Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trad spokesmen need to do better

Years ago, I read and enjoyed two of Scott Hahn's earlier books but after his comments on traditionally minded Catholics and the Tridentine Mass I don't care for him anymore. I feel uneasy about lay people making their living from talking or writing about the Church. I don't like the cult of personality that has sprung up around a number of these people. I cringe when I hear someone say, "Well Christopher West says, or Scott Hahn says..... so it must be right."

I am uncomfortable when recent converts stand up and make a career out of preaching to Catholics. St. Paul spent three years in the dessert praying and learning after he was knocked off his horse. And he didn't make any coin off of evangelizing.

Having said all that I really was shocked at this post on another blog. Attack Scott Hahn, if you want, on the grounds that his theology isn't right, or that his books are too pop Catholic lite, or make any other reasoned argument you want but this blogger came off as well.. bitter, unreasonbly angry, envious, frankly, a little nuts. As I read his piece I kept asking myself 'Dude, if you hate Scott Hahn so much then why did you go hear him talk?'

If you repulse people, even sympathetic people because you sound unhinged then you've failed to make your point. I see this kind of thing on Angelqueen all the time, vast amounts of anger and something close to hatred. That doesnt' work. What the traditionalist camp needs is visible happy warriors. As Teddy Roosevelt once said, I like a man who grins when he fights. Show people how much your life has changed for the better since you found the Tridentine Mass or since you finnally found a reverent NO Mass. Talk about your love for the Church, our Mother. She may act like a menopausal woman who's decided to go to a rave party but she is our Mother and we need to love her and stand by her even at the point of dying. Point out what's wrong, like St. Catherine of Sienna or St. Athanatius, but don't give in to despair and incoherent rage.

I read an Angelqueen posting by one guy who spewed venom on the Holy Father, (and he lost me right there), and anyone who attends a NO Mass. This guy forgot that most Catholics have never had access to a Tridentine Mass and unless their bishops are obedient they never will. He cheerfully, gleefully consigned all those folks to hell. I ask you, why would anyone want to hang out with a person like that?