Bad predictions and analysis

Bad predictions and analysis

Despite what one liberal blogger who styles himself as a vaticanista claimed, the Instruction is a vindication of the original news report by Catholic World News back in September as to the contents. That blogger had claimed that when the document was leaked in totality last Friday that Lawler would be gnashing his teeth. Let’s just say that it was this guy who should be gnashing his teeth, getting everything so completely wrong, just like about half of all his other predictions about what the Vatican and American bishops would be doing. Either that or claiming as a scoop what everybody and his brother was already saying.

If this guy was as even one quarter in the know as he claims, I’d give him some credit, but he’s just not. And it’s his clumsy and obviously liberal (despite his protestations otherwise) attacks on my friends and colleagues that annoy me.

  • I agree. That person doesn’t understand that the era he is trying to maintain is dying.

    He would be pitiable if he weren’t so arrogant, shameless, and self-aggrandizing. Who will ever forget the day he informed the blogsphere that he was retiring from his blog because nobody would give him money for the good information he provides—-he was going to find a real job to pay the bills.

    Less than a couple days later, he was back at it and the retirement post was deleted.

    There’s a word for that: addiction.

    He’s addicted to his self-importance and we’re not doing him any good by enabling him.

  • Did any notice when he recently referred to Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria as “Bongo on the Congo”? That sort of racist tripe shouldn’t be tolerated by Catholic bloggers.

  • Well, I say, “Viva Palmo!”

    I LOVE reading the dude and hope he keeps up the blog.

    Hey, inter-starving-journalist nastiness is as old as Grub Street (see J. Swift).. and leaving that to one side, the GREAT contribution of Palmo is:

    No one in this virtual space has such a PERFECT lock on the Gay Sensibility AND the Clericalist Culture – in Emulsion – as the late Julia Child might have said, as it were, so to speak…

    One has no reason, of course, to doubt his characterization of himself as a “straight man,” but not only is there not a gay-friendly word or sentence that he doesn’t LOVE, but he has called San Francisco journalist Mark Morford a virtual fifth evangelist – he whose venomous article a few weeks ago against childbearing splashed around the blogs, which many may remember… AND his clericalist-cynical commentary on everything from Papal vesture to the in-goings-on chez “Ed” Egan or “Ray” Burke are familiar to any who have experienced these things at closer to first hand…

    So the great thing is that Palmo is a virtual Lab Culture – and once you’ve grown the disease, the cure is only the next step – of the Exquisite Fungus that’s implanted itself within the clerisy and hierarchy, not only here, but in Rome. As such, it allows those whose job it is to carefully gauge the kind and strenght of DISINFECTANT needed
    to effect the right kind of reform…

  • Rocco is quite fond of the publication that published the document. Here’s what he said about it at the time:

    ‘‘Well, our friends at Adista have leaked the homosems document in advance of its release on Monday. That’s A-D-I-S-T-A—remember the name. Lawler is furious that the Left has just walked all over him on this story…’

    Adista is quite a publication. They’re very fond of Gene Robinson. Take this fawning interview of the gay bishop for example:

    The first question:

    ‘Monsignor Robinson, qual omment_date_gmt>

    I’m not sure how that mitigates him calling Arinze “Bongo by the Congo.”

    Incidentally, the guy claims to be about 22 years old, yet a friend says she met someone by the same name from the same city in Rome in the early 90s who was just about late-teens, early-20s then. Older brother with same name? Very young-looking father? Or something else? It’s not like it’s a common name.

  • Domenico,

    It certainly does not mitigate the slur. Though I must confess that I did not interpret the post as a slur until you pointed it out. Who then is “Bru-Bru of the Fru-Fru” do you think?

    I was simply noting that besides the slur, this post was also evidence of Palmo’s ego: covering his tracks lest readers begin to trace his wrong predictions.

  • “Bru-Bru” would be Fr. Bruce Harbert. I saw the same post before he removed. What he doesn’t realize I guess is that when you have an RSS feed on your site you can’t delete the post before it gets sent out to the RSS readers. Once released to the ether it has a life of its own.

  • One of the interesting things about the blogosphere is the difference of opinion and argumentation back and forth.  It’s unfortunate when the conversation becomes nasty and accusatory.

  • When I read CWN’s predictions, I thought they described a stricter document than the one that eventually emerged.  To illustrate this, here’s a quote from October 7 (note the phrase in bold):

    The Corriere della Sera story conflicts with reports issued separately in September by Catholic World News and the New York Times, which indicated that the Vatican document would impose a full ban on homosexuals in the priesthood and seminary training.

    The actual Vatican document, when issued, had a nuance, a distinction between transient tendencies and more pronounced ones, and CWN’s early predictions didn’t mention this.  Sandro Magister was the first writer I saw who mentioned that distinction, so I think he deserves the credit for accuracy on this story.

  • RC – I don’t know if you are doing so intentionally, but the final paragraph in your post actually misses the nuance in the Vatican document.

    I quote:  “If, however, one is dealing with homosexual tendencies that may be simply the expression of a transitory problem, such as for example an adolescence not yet complete, such tendencies must be overcome at least three years before ordination to the diaconate.”

    What you refer to as “transient [sic] tendencies”—and seem to imply that those with such tendencies are not covered by the “full ban on homosexuals in the priesthood and seminary training”—are, indeed, proscribed under the Instruction insofar as they are present in a candidate for seminary.

    The actual document says that those who exhibit the EXPRESSION of tendencies which are (presumably) borne of an unfinished adolescence are to have overcome such TENDENCIES (not merely the expression of such tendencies) some three years prior to reception of Holy Order in the diaconate.

    To wit:  if a man has sexually acted-out with another man AND IS NO LONGER DOING SO, and he later applies for the seminary, the rector/superior is to determine whether that prior acting-out is (a) the result of “profoundly deep rooted homosexual tendencies” [in which case the man is not to be admitted]; or (b) the result or expression of “an adolescence not yet complete,” and therefore transitory in nature [in which case it is to be determined whether the man has “overcome” the tendencies – or can do so for three years prior to reception of Holy Order].

    Frankly, the nuance to which nobody has yet adverted is that the document seems to allow for the admission of a man to seminary who is, until the date of admission, acting out homosexually.  The only proviso seems to be a determination whether he will be able to overcome his tendencies [again, not merely the EXPRESSION of those tendencies] three years prior to diaconate.

  • Thanks, Fr. Jim.  I agree it’s possible to reconcile CWN’s “full ban” with the real document, so that CWN wasn’t necessarily wrong. 

    However, it was easy for readers to see “a full ban on homosexuals” and conclude that the ineligibility is permanent.  It’s a blunt phrase that didn’t tell us readers that the document would take into consideration those who overcome the tendency.  If CWN knew about that distinction in September, they didn’t let on.  (Does anyone have a counter-example?)

  • Self-indulgent, and toxic. That is how I would describe Rocco’s style and content. The poor guy evidently suffers from unresolved narcissism. It worries me to know he writes for a major Catholic publication.

  • The discussion on Bettnet is often strongly opinionated and that makes it interesting and enjoyable – and intellectually challenging.

    There’s another Boston-based Catholic blog that’s often filled with venom, personal attacks and character assasination.  The only real challenge on that blog is to see who can outdo whom in being outrageous.

    I’d hate to see Dom’s blog go that way but these recent posts on the Philly blogger head in that direction.  If we’re honest, I think we can acknowledge that all blogs and bloggers have their faults – even Dom and those who post here, on whatever side of the issues.

    We prayed on Sunday, “May the dawn of his coming find us rejoicing in his presence and welcoming the light of his truth.”  I hope the dawn of his coming won’t find us tearing each other apart.

    Can we rise above the ad hominem?

  • Charles A., if Rocco of Philly actually KNEW anything, he would know that it’s “Fast Eddie” Egan who reigns in New York City.

    “Ed” my foot…

  • Addendum:


    Yes, many church blogs, and especially conservative ones, tend to focus on negativity, insults, etc.

    The reference point for this media should be the light of faith, not our own dissapointments and hangups. That is why I especially like your reference to Sunday’s prayer.

    I think Bettnet has done a good job so far.

  • DN wrote:
    “I think charity should not get in the way of objectivity.”

    Our goal should be objectivity in a charitable manner.

    And thanks, DN, for your addendum.

  • As for Rocco, I’m surprised he doesn’t realize that using nicknames like “Bru-Bru” makes him unintelligible. 

    As for “Bongo”, if that was meant to refer to Cdl. Arinze, then it was a horrible racist remark.  But now I’m not sure who he was talking about with that one: the other day he praised the new Abp. of York (Anglican) who is not only African-born, he actually played the bongos during his installation service. 

    Maybe the lack of intelligibility doesn’t matter.  Maybe the target audience for Rocco’s blog has shrunk, so that he’s only writing it for the people who live in his head.