Holy moley! I am a Facebook gal through and through, but Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, Fr. James Martin, SJ, and their buddies are having a complete meltdown over on Twitter. They’re blocking people from their Twitter pages left and right, and I cannot help but be entertained by the comebacks from the faithful. It’s absolutely hysterical! I’m sure, at some point, these priests wished for a plethora of followers on Twitter. I’m thinking “not so much” now.
It’s like these priests aren’t quite used to social media yet. As a matter of fact, I think they’re darn shocked by it. All of these years they’ve been able to free range, but now the laity aren’t taking it anymore. They’re proudly sporting hashtags like #JamesMartinSJBlockParty and #RosicaBlockParty. It’s not just the laity either; it’s diocesan priests and priests of various orders, too. If you are on Twitter, it really doesn’t take much to join the block party. With one tweet you can likely qualify to use the same hashtags, and you’d be in some darn interesting company. Just to make it a little easier to join the club: @JamesMartinSJ, @FatherRosica, and let’s throw in @ArchbishopBlase for good measure (No surname there. Isn’t he cool? I’ll get to him in a minute. )
What sparked Fr. Martin banning everyone under the sun? He wasn’t too happy about the response to this tweet:
Haters? Are you 15, Fr. Martin? Anyone notice the irony of calling faithful Catholics “haters”, talking about mercy, and then turning around and blocking all those “haters?” Where’s the mercy for them? Oh, yeah, they don’t deserve mercy, since they aren’t cheerleaders for sacrilege against the Eucharist and making people comfy with their sins. Now, I really don’t care if someone wants to give me a derogatory label, although it might be nice if it was something appropriate for their advanced years. For instance, I would say he’s a hypocrite. What annoys me is the actual hypocrisy of blocking people who disagree with one’s definition of “mercy.”
Then there’s Fr. Rosica. I find it hard to believe he’s taking a “block everyone” posture after the debacle earlier this year when he threatened to sue a blogger (https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/catholics-shouldnt-sue-one-another-cardinal-burke-comments-on-fr.-rosicas-l). The beauty of this day and age is that nobody gets to hide in their ivory towers anymore. If you’re going to throw down on Twitter, you’d better be ready to deal with the consequences of Facebook people posting, tweeters tweeting, and bloggers blogging about it. Blocking people isn’t going to do diddley. Threatening to sue a blogger with whom you didn’t agree is going to do even less, as Fr. Rosica found out. It just screams for about 3,000 more blog posts and tweets to follow. Quite frankly, blocking is akin to throwing a huge temper tantrum and I have zero hesitation telling you so. The only time someone gets blocked on my social media outlets is for profane or pornographic posts. I actually welcome conversation from people who may disagree, even if they strongly disagree.
Now, I don’t know if Archbishop Cupich has been blocking people, but late last week, he got quite the lesson in asking silly little questions on Twitter:
Exactly what did he think the response to that question would be? Actually, I’m reasonably sure that he didn’t think before tweeting that. Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty! My response would have been “A world where our cardinals, bishops, and priests make it their goal to help everyone attain heaven!” How about, “A world where our bishops stop trying to put abortion and euthanasia on the same plane as poverty and war?” Or “A world where our bishops don’t encourage same-sex marriage with ambiguous teachings?” Yeah, you see where that thread probably went. People answered that one pretty honestly, I’d have to say. I’m pretty sure he thought it rhetorical.
Oh, one last thing for Fr. Martin (and Fr. Thomas Reese, SJ, who decided to retweet the divisive tweet below). Take your pandering to women elsewhere. It’s a load of hooey. (Twitter strikes again. Should have blocked us all from America Magazine, too.)
I’m pretty sure you figured out I can defend myself, father. I don’t need you urging us to misandry (aka hatred of men) when it comes to our clergy. You can scream sexism and misogyny all you want, but you’re the one who just blocked a whole lot of women from your Twitter page. What? We were overlooked by the synod, but our voices can’t possibly be heard by you and your posse on Twitter? Peddle it somewhere else. I’m pretty sure you were the one who labeled those women you blocked as “haters.” We won’t be used as your pawn for the division you like to sow.
Listen, we’re never going to have a chat on the phone. We won’t get together for coffee. You will, however, hear from me and thousands of others like me. Why? Because your tweets, Facebook pages, articles, and publications have encroached on the world where my husband and I live with our kids. You don’t get to muddy their path to Heaven with your, to be blunt, garbage. We already have to protect them from the murkiness your kindred spirits sowed before and after Humanae Vitae. You’re not going to get away with this quite so easily anymore.
So gentlemen, if you’re going to decide to come down here with us common folk on social media, you’d better put on your big boy pants and realize there’s these things called “screen shots.” Throwing temper tantrums while using hipster lingo is doing nothing to make us take you seriously. What’s the phrase? It’s like bringing a knife to a gun fight. Clearly blocking people is doing nothing. Instead, bring on the dialogue and transparency that you tout only when it suits you, oh, hypocritical ones! As I’ve said before, #meetthelaity!