Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Points to Ponder:
(On Some Catholic Bloggers)

I have noticed a mentality among some Catholic bloggers which I usually describe to myself as "auto-magisterial." It seems to me to derive from the attitudes and practices of Evangelical Christianity.

Evangelical Christians, not having a magisterium, tend to become easily convinced by their own opinions and to treat them as definitive. This is characteristic of Protestantism as a whole, of course, and is the reason why it has splintered and continues to splinter into multifarious sects and parties.

Once Evangelical Christians become Catholics, some of them tend to keep the habit of mind. And some bloggers--not all converts from the Evangelical churches--tend to exhibit these or similar attitudes which seem proud and intellectually arrogant. Often, they are just trying to be good and loyal Catholics, but they are led to a sort of neo-Ultramontanism which can't see the difference between binding Magisterial teaching (even the non-infallible kind) and explanatory glosses or prudential judgments or even personal opinions...

[T]here is something about the easy and often adulatory audience on the net, combined with the authoritative note that tends to creep into their pronouncements that breeds a sort of hothouse pride that seems unhealthy. ["Jeff" (circa 12/04/05)]

[Note: This post is a slightly revised version of what was posted to Rerum Novarum on December 5, 2005. -ISM]