Dealing with the looser moderation - re-become the Church of Nice


I know others have expressed concern with the loosening of the moderation allowing the charity level to deteriorate. I do not believe this is indicative of the new forum, but is a continuation of a trend that has been going on for more than the year. Even deeper, is a a trend on the internet as a whole, where anonymity has allowed a whole new level of bullying, belittling and general disregard for others.

I would like to think that we are capable of being different. As I was reflecting on this three nights ago, I started to think we have allowed a moral good, being nice, well-mannered and polite, to morph into a worldly negative of be politically correct, or too soft.

Yet the Church is nice. Christians must be nice. We have been commanded, first and foremost as the second of all commands, to love our neighbors as ourselves. Moreover, it is only by our charity that we are known. So, on the internet, anonymity can not hide those who belong to Christ.

It was Jesus you first said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John went further, using this as a way of separating false prophets. In 1 John 4:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already… 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love… 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.



He then goes on to say:

By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

An so I come to the Church of Nice, for when one has the Spirit abiding in him, then we can see that effect, even over the internet. Paul writes in Galatians 5:

In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law

While I know that emotions are not easily conveyed in text, when these are all consistently absent, then something is amiss. One can win every argument and still lose every person if charity is abandoned. I do not mean to pick on the internet video blogger who came up with the phrase “Church of Nice.” He is hardly alone. There are political liberals who tolerate no disagreement in the name of tolerance. There are conservatives that think they are promoting their view as they drive people away. There are traditionalist Catholics who think they are advancing orthodoxy while failing to observe the first and foremost of all commands of Christ. And before someone posts this, tough love, or admonishing the sinner, accomplishes nothing but the work of the devil when done apart from the Holy Spirit.

And how do we know that it is apart from the Holy Spirit? When it is apart from love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Veritas, yes. But only Veritas in Caritate.


What do you make of Jesus calling the Scribes and Pharisees “whited sepulchers, full of dead men’s bones” or clearing the Temple with a cord of rope? Should he have been nicer? I suppose, perhaps, those words and deeds made him known to the Council as a not-so-nice blasphemer and that got him crucified. Would his being “nicer,” more “charitable,” and less offensive been a better presentation of what it meant to be the “Christ” in order to show to those around him the meaning of charity (aka being nice)? I am pretty sure it would not have been.

And I am pretty sure that “being nice” isn’t the same thing as being loving. It is very easy to fail to speak the truth at the times when it is necessary to do so and then to hide that failure behind a veil of “it wouldn’t have been nice.”


Let me look at that.

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!

I was not going to include this initially, not since I believe the Holy Father has already addressed this issue sufficiently, but the weightier matters of Christianity are what Jesus says they are, not what you want. The greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself, to be known as his disciples by love for each other. The point of St. Paul’s teaching on the primacy of love was specifically as a way of healing Church divisions. Before you read 1 Corinthians 13, you really should look at the last verse of chapter 12, then the whole of chapter 12.

I would also point out that Jesus made this pronouncement upon the Pharisees after a life among them, three years of ministry, his eminent death at their hands, and in the context of a life of charity and gentleness. It is a fractional percentage of his life.

That and he is God.

Posters here that are constantly bringing out their scourges might find a more ready audience if they spent 99% of their time witnessing to the love of neighbor. WWJD? Yes, tipping over tables are an option, but it cannot be our go to strategy.


And there are not a few responders on these fora who have spent lives among people of the current generation. I would assume CAF life is only a fractional percentage of those lives.

And remember we no longer live at a time when the wood is green, the wood is now dry and old. WWJD today is a different question than WJD in his day. To answer that we require the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Spirit of Truth, not merely an extraction of rules and principles we might glean from things that happened then. God is not dead

That is a key difference, but he IS God, even today. We need not assume that God is completely absent from any and all determinations about what needs to be said today.

Agreed. However, there are clearly some shysters in the marketplace of ideas who need their tables tipped as a reminder that the truth remains the only valid currency amidst the frenetic dealings. Perhaps the scourges ARE unnecessary, although there might be times to be just a wee bit more demonstrative. The scourges in Jesus’ hands were, I suspect, just for effect and didn’t break any skin.

I don’t think words have much power to break skin, either. Complaints about harsh words seem to often come from those who don’t want to hear what is being said.


Like JESUS, I too am a staunch holder to THEE Truth [singular per defined issue]

The lack of this reality is the very foundation of the reformations faiths and churches

So WWJD is to pray very much for them and in patience and charity respond to their positions.with FACTS which grace alone can aid them to understand and come to accept,

God Bless you, GREAT reply!


I don’t think the charity level has deteriorated. I think it has markedly improved.

In the past it was not uncommon for someone to ask a question or make a comment, followed by them being absolutely torn to shreds by roving packs of hyenas. It wasn’t because there was necessarily anything wrong with their questions or comments. Instead it was because the hyenas would do anything to gain and hold control over those subjects in which they considered themselves expert. That, or subjects they felt shouldn’t be discussed, yet did not contravene CAF’s rules.

God help those who asked a question or made a comment that was legitimately critical of the Church or clergy! No matter how constructive the comment or question, and no matter how well it was presented, anyone doing that would be savaged by the aforementioned hyenas. It was a horrible thing to witness.

The hyenas would silence people through vicious personal attacks – often provoking their target to respond ending in the victim being banned, or they would derail conversation by effectively forcing moderators to close threads. Be thankful that things have improved!


On the one hand it seems better than the previous forum, maybe because some of the less civil people have left.

On the other hand, a handful of people seem to be into name-calling, Pope-bashing, and being snotty towards or even advocating violence towards people with different views. If you call them on it they claim to be defending the Church, like they are somehow holier than thou. And there is no way to block or hide their posts. Disturbing.


I think we all notice the patterns of certain posters, and hopefully they will go away or get in trouble. It prevents people who have good intentions from posting.

I avoid participating on any thread they are on.


But I do not think it has. That is the point. But defending charity and calling other human beings “hyenas” in the same post may mean we have different definitions and and understanding of what charity is.


I will only do that after it turns toxic, but I had to discontinue some threads as well.


Thats also a good strategy.

For threads that go against solid teachings yes, I agree we should post .

But for subjective topics, it’s not worth it. I value peace☺


IMO, there is a very strong difference between the so-called "Church of Nice’ and the virtue of charity.

"Nice’ as a word has come to mean, "Words or behavior that I personally find pleasant and good to hear and make me feel happy’.

Problem is, words or behaviors that sound pleasant and kind but aren’t really truthful or correct aren’t really charitable.

That being said, I absolutely do not advocate for any person who deliberately tries to be ‘not nice’ with the idea of then claiming, “But I HAD to say so-and-so was a lazy, faithless, miserable excuse for a human being who is damned to hell because he really IS”.

That would be neither nice NOR charitable.

Charity may have to ‘hurt feelings’ but ONLY as a side effect of the real need to, lovingly, bring a person into communion with God. It’s part of the ‘cure’ (just like one might need to cut out a tumor, giving pain, requiring skin grafts, antibiotics, painful relearning of range of motion for the affected limb, etc) but the pain is not the be-all and end-all result. The end of the treatment is for the cancer to be gone and the person to be cancer-free.

Charity might require a person who ‘feels’ that he needs to have sex with another man, or to abort a child with Down syndrome, to be told that is wrong. This may hurt the person’s feelings, it may make the person feel unloved, unwanted, and that the other person is not ‘nice’. And the other person is not trying to be ‘nice’ (though he is not trying to be mean, either); he’s trying to be charitable.

Something to ponder


I’ve not observed a serious decrease in charity. It seems about the same to me. But I may have missed certain posts.

I think American society is become more angry. Of course not everyone here is American.

The Internet, once it got popular, has always been a place for people to act less charitable. Really anything that separates us from the humanity of a person does so. People driving in their cars are less charitable than people walking down the street.

I know I could stand to be more charitable. So it is good to have a reminder of this.


That was a very carefully chosen label. The downright vicious attacks of some were flat-out ugly. Maybe they still happen, but I’m not seeing them.

I think perhaps that you are actually bemoaning the loss of control that a minority used to exercise on CAF?

Yes. the same extremist cranks exist, but they are largely harmless. The hard viciousness seems to be waning, thanks be to God.


Saying what is right and just will not always be interpreted by the receiver as being “Nice”. We should pick our battles carefully. There’s a lot of argument baiting going on. Just say your piece and move on.


There are those who would consider the term Pope-bashing to be a form of uncharitable bashing in and of itself. Charity in the heart of the giver is not always the same as what hits the receiver.

I agree with those who say things have greatly improved in terms of moderation, atmosphere. I still don’t know if I feel this way just because I don’t spend that much time here; perhaps I am missing the verbal blood baths. I do know speaking personally I don’t get attacked the way I used to. The few disagreements I have had on the new forum have been short and civil. Water off a duck’s back. I feel like the atmosphere is greatly improved. That is about the biggest draw - it is not the deeply original, informative, gripping, mind-bending, heart-rending threads…I will say that. We all need to pitch in there, folks.


Of course not. There was no control by any minority, only the moderation staff and the rules set. They seemed quite reasonable for a Catholic forum.


Sure there was. I think some are very upset that they can no longer get away with what they once could.


Might I ask an example of what this is that people are “not getting a way with?” I see no one ban and only a few posts blocked. There have be a few locked threads. I do not see this minority you speak of being punished in any way here.

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