A Catholic Writer’s Propaganda For Iran

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During World War II, a renowned American poet broadcast pro-Fascist propaganda from Mussolini’s Italy. Seven decades after Ezra Pound, a respected Catholic writer is following Pound’s example.

Mark Shea is an author and commentator for the National Catholic Register, a conservative newspaper owned by the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). His personal blog, “Catholic and Enjoying it,” is one of About.com’s five nominees for the Catholicism Readers’ Choice Awards 2012. Shea passionately opposes American military action against Iran.

In expressing that passion on his blog, Shea engages in such vile attacks, distortions, and fear mongering that one wonders whether he gives aid and comfort to a sworn enemy of the United States.

Take his blog post from Jan. 13, 2012 in which Shea links to that revered outlet for serious foreign-policy analysis, Cracked.com.

In “6 B.S. Myths You Probably Believe About America’s ‘Enemies,'” Cracked.com’s Mark Hill wrote that 1) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s comment about obliterating Israel was mistranslated and taken out of context 2) Iran has a smaller military budget than either Greece or Australia and 3) Ahmadinejad can be overruled by his superiors and has no significant power.

“It’s sad when the writers of Cracked,” Shea wrote, “know more about the Imminent Threat that is not Iran than the warmongers of the Right and the combox cowards who…defend their rhetoric in favor of cold-blooded murder of innocent human beings.”

Shea ended by asserting that “all the panic about Ahmadinejad with his finger on the button is pure provincial ignorance…using his stupid blather as a justification for praising cold-blooded murder of civilians as ‘wonderful’ is both ignorant and evil.”

However, the German newspaper Die Welt reported in May 2011 that Iran was building bases in Venezuela for intermediate-range missiles, complete with anti-aircraft batteries and commando facilities. Engineers from a firm owned by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard visited the site three months earlier.

The purpose, reported Die Welt, was to attack Iranian enemies — likely the United States — if Iran itself was attacked.

Since Shea’s post, the Washington Post reported on Jan. 31 that “Iran is prepared to launch terrorist attacks inside the United States,” according to intelligence officials testifying before Congress. On Feb. 24, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Iran’s accelerated production of enriched uranium that could be converted easily into weapons-grade stock.

The Revolutionary Guard’s own news service published an article on Feb. 4 by Alireza Forghani, a strategic analyst who advises Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. Forghani called Israel “this corrupting material” and stated that “it is a ‘jurisprudential justification’ to kill all the Jews and annihilate Israel, and in that, the Islamic government of Iran must take the helm.”

So who are these “innocent human beings” Shea mentions? Among them are Iranian nuclear scientists, one of whom was assassinated Jan. 11 in Tehran. Afterward, Sen. Rick Santorum, seeking the Republican presidential nomination, remarked: “On occasion, scientists working on the nuclear program in Iran turn up dead. I think that’s a wonderful thing, candidly.”

Shea responded in his Jan. 12 post, “Murderers for Jesus,” by assailing Santorum’s Catholic credentials:

“‘100% Prolife’ candidate Rick Santorum…dissenting from two millennia of Catholic teaching which says that you may never, for any reason, deliberately take innocent human life…is now on record in favor of the murder of civilians on the chance that something or other might happen years from now to justify it.

“Some people will try to make the claim that he was not a civilian. Sorry, but we are not at war with Iran. The scientist is part of the military-industrial infrastructure of Iran — just like the occupants of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were. If you say it is legitimate to murder him, you are saying it was legitimate for Osama bin Laden to murder his victims on 9/11.”

Stephen White, a fellow in the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Catholic Studies Program, wrote his rebuttal Jan. 23:

“…Santorum’s own remarks clearly indicate that he was talking about Iranian scientists who are working on nuclear weapons capability — a decidedly military endeavor — not just making electricity (emphasis in original).

“The Iranian regime invests large amounts of resources in killing Americans. Its president has publicly stated a desire to wipe our ally Israel off the map (something Mark Shea seems to scoff at)….The point is that while Mark Shea may judge that building nuclear weapons for such a regime constitutes innocent behavior, I do not.”

White also described as “badly flawed” Shea’s attempt to equate the death of the scientist with the 9/11 deaths:

“Under the Just War tradition, the right to use force…does not grant the right to use indiscriminate or disproportional force…his definition of what can constitute a legitimate military target is either so narrow as to exclude those who manufacture WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) or so broad as to include the accountants, janitors, firemen, paralegals and insurance agents who died in the WTC.  Neither strikes me as a morally responsible position.”

Santorum is not the only Republican to face Shea’s wrath. On Feb. 10, Shea linked to a blog that pictured Gov. Mitt Romney, Rep. Newt Gingrich and Santorum as “Aspiring War Criminals,” and wrote:

“We are, after all, talking about a field of candidates — Ron Paul doesn’t count since he will never be nominated — who aspire to be war criminals.”

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  • Anthony

    Shea works for EWTN? But in reading your examples of his radical views, I was expecting much more nastyness from him.

    Radical Catholicism is nothing new. The most popular alternative Carholic websites is Most Holy Family Monestary’s website. Yet, Broher Diamond is not anti Israel, as far as I know, he just thinks that modern Catholicism, post Vatican II, is heresey.

    From what I observe about most people, Catholic or not, when it comes to Israel, they default to a position of general dislike. On the other hand, Carholic teaching acknowledges the Jewish people as integral to God’s plan, so Catholics must support , as I do, Israel.

    About Iran, for so long, from the beginning, under cover of deceit and lies….by Western governments, and Russia, and China, Iran purchased equipment in order to achieve nuclear potential. All along, they have insisted that nuclear energy was their only objective and it was accepted in order that money could be made.

    I’m the case of the sleezy European elite, I hope that they answer for what they have done.

    Europe, for example gave them specialized equipment for PROFIT! Not thinking, or rather caring, that the “Persians” would build an atomic bomb. Now, a so called Catholic writer is coming yo the defense of he “Persians”, why should we care? It is exactly his kind of lazy reasoning that creates the climate of equivalant thinking. For example that Moslems are similar in their thinking as the devotees of Christ Jesus.

    It is interesting to see how the world is heading in the general direction of what is described in the Book of Revelations. No matter how it defies logic, a tiny nation of God’s chosen is received on all sides by forces of satanic rage that want it destroyed. We know how Revelations ends, with Christ himself having to intervene for the sake of the elect. So according to the Boble, these things are unstoppable as God himself has told us what will be.

    About Shea’s comparison to 9-11-01, that way of thinking is sinful. It conveys error in the minds of many by implying the occupants of the Towers were in fact just as guilty in the minds of those Moslem killers as in those assails seeking to kill those seeking to build nuclear bombs they do not question for what purpose and to what effect.

    The Bible also answers that, and Mr. Shea shoul take note, “For the wages of sin is death”.

    • Jason

      I would say Anthony that the Israel of Revelation is not the present country that, while denying Christ, has the audacity to call itself Israel. Israel are the people of God, i.e. those in communion with the Catholic Church.

      That said, I never quite understood why Shea has any readership at all.

      • intrcptr2

        No, Israel is the people of God, and no Catholic church has anything to do with the new covenant God made with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.

        Romans 11 clearly needs to be re-read quite a bit here.

        The nation-state of Israel is not being nearly so audacious as a gentile political construct which has usurped its birthright for about 400 years (Since Trent).

  • digdigby

    As a regular reader of conservative Catholic blogs and a Latin Mass Catholic committed to Israel's survival, I find Shea a pious, pompous windbag full of tender feelings when they suit him. Cold as mackerel when they don't suit him. His readership (as recently polled) is small and shrinking. Pat Buchanan is the 'big scary Iranophile' of American Catholics. I haven't the least compunction about calling him openly antisemitic. Why? Because anyone who can lump George Soros together with David Horowitz and call it 'the Jewish lobby' has got only ONE common denominator.

  • Ann

    It doesn't matter the day or time evil will always have useful idiots— and as far as BEING A REAL CATHOLIC Shea seems to be missing that boat—we will know them by their deeds—and they will be convicted by their own words—we are to read the Bible for our guidance—not the words of men and see,hear,feel AND KNOW THE TRUTH and in our Bible it says we are to STAND WITH ISRAEL ALWAYS!!! FOR G-D CHOSE THESE PEOPLE TO REVEAL HIMSELF TO, THEY ARE HIS!

    • Eli

      Where does it say that? Seriously. I'm pretty sure the New Covenant changed a lot of things. Don't just start making crap up. We are to STAND WITH CHRIST AND HIS CHURCH ALWAYS!!! Not empire building in the middle east due to a paranoid blogosphere.

    • Robert

      The Bible says no such thing nor is that even an "authoritative" teaching of the Church.

      Hippolito is just another Zionist shill.

  • UCSPanther

    Don't forget: Another Catholic priest propagandized for the Axis during WWII. His name was Charles Coughlin.

  • hahajid

    Apparently Shea is a shortspelling of shi'ite. It's no wonder why he comdemns the aborting of few murderous accomplices but ignores Iran's murder of many people during the uprise few years ago.

  • Ghostwriter

    I read a little of Shea's work and from what I've seen,he's a bit of a pinhead.

  • Bridgeport Guy

    Christians in Iraq have been displaced since the United States came to "liberate". No WMD's were found. Maybe Mark Shea is being prudent and trying to avert another disaster. The millions of dead Iraqis – mostly innocents – are people with just as much dignity before God as any American or Israeli. We were fed so much propaganda about Iraq. Some of us are hesitant to dive in with our eyes shut again, not wanting to commit to something we can't get out of very easily. When you look at the so-called Iranian attacks on Israelis in other countries in recent months (e.g. Bangkok, India), none of them are sophisticated. Do you mean to tell me that we are supposed to believe that Iran did all of this? A guy who tosses a grenade that bounces off a tree and blows off his leg? A bomb in perfectly plain sight of a driver at the Israeli embassy? I'm a Catholic and no fan of Iran. I'm also no fan of Israel – quiet down everyone – but that doesn't mean I'm anti-Jewish. I think that the United States needs to put its own needs first and not be led into another catastrophe to appease the bulldogs at AIPAC who sound awefully similar to the way they did back in late 2002-early 2003.

    • CNY Lady

      I agree with you. I also am no fan of Iran, but after the military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, we should not be so hasty about another one. Even the most powerful country in the world can be drained of its resources through endless wars without victory.

    • Ty Broussard


  • http://vocalblog.blogspot.com/ David Wendell

    I belong to a local G. K. Chesterton club at St. Joseph Church in Salem Oregon. The club was thinking of inviting Shea to our annual Chesterton dinner as guest speaker. I am going to try to persuade them NOT to invite him after reading this article and other articles where he tries to demonize Michael Voris of the Vortex/RealCatholicTV.com. I love EWTN but have serious disagreements with this Shea guy.

    • Eli

      Why not invite him and ask him questions one on one on what he really believes. He might surprise you. Instead of just throwing him under the bus.

    • http://www.chesterton.org Sean P. Dailey

      Yeah, David, invite him and ask him questions. That's what Chestertonians do — we debate and argue. How boring it would be to invite speakers who only confirm us in our okayness.

      What are you so afraid of?

      • http://vocalblog.blogspot.com/ David Wendell

        I am not afraid of Mark Shea. Will Gilbert magazine be having an article written by the leader of Planned Parenthood anytime soon ? What are you afraid of Sean ? The comparison may be exaggerated, but the point is that just because you don't want a speaker at an event does not mean that you are "afraid" of them.

    • Kris

      I agree whole heartedly about the attacks on Michael Voris. Shea seems to think he is the only person who can speak as a genuine catholic. Voris is acurate on many issues, a great journalist. I dont know what shea is except a catholic convert who writes alot of stuff. He may be letting is status go to his head. But lets pray for him.

  • Rob Westenberger

    Shea is a writer that seems more concerned about seeming witty a finding a new look at a subject even if it adds nothing to the conversation. I find reading his drivel very tedious. He goes overboard to let you know how tolerant he is, but if someone speaks plainly and forcefully on a subject, like Voris does, Shea doesnt like it very much. He would not have got along with John the Baptist very well. The farther away from truth one gets the more words one needs to dance around the truth…Shea is one heck of a dancer.

  • TonyC

    It is about time that Shea is seen for what he is;a shill for Obama like so many of the other phony catholites.

    • dtfinn

      you're an idiot. Even a cursory reading of Shea's work would see that he rails against Obama ("Our God King") every chance he gets.

      • http://estquodest.com Pauli

        Well, yeah, but the truth is that Shea rails against just about *everybody* who isn't in his clique. Especially people like Michael Voris who came out of nowhere and became an internet sensation overnight, most likely because he is better at connecting to serious Catholics and not as incendiary.

        Shea busts on Santorum for saying it's good when some bad guy in Iran dies, but he made jokes upon the passing of prominent atheist and writer, Arthur C. Clarke. I quit reading his monotonous blog years ago. It's like reading the Remnant in a lot of ways, but I'm sure they detest each other just like competing protestant denominations always do.

  • Ron Van Wegen

    Mark Shea is often far more correct than others. He is insightful and completely Catholic.

    • Stu

      Shea is often far more correct than others. But he is also far often a giant horse's arse in style, tone and overalll presentation. That latter, unfortunately, is what is remembered.

  • Clare Krishan

    ditto Ron Van Wegen. What paragon of Catholicity does Mr Hippolito want to compare himself to, he is known to be hyper-critical of just about anyone, including the heirarchical authority of Christ's own Church,

    "Too many Catholics (like all too many Christians) rely on their "leaders" to teach them — and those leaders are spiritually bankrupt, false shepherds themselves." comment at http://jimmyakin.com/2008/05/new-marian-appa.html

    so Iet's not be tempted to take his word for when or to whom "immaculate conception" applies {Mary yes, all Catholics would agree that's doctrinally sound. State of Israel? Not so much, taking their cue from the Vatican, which will probably begin to reconsider if and when their private property rights are acknowledged as antecedent, they've been waiting now for half a century, they're patient peace-loving types. Unfortunately the same can't be said about Israeli jurists or politicians.

  • Christopher Hunt

    Mark Shea is right on. He is the one that is preaching Catholic Just War Doctrine. You, and many here do something I once did: you take your "Conservative Americanism" and your "Devout Catholicism" mix them together and call it orthodox Catholicism. News flash! That is NOT an orthodox way of being Catholic. The US bishops teach what the Catholic Church teaches here. They happen to be right on war, immigration policy, abortion, so called "gay rights," and contraception as well. The bishops (and Shea) are taking the orthodoxly Catholic stance here. Just sayin'.

  • randy

    How many of the U.S bishops or cardinals were fired for protecting pediphile priest?

  • Clare Krishan

    More on the Cathoiic concept of illiictness of intrinsic evil: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/no-you-cant-delibe

    "God bless you, Jimmy. You have just blasphemed the holiest and most sacred moral heresy of Americans, left and right. You will now be bombarded with scorn. Fight the good fight. "

  • Mike

    Hey people, Shea is merely agreeing with the position of the Church. JP2 and Benedict were both against taking military action in Iraq and Iran. Sorry hawks, but the Church opposes war unless there is a grave reason. Read Augustine's Just War Theory again.

  • Mike

    I'll bet you Shea haters were all clamoring to go to war in Iraq and Viet Nam too. How did those turn out?

  • Phil

    You take a reputable man's name and smear it like this? All because he does not hold to Bill Kristol's doctrine on war? I used to beat war drums too, until I looked closer at the uncomfortable details. I cannot remember anytime in mordern history when the Church has promoted a preemptive strike against another country. Dick Chaney tried to persuade the Church to support the Iraq war many years ago, and Cardinal Ratzinger said then, as he will say soon again, "It is immoral".

    The propagandists are you people promoting this war. Take up your arms and form a militia to fight this war yourselves. Any attempt to garner American support for this war does not have to do with smearing people's names. State the facts about the issues and let the American people decide what is just. Do not leave it in the hands of military contractors and other people who have much to sell and buy from this.

    When people spoke all sorts of ills against Dick Chaney's Halleburton years ago, I ridiculed them. Now, I see how I was used as a useful idiot.

    What has happened to the Christians in Iraq, they have fled. The Taliban is still in charge, and there are still many lives at risk. When we seek revolutions or interventions to fix a problem, we never expect the situation to get worse, but it always does.

    If there is a war in Iran, watch the Jewish and Christian population in Iran dwindle…and the rest will be persecuted by the angry Muslims. It is then that we will show pictures and videos of Iranians killing Christians and say, "See, we told you!!" but we will not mention the reality that it was the effect of our interventions. Blowback is a reality.

    We talked peace with Russia in 1962. It can be done with Iran…after all, we owe them that since we helped cause a coup there in 1953. This coup forever ruined Iran.

    • Ty Broussard


  • Bridgeport Guy

    I don't know much about Mark Shea, but maybe he didn't get the memo from the Neo-Catholics who hijacked many of the Catholic TV, radio stations, and blogs that part of the faith includes being a war-monger. Neo-Catholics are nearly as destructive to the Church as the liberals who attempt to dismantle many of the Church's traditional teachings. According to the Neo-Catholics, a Catholic has to be against abortion (which is absolutely true) yet in favor of going to war before exercising every other option and examining the Just War Doctrine (not so good). The tune being piped by the likes of AIPAC and the members of the old PNAC (Project for a New American Century) has unfortunately attracted many, many good-hearted Catholics who have been brainwashed to feel it's their duty to push for the destruction of Iran. Obama and his minions who promote evil sins like abortion, contraception, and homosexual relations are destructive to the Church and the world. But the guys who want to nuke any country that isn't in line with the agenda of the US/Israel are pretty dangerous as well. Through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima, may we avert another destructive war.

  • David

    Right on! The time is right to crush Iran. Curse that peacenik, liberal, Obama-loving, hippie Mark Shea.

    However, the Obama administration is moving too slow on Iran, so here is my solution:

    I say everybody on here that is saying we should go to war with Iran should take up arms immediately and go over and invade. Oh, your kids and grandkids too. We can do it right now. Don't let your neighbor's kids get wounded. Don't let our brave men and women get wounded for the cause. It means so much, we should do it right now. And because it means so much to Newt, Mitt, and Rick, I am sure they will gladly take up arms and lead us, even if it means getting wounded or dying. And their kids will surely come along and fight and die too, since it is such a noble cause.

    What are you guys waiting for? Start doing push-ups, run a few laps, and quit your jobs. There is no time like the present to invade Iran!

  • dgs

    I think Mark Shae is a pretty cool guy. Eh totally orhtodox and doesnt afraid of anything.

  • Ez

    Wow! Joseph hippolitio, with friends like you, who needs enemies!

    Way to go, smearing a fellow Catholics like you just did. Could the photo in your article of Mark Shea been any bigger- I'm guessing you put it there to make definite sure we all knew who you were talking about.

    The Catholic Church has continually condemned countries instigating war and being in a chronic state of war- as the US has been for many decades.

    So who are you as a Catholic to sit there and preach otherwise. Why don't you sign up for the army if you feel so strongly about this! Or is the armchair of your office too nice and cosy.

    The problem with the Catholic Church these days, is not people like Mark Shea. It is the ease of which Catholics like yourself, turn on other fellow Catholics.

    You can sit and attack the Muslims and the Jews for their play in the world, but at least they know how to stick together and not attack their own- something you seem at great ease doing.

    Attack Iran! Attack Mark Shea! Attack them all! Bravo Jo!

  • Richard W Comerford

    Re: Mr. Shea vs Mr Pound

    Erza Pound (1885-1972), an American citizen, moved to Italy prior to WW II. After the outbreak of WW II Mr. Pound (an admitted anti-Semite) stayed in Italy and made radio board casts for the Italian government. He did so while his native country (USA) and Italy were in a declared state of war. In 1943 he was indicted in the USA for giving aid and comfort to the enemy during a time of war.

    Neither the USA nor the State of Iran have yet declare war on one another. Mr Shea, as a patriotic American, has every right to comment on this matter without being compared to an indicted traitor.

    It should also not be forgotten that Mr. Shea has bravely defended the Church's teachings on human life for years.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • Tom

    Sorry, Joe. No sale here. Shea is an honest to goodness Catholic who defends and promotes Church teaching. You are something else. You are certainly not Catholic.

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Hippolito vs Mr Shea

    In justice it should be pointed out that Mr. Hippolito forgot to mention in the instant article that he and Mr. Shea have been engaged in an increasingly bitter online dispute regarding Roman Catholicism for almost 10-years now. Indeed, so bitter, that during the dispute Mr. Hippolito left Rome.

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

    • Stephen E Dalton

      Richard, Mr Shea has stalked Joe and other people he has disagreed with all over the internet, sometimes calling their employers to unsettle their lives. If there's any bitterness in this dispute (and others), Shea is the one who started them and keeps the pot boiling. Also , I'm sorry Joe left the church. I don't think for one minute it was the right thing to do. I understand why he made that decision. He was so burnt out by the hypocrisy he saw in the hierarchy and in self-rightous "undereducated hacks" like Mark Shea, he allowed it to get to him. I'm praying he will see that no matter how bad things are, everything will turn out for good in the end. And as for the 'bold stands' he takes on the death penalty, torture, and the Mid-East war, those are not magisteral positions. They are his, JPII, and BXVI private teachings, which we can take with a grain of salt. The death penalty is still supported by 1900+ years of teaching and is still a part of the magisterium that all Catholics must believe. Please click on Tom's name so you can be informed about the real need for the dp in the real world.

      • Richard W Comerford

        Mr. Dalton:

        "Mr Shea has stalked Joe and other people he has disagreed with all over the internet, sometimes calling their employers to unsettle their lives"

        I would not know. But if true where are the defamation and loss if income law suits?

        "If there's any bitterness in this dispute (and others), Shea is the one who started them and keeps the pot boiling."

        I do not know who is at fault. But if Mr. Hippolito is going to compare Mr Shea to an indicted traitor then, in justice, Mr. Hippolito should let it known that there is a decade long dispute between them.

        "And as for the 'bold stands' he takes on the death penalty, torture, and the Mid-East war, those are not magisteral positions."

        Certainly regarding "Mid-East war" no Pope has solemnly taught the faithful that as a matter of faith or morals the Mid-East war is wrong. Mr. Shea also acknowledges that Rome holds that the State may, under certain circumstances exercise, its right under natural law to take the life of a convicted criminal. However both Rome and Mr. Shea are in step with their claims that torture is an intrinsic evil.

        "They are his, JPII, and BXVI private teachings, which we can take with a grain of salt"

        There is no such thing in the history of the Roman Church as a "private teaching". Neither Pope nor Council has ever held that torture is morally permissible under any conditions. The Roman Church has taught torture is an intrinsic evil. See it Catechism found online via Mr. Google.

        "The death penalty is still supported by 1900+ years of teaching and is still a part of the magisterium that all Catholics must believe."

        JP II in his letter to the faithful on this matter acknowledges the State's right under natural law to execute, under certain circumstances, condemned prisoners. Are you saying Mr. Shea is in disagreement with JP II?

        "Please click on Tom's name so you can be informed about the real need for the dp in the real world."

        Sorry. Lost you.

        God bless

        Richard W Comerford

    • Stephen E Dalton

      Richard, Mr Shea starts fights that are unwarrented, wheather with Mr Hippolito or anyone else. He goes out of his way to spread calumy about people and organizations he finds disagreeable to him. He will not hesitate to harass and stalk somebody for years just because they dare disagree with his holiness St Mark. He has been known to call his targets place of employment to harm the target of his wraith. He is the one who injects bitterness into any topic under discussion
      Yes, Joe left Rome. IMHO, he shouldn't have done it. But I understand why it happened. He was so overwhelmed by all the hypocrisy he saw and heard, that it cased him to slip and fall. I pray for him to return to the Church. I also pray for Mr Shea; i hope someday he will let go of his hate, spite, and arrogence so he will no longer be an embarassment to the Catholic faith.

      • Richard W Comerford

        Mr. Dalton:

        "Mr Shea starts fights that are unwarrented"

        I would not know.

        "He will not hesitate to harass and stalk somebody for years just because they dare disagree with his holiness St Mark."

        As I said, if true, then where are the law suits?

        "I also pray for Mr Shea; i hope someday he will let go of his hate, spite, and arrogence so he will no longer be an embarassment to the Catholic faith."

        When almost all others remained silent Mr. Shea stood by Rome's doctrine regarding life issues particularly just war and torture. And this at a time when even EWTN was trying to justify torture. This is no small matter.

        God bless

        Richard W Comerford

  • http://www.seeking4justice.blogspot.com Tom

    Shea's an undereducated hack who relishes taking "bold" stances like condemning all the Repub candidates as ritually impure, and advocated voting for sure losers, witness his stance last time around in which he declined to support McCain, result: Obama– but Shea is still unsullied I guess, because we all know these lefties and righties are just the same and hey, McCain would probably be assaulting the Church too if he had been elected! Sheesh… He routinely attacks the Church's traditional teaching on the death penalty, rehashing 90 year old cases as if they represent the current state of criminal justice.

    Sorry, but if Voris can't use the title "Catholic" I certainly can't imagine why Shea should get away with it.

    • Stephen E Dalton

      Tom, ":uneducated hack" is the best description of ever heard of Mark Shea. You can also add, "uninformed", to that description too.

      • Richard W Comerford

        Mr. Dalton:

        "You can also add, "uninformed", to that description too."

        Disagreeing with Mr. Shea is one thing. But one only has to look at his long line of published books and articles to realize that he is hardly uninformed.

        If you keep basing your arguments against Mr. Shea on personal attacks then you run the risk, as Mr. Hippolito has done, of appearing to be motivated by pique and spite rather than logic adn truth.

        God bless

        Richard W Comerford

        God bless

        Richard W Comerford

        • Stephen E Dalton

          To uninformed, we can add; bullying, bigoted, and bankrupt.
          I've only read his on-line articles, not his books, but the majority of his aricles are just opinion pieces were he emotes about something that irks him.
          My only motive for criticizing Shea is my disgust about his hartefull behaviour toward others.

          • RIchard W Comerford

            Mr. Dalton:

            "To uninformed, we can add; bullying, bigoted, and bankrupt."

            Again, you run the risk, as does Mr. Hippolito, of appearing to be motivated by personal spite of and enmity for Mr. Shea rather than for a search for the truth as to the matter at hand – possible war wit hIran.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

  • Richard W Comerford

    Mr. Tom:

    "Shea's an undereducated hack"

    As were most of the Apostles. and, indeed are Lord and Savior Himself.

    "witness his stance last time around in which he declined to support McCain, result: Obama"

    Are you saying that this "undereducated hack" can single highhandedly change the course of a Presidential election merely by the force of his blog?

    "McCain would probably be assaulting the Church too if he had been elected!"

    The heroic John McCain as a U.S. Senator has taken some peculiar positions regarding life and liberty issues.

    "He routinely attacks the Church's traditional teaching on the death penalty"

    Rome holds that the State, under certain circumstances, has the right under natural law to execute condemned felons. However, Rome does not hold that the State MUST execute convicted felons. Mr. Shea does not dispute this right. Mr. Shea merely questions whether it should be exercised.

    "if Voris can't use the title "Catholic" I certainly can't imagine why Shea should get away with it".

    My personal guess is that Mr. Voris has irritated too many Church bureaucrats. Mr. Shea has not. (Shame on Mr. Shea for not trying hard enough.)

    God bless

    Richard W Comerford

  • John

    Folks, I've met Shea and spent time in a one-on-one conversation with him. The man is pompous and condescending. He could only go on and on about Ron Paul, lauding him like the left lauds Obama.

    Shea attacks the Catholic right, ie Michael Voris, and the most Catholic presidential candidate in the history of the United States, Rick Santorum, with a vigor. If he would only confront evil with that same vigor. Its antics like his that will get Obama reelected.

    • Richard W Comerford

      Mr. John:

      "The man is pompous and condescending"

      You forgot to add that he is also a Left Coast hippie in need of a hair cut.

      "Shea attacks the Catholic right, ie Michael Voris"

      Rome does not divide itself into "right" and "left". A soul is either in full communion with Rome or not.

      "the most Catholic presidential candidate in the history of the United States, Rick Santorum"

      There have been two that I know of: Alfred E Smith (1928) and JFK (1960). Neither Smith nor Kennedy ever supported a pro-death candidate (Arlene Specter) over a pro-life candidate as the good Senator did. Such support is very much against Rome's teachings on this matter.

      "If he would only confront evil with that same vigor"

      Mr. Shea is published. Extensively. Within his works he confronts the culture of death with the greatest vigor.

      "Its antics like his that will get Obama reelected."

      I doubt that Mr. Shea is that influential.

      God bless

      Richard W Comerford

      • John

        Hi Richard,

        I wouldn't characterize Mark as a hippie. I think he would like to fashion himself as a modern G K Chesterton.

        Also, I didn't say Santorum was the only Catholic presidential candidate, just the "most" Catholic. I don't think JFK really was a very good example of a Catholic living the faith.

        As far as Shea and the Culture of Death, he, along with dozens of prominent Catholic apologists, do so. But in attacking men like Santorum, he is helping Obama get reelected.

        • Richard W Comerford

          Mr. John:

          "I wouldn't characterize Mark as a hippie."

          Well, what ELSE do you call someone living on the Left Coast. He probbaly crows cannabis in his backyard and does not own a pair of socks!

          "I didn't say Santorum was the only Catholic presidential candidate, just the "most" Catholic."

          Neither did I. And out of the three he is the only one to support pro-abortion candidates over pro-life candidates.

          "I don't think JFK really was a very good example of a Catholic living the faith."

          We will not know until Judgement Day (and we should all tremble at that thought). But the media at teh time portrayed him as exemplary.

          "But in attacking men like Santorum, he is helping Obama get reelected."

          Or you could say that by running Senator Santorum has split the conservative vote and "he is helping Obama get reelected".

          God bless

          Richard W Comerford

          • John

            Hi Richard,

            I'm not sure I know what "crowing" cannabis means, unless you were agreeing that Shea was "cocky"

            "Or you could say that by running Senator Santorum has split the conservative vote and "he is helping Obama get reelected".

            Or I could say that in attacking men like Santorum, he is helping Obama get reelected!

            Time go back to my Lenten penance,


          • Richard W Comerford

            Mr. John:

            Busted both my hands. I cannot type. Mr. Shea is not doubt growing cannabis. How is that?

            "Or I could say that in attacking men like Santorum, he is helping Obama get reelected!"

            So you have no problem with a Catholic candidate for President who, when it was politically expedient, has supported the culture of death over the culture of life?

            And you are criticizing the Left Coast Hippie?

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • John

            "So you have no problem with a Catholic candidate for President who, when it was politically expedient, has supported the culture of death over the culture of life?"

            I believe people make mistakes. I believe they repent. I believe they learn from them. Santorum was not immaculately conceived. He made a mistake. I'm not supporting him for what he was – I support him for what he is.

          • Richard W Comerford

            Mr. John:

            "I believe people make mistakes"

            Well of course they do. Some of these mistakes are sins grievous sins. Rome holds that a soul is supporting surgical abortion it automatically excommunicates itself.

            "I believe they repent."

            Some do. Some do not. Has Senator Santorum?

            "I believe they learn from them."

            Some do. Some do not. Has Senator Santorum?

            "Santorum was not immaculately conceived."

            Neither was Mr. Shea.

            "I'm not supporting him for what he was – I support him for what he is."

            And having abandoned the weak, the innocent and the helpless before to the culture of death how do you know he will not do it again?

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

          • John

            I think Sen. Santorum has repented, I know he goes to confession. Not sure about you though..

            I'll let you have the last word,

            Its been nice chatting with you,


          • Richard W Comerford

            Mr John:

            "I know he goes to confession. Not sure about you though..I'll let you have the last word,"

            How could I confess the grave sin of political incorrectness? Which is beginning to look like Mr. Shea's sin in this thread and article too.

            God bless

            Richard W Comerford

    • Mark Shea

      I'm curious. Where have we met, John? I'm also curious about my allegedly going on and on about Obama, since my support for him is actually pretty tepid.

      • Mark Shea

        D'oh! "going on and on about Paul". My support for Paul is tepid. My support for Obama is non-existent. (Cue cries of "Freudian slip!")

        • John

          Hi Mark,
          I drove you from the airport to a conference. We were together in the car for about 30 minutes. I've got to tell you, I was really looking forward to meeting you but I was truly disappointed.

          You did talk extensively about Ron Paul. And i mentioned that I didn't think that he could get nominated. Your response was that in that case you probably wouldn't vote.

          • Mark Shea

            I'm sorry I disappointed you. I hope you can forgive me.

          • John

            You disappointed me. At times my daughters disappoint me, that doesn't mean I don't love them.

          • Mark Shea

            Thank you.

  • Jasper

    I've had my quarrels with Mark Shea, some of his political posts do get me angry. But he does have a good heart and knows his faith..

    • Mark Shea

      Thank you, Jasper. God bless you.

  • Catholic Onion

    I think where Mark Shea totally rocks are his use of anti-consequentialism arguments that are based on 100% pure shout-it-from-the-roof-tops Catholic magisterial teaching. You cannot ever deliberately do an evil so that a *good* can come from it–period. Thus Mark’s anti-waterboarding, anti-torture, anti-lying, anti-preemptive war, and other arguments traceable to Romans 3:8 cannot be overcome (“And why not say as we are accused–and as some claim we say that we should do evil that good may come of it? Their penalty is what they deserve.”). Anybody taking an argument counter to Romans 3:8 instantly loses, but may not yet realize why they’re wrong. Mark then makes it clear why they have lost the argument and then commences to dishing out penalties.

    That said, Mark would be better served by not dishing out penalties that involve rubbing peoples noses in their own moral spillage by resorting to incendiary name calling (Lying for Jesus, etc.) as it shows how he likes to gloat or take satisfaction in his insults heaved on opponents. However, at times, Mark will realize he went incendiary and apologize and then say he’s off to confession. If he would dial it down a bit, maybe he wouldn’t have to go to confession so often.

  • Catholic Onion

    Oh, one more thing. Mark Shea is not a propagandist for IRAN. He is, I think, simply advocating that we shouldn’t jump into wars (at least unnecessarily) or have the USA self-trigger itself into military policing action. This blog piece unfairly juxtaposed Ezra Pound with Mark Shea. I say to Joseph Hippolito own up to your mistake, be a man, and publicly apologize to Mark Shea.

  • cynthia curran

    So, waht does Shea think about the Crusades.

  • Cindy

    I’m Catholic and a frequent watcher of EWTN and I can tell you Mark Shea most definitely does not speak for Catholics. He writes like he does and he writes with as though he possessed authority on several topics. He really does lampoon many people, including Catholic faithful. Many Catholics are shocked by the lack of respect, charity and desire to try to understand what those he bashes were really saying. Many Catholics I know have stopped reading his material because it seems he really does not even try to hide the disdain he has for fellow Catholics and frequently takes his criticisms to far-fetched extremes, condemning not only what people actually say and do but what they think, what they feel and what their intentions/motives are. There have been several people who have written EWTN formal complaints although Mark Shea tries to keep his really nasty writing to his own personal blog and tries to clean it up when it appears on the National Catholic Register. So no, please do not take Mark Shea’s statements to speak for EWTN. There are many wonderful people over at EWTN that have more balanced commentary.

  • Fr. John Higgins

    He’s been personally insulting with me. I had the gall to ask a question.

  • I_M_Forman

    Never took this fellow as a serious catholic. He is one of those Liberal Catholics that Michael Voris warns us about.

  • dtfinn

    Torture is intrinsically evil, just like abortion. Waterboarding isn't 'worse than' abortion because you can't get worse than intrinsically evil (by definition). And opposition to one intrinsic evil doesn't excuse support for another. Just because you are pro-life before birth doesn't excuse being anti-life after birth.