Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Taliban Catholics?

I have seen a couple of posts about the phrase "Taliban Catholics". I think it originated with John R Allen, the American Catholic journalist. Here is his article explaining why he used it. Whoever is using it now, that seems to be where it came from. It's a good idea to read Allen's explanation.

The danger with some people is that they could wear this name as a kind of badge, taking pride in it. That would be a big mistake. At the same time, because of the righteous defence of those who think they are being included in this term, there could then be some kind of defence offered for the bad manners, insulting language and unjust accusations that are sometimes found on certain blogs. That would also be a mistake. Just as there can be no real defence for using the term, so there should be no defence for the bad behaviour of some of those who think it includes them.


  1. These are wise observations on this disturbing issue.
    The destructive effects of Catholic infighting is a source of embarrassment.
    Perhaps the Pope's words this year for the 45th World Day of Social Communications (June) are relevant here and to be heeded by clerical and lay alike using the Internet for electronic publicity for their particular viewpoint.

    "...the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence".
    Benedict XVI January 2011

    There is some research being done on how far personal and emotional conflicts contribute to this phenomenon and I'm sure, like me, you will welcome this development even if it means being under observation.
    Thank you for your work. It is scholarly and informed.

  2. Thanks Daryl for this interesting comment. I think that research will be very valuable. It seems to me that there are certainly some questions to be asked in relation to some blogs which have become very offensive. The Catholic label - sadly - does not always mean that we are going to see reasoned and careful arguments - often we get slogans, insults and rash judgements. Some people think they have a perfect right to behave like this. They do it in the name of what they claim is the right way to be Catholic. It might be helpful if some of them learnt what it means to be Christian.
    It does seem to me (and I'm sure to others) that there are sometimes deep personal issues behind much of this; fears, obsessions - call them what you will, but sometimes certain topics seem to set them off and that can give part of the game away I think. However we wish to speak about it, the Holy Father's warnings need to be taken very seriously indeed.

  3. I found Allens article to be spot on. I've always just been used to the terms ''Traditionalist'' and ''modernist''. But.... never the term ''Taliban Catholic''. Which is why on my blog at the top of my page I have the statement '' The Catholic church is more Traditional than the traditionalist and more Modern than the modernist''. ( it is taken from Archibishop Fulton Sheens ''Old errors new labels'' where he says '' The church is more fundamental than the fundamentalist and more modern than the modernist''. Taken into consideration todays dilemma in the Church between both sides I decided to alter it a bit to suit that. Because I noticed both sides contain grave errors in relation to the Church.

    The reaction to modernism seems to have been one of anger and insult resulting in a form of extreme fundamentalist attitude. The focus of the fundamentalist attitude seems to be focused more upon ''correct doctrine and documents'' as opposed to ''moral adherence'' to the Gospel itself. Thus we got we got an angry crowd of Catholics with the absence of morality. This in itself is like have a bowl with no cereal. it serves to purpose other than the satisfaction of having their own personal ego stroked. I've encountered a strong bad attitude towards popes on this fundamentalist side of Catholicism, which would make them no more different than those they wish to eliminate such as their modern brethren, because they too disobey and criticize the Pope at every turn. Both are in grave error both in matters of Doctrine and morality. I do hope I am not being like the pharisee here who thinks himself better than any of them. For I too am guilty of bad moral behaviour I'm sure of it.

    Within my posts on my blog concerning modernism and the actions of a few, I do try to add a touch of humour to take the ''sting'' out of what really is a tragedy, although many may read my posts as ones of virulent accusations, to which I can only try to defend with the fact that I'm being humourous but have never known to be really nasty towards anyone. If I have then I do hope that people would step forward and point that out to me.

    Whats strange about both sides is that...neither can accept mysticism or simply believe in private revelation/prophecy because every true prophecy or private revelation says something that is not to their convenience ( both modernist and traditionalist. This leads me to conclude ( my own private opnion here ) that these people are the influence in the Churches slow procedure of the years upon the approval of Garabandal and Medugorje not to the mention TLIG.

    I thank you for this post for I often have the tendencie to go have a bit of trad and mod in me often enough that it confuses me to death. But I'm praying that the Lord will keep me well away from such disputes within our Church and help those involved see the light also.

    Pax Christi

  4. "Anybody who has blundered in an email or has sent an angry or hurtful text will understand Socrates's concerns about the written word."

    Greetings and regards