Recently I was blessed to sit down with my Archbishop (I am very blessed to have such a wonderful shepherd and spiritual father). I wanted to introduce why I engage in social media, how it got started, etc. Archbishop Thompson is fairly new, and I had not had a chance to really introduce myself.
One of the things that I said was something to the effect of this: "Archbishop, I'm sure you get lots of notes about me. But I think that it is not because of what I'm saying, but because I'm a public person in some way. Someone who is on the complete opposite theological spectrum (and has an infinitely larger following) from me would be Fr. James Martin, SJ. Every time he posts something, there are hundreds of comments, and most of them are "I'm turning you into your superior, and I pray you are kicked out of the Church!" Archbishop, I know the Jesuits are getting hundreds if not 1,000's of letters about Fr. Martin, most of them probably negative. I think it just goes with being a public person in the Church."
We went on to chat more, and the Archbishop agreed, noting that he too is a public person, and has received lots of letters for and against himself.
Here's the point in all of this - the first wave of the persecution of the Church is underway - storm the Church with complaint letters. I've seen it as a recommended TACTIC on some anti-Catholic entities list of strategies --- Just barrage the bishops with complaint letters about priests who are speaking out against homosexual marriage, abortion, etc.
Most bishops and dioceses are already overwhelmed with work load, and so it is TEMPTING to want to just stop the letters. It is surely tempting for any religious superior to just say "WOULD YOU PLEASE STOP TALKING BECAUSE WE'RE GETTING ALL THIS STUFF ABOUT YOU."
Here's the point: The Jesuits stand in and take it. They deal with the complaint letters because they believe in what Fr. Martin is saying. They believe it is the Truth, so they add extra staff people to deal with the complaints, they have a standard approach, they send out a template response: "We're sorry you don't like him...but that's tough and that's life."
In that sense, even though I disagree with just about everything Fr. James Martine says, I admire the Jesuits for backing him and not just telling him "Hey, people are complaining. Could you make our lives easier and just be quiet?"
There may be a day where we are literally silenced as a Church and are no longer able to teach openly what we believe. BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY! And until that day of silencing comes, I would just like to cheer on all bishops, all dioceses, and all priestly personnel to back the play of those priests and laity who are on the front lines and trying to speak the Gospel in a prophetic way to a sick, decaying, and crumbling Western Civilization.
We shall all hang together, or we shall all hang separately. Fight the good fight!