On the Firing of Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher from National Catholic Register

holy-spiritYou may have already heard that National Catholic Register has fired bloggers Mark Shea and Simcha Fisher. The firing seems to me an appropriate response to an article at The Stream by Stephen Herreid; not that it was a direct response to it. One can only imagine the number of complaints the Register has received over the years. As for me, I am pleasantly surprised by the decision.

Herreid offers several quotes from Shea and Fisher that alone stand out as legitimate reason for firing. Indeed, the debate in the blogosphere on the subject seems centered around whether it is okay for a Catholic writer to use vulgarity. Why is there even a question about that? Of course, it’s not okay. Hello? We’re not talking here about a simple lapse where a word is blurted out in haste. I plead guilty to that, especially considering that I have Bipolar Disorder. I’ve lapsed. No, we’re talking about frequent use of vulgarity, and not only that but a demand that we approve of this vulgarity else we are “less than Catholic” in some way.

I side also with those who say that it is even more disturbing for women to use vulgarity than it is for men to do so. See this post on Facebook by Catholic apologist Dave Armstrong. Listeners of Patrick Madrid’s radio show may also have heard him discuss it. Women should be held to a higher standard than men in the area of dignified speech.

I have not been a reader of National Catholic Register precisely because they have employed Simcha Fisher as a blogger. I look forward to reading the Register again now that she is gone.


Will only a few people be saved?

crossIn today’s Gospel, Jesus is asked if only a few will be saved. His reply:

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”

Jesus leaves us room for continued debate on whether a few will be saved or if many will be saved, and debate we do. This is a point of contention even today. Certainly, there will be people denied entrance into heaven, and we hear from Jesus that their number will be “many.” Further, the “many” will be people who strived while on earth to enter heaven. On the other hand, people “from the east and the west and from the north and the south” will enter heaven. This appears to be a reference to foreigners, meaning people we may not expect to enter heaven. He follows through “For behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.” The bottom line appears to be that we should not judge who is going to heaven and who is not going to heaven but rather strive ourselves to enter through the narrow gate. I think Jesus takes issue with those who claim that most people will get to heaven and with those who claim that few people will get to heaven. The important question for me is whether I will get to heaven.