A Note From Father

08-27-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Charlie Goraieb

Dear Friends,

The Atlantic, a prestigious magazine based in Washington, D.C., recently published an article entitled “How Extremist Gun Culture is Trying to Co-opt the Rosary.” Written by Canadian Daniel Panneton, it was heavy on conspiracy theory and identitarian hysteria, and very light on facts (let alone theological accuracy).

After having read the article more than once, I am still not exactly sure what the author’s intent was. It seems that he wants his readers to know that many who pray the rosary actually see it as a weapon with which to face the devil and the evils that occupy conservative’s minds. But he also wants them to know that many of these very traditional Catholics are also associated with gun-toting nationalists.

His article jumps from one unfounded connection to another. He begins by telling us that for radical-traditional Catholics (whoever they are?) the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning. And that these “beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture.”

He wants to equate men who take spiritual warfare seriously and the praying of the rosary as a premier way to do battle with Satan, as men who are worried about their masculinity and are on the fringe of society. He even takes a swipe at Bishop Olmsted’s 2015 Apostolic Letter to men, Into the Breach. (To be honest, he is not clear if he sees Bishop Olmsted’s letter as a reflection of the masculine anxieties driving traditional Catholics or not. Again, the author jumps from one idea to another, not bothering to establish a clear connection.)

Panneton gives himself away in the second paragraph where he refers to the theologian Massimo Faggioli, “who has described a network of conservative Catholic bloggers and commentary organizations as a Catholic cyber-militia that actively campaigns against LGBTQ acceptance in the Church.” (So, is this all about Catholics who won’t embrace the LGBTQ agenda? It seems that way.)

He then says that traditionalist Catholics who embrace these symbols (like the rosary) are just a few short steps away from the “violent, racist, and homophobic online milieus that lead to real-world terrorist attacks.” That’s right—if you are serious about your faith and you pray the rosary to prevent the further spread of evil in the Church and the world, you are a hop and a skip away from becoming a terrorist.

I wouldn’t even be commenting on this absurd article were it not for the fact that it was published in the Atlantic, whose editors should know better than to promote this anti-Catholic screed.

I also think it worth noting that after the article came out and was broadly condemned by Catholic media, rosaries began flying off the shelves. The author--no doubt unintentionally, succeeded in reminding Catholics to double down and embrace our great weapon against the powers of darkness.

Mary, Queen of Heaven, pray for us.

Please mark your calendar for Friday night, September 16th for our Spiritus evening of praise and adoration and healing. If you have a need for physical, psychological or spiritual healing, join us as we call upon the power of the Holy Spirit to heal each of us. Feel free to invite someone who would benefit from this prayer.

May God bless you and your family,

Fr Charlie Goraieb