Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Bear Gets Trapped in the Vortex

The Bear thought he would give a little background on Mr. Terry Carroll's broadside over the Bear's article on Michael Voris' and CMTV's no-criticizing-the-Pope policy.

Mr. Carroll and the Bear enjoyed an intermittent -- if verbose -- correspondence on various topics, especially CMTV's reasons for not criticizing the Pope. To say that there was considerable flattery that the Bear enjoyed, would not be unfair to either party. (If ever you are caught by a Bear, tell him how lush and shiny his coat looks, and how white his teeth are.) He consistently held up for examples a handful of blogs that he thought were doing it right. At one point he mentioned that the Bear would be part of something exciting. The Bear promptly forgot about that. Apparently it was to be a guest on Mic'd Up, Michael Voris' live talk show.

If you were to conclude the Bear felt like he was being groomed, you would be right. Apparently one of Mr. Carroll's jobs is to maintain blogger relations for CMTV. (If the Bear knew what his official title was -- if any -- he has forgotten.) For example, Mr. Carroll likes Connecticut Catholic Corner. And, once upon a time, he liked the Bear. There was also quite a bit of discussion about outlets Mr. Carroll didn't care for too much.

Once, the Bear pulled an article about Michael Voris that he was persuaded might not be entirely fair. (It might have been the famous incident where Mr. Voris announced he did not go to communion because he reported Cardinal Burke's comment.) Aside from that, Mr. Carroll had no further influence on St. Corbinian's Bear.

As for CMTV's policy of not criticizing the Pope, the Bear has no problem with that. However, since the Bear does criticize the Pope, anyone's reasons for refusing to do so are directly relevant to this blog and subject to fair comment. Remember, it was Michael Voris who decided to start all this, when he and his young proteges took on The Remnant on Mic'd Up. That, too, invites comment.

The Bear found two things disturbing in Mr. Carroll's comments.

First, since when is a guest spot on a CMTV program a reward for right-thinking? This is the same Bear who gradually went from a Francis booster to doubts, to disappointment, discouragement and worry, with attendant criticism of specific blunders (e.g. "Rabbitgate"). The Bear is surprised that he would suddenly become un-guest-worthy over a single article. So, we disagree about whether it is ever right to criticize the Pope. We do not disagree about whether Pope Francis poses a danger to the Church. One of us is willing to talk about it and the other isn't. It is as simple as that.

I am surprised someone of Michael Voris' journalistic background would cross a guest off the list solely because he will not act as an amen chorus for MV. Heck, the Bear might even be persuaded, if he heard a good argument. At a minimum, the Bear would provide the counter-point. Not to mention, how often to you get to have the world's only Catholic blogging Bear as a guest?

The other thing that bothered the Bear was Mr. Carroll's analogy that criticizing the the Pope was like men sitting around in a bar complaining about their wives. The Bear feels his guests deserve better than that, and when he said that he found it insulting, Mr. Carroll sarcastically asked if the Bear were going to call "the tolerance police." The Bear is not quite sure how a conversation that does not include race, sex, orientation, national origin or non-Christian religions, implicates the tolerance police. It was just snotty. The Bear is certain Mr. Carroll didn't think before typing it, and now regrets it.

The analogy isn't very good because the situations are so dissimilar. After you read an article in SCB, Pope Francis is still the Pope, and you still can't do anything about it. You will, perhaps have been encouraged that someone else feels the same way you do, and your devotion to the ancient faith and your own parish -- where, never forget, Christ dwells, whether the music is lousy or not -- has been renewed. The Bear has never received a single email saying, "I was so depressed by your last posting I'm chucking the whole thing for the SSPX." Instead, he receives emails of appreciation and thanks.

The Bear is confident he is doing good, honest work here. Up to this point, the most charitable word to describe Pope Francis is "reckless." Where does that leave CMTV? "All the news that's fit to print -- and Pope Francis isn't fit."


  1. I regret that I will not see a bear as a guest at CMTV, especially THE bear, but it's their ursine friend.

  2. Yes it's bloggers like the Bear that give encouragement to me to stay with the ancient Faith and stay ensconced in my pew during this unprecedented crisis. Those like Voris who will not speak truthfully about the serious problems in this papacy are not comforting but ultimately very disconcerting. And yes not to feature the Bear on CMTV is their loss -and also a loss to a great many woodland creatures!

  3. The Bear seems to be a tad smarter than the folks at CMTV, and a tad more realistic about the 'Crisis in the Church' as everyone including CMTV alludes to. Unfortunately, with the sequence of events that has transpired over there in the last week or two, it seems to me that there is also some humility and charity lacking on their part. Not as if all of us are not in the same boat, but this has gone 'public'. Not at all flattering in my HO. (not to speak of not really 'showing a good example' to people of faith that follow them)

    Another point that I find interesting about the recent CMTV's 'Mic'd up' series on the 'UnCatholic Media' was the guest he interviewed that is one of the main bloggers for 'The Crux'. Tim Allen I believe is his name. This is the publication that not more than several weeks back, Michael was lambasting for their unfaithful views of true Catholic teaching. But then, CMTV will not give a 'spot' to The Bear because he's not shouting a big 'Amen' for the 'Voris View' of things? I find the entire debacle very disingenuous that doesn't do much for their credibility. The whole 'hands off the Holy Father' policy is kind of like those investigating a fire that shout about arson and all the fall out it entails but refuse to investigate where the fire originated.

  4. One finds it difficult to focus given the wide swath of assertions made between Mr. Carroll and the Bear over the last few days. However, I rise in defense of the Bear here.

    The first point of departure I make is to fundamental logic. Mr. Carroll suggested the analogy of marriage. Mr. Carroll's argument by analogy is false. Mr. Carroll wishes to draw a similarity between men griping in a pub about their wives to Catholic bloggers lamenting the non-magisterial statements of the Holy Father. In particular, Mr. Carroll states as follows: "Apparently you don't feel 'married' to the Pope in the way that you are 'married' to your wife." Catholics are in no way married to the Pope. The office of the papacy is not a sacrament as is marriage. The office of the papacy does not require that I defend the non-magisterial statements of its occupant nor even to defend his life. However, marriage--for those who have been in it long enough, like myself married these 28 years--requires adherence in thick and in thin to your spouse. My wife may say something in error, but I will defend her in all cases until I convince her that she should correct her error. I will not oppose her publicly for the sake of our sacramental bond.

    I have no sacramental bond to the Holy Father. I owe him no fidelity unless he speaks with magisterial authority. Should he drive drunk and kill someone in an auto accident, I would have no problem--indeed I would be bound in truth (which is the Bear's point)--to convict him to prison for his error. I am not the bride of the Pope and the Pope is not the bride of the Church in any respect. (If this were not so, of what could we accuse Pope Benedict XVI for abandoning his spouse?)

    The second and last point of departure I have with Mr. Carroll is to his conclusion that criticism of the Holy Father's non-magisterial statements will drive people to the SSPX. (I offer no comment here as to whether the SSPX is, in fact or in law, in schism.) Mr. Carroll has proffered not one fact to support such an assertion. As a result, I discard his claim entirely.

    If CMTV chooses not to criticize the Holy Father's non-magisterial statements, then so be it. However, there is no demonstrable harm they have substantiated to suggest that those who do criticize the non-magisterial statements of the Holy Father harm the Church in any way. I unequivocally state the opposite and would be happy to publicly debate Mr. Carroll and Mr. Voris on this topic.

  5. While I do not know Mr. Carroll I have read enough of his comments and emails to recognize his earmark condescension and seemingly antonymous trolling of the blogosphere as the PR man of CMTV. He reminds me of a mid-level manager that uses intimidation to quiet his underlings & deflect critique from his superiors - a strategy of the incompetent and under qualified.

    In response to Mr. Carroll's marriage analogy: Not a great analogy - sometimes husband and wife to need time apart to recognize why their marriage is failing. My granparents spend 6 months apart in order to save their marriage which endured 66 years.


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