Friday, March 17, 2006

I'm not renewing this year -- really.

Last week's article on the potential SSPX reconciliation was the last straw. For the last couple of years, when my subscription to The Wanderer came up for renewal, I've almost dropped it. I'm going to drop it now, no question.

While it's true that the folks who bring the Wanderer to us cover lots of muckraking and often do a decent job over covering some of the awful stuff going on in the nations' worst dioceses--Albany and Rochester, for instance, I've just had enough of it. They spend page after page, week after week, detailing the collapse of Catholic institutions and the retreat of Catholic culture, but they just can't bring themselves to draw any conclusions, and to lay the blame where it ought to be. They can, however, sure point fingers and agitate pretty well, though, whenever the subject of traditional Catholics, including those associate with the SSPX situation, come up. I just can't take it anymore. And remember, I'm one who doesn't have association with, or history with, the SSPX.

And as for Paul Likoudis, the news editor for the Wanderer, I used to rather admire him, particularly for the trouble he has caused for folks who deserved it in Albany, Rochester (with AmChurch Comes Out) corrupt clergy all over the country). But we've seen, in a couple of recent issues of the Wanderer, him engage in such unjust treatment of the SSPX in his articles--in this particularly sensitive time when a reconciliation may be possible--that I just can't stomach him any further, either.

Several weeks ago, The Wanderer ran an article with a headline on attitudes within the SSPX towards reconciliation (I'd tell you the date, but I can't find it). Of course, the Wanderer didn't actually talk to anyone within the SSPX (i.e., any of the priests, who are, technically, the only members of the Society), and they only quoted sparingly from other written sources by anyone within or affilaited with the SSPX. Instead, the Wanderer quoted extensively the Novus Ordo Watch and Traditio websites--both truly schismatic outlets who promote a sedevacantist message that is and always has been rejected by LeFebvre and the SSPX.

Last week, the first two-thirds of Likoudis' latest SSPX article in the Wanderer was a string of extensive quotations pulled (apparently off the internet) from SSPV sources, i.e., the Society of St. Pius V, an organization founded by priests who were expelled from the SSPX for . . . you guessed it . . . questioning whether there were truly a Pope in Rome. Again--no word from anyone within the SSPX, or anyone affiliated with them--just quote after quote from crackpot sedevacantists and guilt-by-association for the SSPX.

Also last week, they used the last third of the article to quote from blogs sympathetic to the SSPX, but in so doing, they didn't bother to check any of their facts. They quoted Ian Palko as a "member of the Kansas City branch" of the SSPX. Well, I have corresponded a number of times with Mr. Palko over the last few months (most of the messages, I now recognize upon review, mention beer), and I am well aware that, while Mr. Palko does attend St. Vincents, he is NOT a member of the SSPX. He's not even a priest. I also note that they quoted quite extensively from him--perhaps too extensively. It was a nice quotation, but I would think that if the Wanderer wants what would have been a full article written by Mr. Palko, they ought to have paid him for it, or at least get his permission to use it. We bloggers can get away with that stuff now and then, but a newpaper that people like me actually pay money to subscribe ought to be a little more careful about quotations.

ANYWAYS, now I half expect the next issue of the Wanderer to include a front page article on Fr. Lucien Pulvermacher's and Mr. David Bawden's opinions regarding the dangers of reconciliation (for those of you who don't keep up with your antipopes, those are Pope Pius XIII and Pope Michael I).

Anyone has to recognize that Likoudis and The Wanderer are engaging in the lowest sophistical trickery, and they're not even doing a very skillful job at it. Their decision to print such garbage as they did in this case, and to present it with such a plainly malicious intent, and to so obviously borrow from my acquaintence Mr. Palko without even finding out who he is vis-a-vis the Society undermines the paper's credibility on virtually every other matter. For instance, why should I believe the awful stuff printed about Bp. Tod Brown and St. Mary's by the Sea. as reported in this week's issue? But for the fact that I've been following that matter independently for several weeks on my own, and have read extensively, from many sources, about Brown's malfeasance, I would have reason to doubt whether The Wanderer's treatment of him were accurate.

So, I'm not going to the trouble of cancelling my Wanderer aubscription yet, but I'm not going to renew, either. If a reconciliation does start moving, I hope it happeens before that subscription runs out, because I'll enjoy watching the Wanderer editors squirm and wiggle their way around the issue and the things they've printed in the recent past. But otherwise, I'll just let my subscriptio nrun out as it is (after all, the broadsheet newprint might come in handy if I'm packing dishes or something--the Catholic Key is only a tabloid, and so it's less useful.

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