BECAUSE SHUT UP, THEY EXPLAINED

BECAUSE SHUT UP, THEY EXPLAINED

Thursday, August 17, AD 2017
Paul Zummo

Crux has announced a new “prime directive” regarding their editorial policy, which they have seemingly established in light of the Austen Ivereigh commentary piece I blogged about the other day. Here’s Crux explaining:

“While Crux will always foster vigorous discussion, we will not tolerate attacks on persons. If the nature of a piece requires that specific individuals be named in a critical light, it must always be for their ideas or policy positions, never for their backgrounds, personalities, private lives, supposed dysfunctions or failures, etc.”

Which proves Crux doesn’t quite get the anger over the Ivereigh piece. In other words, they seem to be under the impression that it had more to do with “name-calling” than the actual substance. As further proof that they just don’t get it, they allowed another stinker of a “converts, oh what you please shut up” piece, this time by a convert himself: David Mills. In fairness, Mills doesn’t say that converts should keep silence, at least not forever. As he explains:

For a long time, and perhaps a very long time, the convert will see the Catholic Thing as you see a garden through a bay window, not as you see it when you’re standing amidst the flowers. He sees its design and beauty, but doesn’t feel the sun or smell the flowers or enjoy walking barefoot on the grass. Nor does he know what it is like to get caught in the rain or stung by a bee, or to spend hours weeding. He has to spend many years outside to know what life in the garden is really like.

Jay Anderson takes Mills to task. Jay concedes that Mills has a point when he suggests converts should take their time and “get their feet wet” before speaking out on matters of the faith. But:

This is fetishizing the cradle Catholic experience as being the *REAL* Catholic experience, and holding up any alternative to that as somehow less than. I used to do this exact same thing that Mills is doing when I was a new Catholic. I used to lament that I would never be able to experience the Faith with the instinct and the ethos of a cradle Catholic. That I would somehow always be an “incomplete” or not “REAL” Catholic like all my brethren born into the Faith and that I had somehow been “deprived” of my “birthright” as a “true” Catholic.

Now I recognize that for the utter horse

Well, I won’t spoil the rest, so as Don would say, read the rest here. Needless to say I agree with Jay.

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4 comments on “BECAUSE SHUT UP, THEY EXPLAINED

  1. Alternate title for David Mills’ piece at Crux today: Crux STILL Telling Converts “Shut Up!”

    proecclesia.blogspot.com/2017/08/alternate-title-for-david-mills-piece.html
    by Jay Anderson

    David Mills admonishes that “Newcomers to the Church should speak less, listen more.” And here’s the thing. On one level I DO agree with what Mills writes about converts needing a period of reflection, adjustment, and additional mystagogy — of getting our feet wet, so to speak, before pronouncing on any and all things Catholic. In retrospect, I wish I had waited before i began to blog about Catholicism shortly after I converted almost a decade-and-a-half ago (I only had been Catholic for 9 months when I “took up the pen” in the Catholic blogosphere.)

    But then Mills completely goes off the rails:

    “… He may be full of book-learning. But of the real Catholic mind or imagination – the Catholic paradigm, the way Catholics see the world – he knows little. The new Catholic **must work for many years** to get that, and **never will get it fully**. (emphasis added)

    “Most converts, as I wrote in The New Oxford Review, will never think and feel exactly as do cradle Catholics. They do by instinct what we will always do by analysis followed by choice.

    “For a long time, and perhaps a very long time, the convert will see the Catholic Thing as you see a garden through a bay window, not as you see it when you’re standing amidst the flowers. He sees its design and beauty, but doesn’t feel the sun or smell the flowers or enjoy walking barefoot on the grass. Nor does he know what it is like to get caught in the rain or stung by a bee, or to spend hours weeding. He has to spend many years outside to know what life in the garden is really like…”

    What a crock! This is fetishizing the cradle Catholic experience as being the *REAL* Catholic experience, and holding up any alternative to that as somehow less than. I used to do this exact same thing that Mills is doing when I was a new Catholic. I used to lament that I would never be able to experience the Faith with the instinct and the ethos of a cradle Catholic. That I would somehow always be an “incomplete” or not “REAL” Catholic like all my brethren born into the Faith and that I had somehow been “deprived” of my “birthright” as a “true” Catholic.

    It is nothing more than fetishizing cradle Catholicism … in the same way many people fetishize the conversion experiences of the new Catholic. Converts are no less or no more “REAL” Catholics than are cradle Catholics. We all have our gifts that we bring to how we live our Faith and we all have our shortcomings. And NONE of those gifts or shortcoming are inherent, innate, ingrained, implicit, instinctive, distinctive, or integral (or whatever other word or clinical diagnosis you choose to plug in) to being either a cradle Catholic or a convert. And they are most definitely NOT fixed or inalienable based upon such status.

    St. Paul was no more or no less competent to speak out against St. Peter for his having been a convert than were any of the other Apostles who had been with Peter all along.

  2. [Paul Zummo’s Aug 15th article]
    Will No One Rid Us Of These Turbulent Converts
    the-american-catholic.com/2017/08/15/will-no-one-rid-us-of-these-turbulent-converts/

    So what could have awoken me from a nearly year-long stupor to return to these pages? If you guessed interminable, poorly reasoned, strawmen-laden, intellectually dishonest, bilge spewed by certain Catholic bloggers furious about any criticism leveled against the precious Pope Francis, you are not only right, you are eerily specifically right.

    In light of continued concerns expressed by certain Catholics about the current pontificate, his most fervent defenders have fought back with well-reasoned, well-articulated, substantive rebuttals calmly and meticulously pointing out flaws in those concerns.

    Wait, my bad. In fact they’ve engaged in baseless character destruction. The latest group to come under attack are those dastardly converts – you know, the people who have bravely answered Christ’s call to conversion, in many cases forsaking the religious faith of their childhood and of their families because they have discovered and embraced the truth. Well, it seems they are a bit of a problem.

    Austen Ivereigh is the latest, spewing forth 1,200 words of bile against converts, who, because they bring with them the baggage of their previous faith (or lack thereof), have come to become foolishly critical of Pope Francis. Ivereigh takes his cue from the “sage,” Michael Sean Winters. Winters, model of Catholic living for all, had whined: “I am so tired of converts telling us that the pope is not Catholic.”

    Ivereigh, though, assures us: “I don’t want to be seen to be sniffy and condescending towards people who become Catholic.” Naturally, he proceeds to be sniffy and condescending towards people who became Catholic for the remainder of his article. Here’s a sampling of his writing:
    [more at the link]

  3. All of the apostles were converts. St. Paul was, St. Augustine was. Great and influential converts like Newman and Chesterton have helped others find their way to Rome. When you are born into a Catholic family, faith is a continual process of conversion and penance. It seems like a lot of the silliness of Vatican II, modernism, and the American phenomenon of really bad liberal pro-abortion Catholic politicians from cradle Catholic backgrounds emboldens some to go for easy targets and trivialize what it is like to be born into a Catholic family that takes the faith seriously. There have been many great cradle Catholic saints. Just as there have been great convert saints. So obviously God had good reasons for infant baptism as well as adult converts. Let cradle Catholics discuss their experiences, and let converts speak for conversion. Not sure what is gained by former Protestants bloviating about what they dislike about Catholics and Catholic culture after converting. If you’re in a Novus Ordo parish under a modernist parish in the U.S. a lot of what you are seeing is not really Catholic anyway. The Straw Man gets a bit tiresome with this neo-Catholic debate. When Sister Margaret shed her habit for a pantsuit and Father Mike took up with the Sandinistas everything in AmChurch changed anyway (leading to the Bergoglian circus on display now)….That’s NOT Catholicism, btw….

  4. It would help for some of the convert writers concerned about Bergoglio’s progressive pontificate to explain what attracted them to the Catholic Church under a previous pontificate and how they see Catholicism as being changed now (by Pope Francis). I think it was the former Anglican bishop Graham Leonard who, when asked a question on EWTN’s The Journey Home commented that he did not miss enthusiastic hymn singing (of the Anglican Church) when he was getting true orthodox doctrine from Rome.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graham_Leonard

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