"This is a blogger that reaaaaalllly bothers me.
At first I was only bothered by her presence EVERYWHERE in the Catholic blogosphere - every commbox possible, yup, she's there. From superty-duperty conservatives like Father Z to touchy-feely Catholics like Elizabeth Esther, she ("Priest's Wife") really gets around! Playing both sides of the fence in such a way that I don't really know what she believes or where she's coming from.
And then I saw her blog for like ten minutes and I get it: She's the black sheep trying desperately to fit in.
Well, it's not likely to happen.
Mamby-pamby, nicey-nicey isn't my cup of tea. Pick a side. And while you're at it, stop dominating every conversation!
End rant."- written by Cheeky Pink Girl (March 6, 2012)
'Cheeky Pink Girl' doesn't like me or my blog. Most of the commenters don't like me either. I would try to forget about her post about me and my blog, but she identifies herself as a 'conservative Catholic'- so we should be on the 'same team' even if we are playing different roles in this life that is our salvation history. Atheists hate Jen Fulwiler. Ultra-liberal Catholics hate Fr. Z. Pro-Abortion activists hate Life Site News. Jen, Fr. Z, and Life Site News probably take the hatred in stride because it comes from the opposing view- but when someone who you have a faith in common with detests you enough to publish a short blog post....wow.
- What is wrong with commenting occasionally on Fr Z and Elizabeth Esther's blogs? Fr Z gives one perspective, and he seems very knowledgeable. And as a sometimes touchy-feely person myself, Elizabeth Esther has a very interesting take on life and her continuing conversion from a cult-like church. I find it sad when we have to put things into little boxes. I am a confusing, bothersome person who prefers my Divine Liturgy ad orientem (anyways- that's normal for my church- sorry to dominate the conversation with that) but who still tears up when I hear On Eagle's Wings- it was the theme song at my first Catholic retreat when I was thirteen. So, "pick a side"? Nope, I'm trying to be CATHOLIC and celebrate diversity!
-I am not "everywhere" in the blogosphere. I just have a tendency to comment whenever I read an article or post. So if you read five comments of mine a day, I have read five articles that day- and really, if you "see me all over the Catholic blogosphere" that means you are all over the Catholic blogosphere- just not leaving comments to give feedback to the blogger or continue the conversation.
-I am still not clear how a two or three line comment out of many comments "dominates" the conversation. But I'm just a little housewife. So if you are annoyed by my comment, try to skip over it.
-My blog is tiny. I write about a truly miniscule part of the Catholic world. In the Middle East, fellow Eastern Christians (Eastern Catholic and Orthodox) are being slaughtered every day. So, forgive me if I am concerned about our survival. Our survival depends on the Roman-rite Catholic world knowing who we are and accepting our traditions in our own churches.
-Yes, I am a "black sheep"- all Eastern Catholics in the US are "black sheep." We are a tiny minority who have been persecuted in the past in the U.S. Thousands of Byzantine Catholic left for the Orthodox Church when it was clear that our traditions were not going to be tolerated in the States. So much has improved with Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict, thank God.
-But I am most certainly not trying to "fit in." Even if I weren't the wife of a priest, I wouldn't fit in. I have never fit in anywhere except my own family. I pray, I fast, I live a non-drinking, non-smoking, no contraception kind of life, but a favorite music group of mine is Queen (I turn it up horribly loud) and I love Harry Potter (but I do focus on classics of true literature). Hypocrite? I don't think so- I am an individual, not something you can just put into a box like "conservative pro-life homeschooling part-time-working Catholic who wants to agree with distributism but doesn't see how that would quite work and who happens to have married a future priest." I might be boring, annoying and bothersome- but there is more to me than the box people think they can put me in- just as your blog, cheeky pink girl, shows only certain sides of you.
- If I were trying to fit in, I would be cowering and hiding, trying to not confuse people. How many clergy wives have blogs? Not many. It is a risk to write about my life- especially when I am trying to preserve the privacy of parishioners, children and my husband. This is just a little diary that I hope informs some people. I am who I am. I wish I could be a better writer and develop my posts more -especially with theological and historical posts- but I am lucky to have time to spell-check.
-I comment about five times a day at different places. For 'cheeky pink girl' to write a blog post about how much I annoy her- wow- I must really annoy her. I just needed to explain myself. And then take a few Advil.
-She says that I shouldn't mention being a different rite than the majority. She says most practicing Catholics know there are other accepted rites. Sorry, but this just isn't true. Most people think I am Episcopalian or Orthodox. And when she says "just be Catholic!"- that sounds like someone who has never had an experience out of the majority rite. This "just be Catholic!" attitude is what led to the destruction of the minority rite in the US because most people think "Catholic" equals mandatory celibacy, rosaries, adoration and year A, B and C. This is true of being majority Catholic- being minority Catholic is different. But this is annoying to you. Do you know what is really annoying? The slaughter of the minority rite Catholics (and Orthodox and other Christians) in the Middle East.
The following comment is the primary reason why I've acknowledged Cheeky Pink Girl's post:
I read Priest's Wife's blog and I hadn't noticed her being particularly nicey-nicey. She has next to nothing nice to say about the Latin Church and nothing nice at all to say to people who believe that ordaining married men to the priesthood might not be the best policy. I hadn't noticed her dominating conversations unless they were about the Eastern Church or the ordination of married men either. I don't find any of that surprising since she is, after all, an Eastern Catholic priest's wife. I find her attitude toward the Latin Church tiring, though, because surely she can understand that many Latins, like myself, may not be too excited about less than reverent Masses and the like but don't want to become pseudo-Slavs to fit in the Byzantine Church. MARCH 7, 2012 11:21 AM
So- I'm not kind to Roman-rite Catholics in general and I have "nothing nice at all to say to people who believe that ordaining married men to the priesthood might not be the best policy."
First of all, I have tried to be really careful in not telling another rite what to do. My family of origin is Roman-rite (that sounds stupid- like 'some of my best friends are ____')- but isn't it best to prefer what you are? I have Roman-rite friends who like our Liturgy, but they feel more at home at their Mass because that is who they are. It is the same with me. I just love the Roman-rite Easter vigil (who doesn't?), but you will find me at my church because that is who I am.
Because I am the first and last person to tend to practical things at my church (like getting music books to people, singing if the cantor doesn't show up, setting up coffee hour, etc), it might be tempting to be critical when I am visiting a different church. But to be critical about (why didn't they sing during distribution of the Eucharist? Why no coffee and donuts at this mega-parish with 2 priests and 10 [married, no clergy collars allowed] deacons and five thousand families?) a parish I am visiting would be like going into someone's house as a dinner guest and start giving opinions about their drapes. That's just rude and I don't do it. I don't allow my children to do it. And I hope visitors are merciful too when they visit our missions. We are all sinners and perhaps clergy-types are the worst offenders because of their responsibility.
I had a friend from Poland. Let's call him Peter from Poland. He really, really loves his country. But he usually doesn't talk about all the great things about Poland. He insults all the bordering countries and the decadence that is the United States. So, I could be Peter from Poland. I could talk about celibate priests with secretary/gate keepers. I could talk about celibate priests who own planes. I could talk about celibate priests who....but what good would that do? I will try to focus on the positive/neutral about married priests in the Eastern rites and let the other arguments fall. Talking about mandatory celibacy is impossible. If I try to defend the possibility of married men being ordained priests (in the Eastern rites- I have written time and time again that it is not my business to give even an opinion on this issue for the Roman-rite)- it's impossible.
The lesson I have learned from Cheeky Pink Girl (EDIT- leaving Alice out of this sentence after re-reading- I stand by the rest of my post) is that she wishes we 'other Catholics' would go away- at least from the blogosphere- the only place they have encountered us minority Catholics. And I know a lot of people feel this way. We complicate things even though we are totally unimportant and small. We probably won't survive another generation. oops- opinion on the Roman-rite coming!- The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, after ordaining over 45 married deacons last year, will not allow them to wear clerical collars. So the Church needs them and uses them and doesn't give them a stipend, but it doesn't give them their dignity as clerics. So- writing about a married priest family that isn't all that bad- another way to be Catholic (meaning- "Universal")- is a challenge to those who want the entire Church to be just like their local parish. Anything else isn't "Catholic."
a few of my posts for 'Alice' (by the way- that is on my top ten list of favorite female names- I always think of St Thomas More's wife)
Sad Days- please read the last paragraph! That is the theme of this blog- "bothersome" and "tiring" as it is.
Surfing around, I didn't really find much about the Latin-rite (except a few guest posts written by Latin-rite Catholics who are friends and some 'reports' of visits) because that isn't the focus of this blog, so I don't really understand how I have been unkind. The Latin-rite brought me into the Church. I love the entire Church. I love the Holy Father. I pray for understanding, forgiveness and unity.