Monday, September 15, 2008

They're still on about me on Catholica...

Imagine what it is like having a group of people you don't know engaging in an entire conversation about you in your hearing without including you in the conversation. It's a bit bizarre, but that's what's going on over on Catholica at the moment. I can't join the conversation because I am not a member of their little "members only" club. Of course, they are welcome to come over here and add a comment to this blog, or even email me on, but I think it is a bit rich. Brian at least usually writes to me when he has something to say about me on his blog to give me right of reply. He hasn't done so on this occasion. I have relied on other readers of this blog to inform me of what is happening over there.

My favourite comment so far (pro-Schutz) comes from George Haydock who writes:
Whoah . . . let's not get carried away here.

David demonstrates plenty of his religious heritage in his blog - like honesty, betraying his feelings, evangelical fervour, a respect for reason. "Catholic" shouldn't mean being snide towards others who don't demonstrate the prevalent Romano-Celtic-Oz cultural traits, or looking down on others because of the friends they might appear to keep.

I have no wish to offend or judge anyone here. Like John Henry Newman, David has probably already learned in quids that the mob he defected to are just as good at punishing him as the mob he defected from.

Let him go with our blessings and good will.
Good on ya, George! And thanks too to Perry for speaking up against "Alan's" attack on my homiletical skills:
I admit to being easily impressed by a good sermon. Based solely on this sermon, I am impressed with this individual's incredibly good judgment. By that, I mean his jumping ship to Rome, where he can deliver such homilies with hardly any fear of being called to task for his poor preaching.

I have to say, Alan, that I’m not overly-impressed with your grasp of facts. David delivered the sermon as a Lutheran minister to a Lutheran congregation. Far from “jumping ship” to a church where he can deliver such homilies with no fear of being called to task, he has jumped ship to a church where he cannot deliver homilies at all. He had to give up priestly ministry in order to become a Catholic and, even if you do not agree with his theological perspectives and don’t like his preaching style, I think you should consider whether showing respect for someone’s honesty, integrity and willingness to make real sacrifices in order to follow his conscience is more important than combining clever but ultimately cheap sneers at David Schutz and the Catholic church.
But I am most surprised - and most offended - that Brian Coyne himself would stoop to this low comment:
Where I have a big problem is that David waltzes into the Catholic Church with his very conservative theology and ideology — and he is given a secure job because of the ideology he expresses. I can count many people who have been faithful Catholics since birth — some of them prominent members of Catholica but many elsewhere who are treated like shit, literally left to starve because they will not play the "yes, Sir, no, Sir, three bags full , Sir, game" that Catholicism has become. I do have a criticism of David in that I think he is a master of that game... I have deep, deep misgivings of David's suitability in the position he holds publicly in the institution. Is he there because of his "loyalty" and willingness to play what I dub "the Nerny, Nerny" game where everybody runs around trying to play this game that Catholics are "king of the castle" and everybody else on earth are heretics, sinners or "the inferior" or does he occupy the position on merit and his experience and qualifications. There is a stench in the Catholic Church in this country today of "jobs for the boys" — people who will not question. People who make archbishop's "look good" in the eyes of Rome and who couldn't give the slightest toss for the real spiritual and social welfare of the vast masses in a modern society like the one we have here in Australia.
I was NOT employed in my current post "because of the ideology [I] express". I was employed by the Commission (not the Archbishop) after due interview process because of my years of previous work in the ecumenical life in this state, in particular on the Victorian Council of Churches (of which I had been an executive member, a long term member of the Faith and Order Commission, and chaired the committee overseeing the revisioning process in the 2000). I obtained this (originally part time) position through interview process over a number of other candidates. I was employed because of my theological qualifications and experience. I was never offered employment as an incentive for conversion, and worked on part time jobs (including parish music director and a state school librarian) for some years before being fully employed by the Archdiocese. In fact, I had fully resigned all my roles in the Lutheran Church and without new employment right up until my final week in Lutheran ministry. The fact of the matter is that I do my job very very well, thank you very much, and have a proven track record of building strong and enduring relationships across the board in numerous communities of Christians and other religions here in Victoria. Only on very few occasions have I ever experienced any negative reaction to the way I approach interfaith and ecumenical relationships. Most people react positively to the fact that at least in me they are given the respect of being treated openly and honestly and always with good humour. May I ask, Cliffy and Brian, whether you think something like the Interfaith Youth Pilgrimage "just happened"? Believe me, Cliffy, you need more than "delicacy" to organise youth from nine different religious groups to act together in this way and come out of it smiling! Interfaith relations is not all tea and biscuits!

AS for Brian's insinuation that I am "subserviant" - I hardly know how to respond to such an amazingly insulting and ridiculous idea. Again Brian implies that I have not replied to his challenge to defend the dictum "Sentire cum ecclesia" because of some inability on my part. All that keeps me from responding immediately is that I wish to do justice to the topic (and the topic is a huge one) - but the task he has set me is not unlike trying to prove to a blind man that there is a mountain in front of him...

And am I alone in finding Brian's scatological language just a little bit demeaning of the conversation? Brian, however anyone else has treated you, I have have never treated you as a "door mat". Please do not treat me like a toilet.

As for Helen's comment:
I checked David's blog and it really does puzzle me why some people think that their every thought and movement is riveting news to the rest of the world
I don't force anyone to read it what I write. But you visited my site and read some of it, didn't you? Believe it or not, but there are many people out there who like to read conversion stories, mainly because they find the evidence of God working in the lives of others an encouragement that he might also work in theirs.


At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 12:53:00 am , Anonymous Expatm said...

David that was an excellent reply to the enormously unfair, unkind, rude, crude and illinformed comments of Coyne, "Cliffy" and "bishop" Alan.

Sadly one cannot enter the inner sanctum, the infamous "members forum" at Catholica. I'm certain that is where they really "let the sow out" for a run as they say in Bavaria.

It appears to be the speciality and usual low quality of Catholica to write such baseless rubbish and then have the cheek to call their site "Catholic".

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 1:35:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

Nice to hear from you, Expatm - its been a while. Hope you are well, and surviving the demise of the Cathnews DB!

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 3:00:00 am , Blogger Ttony said...

It strikes this outsider that the apologetic and linguistic skills displayed in your blogs, when compared with the carping and spiteful comments on their forum, demonstrate exactly which green-eyed monster is bugging them.

It also struck me that you might actually have thought before putting finger to keyboard: "thought" as in "considered", "wondered", "assessed", "pondered", "doubted", and then "decided"; and probably "prayed" as well.

Keep it up!

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 5:20:00 am , Blogger Past Elder said...

Well, David, if you think CA doesn't like "your" Catholic Church, you can imagine what they think of "mine"! Actually, you don't have to imagine -- Brian's been quite forthright about it over there.

Since I am hardly about to be invited into the inner sanctum at CA, I guess I'll have a go here.

The problem is, to the CA mindset -- one which is hardly unique to CA as I have heard it for forty some years now here in the US -- you do not think with the Church at all, but have fallen in lockstep with those, particularly those in a hierarchy, trying to restrain at every turn the breath of fresh air let in by the Holy Spirit at Vatican II after centuries of stagnation.

I do not know one single Catholic, lay or clergy -- Catholic here meaning one who identifies himself as Catholic, approves of Vatican II and seeks to function within the Catholic community -- old enough to have lived through the Vatican II church in its entirety who would not hold a similar view, namely, that after such a great promise, such a dismal result has, well, resulted.

Not one. Which I do not offer as proof of anything, but example. Each of you, by which I mean not personally but the church envisioned on this blog and the one envisioned on CA, holds contrary and contradictory views of exactly the same thing, a community established by Jesus Christ having most recently refined and reformed itself at Vatican II for going forward. Each sees the other as being false to this development.

I don't have a horse in this race, since I think both are false to Roman Catholicism. But for those who do, I think dialogue, that word so prized by all versions of post-conciliar "Catholicism", would best be served and will only be served when both sides recognise that they share the same goal as stated, but differ on the nature of the goal and therefore how to get there.

For example, you appeal to an authority which you see as constant from the Apostles through Vatican II, therefore they have invented a spirit of Vatican II to mask that the documents of Vatican II do not have that spirit at all but another quite different, whereas they see an authority only now beginning to regain through the reforms of Vatican II its true apostolic self after centuries of being co-opted, therefore you are hanging on to what is left of what the church quite rightly is trying to shed. Neither is trying to be spiteful at all, but rather advance the agenda they think right against the restaints of an agenda they think wrong.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 6:57:00 am , Anonymous Tony Bartel said...

Some people do not understand the difference between subservience and faithfulness.

As somebody who has known you longer than probably anybody else who reads this blog, I can assure one and all that you are absolutely fearless, not only in questioning where questioning needs to take place, but in following where the answers to those questions lead, no matter how much it will cost you personally.

For those who know you, the mud will never stick.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 10:33:00 am , Anonymous Marie-Louise said...

I love the comment from Helen.

What makes the people at Catholica think that their "every thought and movement is riveting news to the rest of the world?" They haven't had an original whinge since the Catholic News discussion board. Many of their forum topics are derisive and they do the most despicable 'jobs' on their enemies (just check out what they did with the Fleming news - lots of innuendo and attempting to implicate anyone who has had any contact with him including the Campion board- nothing substantiated.)

I think they are nasty and would be dangerous if there were more than one or two bishops who would give them the time of day.

I tried being open and charitable with them on the CN board, but all I got was the same diatribe about neanderthals and subservient catholics in one thousand words or more. Brevity was not a strong point.

You are a kinder and more tolerant person than I.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 11:54:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

Thanks, guys for the back up and perspective. One needs that to be objective sometimes.

Thanks to Tony B. as well - who shares many of the traits he recognises in me.

Regarding subserviance and faithfulness, see my new blog entry.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 1:00:00 pm , Anonymous Mike said...

Schutz, you're doing good. I think to any objective reader, those leading that discussion at Catholica are showing themselves to be just a bitter, whining bunch. (Noting that not all the guys "over there" are jumping on this bandwagon).

Inadvertantly it raises 2 issues about the suitability of this blog however.

1) Are you casting your pearls before swine?
2) Your blog is the only reason I've ever slipped up and read a page of CatholicA.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 3:32:00 pm , Anonymous Sharon said...

When Brian Coyne was co-administrator of the now defunct Cathnews discussion board I became very tired of being accused of being a 'goody-goody two shoes, hoop-jumping little Vegemite' one of those Magisterium people who made him want to 'vomit in the gutter' every time I expressed an opinion in agreement with the teaching authority of the Church.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 4:15:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

It isn't nice when people resort to that sort of language in an argument, is it? And these are the people presuming to lecture US on how to dialogue? I shake my head...

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 4:20:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...

It's not always 'us and them'.

I'm a great supporter of CA and was a great supporter of the old CathNews DB.

However, I don't regard individuals associated with CA, even Brian himself!, as perfect and have objected to particular behaviours -- especially ad hominem - on many occasions.

CA, as far as I know, is an open DB and, while there is talk about the 'inner sanctum', it doesn't make a habit of excluding people because they have a different view. In the wake of the down right nastiness that the CN DB descended into, it's membership is more restricted and some people have been shown the door because of their behaviours, not their views..

If Exy has evidence that he has been excluded because of his views, then by all means make that evidence public; you have the forum.

In the meantime, let's not make this about us and them.

David's blog is provocative and informative, CA is provocative and informative. Both have a place and both will attract critics -- constructive or otherwise.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 5:05:00 pm , Anonymous Expatm said...

What a load of rubbish Tony.

Just read the appallingly crude and ignorant comments from Coyne and Cliffy and show me anything similar on David's blog.

On 2nd thoughts don't bother looking as there is nothing to find here.

When are you people at catholica going to finally learn to discuss and debate and cease with parish pump gossip, calumny, detraction and the personal and offensive remarks about people's private lives, their faith, their occupation, their conditions of employment, why they became a Catholic etc?

Catholica is NOT an open forum. The recent goings on with one member is clear evidence of that.

Lord only knows what you people are gossiping about now in your elitist "members only club".

What a disgrace the catholica website is to the Catholic Church.


At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 5:41:00 pm , Blogger Fraser Pearce said...


We both know that there is only one thing worse than playing squash together, and that is playing it by yourself.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 5:48:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let the Catholica mob talk themselves into oblivion...

No one's listening to them.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 8:12:00 pm , Blogger Joshua said...

It never ceases to amaze me how rude people can be: now, I've never visited that a-Catholic site, but from what I read of it it must really be vile, as shewn by their incredibly unchristian comments.

As all my experience has taught me, so-called liberals (generally rather illiberal, actually) are far nastier than conservatives. For by their fruits ye shall know them - that Mr Coyne seems unable even to type without swearing vulgarly in print, whereas Herr Schütz seems a very pleasant, educated fellow for instance.

Good on you, David: Blessed are the persecuted and all that!

What amuses me is how David's critics misread so laughably the situation - it is not those who actually believe the Faith who are 'in power', whatever that means; just try being forthright about orthodox in a seminary or parish (whether as layman or priest) and see how far it gets you: one certainly won't get much kudos.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 8:36:00 pm , Blogger Hardman Window said...

Dear Mr Schutz,
From the security of my anonymity I'd like to congratulate you on you blog and urge you to just ignore -if possible - the spiteful things that you read on "Acatholic". There are a lot of these bitter people out there - "Past Elder"'s comment reveals a common mindset with them "We wanted the Church to turn out differently after Vatican 2 than it has and we're going to blame everyone else for the fact that things didn't turn out the way we had imagined". I do wish they'd realise that the Church lives in a sort of "continuity" and cannot, will not, does not, disown the truth even while the ages pass and doctrine "developes" in the Newmanian sence. I loathe this talk of the Church "institution" as if somehow that absolves Coyne and Co. from the responsibility of being faithful to the Body of Christ if they want to close to Him.
They just don't "get it" about -among other things - "Dei Verbum" and "Lumen Gentium", and that other thing, what do you call it.... Oh, yes, the New Testament.

I, for one, am very glad that you, Mr Schutz, have discovered the joy of discipleship of the Lord in the communion of the Catholic Church, and glad that you bring with you the wisdom, experience, and learning of your past. Thank you for blogging and for the work you do. But I'm not sure that dialogue with the "Acotholic" crew is worth the effort. The time has come to treat them like a pagan or a tax-collector.

At Tuesday, September 16, 2008 11:07:00 pm , Blogger Schütz said...

...and that other thing, what do you call it.... Oh, yes, the New Testament.

Yes, that thing. When I finally get to do my big defence of SCM (which, in fact, if the readers have not noticed, I have already begun, piece by piece) I will start with the New Testament. "Be of one mind" etc...

Thank you for blogging and for the work you do.

You honour me with your kindness, HW. I do miss Cooees - those young whipper snapper novices and curates over at the new Cooees don't quite hold a candle to the old incarnation... Any chance of a word to the novice master about the importance of style and humour (and views beyond Sydney)?

But I'm not sure that dialogue with the "Acotholic" crew is worth the effort. The time has come to treat them like a pagan or a tax-collector.

Consider the dust shaken from my sandals, ol' boy.

(P.S. - But I will keep up with the project to defend the notion of thinking with the Church - I think that is important in its own right).

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 9:34:00 am , Blogger Tony said...

Perhaps I didn't make myself clear Exy. I find ad hominem -- no matter who it comes from -- abhorrent. And yes, like Pere, I agree that the attacks from Brian, from Cliffy and from +Alan were beyond the pale.

I find it particularly unsettling when the criticism borders on a kind of discrimination against those who convert to Catholicism. The notion, for example, that David 'waltzed in to a job' implying that it was at the expense of 'cradle Catholics' is reminiscent of the 'look at all the immigrants taking OUR jobs' mentality. Frankly, I hate it!

Having said that, I also find your own generalised condemnation of CA is typical of your own histrionics. Your ongoing paranoia about the members' forum is just one aspect of a long standing contempt for CA.

BY ALL MEANS criticise individuals when they treat others unjustly -- I have no problem with that -- but don't tar the whole DB with it.

BTW: When I describe David as provocative I mean it as a compliment!

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 11:24:00 am , Blogger Schütz said...

BTW: When I describe David as provocative I mean it as a compliment!

As the line in "Life of Brian" says:

COLIN: Who, me?
COLIN: Oh. Ooh. Thank you very much.

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 12:07:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...


It's a tough call holding passionate views but not contributing to division. I think we all fail in this difficult task.

The old CathNews DB at best was a place where people with differing views were able to dialogue with passion and with respect. Sometimes the equilibrium went out of whack when people got carried away, but most of the time people had a good sense of boundaries.

For all his faults, the success of that was down to Brian. And, despite views to the contrary, I believe CA is overwhelmingly a place where all sorts of views can be aired.

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 2:06:00 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Keep living in your dream world about what you think "catholica" is.

Like David I have been a victim of that despicable chat forum not to mention the other "forum within the forum" you people have.

If you abhor ad hominem then I suggest you leave "catholica": it simply is not on your level and I fail to see why you continue to support it.

As for you other comments: all gone through to the keeper.

Do us all a favour and give "Cliffy", Coyne and "bishop" Alan the mighty good kick in the backside they deserve. Have some guts Tony: you were very good at biffing the opposition on CNDB and other DBs.

Let's see you do it this time at "catholica" and support David Schütz.

Here's hoping


At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 2:27:00 pm , Anonymous Exy wrote reply to Tony said...

the above post was from EXY

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 3:41:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...

I have a better idea of what CA 'is' Exy, because I participate. I don't hold it in contempt in public and read it on the sly looking for an opportunity to put the boot in.

Again, with your paranoia about the member's forum. Get over it. -- you'll note I posted it before you suggested it.

Note that there are others who had problems with the string. Note also that that are CA regulars.

Maybe you could show some courage and admit that your generalised condemnation of CA is over the top?

Here's hoping.

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 4:11:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...


No doubt Exy has read this already, but I hope that all those who took such glee in making the whole CA DB the subject of their venom, might take note.

I can only echo Brian's words: 'I do hope the discussions might continue in more amicable and mutually respectful ways.'

I sometimes think the church needs to put as much effort into 'internal ecumenism' as it does to dialogue with other denominations and faiths. Odium theologicum seems to have a special venom (and, yes, from all sides!).

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 4:34:00 pm , Anonymous Exy said...

What a weak response at Catholica Tony. Just like hitting someone with a feather.LOL

As for your other comments....once again gone through to the keeper.

Go and give your good advice to old Coyney and "Cliffy" and "bishop" Alan: they need it and quickly.

Time for the cohort at "catholica" to issue a full apology to David Schütz and for that matter:the Pope, Cardinal Pell, Fr Fleming, Fr Brian Harrison, Fr JG and all the other people the cohort denigrates with putrid and baseless comments and parish pump gossip.

I suggest you work on your own "paranoia" and personal issues old boy. Maybe you can discuss them with Alex when he comes out of "exil".

He seems to have the good oil on everybody's psychological dispositions.

Tony how about flexing those big muscles of yours with the people who need it at "catholica"?




At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 5:23:00 pm , Blogger Tony said...

I'm sure David does not want this blog to be another forum for our disputes.

Suffice it to say that CA speaks for itself -- for better and for worse -- and a public, prominent apology has been issued. That's not good enough for you of course, but that's no surprise.

To finish I'll just echo the sentiments of a mutual friend: 'VIVA SCHUTZ I ENVY YOUR RESTRAINT....... '

At Wednesday, September 17, 2008 10:31:00 pm , Anonymous Exy said...

Tony oh Tony

You really have run out of steam since you left us.

Put away your pop gun.

The apology was totally pathetic and your cohort is still trying to lie their way out of the appalling things they wrote.

Shame on you all at a-catholica a pitiful site that does the Catholic Church no service whatever.

Run along now, there's a good lad Tony and as usual no hard feelings from me. We look forward to your return on CathPews so you can get back to your usual form and have some decent discussions.



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