Thursday, September 8, 2016

Mother Teresa: Just Right?

In his most recent broadside against all the groups that annoy him the most, the clearly radically unbalanced convert Dwight Longenecker has mean words for anyone who makes the slightest criticism against the canonization of Mother Teresa:
Rather than undermine her reputation, the attacks on Mother Teresa are a good indicator of her authenticity. When a person is attacked from only one side of the ideological divide one suspects that they are on the other side. However, whenever a person is attacked from both liberals and conservatives they must be getting it just about right.
Heaven forbid we use an actual logical syllogism or historical examples to support our assertions. Although, I cannot help but wonder if this is not some corruption of Chesterton's ruminations in Orthodoxy, where he considers the fact that various people have conflicting complaints about the Faith:
Suppose we heard an unknown man spoken of by many men. Suppose we were puzzled to hear that some men said he was too tall and some too short; some objected to his fatness, some lamented his leanness; some thought him too dark, and some too fair. One explanation (as has been already admitted) would be that he might be an odd shape. But there is another explanation. He might be the right shape. Outrageously tall men might feel him to be short. Very short men might feel him to be tall. Old bucks who are growing stout might consider him insufficiently filled out; old beaux who were growing thin might feel that he expanded beyond the narrow lines of elegance. Perhaps Swedes (who have pale hair like tow) called him a dark man, while negroes considered him distinctly blonde. Perhaps (in short) this extraordinary thing is really the ordinary thing; at least the normal thing, the centre. Perhaps, after all, it is Christianity that is sane and all its critics that are mad—in various ways. (ch. vi)
But of course the main difference between Chesterton and Fr. Slubgrip is that the former actually works out the logic of his speculation, and also admits its limitations. You have to assume that all of the sides criticizing the target are wrong beforehand, and that said criticism is merely an outworking of their irrational or evil prejudices. It ignores any potentially reasonable arguments via a preemptive ad hominem attack.

Also recently, Longenecker has declared both the blog and the novel to be dying forms of publication. No word yet on whether he intends to jump ship on either one.


  1. You have to assume that all of the sides criticizing the target are wrong beforehand

    And he has his narrative worked out beforehand. If he cannot gain moral posture by triangulating between rad libs and rad trads (even a Rad Trad), he's at sea.

  2. I think Saints are about God and Holy Trinity. God not only sends thoughts of reverance for those He has fully acknowledge as His own but signs. Aka miracles. Not just supernatural happenings but clear miracles.
    The story of a woman complaining to a priest about her hero son dead in war comes to mind. She said "father! My son is a saint burried unknown, in a place no one will ever find him!" Avva replies:"him being unknown does not make him less of a saint."
    Point that God knows His Saints better than we do. Upon revelation we can find them and love them in celebration. But this does not increase nor diminish the love and help they send to us.
    I pray the priest finds what he's looking for in these reclusive defense of Mother Theresa. He seems more in need of confirmation than she is, now departed, gone through her personal Apocalypse that is death. Like you said, time is needed to see the fruits of all her work and struggle.