of public record, it’s hardly “stalking” to visit their pages to see how they interact with folks in a less formal situation.

      • Evan

        Saving screen shots of two year old facebook exchanges so you can quote them out of context is creepy no matter how you try to spin it. And the fact that the profile pictures are different for each screencap means that the author screencapped each post around the time they originated and saved them for this hit piece.

      • AvemFlamma

        If I’m walking outside in a public place and someone is following me, does that not make it stalking just because I am in a public area?

  • Shea is a complete hack. i’ve caught him a few outright lies. And when it comes to politics he’s not the very brightest of bulbs. I can’t speak for the others.

    • Master Samwise

      Irony of namecalling on a article about why namecalling is bad for Catholics is immensely hilarious.

      • Where did I name call? Hack is an actual term. Look it up.

        • Master Samwise

          Not the brightest of bulbs? I suppose we are to believe that is a term of endearment where you come from? Also, calling someone “a writer or journalist producing dull, unoriginal work” is hardly anything more than school yard namecalling.

          • LOL, that’s a euphemism to make it sound less harsh. That was a kind way of putting it. In your view of rhetoric, you can’t criticize anyone. Ridiculous. When the guy is a hack, he’s a hack. and that’s not name calling.

          • Master Samwise

            So you wanted to insult him, but wanted it to sound nice?

          • I wanted to tell the truth.

          • AvemFlamma

            Yeah, that is clearly namecalling. It’s validity does not change that.

          • I against someone appointed you judge of such things? Let me know who that officiating authority is.

          • AvemFlamma

            Common sense and the dictionary? I’m interested to know what would you define someone calling someone names as. If I call Trump a racist bigot, is that calling him names? His actions seem to say that he is, but I’m still told I’m calling him names. I still feel like I’m name calling. In the dictionary. the definition of name-calling is “abusive language or insults.” It doesn’t say “inaccurate abusive language or insults.” 😉

          • No it’s not. Calling someone a racist or a bigot is not calling him names, but your evidence has to support it. Calling someone an a-hole or schmuck or something where it’s not a specific claim is calling someone a name.

        • Terri N. D.

          Well, elsewhere in this comments section, I have been called several names, some of which ended up being redacted. I also thought it was extraordinarily ironic, especially given that most of the supposedly “mean” quotes from Fischer were taken out of context and actually came from very open-hearted articles. I suppose you also think it was accurate that I was told to take my estrogen-laden opinions elsewhere?

          • That does sound unkind. People on the internet are on their worst behavior. I agree. I don’t think I was overly harsh on Shea. I don’t recall ever reading Fischer. But their bad behavior doesn’t negate the subject of this article. Shea is venomous.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            You accused him of lying. Back it up or retract it.

          • (1) He puts out there is no difference between the Republicans and the Democrats on abortion, claiming the Republicans have done nothing on the issue. (2) He puts out that Trump’s position on abortion is the same as Hillary’s. LIES.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            I haven’t seen Mark say that the Republicans are no different from the Democrats on abortion, but I have seen him say that effectively the Republicans aren’t doing anything.

            And yes, he has equated Trump and Clinton on abortion. Certainly if one believes some of the clearly self-serving claims Trump has made on the campaign trail, he’s not the same as Clinton. Clearly Mark doesn’t.

            What I find amusing and disturbing about all of this is that you guys are consistently using the same tactics you condemn Mark for using. You are judging him uncharitably and making exaggerated claims. I don’t think any of you are liars. I think you are all overheated polemicists who aren’t careful enough to be fair to your opponents, with the difference that Mark is at least a polemicist on the side of righteousness.

          • Same tactics? We’re telling the truth. What don’t you get? The man pontificates as if he is holier than thou, and then turns around and is venomous in his responses to criticism. He is nasty.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            And when Mark tells the truth as he sees it you call it “pontification as if he’s holier than thou.”

            I have never, ever seen Mark speak otherwise than as a sinner trying his best to be faithful to the teaching of Christ as handed down by the Church.

            One of the bitter ironies of corrupt postmodern pseudo-conservatism is that you use all the tricks of our relativist society to avoid moral accountability. Expressions of moral conviction do not become “holier-than-thou pontification” just because you disagree with them.

            I repeat: you’re doing the same thing you accuse him of doing. He sees “conservatives” advocating evil (as he and I both see it), and he is less cautious than he should be in the ways he denounces that evil. So, for instance, Ledeen’s “I’m not sure what I would order my soldiers, but there’s a good case to be made for just killing ISIS fighters instead of trying to capture them” becomes “Ledeen advocates murder.” Mark said that because that’s what he thinks Ledeen’s words implied.

            You did exactly the same thing with regard to the Second Amendment issue. But do you see it? No–in your mind you’re just “telling the truth” and Mark is “lying.”

            Your lack of self-criticism is not uncommon, but it’s all the more discouraging for that.

          • I disagree with liberals, but I don’t consider them evil. If you and he see conservatives as advocating evil, then you’ve got a warped view of our body politic. Move on, please, I’ve had enough.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            You don’t think abortion is evil? You don’t think that people who condone or advocate abortion are advocating evil?

            What about gay marriage?

            You are a lot more tolerant than most conservatives I know, if you don’t think these things evil. More tolerant than you should be, with regard to abortion (I find gay marriage to be a more complicated question, though I certainly don’t think it’s really marriage).

            And as for moving on–I will move on when I decide to or when the moderators ask me to.

          • Abortion is evil, but those that advocate it are a product of the culture.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            But they aren’t advocating evil?

            I’m just not getting this. It seems to me to be just another example of the “we get dibs on moral indignation” rhetoric I’ve run into before from conservatives.

            (I think I’m a conservative myself, but I’m not going to fight over that–I’m certainly not a conservative in every possible sense of the word.)

            OK, if it makes you feel any better–conservatives are a product of the culture, too.

            We’re all a product of the culture, one way or another.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            Okay, google Mark Shea, Michael Ledeen. He completely misrepresented Ledeen’s view and then when called out for it in the combox, began deleting the comments. You can also find a summary of this (along with a couple of the deleted comments) at the “CoalitionForFog blog. One of Shea’s standard methods is the straw man. I’ve lost track of all the people who have called him out for it. You can probably do a search on that as well. Here is a quote from Pat Archbold in the National Catholic Register from back in 2010:
            “After several posts by Mark Shea on the subject of “conservatism”, I must admit I don’t like those conservative Catholics very much. Anyway, at least how Mark Shea describes them. Fortunately, I haven’t met very many who fit Mark’s description. And I think I would have run into them, for I am a conservative Catholic.”

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            I agree that Shea falls into straw-man arguments. But that isn’t lying–it’s a rhetorical trap that most of us fall into at some point or another.

            Also, I have a very different view from you of just how much his arguments suffer from this. I see confirmation of his picture of “conservatives” all the time.

            Our disagreement about whether Herreid was “shaming” Fisher is a good example of why an argument can seem like “straw man” to one side and not to the other. From my perspective, your failure to see that Herreid was shaming Fisher is an illustration of your partisan blindness. From your perspective, my claim that he was is an unfair characterization of him. Yet neither of us is lying. We’re both telling the truth as we see it.

            I googled Shea and Ledeen and found no evidence that Shea was lying. He was oversimplifying a bit, since Ledeen had said that he didn’t know what he would tell his soldiers. But he referred to the bloodthirsty Ralph Peters as “one of my favorites” and the piece in which he argued for killing rather than capturing as “very strong.”

            One of the reasons Shea gets accused of straw-man arguments or even (as here) lying is that he has no tolerance for nuance. If he sees someone, in his view, hedging the advocacy of evil with piffling qualifications that don’t mean anything, he will just sweep them aside and get to what he thinks is the implication of what they are saying. As someone trained to distinguish carefully among careful ideas (at least that’s what my advisor tried to do–he was often in despair, because temperamentally I don’t find it easy), I have problems with Shea’s approach. I wish he would be more careful. But I also get that at some point you have to cut to the chase and state starkly what you think the moral issues are. And Shea does that very well.

  • Cindy

    I’m guilty of being on social media far too long and getting into needless and unhelpful debates that don’t help anyone and actually take away time from my actual duties. That being said, I came to realize there are WAY too many Catholics online with blogs and the like just giving their every opinion on the current events. You know, after some thought, I’ve come to realize, I don’t think it’s a good idea for any one of us to just start telling the world what our opinion is. First of all, your opinion may be wrong, may come from a lack of Holy Spirit or may originate in anger towards a group of people and in that case, what you’re going to release is not good. I’ve come across the writings of Shea and stopped following him and even told him I think he needs to find something else to do because his writing is loaded with condescension, sarcasm, anger, insults and worst of all, JUDGMENT of those he dislikes. I think I understand where he’s coming from on a lot of things and he really does have a good point (not voting for Hillary thing though) but he really does a terrible job of delivering it. He just cannot resist the urge to take jabs at all those people he doesn’t like and so what may have merit ends up being just a weapon that ends up poisoning naive people who don’t see his comments are not coming from a godly place. I’ve only read one or two things from Fisher and they were good but after seeing what she’s written here, yeah, no, I’ll not be reading her again. Quite frankly, I’ve got enough profanity within myself and my husband. If I want ghetto style profanity, I’ll just argue with my husband.

  • I hate to jump into this conversation, but here it is, a small portion of the Church eating itself at a time when the Democrats are focusing on “unity.”

    So, with Mark Shea: I followed his blog for awhile and had to stop because of the outright hostility he’s taken. I am not a Trump supporter and will never be a Trump supporter. Nonetheless, even I feel the brunt of Mark’s words when I read his blog as if I’m somehow guilty by association simply because I also don’t want to support Hillary as well.

    Mark may not appreciate this, but on top of all the other things Hillary has done and stands for, I work for the military. (Note: this post is my own opinion and not the military’s.) Had I or my colleagues done what she did, we’d have lost our clearances and be facing administrative sanctions, jail, and loss of job. I cannot follow someone who openly violated rules that would ruin the rest of us if we violated them. Sorry, I can’t. I’m not turning to Trump as an alternative–I’m saying that in my mind, voting for either Trump or Hillary is equally abhorrent. (Again, note–I object to a lot more in Hillary than the e-mail server thing. I AM saying that from a legal standpoint, the e-mail server was astonishingly abhorrent.)

    But anyway, even where I agree with Mark, I find his approach repugnant. There’s a fine line between righteous indignation and moral preening, and he’s crossing it too many times. I am not the person he’s trying to convert, and he’s pissing me off. It should say something about your methods when the people who agree with you think you’re doing it wrong.

    With Simcha–I had to stop following her as well, awhile ago. While I’d agree that her thoughts are usually witty, insightful, and a good kick in the pants for lax Catholicism, there’s been a few incidents that caused me to back off. One is what may have been an instance of “dishing it out but not being able to take it.” This was a minor point, but–there’s a certain beloved movie which she expressed contempt for, and she (apparently) took offense when I half-jokingly but sincerely disagreed with her. Maybe she was kidding and the limits of the internet caused me to read it wrong, but my read was that a person known for her wittiness got very unnecessarily hostile over a darned movie.

    The much bigger straw was over how society should handle a certain socio/policial/legal issue. (I really don’t want to get into the details.) Basically, Fisher and her husband were pushing for a scorched-Earth approach on correcting this issue, and I expressed concerns about how dangerous a massively revised policy on this matter would be–essentially, if the law changes according to their wishes, innocent people would be caught up in this and go to jail. Fisher’s husband in particular was, well, obnoxiously dismissive of my concerns, basically giving a cavalier, “so what?” response to something that’s morally abhorrent to me. I’m amazed that Catholics can be concerned with, say, bombing innocents abroad as part of an anti-terror military campaign, but if a few innocent Americans go to jail so that social policy can change, that’s cool.

    I might have been more open to it if Damien Fisher had been more respectful, but there was this open, blatant, “you’re wrong and screw you” attitude in his response that made him too abhorrent to listen to. I had the impression that his position was coming from a place of pain, and that’s something for him to address. But for my own sanity, I had to cut them both off at that point. I’m sure Simcha and Damien are generally lovely people and better theologians than I am, but at that point, the damage was done and I really decided it was best if I took my Catholic blogging elsewhere.

    • MotherGinger

      I was going to quote what I agreed with, but there’s too much. YES, you & my hubby & MIL and BIL (who have all had security clearances for government work, including with DOD and NSA) would all have been fired for doing what H. Clinton did. Yes, I had to stop reading both Fisher & Shea because even when I agreed with them (which was much of the time), their approach was too hostile, abrasive, & ineffective in changing minds. Well done!

    • Tonestaple

      Right there with you, Power Girl. I could sometimes feel the vitriol coming off of him in waves so eventually, I just quit. As I said, he’s a joy as a teacher and a nice man, but as a blogger, LOOK OUT!

  • Howard

    I had expected to be able to defend these two, at least somewhat. After all, I find myself exasperated by Internet commenters who insist that the Church somehow teaches that it is a sin not to endorse the selection of one of the two major parties, and that it is very possibly a mortal sin not to vote for the Republican in every race from dogcatcher to president. That misrepresents what the Church teaches, and it’s terrible political strategy. It ends up rewarding politicians for promises they make, or even promises their party makes on their behalf, rather than for what they actually do. This, in turn, actually gives the politicians an incentive to promise much and do basically nothing, which is what has been happening. That also provides steady employment for those who make full-time jobs of advocating. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me — but the “professional pro-life” community has been fooling us the same way for at least 36 years. That’s enough to frustrate anyone who is genuinely pro-life, but who doesn’t get a title and a paycheck for it — that is, anyone who is more interested in actually solving the problem than in maintaining the status quo. What I have just said is “fighting words” to many people, and I assumed the article was going to complain about similar arguments. Sadly, that is not the case.

    All I can say is that we each need to be careful, because the Internet makes jerks of us all. I have some guesses as to why we say things on the Internet that we would not say in person and would not say in a hand-written letter, but regardless of the cause, it’s a real phenomenon.

    My dad is essentially an elderly “none”. A few years ago, one of they guys he used to play golf with was the one Catholic priest in my hometown. This had the potential to be of real benefit to my dad, who is not interested in taking spiritual advice from anyone whose diapers he used to change. The problem is that the priest did not act or speak like a priest on the golf course. My dad came to like him as a golfing buddy, and he actually helped the priest move when the bishop decided to shuffle him to another parish, but the priest had lost all spiritual credibility with my dad. The opportunity was wasted.

  • echarles1

    Simcha Fisher is a brilliant Catholic blogger. That she is a leftist and foul mouthed on her Facebook page is unfortunate but I’m still a fan. Remember Joe E. Brown’s words at the end of Some Like it Hot, “Nobody’s perfect.”

    • Edwin Woodruff Tait

      I think that calling Fisher or Shea “leftists” illustrates how out of touch with reality the contemporary American right wing is.

      We all tend to think that we are in the “middle,” and I get that by this standard these guys might seem like leftists to someone whom I would consider extremely right-wing.

      But surely you can look around at your society and see that you are far over on the right compared to most other people, while Shea and Fisher are more or less center-right. Actually, given their adherence to Catholic teaching, they don’t fit neatly on the American secular spectrum–they are conservative on sexual issues, abortion, etc., somewhat left of center on economic issues, and even more so on issues having to do with violence and foreign policy. So probably my characterization has something to do with the fact that I define conservative/liberal more in terms of social issues than anything else.

      Sorry for picking on you–your post was charitable and fair, except for that one unqualified term “leftist.” If you were the only one saying it I wouldn’t have picked on you, but it’s a common claim on this forum, and it really is rather strange.

      • echarles1

        Thank you for your comment. I think in the context of American politics it can be said that Fisher’s posts on Facebook sited by the writer fall on the left side of the spectrum, ie. saying the Republicans invite people to despise the weak, or her comments re: Trump’s logo. However, I do agree that her adherence to Catholic teaching does make her in toto hard to pigeonhole. Thank God that is true for most people! And as said before I am well and truly her fan.

        • Edwin Woodruff Tait

          Yes, of course he picks out the comments she makes that are more “left.” It was the generalization that she is, as a whole, a “leftist” that I was objecting to–and as I said, I only commented on it because you were clearly just picking up on a term a number of people have used, and I wanted to challenge it.

      • Al

        “How out of touch with reality the contemporary American right wing is?” I always find this kind of analysis fascinating…..you do realize that the “Contemporary American Left” are currently determined to ensure your daughter takes showers with your neighbor’s boy in the school locker-room because they are some 75 types of gender identities and we don’t want to offend anybody?

        The american right is not out of touch, that is an incorrect assessment,….they are rather, “going insane” because not to long ago in most of their lives…the meaning of marriage was “Man and Wife” and their children could safely go to the bathroom without somebody from the opposite gender showering with them and according to the history books, Islam has more or less been at war with Christendom forever…until recently they became “The Religion of Peace”…you know, in between all the death every 30 days or so, in western civilizations.

  • Virginia Munoz

    *yawn* When an article is mainly quotes taken from Twitter or Facebook, I tune out. This is lazy reporting and is no better than gossiping over the backyard fence. You need to step it up before I take any of it seriously. This kind of writing only works for Buzzfeed… And Stream, I guess.

  • Virginia Munoz

    Perfectly said. I feel like I’ve slipped in the mud just having clicked on the article. 🙁

    • anna lisa

      Virginia, thank you for the solidarity in the mud. I made a point of avoiding the internet today, and felt so much BETTER about life in general.

  • F William Darcy

    Pro-life Catholics deserve better than a self-righteous young Republican who stalks people on facebook and insinuates that they are not real Catholics or pro-life because they don’t think the Catholic Church is a branch of the Republican Party. The worst part of this article is the author’s attack on a mother of ten children for sharing her family’s struggles with poverty– a situation I doubt this author has ever dealt with.

    • BXVI

      Sorry, Catholics who make themselves public figures by blogging for the NC Register should not be dropping F-bombs on social media. That’s totally unacceptable. It has nothing to do with the Republican party.

      • F William Darcy

        1) May I ask why they should not use f-bombs on their private social media accounts? What part of canon law is being violated?
        2) Do you think this author’s response was appropriate, especially being so critical of Simcha Fisher’s poverty?

        • MotherGinger

          These are not private social media accounts. Their vulgarity – but far worse, their malicious treatment of those who disagree with them even slightly – are on FB posts set to ‘public’ for all the world to see.

          • F William Darcy

            Malicious treatment? Like what? Telling the truth about how anti-life the Republican party is?

      • Master Samwise

        Do you make yourself a public figure by commenting on their articles?

        • BXVI

          I am not a blogger for one of the main American Catholic news and opinion outlets. So, no, I do not believe I am a public figure.

          • Master Samwise

            So what you are saying that if they were NOT employed by the Register, then they could what they have done?

          • BXVI

            1. No, I didn’t say that. Catholics should not use vulgar or profane language in any context.

            2. However, when someone makes themselves a public figure, I feel it is not inappropriate to call out their public behavior in a public forum, as was done in this article. If they were not public figures, the conduct would still be wrong, but it would not be appropriate to draw attention to it in an article like this.

            Just my opinion.

          • F William Darcy

            1) Why not? What Church teaching are you citing?
            2) What makes them public figures?

          • BXVI

            1. I don’t know whether using vulgar or profane language is, in itself, a sin. But, I do know that it is inconsiderate, offensive, and reflects poorly on the Catholic faith when done in by a person known publicly to be associated with the Church.
            2. Writing public articles for a national Catholic publication makes one a Catholic public figure.

          • F William Darcy

            1) It depends on the situation, like you say.
            2) That would make a lot of people public figures. Your definition is too broad.

          • BXVI

            2. Matter of opinion.

          • F William Darcy

            Your opinion is justifying a blog post that might lead to a mother of ten possibly losing her means to make a living. I hope that makes you feel good about yourself at night enjoying your steak.

          • BXVI

            All I am saying is that Catholics should not use the F-word. Especially if they are holding themselves out as public “Catholic” figures by writing for a major Catholic news outlet. I know that sounds puritanical to you, and you apparently don’t see anything wrong with it.

            And yes, I don’t think the NC Register should provide a forum for writers who uncharitably blast so-called “conservative” Catholics.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            I think both Shea and Fisher would easily qualify for, if not public figure, then limited purpose public figure, going by the legal definition. Both have chosen to thrust themselves into public controversies and are published authors. Both earn money and sell their books by being on the Catholic speakers’ circuit.
            Do you know what Shea and Fisher look like, even though they are not related to you? They have chosen to put their opinions and images (and those of their families) out for public consumption and are earning money from doing so.

          • BXVI

            2. Matter of opinion.

          • Master Samwise

            1. It was certainly implied, but fair enough I cede your point.

            2. I don’t think they really count as public figures. Many people have no idea who they are.

    • Master Samwise

      All of the this ^

      “The worst part of this article is the author’s attack on a mother of ten children for sharing her family’s struggles with poverty– a situation I doubt this author has ever dealt with.” Best part of the assessment.

      • BXVI

        Yes, I agree, that was uncharitable. There was no need to personalize the issue. The author is clearly frustrated that Fischer is and economic leftist who publicly denigrates Catholics with moderate to conservative economic views. I think his point was to try to show that she “gamed the system” by using her food stamps to buy steaks, but I think it was uncharitable and weakened his argument.

        Personally, I do not think people should be able to buy luxury items like steaks with food stamps. Food stamps should be for hamburger, rice, beans, etc. not steaks or lobster. But I have to admit, I’d be sorely tempted to do so in her situation. I love a good steak….

        • Master Samwise

          “I think his point was to try to show that she “gamed the system” by using her food stamps to buy steaks, but I think it was uncharitable and weakened his argument.” Which is ironic and somewhat hypocritical of him.

          When did steak, a good source of necessary protein, become a luxury? Sure, you can’t have it every day, but Wal-Mart has some great deals on it and the money has been appropriated anyway.

          One of the problems with food stamps and poverty is that it has encouraged the purchase of less healthy but cheaper goods which then leads to obesity in poverty. I would rather see someone on food stamps eating a steak than a Pop-Tarts or TV dinners.

          • F William Darcy

            “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.”

          • Master Samwise

            *dying from laughter*

          • F William Darcy

            Those welfare queens buying their lobster and then blogging about it… Shame on this Catholic blogger for gaming the system and making me spend more of my money on her and her ten children. She needs to make more responsible choices. Hasn’t she heard of a condom?

          • Master Samwise

            That’s just what the Democrat party wants her to do. She should stay at home with her kids more and stop working while her husband pulls them up by his bootstraps until they succeed with the American dream while having more children that should be put up for adoption because she is clearly an evil influence on them having been tainted by welfare.

          • BXVI

            “Catholics don’t have to breed like rabbits” you know. That’s supposed to be a joke, so don’t get all bent out of shape.

          • BXVI

            Like I said, I’d be tempted to go for the steak too – at least once in a while. I guess some steaks are reasonably priced but the way I read the referenced FB post, Fischer was essentially “confessing” that she’d indulged in something she didn’t think was appropriate. My guess from the context is that they were big, thick, juicy and pricey. But I just don’t see that as that big of a deal (let alone a “sin”) and I don’t think it was charitable or helpful for the author to focus on it.

            Here’s my view on the use of food stamps though: no luxury items. When you are using other people’s money to feed yourself or your family, it needs to be the basics: milk, eggs, cheese, bread, hamburger, beans, rice, etc. I have to admit to being pretty ticked off when, after paying the taxes I do and not having lobster because it is too expensive, seeing someone ahead of me in line pay for lobsters with their food stamp card!

          • F William Darcy

            What do you do to help the poor?

          • BXVI

            Really? You can’t be serious.

          • F William Darcy

            Sure. What do you do?

          • BXVI

            You first.

          • F William Darcy

            Volunteer a soup kitchens, donate food and clothes to charities, donate money to the church…

          • MotherGinger

            Are you kidding? You really think “BXVI” doesn’t volunteer at soup kitchens, donate food and clothes to charities, and donate money to the church?

            If it weren’t for conservative Catholics, there wouldn’t be any soup kitchens, charities, or church to donate to. The conservative Catholics in my circle absolutely pour ourselves out for the poor, and not just in a distant way, but getting to know them personally, weeping with them, sacrificing for them … even when we ourselves are also poor.

            I can’t believe you would have the audacity to ask such a question, imagining you had somehow set a trap.

          • F William Darcy

            ???

          • Master Samwise

            “If it weren’t for conservative Catholics, there wouldn’t be any soup kitchens, charities, or church to donate to.” You mean like the ones run by Catholic Charities? Oh wait! Haven’t “conservative” Catholics determined Catholic Charities to be evil liberal scum?? HOW CAN THEY HAVE SOUP KITCHENS THEN????

            Seriously, I don’t know who these “conservative Catholics” are or why we are talking about the Faith as if there were political affiliations in it–a construct no doubt from the liberalism inherent in our society invading our notions about orthodoxy and heresy–but you make is sound like they are a small band of partisans that struggle against all odds to do what’s right. It sounds like a comic book.

          • BXVI

            1. I paid $100,000 in income tax this year. Approximately 1/3 of that (or $33,000) goes to government entitlement programs. I also paid about $20,000 in property and sales taxes, a big chunk of which goes to programs for the poor.
            2. I sponsor 12 children in Latin America through the “Food for the Poor”, supplying each of them with all of their food needs year-round.
            3. I sponsor a 7-year old boy in India named Joseph, paying in full for his education in a Catholic school.
            4. I contribute a substantial amount of my income to my parish, as well as to various Catholic Charities.
            5. Donate my old clothes to St. Vincent de Paul.

            That’s on top of the fact that my wife takes about a 20% pay cut to teach in our Catholic elementary school rather than a public school. And we pay for the lunch for one of the immigrant / refugee kids in my wife’s class for the entire year.

          • F William Darcy

            I am glad you are putting your money where your mouth is. However, if you consider your taxes a donation to charity, I would not complain about them so much and thank God for the opportunity to serve the less privileged.

          • Master Samwise

            You read it that way because Stephen edited it to look that way. If you read the whole thread, it would seem a lot less abrasive. But then that was Stephen’s goal. He blatantly doctored and lied about Beth Hershom’s post so it is not surprising.

            Fischer wrote a whole article on the subject in which she related that her guilt was from a cultural bias that she had grown up with as you have expressed yourself: don’t buy luxury items with food stamps. I know the mentality and the idea behind it. Lobster seems kinda excessive but that is just me. I wouldn’t judge them because a lobster from time to time is a fair comfort to someone in poverty and would prefer they buy that than five frozen pizzas.

          • AvemFlamma

            Her experience was that she didn’t feel it was a good thing at the time to buy steaks, but she got so tired and stressed out by the people who showed hate for her just because she needed food stamps that she snapped and bought them. I could definitely see how that would happen. Then she made hilarious sarcastic jokes about it because she found out it actually wasn’t that big of a deal. It was the pressure from the outside that made it feel bad.

        • F William Darcy

          And what was he arguing? I’m unclear about whether pro-life Catholics should be upset because 1) They use profanity on their fb accounts, 2) They think the current Republican nominee is a con-man and cannot support him even if he has an R behind his name, or 3) They are “economic leftists” who think poor people deserve to be treated like humans, like having basic health care and even enjoying a “luxury” like a steak on occasion, because, you know, the Church hates poor people.

          • BXVI

            Man, you are an angry person.
            1. Yes, this is part of what he was saying.
            2. This goes way beyond Trump. They vilify all Republican Catholics, as though it were completely illegitimate to be even moderate politically, let alone conservative.
            3. There you go, acting as though all moderates and/or conservatives hate the poor.

          • F William Darcy

            1) Part, but not all. And, you still have not said why a Catholic should not use profanity. What are citing?
            2) They do? I think they are critical to both sides.
            3) And you don’t? You seem to think that they should be treated as lesser people forced to eat hamburgers and hot dogs.

          • BXVI

            1. I have posted links to several articles by Catholic priests on why Catholics should not use profanity, but they won’t “post” here, probably because the settings for this discussion board don’t permit internal links. All you have to do is Google it to find an answer.

            2. They seem pretty one-sided to me.

            3. I do think that when you are dependent upon others for support you have no right to insist on caviar and champagne. My refusal to provide lobster or crab cakes in your hour of need does not mean I think you are less than human.

          • Master Samwise

            1. But there is no outright ban in Church in general. A priest’s opinion is his opinion. Find an article from their respective bishops or some actual magisterial weight that speaks to this exact situation or you must acquit.

            2. I used to think so too; then I dumped my Americanism and saw that they really do attack both sides.

            3. But steak, an objectively good better source of protein than hamburger, is some how an immense extravagance? With half the budget food stamps allow, I could eat lobster AND steak. It is all a matter of budgeting.

            Still, you say that you don’t regard them as less human but do you really? The fruits of the earth, according the Catechism and Pope Benedict XVI, are common to all. Each human person has a right to lobster and steak. The natural evil of poverty causes that not to be realized. But you cannot say that a person on food stamps is any less deserving of a steak than you are without saying they are less human. If you did, it would not be a Catholic teaching, but something out of Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic.

          • Master Samwise

            1. I could write a book on this. “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw bricks: The Story of Why Stephen Herreid Doesn’t Have Facebook Anymore.

            2. No, just one’s that blatant disregard Church teaching on things like helping the poor and such.

            3. Some do and are deserving of ridicule.

    • Timothy J. Williams

      I have nine children myself, and the first 20 years of my 33 year marriage was an extreme financial struggle. I too find Fisher to be dishonest and repulsive. Not only does she practice fraud, she is eaten up with envy, and it seethes through her writings. “Toxic” is the best word I an think of to describe Simcha Fisher’s mind.

  • Shaune Scott

    We should never pass up an opportunity to speak well. Whether we are using our keyboards, our telephones or our voices, as sons and daughters of God we owe it to Him to guard our tongues and choose our words carefully. When we use profanity, vulgarisms, slurs and insults, we fail to live up to our potential as hopeful future citizens of Heaven.

    • F William Darcy

      Wise words for Mr. Herreid.

      • Shaune Scott

        Wise words for us all.

  • Timothy J. Williams

    I have always recoiled from Fisher’s vulgar cynicism. She is revolting. Shea is simply a contrarian exhibitionist, without the slightest Catholic sensibility.

  • AvemFlamma

    This article is horribly written. I’m a conservative Catholic, and I find this article utterly ridiculous. Your point is that these writers insult Catholic Conservatives and Pro-lifers. This is wrong on so many levels, since you only posted personal posts from these guys and not a single written article from the register(their actual professional work). Then you go on to just point out places in which they don’t agree with your point of view, without any refutes. Both of those writers are pro-life, they just are not conservative, and they believe that conservative pro-lifers are mistaken in the ways which their posts you showed us describe. How about you add some meat to this. Explain why Shea and Fisher are wrong. Show some actual professional writing on the register that they have done that are heretical that make them bad Catholic Writers. As is, this article was clearly written to just gather a crowd with pitchforks to go and try to oust people because they don’t agree with you 100%. We talk about people who we argue abortion with us just end up calling us racist bigots because they don’t actually have a good argument. When someone goes and calls us out on something, or rather gives a good defense on why the conservative pro-life movement isn’t perfect, should we just grab our pitchforks and get angry without any meat to defend ourselves? No, this is stupid and hypocritical.

    • Timothy J. Williams

      Wrong. You can easily glean these attitudes from Fisher’s formal writing elsewhere, and ESPECIALLY is Shea’s, who is practically a sociopath. Both if these frauds should be avoided like the plague.

      • F William Darcy

        How are they frauds? They are Catholic writers, correct?

        • Timothy J. Williams

          sTo the extent that they make their livings by writing articles supposedly inspired by Catholic thought, published in Catholic journals, whereas they spend a great deal of time unjustly attacking other Catholics, especially social conservatives and pro-life people, they are frauds. Fisher I find to be just “unhealthy” and vulgar, quite often. Shea is simply pathologically dishonest. He constantly distorts the writings of others, falsely attributes a whole host of evil intention and motivations to people he doesn’t like, and sanctimoniously lectures everyone. How on earth a review like the NCRegistrer can sponsor this man is utterly incomprehensible. He is the WORST voice in the Catholic blogosphere.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            Right–because opposing torture and violence and trying to make sure people hear the whole range of Church teaching rather than just the bits that Republicans like is a terrible, terrible thing. How dare he!

          • Timothy J. Williams

            No, what’s terrible is attributing views to others that they do not have. In other words, lying. That is what Shea specializes in. And by the way, another thing Shea specializes in is picking out the bits of Catholic teaching he wants to support, and finding those bits in favorite liberal politicians, while ignoring all the rest. He does exactly what he accuses others of doing. Thus, he is a hypocrite.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            You still haven’t managed to show what parts of Catholic teaching he ignores. You also haven’t shown where he lied.

            If I used your rhetorical strategies, I’d be calling you a liar at this point. But I don’t think you’re a liar. I think you’re caught up in polemical passions that are blinding your judgment. And that’s what happens to Mark too. I’m much more sympathetic to his polemical passions than yours–I think he gets passionate about the right things. But I have to admit that his passions lead him to be unfair sometimes.

            We probably disagree about many of the instances you would see as “lying” or exaggerating, because much of what people object to about Mark is his habit of making scathing generalizations about right-wing American Christian politics. I think these generalizations are for the most part justified.

          • Timothy J. Williams

            Oh, okay. So, scathing generalizations are alright, since you happen to dislike the target of the generalizations. Now I understand why you like Mark Shea.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            And relativism strikes again–you apparently think that having strong convictions about moral issues is simply another kind of “liking” or “disliking.”

            I disapprove of Mark’s overuse of “scathing generalizations,” particularly when he applies them to individuals who may actually have a more nuanced position. But they have their place.

          • Master Samwise

            Are you saying that NO ONE who identifies as a conservative pro-life catholic endorses the things he has said they do?

          • Timothy J. Williams

            Of course not. That isn’t what Shea proclaims. He implies that ALL pro-lifers who identity as conservatives chase after filthy lucre and care nothing for their fellow human beings. He vilifies conservatives in the most vile language imaginable. There is a big difference between “some” and a blanket condemnation. If I were to say ALL writers for NC Register are hypocrites just because Shea writes for them, it would be no more inaccurate than the garbage he writes.

          • Master Samwise

            Implication is what is perceived, not what may or may not actually be. You can’t fault someone for what you think is implied. In fact, the Catechism says you shouldn’t.

            If you were to say writers for the Register lack quality and quality was lacking in even some writers, then your statement would be true though imprecise. And that is really all you are angry about: the fact that they are not precise.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            Did you happen to catch his post where he claimed that any supporters of the second amendment are not pro-life, because the only thing that matters is the number of people who die from guns each year. The response written by a mother who defended herself and her infant from a home intruder with a shotgun went viral and made him really look like an idiot.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            No, I didn’t see him say that “any supporters of the second amendment are not prolife.” In fact, I’m pretty sure that you are doing here exactly what you accuse him of “lying” when he does it. You’re stating what you think are the implications of his position rather than what he would recognize as his position.

            See, we all do it. It’s not good, but it’s not deliberate lying either. We all get carried away. We all tend to interact with a polemical image of our opponents rather than with what they are actually trying to say.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            Go back and read his posts around the time of the debate over guns which would recognize fingerprints of owners and would not fire for anyone else. Even when people were warning that the guns would not work if your hands were sweating, dirty, or had blood on them, he did not want to hear it. And yes, he said that the only thing that mattered was the number of dead bodies and if you disagreed with him you weren’t pro-life.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            But that’s not the point. You accused him of saying that anyone who supported the second amendment wasn’t prolife.
            The missing term here is your premise that only those who oppose the restriction Mark was calling for support the second amendment.
            Whether Mark was being reasonable about that particular issue is irrelevant. You said that he opposed the second amendment. (I think it’s foolish idolatry to absolutize the second amendment or any other part of the Constitution, but in fact I don’t recall Mark saying that only those who wanted to repeal it were prolife.) Mark’s entirely valid point was that if you are more concerned with your ideology of “absolute opposition to any gun control” (in the name of the Second Amendment, of course) than with the loss of life due to guns, then you are not really prolife.

          • Jude Thaddeus

            Perhaps you do not understand. “Gun control” is against the second amendment, which guarantees our right to bear arms. Nowhere in the constitution does it say that the state gets to decide what arms you should be able to bear. He still can’t even grasp that a gun is nothing more than a tool.

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            I understand that this is your view. I understand that you are inserting your view into your description of Mark’s view. And as a polemical exercise, it may sometimes be justified. (As a way of understanding and communicating with other people, it’s really not to be recommended.) But when Mark does this kind of thing–which he does far too often–you accuse him of lying.

            I’m not interested in debating the second amendment with you. I frankly don’t care that much, because the Constitution isn’t a sacred text to me, though it’s a fascinating and remarkable document. I’m simply pointing out the empirical fact that many people interpret the amendment differently.

      • AvemFlamma

        Sorry, I’m not very good at writing. I must have confused you somewhere. I’m not saying that Shea and Fisher don’t have that “attitude.” They clearly do have a bad attitude about Conservative Catholics and the conservative Pro Life movement. What I am saying is that this article has no meat on why they shouldn’t have that attitude. This article summed up is “Shea and Fisher don’t like us! Go get them!” It should be “Shea and Fisher have this to say about us, but they are wrong because point 1, point 2, point 3…” But they are both pro-life, and they both fight it in their own way. I’m sure they both pray to end abortion.

        I’m not sure how they are frauds. They write their conscience. They haven’t bought into the idea that Catholicism is Republicanism and they give reasons many times over (unlike the author of this article). No one has given them a good counter claim to their reasoning. I don’t agree with them on many points. I’m conservative, small government. But, especially Shea’s point that Catholicism and Conservatism are not the same thing is very valid.

        • Timothy J. Williams

          What article are you reading? This author does not in any way confuse Catholicism with “Republicanism.” In fact, he is far, far more charitable with Fisher and Shea than they EVER are with people they dislike. Just re-read this paragraph:

          “One can grant that, for all their vitriol against conservatives,
          Fisher and Shea have also criticized the far Left. One could even grant that Fisher and Shea are sincerely pro-life, and merely think — as Planned Parenthood itself has argued — the best way to “reduce” abortions is to empower the Democratic Party’s agenda of growing the State’s tax-funded support (and control) of the vulnerable and the poor, and thus — as Shea puts in — reduce the “pressure to abort.” What cannot be denied, however, is that Shea and Fisher use vulgar and insulting language online, often directed toward pro-life conservative Catholics, which at some point must prove embarrassing to the National Catholic Register.”

          I would defy you to find ANY such even-handed comment in the writings of Fisher, and especially of Shea (who, in my view, is a left-leaning, ideological zealot masquerading as a Catholic).

          Herreid was much too kind to both authors!

          • AvemFlamma

            The same one you did that lacks any meat. The author clearly believes that one must agree 100% with Conservative Pro Lifers on how to approach the problem or they cannot be Catholic. Otherwise why would he think they shouldn’t be writing for a CATHOLIC newspaper. They are human, but they have a pretty good understanding of theology. His point is that they are attacking Conservative Prolifers (with good points, and maybe name calling at times, but I’d rather attack their points than their fluff), and therefore shouldn’t be writing for a Catholic newspaper. I fail to find an article they wrote on the newspaper that was not theologically sound (maybe there is one, its not an easy job). I do see comments on their facebook I disagree with, or found a little degrading to myself. But, I also see the problem they see many problems they do in the conservative pro life movement.

            So you defend the article. Do you believe should call them names too? Or perhaps we should try something different. Maybe they’d stop if the people commenting on their comments on our side actually used some logic rather than calling them out. Matt Walsh (love the guy, he’s a real man. Though I think sometimes he might go too far or lack some charity) does the same exact thing to the opposite side because they do the same thing to him. I believe he was driven to it. I believe Shea and Fisher were driven to it. I don’t think its getting us anywhere.

            I don’t get after their side, when they say stupid things. I cringe, but I’m not on their side. I do get after our side when we attack the same way because it is my side. Shea doesn’t represent me, because he has differing viewpoints. This guy claims he shares my viewpoints, and then asks me to pick up arms but does not provide what I’m looking for to actually go debate against Shea with.

            I do think that public figures can be publicly corrected. St. Paul did it to St. Peter. But it still has to be done charitably and with meat. Otherwise it won’t go anywhere.

            From what I saw, Shea doesn’t believe legal abortions is the way to go. He just doesn’t feel that Republican politicians have done a damn thing about. And, I haven’t seen anything either. Why should we vote republican if they say they are pro-life but don’t do anything about it. So instead of having a stand still on the republican side, he sides with the democrat side, not for their stance on abortion but because he believes other viewpoints outside of abortion of theirs may help slow abortions.

            As a Catholic we cannot vote for evil, so that whole lesser of two evils is crap. We can choose to vote for some good even if some bad comes out of it. Shea and Fisher choose the good of helping people out of a money pit (or what they believe will help people out of the money pit). That fits the Catholic belief. But… What about us? Voting for trump, do we believe that he will actually do some good for abortion? Will he make it harder to get an abortion? Will one of his policies make abortions less? I don’t believe so. The republicans haven’t done anything (at least at the fed level, states actually have). We had some candidates I truly believe would have on our side. But somehow trump one. Another mainstream politician. He is a crook, a liar, and a power hungry man. What good will come from his winning? That is what we have to ask ourselves before we go to vote. Will some good come out of voting for our man.

            Now, I cannot in good conscience vote for Hillary obviously. I don’t believe the Fed handouts will decrease abortion. But that is my point to argue with Shea. Not that he doesn’t like me. Not that he calls me names. Not that he shouldn’t write theologically because he doesn’t call me names and is not always charitable. That is the type of article I want to see in my name. Not this vegetarian article. Bring me the bacon please!

          • Edwin Woodruff Tait

            Thank you so much for this. I _am_ on their “side,” and I do try to remonstrate (probably too feebly and not often enough) at the way they mock and belittle people they disagree with. I agree that it’s a problem. But substantively I think they are basically right.

            You’re also right that Mark does _not_ favor legal abortion at all. In fact, one of the moves he makes that I disagree with is to argue that if a Republican candidate allows any abortions at all, then they aren’t really prolife and thus not really better than the Democrat.

      • Master Samwise

        Yet we have Stephen trying to publicly shame his friends and family….and Fischer and Shea are sociopaths?

        • Timothy J. Williams

          Huh?

          • Master Samwise

            Ask Stephen Herreid.

  • Linda Powell

    I haven’t read Shea or Fisher for years. I also canceled my subscription to the NCR because they have them as writers.

    • Pamela

      This is causing me to really question EWTN. Would that Mother Angelica were still alive to slap some sense into them.

  • Tony G. Pizza

    I’m divided between whether you are a prude or a blockhead. Either way, Shea and Simcha, one of the best Catholic writers I have ever read, don’t need you. I for one LOVE the irreverence and the humor, crude or not. It makes God more accessible and His teaching more real than your screeds ever will. Mark, who I will admit is long-winded, was making the point that pro-life means opposing torture, opposing those who do not stand for the sanctity of life. And he and Simcha are certainly entitled to their opinions (most of which you pulled from their Facebook feeds and she hasn’t been “Somechop Fisher” in nearly two years.). They are far more intelligently presented than your pretentious twaddle.

    • Jasper

      you’re a leftist moonbat

      • F William Darcy

        In Heaven, there is no man or woman, left or right.

  • Jennifer Allen

    Yes. This is precisely how Jesus would have wanted you to react. He was all about the vindictive vitriol.

  • Catherine Masak

    There is a reason that I rarely read “Catholic” publications and that is because they are so anti-Catholic and anti-Life.
    I do not trust the Pope, the Cardinals and “good” Bishops any more. I trust God and Jesus and rely more on the brains that God gave me in my decision making as a Catholic. In otherwords my informed conscience leads me.

    • F William Darcy

      So you are now a Protestant. I pray for your return to the Church.

      • Joseph D’Hippolito

        William, that statement such a crock. Why do you think God gave us the Holy Spirit? Why do you think God called all believers to use that Spirit to discern truth from fallacy? Why do you think God gave us brains in the first place? Why did God even bother creating us in His image?

        People like you make non-Catholics think that Catholicism is a cult.

        Besides, if the Church wanders away from its fundamental principles — in short, if it becomes apostate — then returning to it is, in itself, an act of apostasy.

        • F William Darcy

          The Holy Spirit gave us the Pope, our Bishops, and holy mother church. If you don’t believe in their valid teaching authority, then you are in schism.

          • Joseph D’Hippolito

            For you to say that the Holy Spirit gave the Church an apostate Pope and apostate bishops is to make a blasphemous assertion.

          • rich

            This is the problem Joe: Catholics like this guy, who seem at least to be of good will, are so very lost. People like this worship the “pope” and turn their back on the actual Catholic Faith. This childish idea that the Holy Ghost picks popes is insane. Where do people get this stuff from? If the Holy Ghost picked popes than why would we have a conclave?? And if the Holy Ghost made cardinals vote a certain person in, than what happened to free will? Again, this lunacy is what the average Catholic actually believes.

          • F William Darcy

            I pray for your return to the Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Himself and under the guidance, on Earth, of Pope Francis.

          • Master Samwise

            Seeing as the “actual Catholic Faith” has said for 2000 years that the Pope and the bishops are in charge of the Church here on earth by virtue of the sacrament of Orders, you seem to be preaching something clearly other than Catholic…

          • Master Samwise

            Except it isn’t because neither the Pope nor the bishops are apostates.

          • Joseph D’Hippolito

            You seriously believe that this Pope and his bishops believe in the resurrection of Christ or anything in divine revelation? If so, then why do they act the way they do? Read Matthew 7: 18-20. You know them by their fruits, as Christ Himself said. Or do you think the Pharisees were the only politically greedy power-mongers in religious history?

          • Master Samwise

            “If so, then why do they act the way they do?” Specifically?

          • Joseph D’Hippolito

            For starters, how about appeasing a barbaric religion that’s nothing but religious Nazism (Islam)? How about advocating Communion for the divorced and re-married? How about being soft on homosexuality, especially in the priesthood?

          • Master Samwise

            1. Appeasing how? Also, perhaps someone with a more Eastern perspective would be useful for you. Cardinal Bechara Rai’s recent interview with Crux might help.

            2. You mean the thing the Pope has already said can’t happen but reminds the bishops they have the duty to sort out canonically irregular situations?

            3. Well that is just a subjective judgment on your part.

  • rich

    As each day passes I become more and more convinced of how right I was to finally wake up and become a sede in 2013. What is publicly considered “Catholic” today is surely of the devil…..and he is loving it. I personally dont worry about people like shea, bergoglio, cupich, etc, etc, etc (the list goes on forever)….what’s the point? Pray for them of course but thats about it. True Catholics have no voice in this world so just do your best to live a good life and hope to get to Heaven. God will sort away all of the scum.

    • F William Darcy

      We pray for your return to the One True and Holy Catholic Church.

  • Pamela

    Wow, I wanted to believe the Register was above all this. I’m not a subscriber, and now I probably never will be unless they give writers like Fisher and Shea the boot. Mother Angelica would be outraged.

    • They just did this week! Both of them!

      Good for NCR…

      • Pamela

        Awesome! Divine Justice scores!

        • Master Samwise

          Really? THIS is Divine Justice? Are you absolutely serious?

      • Master Samwise

        Weren’t you the one who gave screen shots to Carol McKinney’s blog? You know? The one where she calls Simcha a tramp?

  • bettybluelou

    The Catholic Church went underground long ago – 50 years ago. These people are disgusting.

  • Eli

    You must be thrilled that you were part of the reason they were given the ax recently. This creepy hit piece seemed to have done the trick. Shameful.

    • Al

      Nobody is thrilled about anything Eli…there are a lot of things not to be thrilled over lately….people are running around leaderless and there is nobody helping to form solid consciences and people are trying their hardest to pick the good, find the truth and combat evil, etc. People are finding themselves daily now to be pushed off the fence they are riding and make decisions & opinions….there will be outcomes this both good and bad…..but this is what happens when we go without leadership for so long and we lose our moral and ethical foundations and moorings.

  • Tonestaple

    I don’t know anything about Fisher, but I can tell you that Shea is a very knowledgeable and orthodox Catholic. I had the pleasure of having him teach a couple of classes when I was in RCIA, and he really knows his stuff. Just stay away from politics because when things get political, Shea is very nearly a typical Seattleite, his only exception being pro-life.

    • wiffle

      It sounded like Shea couldn’t stay away from politics and that was the problem.

    • Jeffrey Stuart (Stu)

      Online, he just isn’t a very nice person at all.

      • Tonestaple

        No disagreement at all. I will listen to him teach classes at church all day long but I won’t waste even two seconds reading his blog.

  • Caitlyn

    Back in the days of JPII and B16 I was an enthusiastic follower of Church news and couldn’t get enough of the articles, opinion pieces and blogs. The last few years I have made it a point to scrupulously avoid reading any type of news or opinion about the Church because I find it painful and I believe it incites anger and withers hope in me. I don’t know how the news of Shea’s (and hopefully Fischer’s) firing made it into my Facebook news but I am overjoyed! This can only be a sign of good things to come. Could it be that the pendulum has started to swing back in the Church as we are seeing it swing back in the US and the UK? Maybe it is premature but I feel tremendously encouraged by this news!

  • JP

    The public careers of Fisher and Shea only illustrate the dangers posed to those who have a “public” apostolate. Perhaps 15 years ago I read Mark Shea, and enjoyed occasionally reading his online essays. Simca Fisher, many years ago, did a great job explaining NFP. I heard her on Catholic Radio.

    The problem since then is the absolute explosion in online personalities. The stage has gotten very crowded. I imagine it is now very difficult to earn a living being a “professional catholic media personality.” For those veterans, like Shea and Fisher, I imagine there is a bit of resentment, as younger more hip Catholics steal the limelight. Bitterness is never an appealing quality, especially in those who should know better.

  • BillyHW

    Mark Shea belongs in straightjacket.

  • Jane Jimenez

    Thank you for your details and explanation. I have enjoyed blogs of Shea and Fisher and wondered where they had gone. I miss them. But after 20 years of working with loving, dedicated people in the pro-life movement, it is quite sad to read the comments disparaging their character and work. The faithful position of the Catholic Church, standing for life, is too important for compromise. I will miss them both. But I thank the NCR for upholding the primary and ultimate value of our Creator…life.

  • harveydude

    Let’s see… now that Trump is in office, and has nominated a pro-life judge to the SCOTUS, I suppose Mr. Shea is livid. “Gosh,” he must be writing, “Hillary would have been SO much better at protecting life!”

    Makes me want to puke. Good bye, Mark and Simcha. I’m glad nobody reads you anymore.

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