Tired of Inizz^^, Feel-GoodrnCatholic Journalism ?rnThere was a curious exchange in the Nov. 28,rn1999 Our Sunday Visitor {OSV} between letter-writerrnJack Ferguson and M. Francis Mannion, who’s beenrnwriting the Q&A feature in OSV. Ferguson complainedrnthat certain of Mannion’s answers are “fuzzy.” Indeed!rnFor example, Mannion said that “God…may be referredrnto as ‘she’…. However….God is normatively understoodrnand spoken of as ‘Father’…. There is a questionrnof proper balance….” Balance between what? Betweenrnfeminism and Revelation?rnFerguson asked Mannion,rn”Why can’t you give it to usrnstraight…?” Ferguson concludedrnwith this indictment: “You arerntoo afraid to offend people”rn(which could be said of 05Vgenerally).rnMannion answered thatrnhe is indeed afraid to offendrnpeople, “appropriately afraid,”rnadding that “I avoid the practicernwhenever I can, not thinking it arnvirtue.” Mannion went on to sayrnthat he tries to give “subtle” andrn”balanced” answers to questions,rnwhich “often creates a ‘both/and’rnrather than an ‘either/or’ approachrnto issues.” Mannion conrneluded by saying that if hernwrote in the no-nonsensernmanner Ferguson was urging,rn”My mother…would slap me….”rnObviously, Mannion’s mother is not afraid to offendrnpeople: A slap in the face is quite offensive. Nothingrnfuzzy about her! And, in an ironic way, she’s ontornsomething that applies directly to Catholic journalism.rnThe Church is deeply divided between the orthodox andrnthe dissenters — the situation is “either/or.” in this context,rnfuzzy Catholic publications such as OSV and manyrndiocesan papers which try to please everyone will ultimatelyrnplease no one. Moreover, if Catholic periodicalsrnavoid offending anyone, they will likely not inspire orrnenergize anyone either. Which is why feel-good Catholicrnjournalism is in decline.rnSt. Peter noted that the Gospel is inherently arn”rock of offense” (1 Pet. 2:8). Indeed, inoffensive writingrnabout the Faith could have dire consequences, forrnChrist our Lord warned “the lukewarm” (the fuzzy?)rnthat He would spew them out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16).rnThat sounds worse than a slap in the face fromrndear old mom!rnWe at the NEW OXFORD REVIEW,rna robustly orthodox Catholic monthlyrnmagazine, aren’t afraid to offendrnpeople, and we give our readersrnthe story straight. If yournthink we’re exaggerating,rnconsider the fact that OSVrnand all its sister periodicals —rnand other feel-good publicationsrn-— have banned ourrntrademark ads from theirrnpages. Yes, we’ve got “attitude”rn(as Karl Keating says)rnand “cheek” (according tornNewsweek). And we’re unusuallyrncheap (see below).rnThe freight train of decadence, dissent, and heresyrnis headed right at faithful Catholics. Don’t let yourselfrnbe run over! Get yourself some ammo — by subscribingrnto our explosive magazine — and together we’llrnblow up that juggernaut!rn(Please allow 2 to 8 weeks for delivery of first issue.)rnSPECIAL DISCOUNT RATES FOR FIRST-TIME SUBSCRIBERSrnD One-year subscription $14 (regularly $19)rnD One-year student, unemployed, or retiredrnperson’s subscription $12 (regularly $16)rnD Two-year subscription $23 (regularly $35)rnName (Please print or type)rnStreet Address or P.O. BoxrnCity State Ziprnn One-year non-U.S. subscription US$24rn(regularly $29) Payment must be drawn in U.S. Dollars.rnD Sample copy ,.$3.50rn-> Our prices are so low because you can’t pay by creditrncard and payment must accompany order. Send letter or thisrncoupon with check payable to NEW OXFORD REVIEW.rnMail to: ^^^ OXFORD REVIEWrnRoom 110rn1069 Kains Ave.rnBerkeley CA 94706rnrnrn