An apology to three bloggers and a columnist

An apology to three bloggers and a columnist

With a couple days worth of retrospection, I regret some of what I said in my post “Not manly enough?” I shouldn’t have expressed my displeasure at Eric’s NCR column by faulting those who he cited as examples of manly Catholic blogs. So I apologize to the bloggers at Catholic Caveman, Thoughts of a Regular Guy, and Pro Ecclesia. I humbly ask forgiveness of the men of Catholic Caveman, Jay Anderson, and Paul the Regular Guy.

My intent was to illustrate my confusion at what was considered to be Catholic manly virtue as expressed in certain blog posts, but even if I would not have written the posts or approached the topics in a particular way, it was unfair of me to cite them as such when my dispute was not with them.

I have been in correspondence with Eric Scheske via email and I’ve expressed to him that I retain my high estimation of his blog and column and that I think it’s great that there is a regular column in a mainstream Catholic newspaper that focuses exclusively on what I consider to be a very exciting area of the Catholic culture, namely Catholic blogs. I stand by my disappointment that in pointing up the perceived manliness of certain blogs, Eric started by calling into question the “fatherly virtue” evidenced in the blogs of Jimmy Akin, Mark Shea, Dale Price, and mine. I accept Eric’s assurance that he was trying to write in a light-hearted tone and I certainly don’t think he intended any malice. As a sometime journalist and blogger, I know how easy it is for a joke to fall flat or a reference to come out wrong or be completely misunderstood.

My concern was that these three men and myself had our Catholic virtue called into question in a national Catholic newspaper of high repute.

I hope we can put this unfortunate episode behind us, especially since I have more important things to deal with now.

Finally, to the commenter at the Catholic Caveman’s blog who accused me of cowardice because I said that learning of my wife’s life-threatening illness cast this silly dispute into a different light and made me realize I didn’t want to expend useless energy on it: You are a small, mean-spirited person. I hope you understand the gravity of what you have said, if not now then some day.

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  • Dom,

    Thank you, my friend. But you have enough on your mind without worrying about this. Please know that you and Melanie are in my thoughts and in my prayers.

    God bless.

  • Thank you, DM. That was very decent of you. And know that I offered up my Communion today for your wife.

    And also know that my “Manhood” posts (there are more to come) aren’t digs on you. If anything, I’m poking fun at myself. C’mon over to the Lair and have a laugh. You probably need it right about now.

    Dominus Tecum,
    The Caveman

  • Dom:

    Be assured of our prayers even though we don’t know you or Melanie.

    On the note about manliness and Catholic bloggers: I just feel that some Catholic bloggers assume that they are the new internet theologians – and they risk coming across as arrogant and making themselves more important than they really are in the church.

    All of the blogs listed are just Catholics giving their opinion about issues in the church. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Some, including this blog, even go to the point of asking people to donate. Blogging at least on most sites don’t really minister; they are just full of opinions and reactions to issues as they happen in the church and in the world today. While good should come out of Catholic blogging, and in many cases they can even bring hope, healing or even the message of Christ, they are still a far cry from any type of ministry. We should be careful in assuming that our opinions are so important that people ought to pay to read them, especially when the goal of these views is to evangelize.

    I don’t mean to offend anyone but that is my opinion.

  • Dom,

    Since i don’t know what exactly is manly virtue, I contented myself with sayng a prayer for your wife.

    Don’t worry about mean spirited people, just take care.

  • DJP: Thanks for your opinion, but I fear you labor under a misconception. I don’t ask for people to donate or subscribe because I think of this as a ministry (and I wonder why they cannot be a type of apostolate or ministry, if you will). I ask for people to place a value on this blog like they would place a value on a magazine or newspaper or other subscription-based media source.

    I think that I provide a service to the Catholic community by highlighting particular news stories, even breaking news stories, and by explaining their import or meaning based on my years of experience as a Catholic journalist and theologian (Yes, I do have a degree in theology.)

    Now I don’t pretend that everyone values this service equally, which is why I’m not arrogant enough to restrict viewing to subscribers only. But for those who do find a value in it, I welcome their thanks. For those who do not find a value worth putting a few dollars behind (or who cannot afford to), they are still welcome to read the blog and participate without feeling any guilt or undue pressure.

    I hope that helps explain why I do what I do, not that you asked for an explanation. Thanks again for taking part.

  • Seriously, Dom … it takes a big man to publicly acknowledge a mistake, even a minor one like this (and one made with plenty of extenuating life circumstances).

    God bless you and Melanie in this difficult time of the Cross for both of you.

  • Why didn’t I get listed among the “manly” Catholic blogs???

    Hey, get in line. I didn’t get mentioned either. Obviously neither of us is causing enough trouble.