Religious people can be so delightfully blasphemous when they’re angry.
Which was the case this week after Brett Decker, a conservative Catholic who works for the White House Writers Group and was previously editorial page editor for The Washington Times, wrote an op-ed piece this week that was published in USA Today. The gist of Decker’s story is that Pope Francis should not be canonizing two of his predecessors, John Paul II and John XXIII on account of what Decker deems was their failure to address global clergy sex abuse.
An excerpt: “Canonizing pontiffs from the era of abuse is not only tone deaf but also exposes a continuing, stubborn refusal to acknowledge the institutional coverup that occurred for decades and that those at the highest levels — including popes — didn’t do enough to prevent the crimes, enabling the crisis to continue.”
At least seven people wrote Decker and told him to “go to hell.”
For instance, MariaTM supportively promised, “I will pray for your burning soul.”
And Amanda kept things real simple: “Go to hell lowlife.”
One simple text just said: “hater.”
Someone calling himself or herself SSPVArchangel asked, “When did the other 2 ‘popes’ die and who made Decker Supreme Pontiff??”
A writer on the religious-themed patheos.com website reacted angrily to Decker’s op-ed. The writer called him “fringe,” “weak,” a punter who “twists himself into contortions,” and “a fool,” and said his article “badly-argued nonsense.” The blogger repeatedly labeled him a “modernist,” which is church speak for an ultra-destructive liberal.
On FreeRepublic.com there was KarlFromOhio who cleverly wrote, “Since John Paul II eliminated the Devil’s Advocate position in the canonization procedure, I guess USA Today has decided to take the position on a pro bono basis.”
In USA Today’s own comment section, Divine Word Radio remarked, “Brett, thankfully you are not in charge of the Church. A Washington insider really isn’t in a position to advise on this issue.”
Decker told The Mirror, “I’m not a church basher. This is meant to be constructive. These canonizations are an attempt to pretend the past five decades weren’t a total disaster. … There were lots of responses that simply told me to go to Hell, which is pretty precious from supposedly Christian believers angry at me for criticizing the Church. It’s also bizarre because I’m a serious, practicing traditional Catholic – I just think the hierarchy needs to be called to account for the child abuse and cover-up, which went all the way to the top.”
The canonization takes place Sunday, ironically the holy day when many of these haters will be at church.