Thursday, August 10, 2017

My letter to the Knights of Columbus about Crux

Last week I wrote about an absurd article in Crux that enthusiastically embraced the falsehood that men can turn themselves into women.

This week, Crux is at it again, with an insulting and condescending item that derides converts to the Catholic Faith as "neurotic" because they find fault with some of Pope Francis' approaches. Here's what Father John Zuhlsdorf had to say; here's what Father Tim Finigan, who blogs at The Hermeneutic of Continuity, had to say.

And here's the letter I sent to Carl Anderson, the Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus:

The purpose of this letter is to convey to you my growing concern for the content that I have been reading in Crux, the online publication that the Knights of Columbus decided several months ago to take on as a project. Further, I want to urge you to take a good, hard look at how Crux is being run, and see if you think this is the right use of our funds.

Attached are two examples from recent weeks. First you will find a July 25 article entitled, “Nun ministering to transgender women gets thumbs-up from Pope.” Second, “Pope Francis and the convert problem,” which appeared two days ago. Let me briefly outline my concerns with each. 

Regarding the “Nuns” article: I have a blog, and I wrote something about it, a copy of which is also attached. Briefly, the article fails in a most fundamental way: it treats as true what we know, not even as a matter of faith, but as a matter of fact, to be false. The individuals the nun commendably assisted are not women at all, but men. At no point did the article even bother to explain this; in fact, the article again and again endorsed the proposition that these individuals have indeed become “women.”

Regarding Mr. Ivereigh’s item on the so-called “convert problem.” What “problem”? The problem is in Mr. Ivereigh’s mind. 

To be clear, I am not faulting the author for agreeing with the Holy Father, and disagreeing with those who criticize him. But those points could have been made far better, without the insulting and condescending approach Mr. Ivereigh takes toward people he dismisses as “neurotic.”

I write you, not only as a fellow Catholic and as a parish priest, but also as a fellow 4th degree knight. I’m very proud to be a Knight – my father was a lifelong Knight and he was present for my 3rd degree. I’ve tried always to give the Knights of Columbus every support and I am grateful for the kindness and support of many, many Knights over the years, both as a seminarian and as a priest.

When the Knights of Columbus took on Crux as a project, I was hopeful for what it would accomplish. But lately, I am wondering if this is a good use of what must be a considerable sum of money. To be plain, I think changes are in order, and I hope you will take a good, hard look.

Thank you for your kind attention...

Let me add something I decided not to include in the letter. Not only does Crux surely cost the Knights a lot of money -- I doubt it generates substantial revenue -- but further, I would bet the Knights' move represented a bailout. But for the Knights, I have no doubt Crux would have folded. Crux badly needs the Knights of Columbus as a patron; but I'm hard-pressed to see what the Knights need Crux for.


rcg said...

Thanks for doing this. I hope they take your comments to heart. To a certain extent I think we sometimes want to be well regarded by people we actually oppose. So by picking up an editorial crew like the Crux is intended to show open mindedness to people who will never in time respect our position.

Father, I think we can't give platform to the positions such as this as much as acknowledge them and represent them accurately for intellectual criticism. In these cases, we find ourselves merely adding to the volume of their voice.

TJM said...

Years ago Crux seemed to be quite an orthodox publication. Sad