Monday, June 06, 2005

A Vote of Confidence

"We know that the race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the strong. Do you not believe an Angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?"

That's one of my favorite quotes of history. And now, at a moment in the storm, I seek the Angels of the whirlwind, whom I hope to find in you, my readers....

I'm 22 years old, a starving writer trying to make something out of doing what I love doing, something I have built much of my life around. I have received the friendship, acclaim and encouragement of my colleagues and people on all sides of the public, media and Catholic spheres. And when the secular press gets tired of the church, when the mass audience turns away, I wanted to have something that those interested could turn to on a day-to-day basis, and so I started this blog.

It is more than I ever could have wished to experience.

But never did I think I would see the day when sheer malice, cowardice and intimidation would be hurled at me for speaking truth as I have seen, heard and experienced it. Never did I expect people to be so jealous, vicious and afraid of a single voice that they would threaten personal destruction in the name of God and of the church.

Last time I checked, we have a word for that -- terrorism.

It's a sad truth of the world that we are more vocal about that which we don't like than that which we do. Call me naive, call me weak, call me foolish, but I have always believed in our better angels. And whenever the worse demons arrive, it is very tough to hold hope, to hold faith, to find the will to persevere.

It is such a human temptation, and it's one I now face. To be frank, I'm tired of the bullshit, and I'm prepared to walk away and let the prophets of doom win and do what they wish with what remains.

That is, I will walk unless you, the readers, keep me from doing so. The future is in your hands.

I'm asking each of you: Be honest with me. Tell me that what I am doing is a valid service to my craft and to the world. Tell me that it is something worth fighting for and keeping at in spite of everything I've been made to endure. Tell me that I should not be discouraged, I should not leave the beat behind because 1% of the population is mercilessly misguided and wants to put a clampdown on open commentary and turn the church into its own unchallenged plaything.

Tell me this, please, if I have earned it and if you believe it. If not, I'll happily start a career plugging plastics or something far less controversial, and the fearful and faceless can have the church and bully others around.

At this point, my patience is spent. Remind me why I got into this.

Your comments are requested below. God love you all!



Blogger Laura Gonzalez said...

Hey, I love your blog and read it all the time. I particularly love your writing style, as it reminds me of a young, straight, Catholic Gore Vidal. That is a complement, believe me.

The bad thing about Catholic bloggerdom is that it is dominated by the cons. You know, the ones to the right of Attila the Hun. We desparately need a voice that is a refuge from them and their negative little whiny ways.

They're so ready to throw out the 85% of Catholics who believe in artificial birth control, for instance, and are absolutely ticked off that no pope has had the balls to do what they think is obviously needed. It's their way or the highway.

That they fail to see how wondering if Mahony is "even Catholic," for instance, shows just how Catholic they aren't. But, hey, they're ORTHODOX, the CHOSEN ONES, the PURE.

My ass.

One of the unwashed masses,
Laura Gonzalez

6/6/05 01:15  
Blogger Tom said...

I composed a full (and flattering) comment but it seemed to get lost when I tried to send it. Did you get it?
--Tom Bethell

6/6/05 02:21  
Blogger Tom said...

Apparently not . . . I'll try to reconstruct it and send it again tomorrow. The gist was -- you are a good writer and keep it coming.
--Tom Bethell

6/6/05 02:23  
Blogger Jacob said...


Hey. Like if I didn't have your blog to refer to, I'd miss all the scoops! ;)

Seriously, even though I don't /always/ agree with you, I do enjoy your take on the Church and especially your look at Philly politics (Catholic and secular). They give me a laugh and are insightful and quite instructive.

So stick around and ignore the naysayers.

6/6/05 09:29  
Blogger Julia said...

You are a breath of fresh air; neither knee-jerk progressive nor sour conservative.

Your critique of Rigali without trashing him is instructive. Yesterday, our homilist urged acceptance of Braxton, using Caravaggio's "The Calling of Matthew". Matthew: "who, me?" & the others: "you want him?" Christ chose flawed humans.
Reminds me of your real-world take on things.

Thank You. Don't go away.

6/6/05 11:55  
Blogger Gyrovagus said...

Comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable is never easy!

Having Trads and Rads equally upset with you is sort of fun, though, isn't it, really?

Scooping the "big guys" is delicious!

And being someone who can both annoy and delight clerical readers is downright "sacrilicious" - as Homer Simpson would say.

Was it Loissy who remarked that "Every Sunday 30,000 sermons are preached in France - and STILL the people believe?"

When you get discouraged, remember that many of us who have to listen to just ONE per week in the USA (and some who have to preach one!) appreciate you!

Duc in altum and Rock On, Rocco!

6/6/05 12:45  
Blogger edgleason said...

Hey Rocky,
Hang in there.. Think about your Philly fictional Rocky.. moving forward, spitting blood,throwing looping punches and scaring the bejeevers out of them..
Cons are SO Boring..and scared
The real fight is only in the first few rounds..we need your youth..
Frisco Eddie

6/6/05 13:04  
Blogger Jeff said...

You know you have my vote of confidence and Elizabeth's, too. We don't see eye-to-eye on many things, but we love reading you. No one is quite like you and you are a pretty reliable source of solid information in a world of rumors.

I particularly admire that you don't oversell yourself. When you know, you say you know. When you have no idea, you say, "I dunno." When your're not sure, you tell us. That's rare in journalism and on the net. So, keep on truckin'...

Jeff, kantors@

6/6/05 13:18  

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