Friday, May 16, 2003

Régime change on a religious message board
Or 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers' online
Over a year ago I was run off the unofficial (quasi-official, de facto official?) board of the Ruthenian Catholics in America for stating a lot of these views, only perhaps less sharply. And by Byzantine Catholics who until only a few months before were amicable online acquaintances - for caring about the Roman Catholic Church, which they threw in my face. Freaky. The owner, whom I now know is nothing but a church-politics operator and a big phoney who actually goes to a Roman Catholic church most of the time, even though there is a Ruthenian church in his area (he left because he couldn't get on with the people there), seemed to have been replaced by a hostile pod person claiming both publicly and in e-mails to people that I have 'imaginary' complaints about the state of the churches and am on a 'crusade' against the Pope's Church, a larf to anybody who knows me or reads my sites! Another former online friend, an ethnic Slav in the Ohio Rust Belt heartland of such churches, seemed to have been replaced by a pod person with a big fat ethnic chip on his shoulder, the kind who wants to keep the gringos out of his ethnic-lodge church and/or the message board in question. Really perverse treatment of me since I speak Russian and agree that latinization of Eastern churches is a bad thing. Guess anybody who bursts his parochial ethnic bubble is a latiniak outsider to him. Maybe he just has mood swings or some kind of personality disorder. I definitely feel sorry for his wife and kids and hope he is never ordained, anywhere. As for the third main player in that farrago, a born Roman Catholic like the owner, an ex-Jesuit seminarian and a liberal who seems to like playing Byzantine because he claims he's half-Greek, he attacked and then shunned me ever after - even though he'd been friendly before 'The Invasion of the Body Snatchers'. That third incident wasn't so bad, since I really don't care what heterodox 'religious' people think of me. But the first two people (I won't call them 'men') struck me as orthodox, both before and after the purge. Very 'Twilight Zone' that. Oh, well. Maybe it's just more proof that this little church (Ruthenian), hæmorrhaging second- through fourth-generation members and with a rank and file who don't really want to be Eastern, is on its way down the toilet demographically anyway.

So apparently if one adopts these people's rite, learns their ethnic language, defends that rite against encroachments from the Roman Rite and defends their larger church from abuses within, and asks questions about those abuses, that earns their hate and ridicule. ¿Qué? With 'friends' like that...

Then there were the two online sociopaths, one Eastern Orthodox, the other Ukrainian Catholic (lovely - bookends!), who got their jollies posting things allegedly about me on the board that I didn't volunteer to that board - horrible netiquette and textbook passive-aggressive behaviour. As William Shatner said to the Trekkies, 'Get a life!'

If I've fallen short of Christian charity here, простите меня. Forgive me. But that was about the third worst treatment I've ever got online from 'church' people.

The myth of rude, stupid traditionalist refugees
It has become fashionable for Byzantine Catholics in the know to put down the Roman Catholic traditionalist refugees who often fill their churches, which floors me because 1) they're dying off as churches (their mainstay generation is old and their kids move away) and seem perversely to want to hasten the process by driving these people away and 2) I've met several such people myself in two very different congregations and never have encountered anybody like the caricature - either they turn Byzantine themselves, falling in love with everything Orthodox, or they are good guests, often self-educated and very intelligent and therefore not wanting to force their practices on their hosts, even though they still identify with the Roman Rite personally.

And on a similar note as that board and the perps described above, a history site to enjoy:

US arrests 135 for Internet crime
Good. Now maybe 'Lucia' or 'Charmaine' will stop offering (via my spamtrap inbox every day) to 'INTENSIFY my ORGASM' (all-caps theirs).

RIP Robert Stack
Thanks for 'The Untouchables', 'Unsolved Mysteries' and much else - you had a good run. Go with God.

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