Monday, December 20, 2010

Typical! English Humor in the Face of Outrage

Lesbian-hugging Marxist nuns have reduced US parishes to nuclear wasteland, Catholic pundit tentatively suggests

A classic headline from Damian Thompson, Editor of Telegraph Blogs (UK) and a journalist specializing in religion. He is describing a clip from an American conservative Catholic broadcaster. Michael Voris runs and he makes Thompson appear like a fuzzy, warm-hearted and amused observer of the antics of the "progressive" clergy and religious who presided over the rot--the collapse of faith and morals--of the seminaries in the 1970s and 1980s (on which see Michael Rose), the introduction of pop music of that period that persists even today as 'sacred' music in place of Gregorian chant and much-loved traditional Catholic hymns (in the U.S. via the appalling outfit OCP (Oregon Catholic Publications), and--you see how hard it is to maintain one's equanimity in face of the devastation wrought by these developments?

Somehow Thompson maintains his wit and humor in a way that is beyond most commentators on this wreckage of Catholic liturgy, music, architecture, catechesis, seminaries, and religious orders that followed (but was never authorized by) Vatican II. Voris, on the other hand, is heavy-handed and clearly violates the English anti-earnestness rule (on which see Kate Fox). Voris does not share the English penchant for ironic understatement.

So how does Thompson bring Voris's short video to the attention of his readers while keeping under control his own glee at the sorry fate of the modernist, 'progressive' orders of nuns? First, he suggests that if some of his readers think he is mean and hypercritical about the English bishops and their 'Magic Circle,', they would not enjoy Voris's video. Then he introduces and quotes from the video to give its flavor:

"Voris, who runs RealCatholicTV, is not pleased that Rome is planning to “acknowledge the hurt” felt by Lefty nuns as they’re asked to demonstrate that they are, you know, Catholic. And understatement really isn’t his thing. As he puts it:"

Is there a Catholic in the world who still goes to Mass who doesn’t realize the nuclear damage that has been done to the Church by modernist nuns? Millions of Catholics have had to stand by while these “good sisters” dismantled hundreds of years of work … advancing a socialist, Marxist political agenda, embracing lesbianism, instituting yoga classes along with Mother Earth prayer tutorials, conducting retreats based on sorcery and witchcraft … making a shipwreck of the faith by teaching that abortion is acceptable, that women can be priests, that WE ARE CHURCH…

"Fortunately, he adds, “real nuns” in real habits are on the rise, proclaiming the truth of Jesus Christ, and the radical orders are disappearing into oblivion…"
… but we can’t go there because that annoys the femiNazi nuns and we don’t want to spend any more time having to acknowledge their “deep hurt and anger”. Most of them are getting along in years, well along, and while in New Age theology death doesn’t really mean anything except being released into the fullness of your feng shuiness and whirling around Mother Earth gardens for eternity, we know who will be standing there waiting for them!

A bit over the top of Voris, perhaps, but right on nevertheless, thinks Thompson. What to do? Should he post Voris's video or restrain himself on grounds of charity, not to mention Voris's flouting the English cultural rules of humor and anti-earnestness? How to convey his own shared pleasure at the slow demise of those orders that have wrought such damage in the Church? But without appearing too gleeful himself? He resolves the question in a way we can only call, "Typical!"--the key word of English Eeyorishness:

Such mean-spirited glee is, of course, deplorable. So let me make one thing absolutely clear. I’ve posted this video only to show what can happen when conservative Catholic commentators lose their sense of charity. Yes indeedy.

As for me, an English expat in the US for most of my life, I thought long and hard how to resolve this problem for myself and my modest blog. Charity prevents me from posting Voris's video, but I cannot avoid citing my source, Thompson's own blog. I have quoted here from:

Warning: Thompson's blog can be addictive, but ignore the comments that follow it--they mostly come from the same few people who ignore the topic and substance of whatever Thompson posted and indulge in silliness that they seem to enjoy. The banter may reflect English male-bonding rules as described by Kate Fox. According to Fox, male bonding is a cultural universal, but this is not a particularly attractive form of it.

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