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Fetch the soft cushions!

— Pressure is on to change the Roman Catholic Church in America, but it’s not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn’t Catholic enough.

Enraged by dissent that they believe has gone unchecked for decades, and unafraid to say so in the starkest language, these activists are naming names and unsettling the church.

-In the Archdiocese of Boston, parishioners are dissecting the work of a top adviser to the cardinal for any hint of Marxist influence.

-Bloggers are combing through campaign finance records to expose staff of Catholic agencies who donate to politicians who support abortion rights.

-RealCatholicTV.com, working from studios in suburban Detroit, is hunting for “traitorous” nuns, priests or bishops throughout the American church.

“We’re no more engaged in a witch hunt than a doctor excising a cancer is engaged in a witch hunt,” said Michael Voris of RealCatholicTV.com and St. Michael’s Media. “We’re just shining a spotlight on people who are Catholics who do not live the faith.”

John Allen, Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, has dubbed this trend “Taliban Catholicism.” But he says it’s not a strictly conservative phenomenon – liberals can fit the mindset, too, Allen says. Some left-leaning Catholics are outraged by any exercise of church authority.

“Taliban Catholicism.”  Right.  Because you know how they love to go around burning down shrines, whipping women in the streets and beheading dissenters.

And may I just say that anyone “outraged by any exercise of church authority” probably ought not to be calling themselves Catholic?

Interestingly, Father S was on about Catholics In Name Only just yesterday in his homily, by way of example making thinly-disguised references to a certain politician whose name rhymes with “Where Goes He?” and suggesting categorically stating that such an attitude is a major no-no.

(Via Headline Bistro.)

Well, another season of fall ball wrapped up this weekend.

I haven’t posted much about it this time around.  The truth of the matter is that the eldest gel started out in majors, but found herself overwhelmed by all the changes associated with entering seventh grade at a brand new school and decided to chuck softball, at least for now.  I didn’t see any particular advantage to getting into a showdown over it, so did not press the point.

No, the bulk of the season has been focused instead on the eight year old, who played her first season of AA ball.  I helped out as an assistant coach on her team.  As has been the case over the past couple years, I found great satisfaction in watching the gels’ skills steadily improve and seeing the team come together.

Our head coach was out of town this weekend, so I wound up running the last game myself.  For what it was worth, several parents asked me afterward if I was planning to coach in the spring.  I certainly hope so.

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