The Grand Inquisitor has spoken

The Grand Inquisitor has spoken

Apparently, I am a formal cooperator in grave evil because I am a former editor at Catholic World News and current editor of Catholic World Report, both of which publish work by the pseudonymous Diogenes.

Mark Shea links to a recent sample of the writing of “Diogenes” at Catholic World News’s Off the Record blog.

Since fans of “Diogenes” seem to like plain speaking, let me speak plainly:

What “Diogenes” does at “Off the Record” is evil.

Gravely evil. Mortally sinfully evil. Putting his immortal soul at risk of damnation evil.

By their formal support for “Diogenes,” the editors of Catholic World News are formal cooperators in this grave evil. Formal cooperation in grave evil is gravely evil.

In the comments, the pseudonymous blogger at Disputations says that he has only said what can be “objectively demonstrated.”

Funny, but I guess he’d find people from a certain parish in Newton that would agree that I am in mortal sin.

In any case, since I am so dull-witted, I have had to beg enlightenment from the Grand Inquisitor. I fail to see exactly what has been “objectively demonstrated,” and await his mercy.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
  • Without getting into the middle of the substantive dispute, I will point out that Tom Kreitzberg of Disputations is not an anonymous blogger.  (I say that as someone who is an anonymous blogger).

  • I’m not a regular reader of Disputations and the only names I see on the site itself are pen names. Each entry is signed John DaFiesole, so that’s what I went by. If he doesn’t sign his name, how does anyone know it? And if he’s not anonymous why doesn’t he sign his name? Rhetorical questions.

  • Dom:

    All regular readers of Disputations know Tom’s name.  He always indentifies himself as “Tom” in the commentboxes of his own blog and on CAEI, Open Book, etc and a single click takes the reader to Disputations. There’s no aura of mystery at work here.

    Sherry Weddell

  • Well, I’ve known the “Disputations” author’s name, but only from others mentioning it elsewhere on St. Blogs. But I did know it. (And I’ve heard speculation on the identity of Diogenes.)

    As for Mr. Kreitzberg, he has stated only conclusions, which he obviously considers so self-evident that they do not need to be demonstrated when he’s called on them. Pfffft.

    In the interests of full disclosure, he has called me insane and our interactions have been almost entirely negative.

  • All regular readers of Disputations know
    2005-10-18 21:02:42
    2005-10-19 01:02:42
    The HORRIBLE CRIME committed by Diogenes at CWN’s?

      Quote: “Mortally sinfully evil. Putting his immortal soul at risk of damnation evil.”

    He DARED to laugh at the USCCB primadonna, Bishop William S. Skylstad who was stupid enough to actually come out and say, when questioned if the sexual scandals were hurting vocations…“No…certainly not, why do you even ask?” {paraphrase…}

    Yes, THAT WAS A CRIME according to Mark, that merited loss of one’s salvation…so Mark, as he is so wont to do, came charging in, to protect a red silker, knowing that it would certainly be good for business, and most likely Skystad and the others, would be ONLY TOO HAPPY to endorse Marks upcoming Marian Book, that he touts as the be all and end all, that will FINALLY put the protestants back into the slime from whence they came when they try and say that Catholics are excessive in their CULTUS MARIALIS { the REAL official Vatican approved name for this.}

    For those of you who don’t know him, Mark Shea is yet one more Catholic convert, “former protestant” turned PROFESSIONAL, making a living covering up for anyone in red silk, I have yet to see a more devoted lapdog for the clergy than old Mark is.

    If it wears red silk and lace, Mark will do battle with satan himself to protect the self important lace wearer, that might have an unkind word TRUTHFULLY uttered about him.

    Just one more cog in the machine that constitutes the fawning supplication and adoration of the demi-gods that rarely set down to earth and float above it all, esconsed in mansions, surrounded by flacks, hacks, and public relations teams, when they are not meeting with investment bankers, or having a custom fitting for the newest fashion in red watered silk from the finest tailors in Rome….

  • For those of you who donour family tree was a convert to the faith.

    Recall the parable of the workers in the vineyard from a few weeks ago. The master of the vineyard welcomes both those who have toiled for a long time and short time. It is not our business to tell Him who He can welcome and bless and who He can’t.

  • The comment was coming from a convert, Dom.  I’ve been catholic a little over 20 yrs now. 

    I don’t think all converts have unbalanced notions of the church, but some do.

  • I’m a convert too, for goodness sake.

    The door does swing both ways you know. Only some of us find our conversion stories rather personal, and try not to capitalize on them and turn them into career moves…as so many seem to have done.

    But, hey, this is America, land of the free and home of the brave, so if you can flack it, sell it, CD it, and print it for a buck, what the heck, have at it!

  • Yikes!  It seems every couple months I’m reminded of St. Paul’s lesson that Christians ought not “devour each other”.  Sometimes the acrimony and scandal in the Church almost make me regret my conversion. *sigh*

  • “Ily modest reality.  Mark’s computer is wedged into the only 3’X 2’ empty space up against a filing cabinet and at the edge of their bed which fills the rest of the small bedroom in his 1100 sf WWII era cinderblock home filled with gigantic, rambuctious boys.

    18 years ago, when I first got to know Mark, he wouldn’t even let anyone read his notebooks.  The idea that he would one day be published at all, much less become a internationally known Catholic author and speaker was ludicrous. He was supporting his family doing word-processing (fastest keyboard in town, has come in mighty handy.) 

    At that point, the newly married Sheas were living hand-to-mouth in an extremely modest two bedroom apartment in a very modest part of town. (Seattle being a very expensive place to live).

      They were just beginning their family but to raise kids takes money, so Mark, who evidenced some writing abilities, began to write at night to generate extra income.  He wrote often till 1 am night after night and slowly, *over 13-14 years*, built up quite a resume of hundreds of articles, and got a couple books published. 

    When Catholic Exchange approached him and offered him a job as a full-time writer, writing about what he really loves, he should have turned them down for fear of becoming a “professional”?  Does anybody really think that the world and the Church would be better off if Mark had refused to use that gift and clung grimly to his obscure word-processing post? 

    Many people have contacted Mark over the years and said that his books and articles have helped them come to faith and enter the Church?  This is a bad thing?  If making a living writing about the faith is bad, what does that say about those of us who buy and read the books?  Are we formally cooperating in and empowering some kind of evil? 

    Is Dom committing a fault by making his living writing about the faith?  Should G. K. Chesterton been told to stop writing and become a plumber for the good of his soul?  (Not the good of anyone’s plumbing since Chesterton was hopeless at nearly everything else in life) Or is it only a fault in converts?


  • I’m still waiting for the evidence that Dom or Diogenes have done anything evil.  Diogenes is merely reporting the grave evil and scandal committed by the USCCB, Cardinals, bishops, and priests that are poisoning our Church. 
    I’ve been reading Diogenes posts and his essays for some time now and the majority of the criticism directed at him is because he is “uncharitable” or “mean” because he openly criticizes the episcopacy.  Diogenes true charity lies in his publicly pointing out the scandal committed by these people thereby preventing others from following them down that dark road.
    These priests and bishops deserve to be publicly criticized and in some cases publicly humiliated.
    He is particularly successful because people remember his posts on CWN OTR and his essays in CWR. 
    The idea that we should never criticize our bishops is insane.  They must be held accountable and if it means that this must be done in a public manner then so be it. 
    Dom and Diogenes are actually doing all of us a favor. 

  • Since the issue of Catholic converts has been brought up, I’ll add my half-cents worth of opinion.

    As a cradle Catholic born before 1950, it has long been noteworthy to me that most of the Catholic writers are post-Vatican II converts.  I wonder time after time where are the rest of the cradle Catholics?  Has the faith changed so much since Vatican II that the cradle Catholics have decamped,  or is it that they have shunned ventures into St. Blogs?

    Don’t misinterpret that to be a criticism of converts.  They are often the strongest proponents of the faith because they have made a conscious decision to embrace it.  However, shouldn’t there be the lifetime variety of Catholic represented in this mileiu as well?  In fact, shouldn’t they be in the majority given the size of the Catholic Church?  And shouldn’t some of them be pre-Vatican II Catholics who are still in the Church and still trying to make sense of Her?  The only place I expect to find them now is in Latin Mass Magazine, The Wanderer, The Remnant, and Tradition in Action.  Yet what I find in those places seems to check out with the facts.  The complaints they make about current theology, citing old Encyclicals, are accurate.

    Converts like Mark Shea get really annoyed with those of us who take issue with the fact that pre-V-II doesn’t match post-V-II.  But you can’t make the Tradition go away just because it doesn’t suit your own particular brand of theology, or even the theology of a reigning Pope.

  • Diogenese rubs some people the wrong way, I suppose, because he so liberally wink employs sarcasm and satire in his diatribes. Of course, some of us like that. grin

  • This is Mr. Kreitzberg’s latest:
    <objectively demonstrated: Read Diogenes. Read Off the Record. The hatred, derision, ill-will, pride, and envy are there, evident to anyone who can see.
    Oh. That clears it up all right.

  • Carrie:

    The same complaint was made back in the early 20th century heydey of literary conversions: almost all the good writers were converts.  Why so?  Frank Sheed actually organized a debate between a famous convert and a cradle Catholic on the subject and to be gracious, each argued for the other group’s contributions to the faith.  Alas, it was acknowledged that the case for the converts won, hands down.

    There’s no absolutely reason, of course, why this should be so.  “New” Catholics aren’t any smarter or more devout or more gifted or eloquent.  But we do possess one advantage – bringing non-Catholic questions and life-experience to the Tradition just tends to make things wake up.  And we were raised to *talk* about our faith (some would say incessantly), to seek out opportunities to give witness to the world.

    When the evangelical imagination is presented with the fullness of the apostolic faith – watch out!

  • Carrie et al:

    The difference between cradle Catholics and converts is probably not unlike that between inheritors of “old money” and those of “new money.” The former often appear to bear it with a certain grace, but are in danger of taking it for granted until it is wasted away. The latter often appear less than elegant to the former, but are loathe to take for granted the fortune they have discovered.

    Does that help?

  • Both Mark and Disputations are blogs of individuals who are entitled to their opinions—for that’s all that they are—opinions.  There may be jewels of wisdom in each of them at times and, at other times, bits of dung and clods of earth.

    Mr. Shea is a very bright, often witty man, who must have a difficult time finding a hat that fits his head.  It might be easier for him if he tried to reduce his head size rather than seek to find the unavailable chapeau. 
    As for Disputations, here is a man who easily flings into hell all those who disagree with his opinions.  I have had a tiff with him some months back and have felt his scorching breath on my neck. 

    Oh, lighten up, Disputations!  Pride does goeth before your fall.

    The same for Mark Shea who values his own opinion to the nth degree.

    Given that Our Lord is all merciful, I don’t think poor old Diogenes nor Dom have too much to worry about in terms of spending an eternity in a place where the leader was cast down for the sin of Pride.  I would suggest that anathemas be retracted and a sense of balance, humor and holiness be restored.

    John Hetman
    Niles, Illinois

  • David L.:

    So, where do us adult reverts fit into the monetary typology?

    (I should add that the analogy does make sense for the two groups.)