I came across a clear-cut, concrete example where facts and reality are shoved under the rug, so slander and distortion can run free.
It's always a struggle to decide if I'm going to respond to this kind of nonsense. It's a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't proposition. If I respond, I'm "protesting too much". If I ignore it, I'm "admitting my guilt" or "trying to bury it with silence".
Obviously he is attacking my objectivity, attempting to "poison the well". He is preemptively trying to dismiss anything I say, however objective or truthful.
So I decided to take Fr. Voigt's (and St. Francis de Sales) advice -- to calmly point out the truths which might not be known, and then go silent on the issue. If they want to carry on further, let them rave. I won't be participating.
What I am getting at, is precisely 'the mischief that the EC's are causing'.
However, understanding the content of EC's is quite impossible if separated from the reality that they're a cash commodity, made-to-measure for a particular demographic, of which the Resistance represents but a small portion. Note the operative point here is "how", rather than "how much". That said, one is hardly complaining, but rather impressed by the whole thing.
BUT, since you brought up the bankrolling of a chapel in Texas, one must ponder whether that particular choice was likewise calculated to inspire allegiance, for should the Cathinfo listowner ever exchange his rose-coloured specs for objective lenses *ahem*, perspicacious scrutiny of vacuous EC content might finally get an airing on his forum, beyond the few token quips which survive there now. Keeping him placated just makes good business sense, insofar as CI has a much wider audience than this wee little list ;-)
One member chimes in that Tradfly's dark interpretation isn't the only one. He makes a few good points, but doesn't go far enough.
Your two ideas could very well be true.
1. EC's are used to bring in revenue from a wide variety of catholics, thus explaining the mushy topics.
2. Financial support for texas could have simply been a move to "buy-off" Matthew and his forum, which does have considerable viewership.
However, a consistent pattern of evidence is lacking to really support these claims.
In regards to #1, I would respond with what I call the "Crazy Uncle Theory." Bishop Williamson's habit of delving into strange, and sometimes controversial topics, long predates the Resistance and His Excellency's independence from the SSPX. I recall one priest, ordained in the early nineties, telling me that BW was talking to them about Garabandal in the seminary. He has been doing this long before it could have been financially lucrative.
Furthermore, His Excellency has acted in this manner when it would seem to help him, but also when it seems to hurt him. For many years, BW has denied various parts of the Holocaust despite it gaining him far mor enemies than friends. In fact, he became a total black-sheep in the SSPX because of this.
Seeing this, I would come to the conclusion that BW is eccentric in the same way the a "Crazy Uncle" is, before I would conclude that his motives are for financial gain.
Dealing with the second of your points, I would again say that a consistent pattern of evidence is wanting. If Bishop Williamson sought to buy off CI in order to "put the media in his favor", then why did he do nothing to endear himself to Greg Taylor, editor and owner of the Recusant? Greg Taylor is now one of the most outspoken enemies of Bishop Williamson. He also, like Matthew, has the ear of many traditionalists.
Your conclusions are not illogical, given what we have for evidence, they are just not the only possible conclusions.
Paul address the first point very well. I will only add: +Williamson has always spoken the truth, even if it creates more enemies and causes trouble for him. An honest observer looking at his history will see this to be the case. He was writing the same kinds of letters when he was still in the SSPX, and many of them caused a lot of controversy. Remember his letter about women in university, and the one about women in pants? He also attacked The Sound of Music and other sentimental movies aimed at Catholics from the 1940's and 50's. +Williamson is nothing but honest and consistent.
I wanted to post a response here to his SECOND point, to clear up any honest misunderstandings, as well as to illustrate another real-world example of hatred in action. Tradfly hates Bishop Williamson, Fr. Zendejas, and of course CathInfo since I support those two (among many others).
But he is ignoring plenty of facts in order to paint his negative, malicious picture of Bishop Williamson:
1. I was defending Fr. Zendejas because it was the right thing to do, before he ever contacted me. Just look at my posts on CathInfo from November 2013.
But this was nothing unusual; any good priest is always defended by me here, regardless of whether or not they can "give something back" in gratitude. If Joe Smith gives a box of food to 20 different needy families, and one of those families repays Joe in some way, is it really logical to say that Joe was only giving away food in order to receive a recompense? That would be ridiculous. He clearly was inclined to give without ulterior motives; hence the other 19 families who, as a matter of fact, gave nothing back in return.
1b. I have been defending +Williamson since he needed defending (particularly from 2009 onwards)
, which was long before the Resistance even existed. I'm not defending +Williamson "all the sudden" just because Fr. Zendejas is currently saying weekly Mass for my chapel. That is ridiculous and goes against all the evidence.
2. It is a fact of history that Fr. Zendejas was posted to CT for a long time (13 years?), and Houston, TX for about 5 or 6 years.
(I don't have the exact # of years; someone could fill in that information.) So these are the most logical places for Fr. Zendejas to set up chapels after he left the SSPX.
He knows the people in these locations; he is a known quantity, with a lot of pent-up loyalty earned from the parishioners there over the years. They trust him there, much more than some other location where the people don't know him. A priest can do more good where he is already known.
AND YET, if you take Team Pfeiffer at face value, Fr. Zendejas only went to CT for the money, and to TX to win a media ally. Talk about cynical hatred, completely ignoring the facts and reality itself!
3. It is normal and logical for a priest to have (at least) one satellite/mission chapel for every Priory.
If you are driving/flying to one place every Sunday for Mass, why not serve another chapel within driving distance? He was already in Houston (see #2). It's efficient, giving you two birds for one stone. And as a matter of fact, this is what Fr. Zendejas was looking to do. He told me so explicitly.
4. Another fact: Fr. Zendejas is working under Bishop Williamson. Not just according to his websites and media outlets, but in reality and in truth. Bishop Williamson approves of CathInfo as well as Fr. Zendejas' entire apostolate.
Bishop Williamson and I get along well, from my Seminary days to the present day. I was the first seminarian to be sent away from the Seminary after +Williamson was sent to Argentina. I wasn't given any concrete reason why I had to leave. Maybe it's because I looked up to +Williamson and it was obvious. I wrote various poems (about the Priests Meeting, St. Paul's Epistles, etc.) some of which +Williamson read to the entire seminary. He certainly enjoyed them. I didn't even realize my capability with verse until I took his Literature class in the Humanities Year. So when it was time to purge +Williamson and all his influence, I was logically the first to go.
So, to conclude this point, there is no reason why either of them would NOT want Fr. Zendejas to say Mass at my chapel here, assuming it's feasible.
CathInfo and I have been supporters of Bishop Williamson since forever, and of the Resistance since the very beginning. So perhaps gratitude was one of the motives for Fr. Zendejas choosing Seguin, TX as the mission chapel for his Houston location. But it was gratitude for things I had already done in the past (defending what is good, attacking what is evil) and not for any motive of special consideration in the future.
5. It's true that he bought a chapel/school "Stella Maris Chapel" outside Houston, TX, which is close enough to Seguin, TX to be able to offer weekly Mass here. But Stella Maris is 3 1/2 hours from me. That's not where I go to Mass. My chapel, St. Dominic's is only a "mission chapel" or satellite chapel of his priory in Houston.
Objectively speaking, we get second place in just about everything (which is fine; beggars can't be choosers). Houston gets weekday Masses most Fridays and Saturdays, the morning Mass slot (we get the 4:00 PM slot), they get Holy Week whereas we get nothing but Easter Sunday, they get the ceremonies of Palm Sunday and we get some of the leftover Palms, and we even had our Mass time moved last Sunday to an unusual time slot because of the dinner/festival being held at the Houston chapel for Laetare Sunday. Still, we are grateful for his (and Fr. Garcia's) efforts to drive out here every Sunday. We're probably getting somewhat more than we deserve, given our current resources and numbers. But only by a small degree. There's not a huge mismatch there.
But Fr. Zendejas isn't totally "spoiling us". It's not as though he's just saying Mass for my family in our living room every Sunday. We do have a dedicated building, a decent complement of chapel equipment, and an organized Resistance group complete with weekly bulletin and frequently maintained blog. In other words, even if you remove Matthew and CathInfo from the equation, Seguin, TX does have (and DID HAVE in November 2013 when Fr. Zendejas entered the scene) a respectable, established chapel
which would naturally compete -- on its own merit -- with other Texas locations to be chosen as the mission chapel for Stella Maris in Houston. For more on this, read the next point.
5b. Because Father says Mass here, he also gets to piggyback his own communication on mine. For example, Stella Maris doesn't have a website, but St. Dominic's does. Some prospective parishioners have found his Houston chapel through my website, and I pass on the information. When people want to contact Fr. Zendejas, they end up calling me since my chapel's website has a published phone number. So I do give him a certain amount of secretarial and website services. I can do this because I work from home, and practically live on the computer. In other words, one of his
main chapels (Houston) is benefiting because he says Mass here as well. And before TheBluePaper.org was started, the St. Dominic's chapel blog was the only website where Fr. Zendejas' Blue Papers were published.
6. When Fr. Zendejas contacted me, we were basically content with our once-a-month arrangement with Fr. Voigt. It was a "comfortable" arrangement for everyone involved. I could keep contact with my local SSPX chapel during the off weeks, and we only had to host Mass here once a month. Also, we could treat each Mass like a special event, more or less. I wasn't exactly searching for a priest to say weekly Mass at the time. It was a big move for me. We lost a few parishioners as a result of the change (who are now home-aloners still supporting Fr. Pfeiffer), and I had to stop attending my SSPX chapel because I couldn't be at both places every Sunday. But it was the right move, and it certainly helped progress towards my goal of getting a chapel built up to remove local dependence on the San Antonio SSPX chapel (which is the only dedicated Tridentine Mass chapel for 3 1/2 hours in any direction).Occam's Razor, Tradfly. Occam's Razor. When there is an obvious and simple explanation, you don't need to go digging for a deep conspiracy and hidden ulterior motives.
When a man enters a restaurant -- two doors down from his workplace -- at noon, you can presume he's hungry and simply wants to eat lunch there. You don't have to muse about what conspirators he might be meeting with at the restaurant...