There is an expectation here at CAF that we all should behave with civility. In practice this means striving to deliver our comments here with as much charity as we can muster.
Some Catholics who are going through a renewal of their faith can take on a somewhat strident tone. Having re-discovered the truth of their faith, they then proceed to jump on a soapbox and start proclaiming the truth as they see it. Fellow Catholics, priests, bishops, even the pope, are subject to “correction.” Perhaps they do not realize that this behavior often comes across to others as trying to use doctrine as a weapon.
Here are some quotations from Church leaders to consider closely:
“Win an argument and lose a soul.”
– Bishop Fulton Sheen
“Love without truth would be blind; truth without love would be like ‘a clanging cymbal.’”
– Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Homily
“Preach the gospel at all times, and, when necessary, use words.”
– St. Francis (attributed)
“You know well enough that our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.”
– St. Therese of Lisieux
“Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could move mountains, but have not charity, I am nothing… Love does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil… Love bears all things … endures all things. So faith, hope, charity abide, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
– St. Paul (1 Cor. 13:2, 5, 7, 14)
“Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.”
– St. Peter (1 Pet. 3:15; RSV-CE)
Some members have left the Catholic Answers Forums because CAF management would not allow them to behave rudely. There are many venues on the Internet where one may behave as uncharitably as one desires. This is not one of them.
It should also be noted that Catholics are NOT given preference because of their religious affiliation. In fact, Catholics are often held to a higher standard. As our Lord cautioned, “To whom much is given, of him will much be required” (Luke 12:48). Here at CAF, we believe that the truth will take care of itself. Our job is to reveal it as charitably as we can.
Finally, the Moderators are prepared to help members remain within the boundaries of charity. But that only works if each of us is willing to co-operate. Please accept moderator guidance graciously and with the Christian gentleness St. Peter spoke of, even if you feel you have been wronged. (And don’t forget that if you do feel that your case needs to be reviewed, you are free to appeal Mod actions to the Admin staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.) But please keep in mind that making continual complaints about a perceived slight or injustice is counterproductive. The Mods only have so much time to devote to CAF. Rather, offer it up. Others will benefit spiritually from your pain. It’s the Catholic thing to do.