So I secretly hoped my last visit to CAEI before pulling the plug on Patheos would yield one of Mark's more legendary 'all white Conservatives with white skin who dare defy the leftist state are ipso facto Nazis incapable of goodness' posts.
But it wasn't. It was one of many posts twisting and turning as Catholics committed to the infallibility of Mother Church torture logic and reality to insist what happened at the Amazon Synod didn't, or it did and didn't matter, or it did and it's a wonderful thing, or nobody knows, everyone knows, Pope Francis rocks, Nazis!, and on and on.
Again, anyone who rubbed shoulders with mainline Protestant denominations in the 70s through the 90s can see where the Catholic Church is going. Whether it's because the leaders no longer believe it, or are just so immersed in the bells and whistles of the latest, or it's the St. Saruman syndrome, I don't know.
But clearly most are abandoning the traditions and heritage and civilization that the Church built, and are willing to embrace almost anything that would have been called sin a decade or two ago, and take the most precious and sacred ideals of the Faith and reduce them to minor opinions located somewhere in importance between pizza toppings and which RPG is the best.
Because most on Mark's blog don't care because they don't caer about the Faith, reject Christ, mock Christ, mock God, mock the Gospel, mock the Church and are happy to jettison the Christian West for a world of mass slaughter, debauchery, tyranny and blasphemy, there wouldn't be many standing up against Mark. Those who do will be set upon by Mark's non-believing readers, as shown, or by Mark himself. Mark has, after all, cheered someone who said she was abandoning her Christian roots to end up anywhere or in any religion, or none at all, merely because she was also abandoning her conservative upbringing. After all, why would a Catholic apologist care if someone abandoned the Gospel of Christ, no matter how flawed in its presentation, for a decidedly different religion or none at all?
And that's the cautionary tale. It's been said that the biggest clash you could imagine would be the clash between Mark Shea c. 2001 and Mark Shea c. 2019. Apart from Mark stating he still believes core doctrines - like the Trinity or the existence of angels and the Resurrection and all - there are almost no similarities between the two.
What happened? Beyond spending most of his time calling what he once called good evil and what he once called evil good, or at least no big deal, you have the fact that he is near mental in how he responds to criticism. Name calling, insults, false accusations, calumny, judgmentalism, partisanship, politically driven condemnation, elevating his politics to the level of the Gospel - it's a hot mess.
And it's a cautionary tale about what can happen if you get swallowed up in the unreal world of Social Media. It reminds me of an old MASH episode. It's one of the better ones from the later seasons.
In it, two of the primary surgeons - Col. Potter and Maj. Winchester - come down with the mumps. Short handed, they receive help in the form of a surgeon after Hawkeye and BJ's own heart, Capt. Steve Newsom. He's irreverent, sarcastic, flips the bird to the army and the war, drinks, laughs, chases girls - everything they love. He's also been at the front line, behind the front line, and seen levels of battle and combat that the good folk at MASH can't imagine.
All is well, until during a bad stretch of casualties, suddenly he runs out of the operating room. Left holding the bag, the two remaining surgeons struggle to make it through the end of the session. When finished, they rush out to find him, enraged that he left them high and dry. Then Col. Potter steps out of his quarantine tent and calms them down. He motions into the tent. When Hawkeye and BJ go in, they see him sitting curled up in a corner, rubbing his hands Lady Macbeth style, rambling incoherently about blood that won't go away, and tearfully wondering when it will end.
They step back aghast at what they're seeing. Col. Potter says it's time to call in the mental health experts on this one. Hawkeye and BJ then leave the tent in silence. One of them then says that Newman was as strong as any of them. At that, the other responds, 'Yeah, that's what scares me.'
I realize there are many explanations for the collapse and fall of Mark Shea. The worst part is he is more in line with where the Church of Pope Francis appears to want to go than against it. It could be he's just a canary in the coal mine, and more leaders across the board will have to get alone if they're going to keep suffering for Jesus while living the dying American dream.
I don't know. I just realize that there is something off about the world of the Internet, social media, and all that comes with it. Things that would have been laughed at a decade ago are now being legislated. Rather than take a chance, I decided a year ago to stop the blog and where it was going. It took me a year, as I said, hit as I was by the steep and sudden unraveling of the Church, the country and so much of society in the wake of Trump.
But I gathered myself, and decided it was time. I have no clue what the future holds, but I'm not going to hang around and take the chance of succumbing to whatever demons that took hold of a blog once known for enjoying the Catholic Faith.