The treachery of the dwarves: Fr. Dwight Longnecker


“I was reminded of the dwarves when, in a regretted moment, I spent some time online reviewing a few of the extremist conservative Catholic websites.”


True. It’s not just a Catholic thing.


Brilliant connection there, “Jan”!

The refusal to be taken in-- perfect explanation for this phenomenon.


I can’t take any credit, just sharing Fr. Dwight’s article.


It’s hardest to give up a wrong position when you are partly right, when there are very real reasons for your anger.

Here are some factors I read from the hard Catholic Right:

  • Liturgical abuses
  • Disdain to those who like the EF
  • Horrible religious education
  • Appalling neglect of prolife
  • Passivity by parishes, dioceses, Vatican, to the onslaught of secular humanism.

I agree with all of this. But like the dwarves, the far right has lost ability to make distinctions, or recognize any practical actions to make an improvement.
Their websites really cause passivity, because they won’t be “taken in” by those trying to make gradual improvement in dealing with problems in the Church and secular world.

The websites compete with each other by fueling alarm and despair. They are far more critical of Pope and bishops than they are of politians, media, or atheists in general. It’s the only way to get donations.


He does note later in the article that he sees the same among some radical progressives, which is good that he sees that because I sure see it daily.


I defer to Archbishop Fulton Sheen on this. Paraphrasing…

“There are two kinds of atheism: that of the left which professes to love neighbor and ignores God, and that of the right which professes to love God but ignores neighbor.”


Catholics are like in a firing squad, attacking each other. Coming up with this blog post dis not help either. It would be well to follow his own advice. Rant off.


Lest we become like the Pharisee in the temple. All Catholics are called to humble themselves as did the tax collector. Beginning with myself, it is a worthy endeavor both in daily life as well as in prayer.


Interesting parallel. I have run into many people like this. Many of them seem to be the ones who lived through the rocky transition of the Church in the 1970’s and seem to be stuck in that period of “us vs. them”. They haven’t seen the fact that although there are still leftovers of bad implementation of Vatican II principles, that things have moved on since then and swung back in the other direction. As someone who enjoys attending the EF, it is difficult not to run into people in this mindset who automatically associate anything post 1962 as harmful and surround themselves with negative mindsets of the former. It’s hard to have a dialogue with folks that are so entrenched and put on a pedestal certain far-right authors that some of their views are partially valid but misguided in the current state of the church.

P.S. Upon first reading the title of the thread I partially expected something about an animated Disney film and seven men cohabiting with an unmarried woman.


Wish I could like this a million times.


This comment really resonated to me.

I’m not a trad-Cat, but I feel like I can relate to their alarm, watching the deterioration of our culture, watching children being propagandized at from all directions, and some of the in-fighting among clergy.

If I were entrenched, I’d be afraid to become unentrenched only to be swept away by the culture…


So Eustace, the boy who was once a dragon, was right. Let ’em alone. Have pity on them and walk away. To argue with them will only draw you into their circle of sickness.

And for yourself? Stay close to Jesus and Mary. Stay close to the sacraments. Stay close to prayer. Stay close to the Sacred Scriptures. Get down on your knees the roll up your sleeves and do what you can do with what you have where you are.

God is good. His creation is good. His church is glorious. His Son victorious.

If the darkness surrounds you, remember you are a child of the light. Shine as a light in the world to the glory of God the father.

And remember, the dwarves were Narnians too. Be kind even if they are blind.

Excellent advice.


People in a firing squad aren’t shooting each other…:face_with_raised_eyebrow:


I think he meant the imagery of a “circular firing squad”. Never a good idea! :wink:


People check into Onepeterfive, (or National Catholic Reporter) saying "I don’t buy into everything, I’m just keeping up with the headlines. But I draw my OWN conclusions.

But in reality that mindset grows on you. You’re getting not just information but Formation. Like the Dwarves, the Far Right and their readers lose the ability to make distinctions, to notice most new data, and to take useful actions to make things better.

Those on the right (and left) become observers of the religious scene, and no longer active members of the Church. Those soaked in alarm are just as passive as those soaked in complacency.


Agree that Catholics need to humble themselves including the author of this article. I see it as a case of pot, meet kettle. It is not as if he author has not been critical of the Pope. He has, but he is just more passive aggressive instead of being direct unlike ‘those nutjob trad websites’ he is referring to.


They are balanced, perhaps an unfortunate term, by the relativists on the opposite end of the spectrum, who loosen the yoke of Christ, as easy as it is to bear already. Both could not be more wrong and both are absolutely convinced that they alone are right. The seeds of division are sowed by the enemy, and some find fertile ground. Faith is not lacking.

What is missing is humility. Speaking of which…

“Pride is the child of ignorance, humility the offspring of knowledge.”

  • Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen


I’ve grown so weary of Fr. Longenecker. Very few priests can become media sensations without going over the edge. He isn’t one of them. His constant state of apoplexy over a small minority in the Church is increasingly bizarre. Most Catholics have no clue that such a divide exists save for his blog post ramblings about it. Perhaps the divide would lessen with fewer people bemoaning it.


I sympathize too. People will often point out that bad things have happened in the past. They are right of course. There is nothing new under the sun. But that doesn’t mean that things can’t be better and worse at different points in time. One trouble in evaluating is that it is possible, and really typical, that some things are getting better while other things get worse.

For me the struggle in external matters really mirrors my own internal struggle. How do I accept that I am an imperfect man while at the same time striving for perfection. I think what most helps me is to see my life and really the life of all institutions as a story. The end isn’t written yet (at least I don’t know it). If I focus on that I can see that each moment is an opportunity to move in the right direction. It doesn’t matter so much how we got where we are but what we do next. That is what keeps hope alive.

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