Dawn Eden Goldstein, Patrick Coffin, and Genuine vs. Fraudulent Prophetic Christian Witness

So back in early May I am sifting through the endless stream of junk email that washes into my inbox and I find something from a Ryan Moreau, who (ominously) lives in that famous enclave of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and nutty Christian nationalists known as Hayden, Idaho.

He is announcing an on-line conference/suite of classes called Hope is Fuel: Catholic on Purpose and (more ominously) promoting as the headlining star of this event schismatic conspiracytheorist and dedicated enemy of the Pope, Patrick Coffin.

Coffin once made a name for himself on Catholic Answers Live and lots of people still only know him from that, thereby assuming him to fit somewhere on the spectrum of “normal”. But in fact, he long ago spun off into ever more insane Catholic-flavored right wingery with promotion of lunatic claims that Pope Francis is an antipope, alliances with dangerous cranks like antisemitic Holocaust Denier E. Michael Jones, and a raft of lunacy about the Great Reset, vaccine conspiracies, and various other grifts and kookery certain to trawl in the cash of the biggest QANON dupes and dopes in the far right of the far right of the US Church.

Knowing what I do about Coffin and the absolutely-guaranteed festival of highly-expensive Crazy that this grift was going to be, I round-filed the email and gave it no more thought. I assumed it would be him, this Moreau guy, and maybe a few more fringe types speaking to a fringe audience about fringe crap. Life’s too short to bother with such stuff.

But then, a few days later, the thoughtful, highly intelligent, and loaded-with-integrity Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein tweeted:

Yikes! I sez to meself! Can Coffin really have gotten all these people to sign off, not only on promoting his schismatic lunacy, but on having their names associated with a bottom-feeding antisemite nutjob like Jones? (And I do mean bottom-feeding. Here is a typical cover for the wretched rag he publishes):

And here is Jones on the matter of the mass murder of six million Jews:

American writer E. Michael Jones said in an interview that was aired on Channel 4 (Iran) on January 21-22, 2023 that the narrative that the Jews were gassed in the Holocaust is a “conflation” of facts. He explained that in reality, the typhus-infested Jews who emigrated from “unhygienic” shtetls in Eastern Europe to America through Germany “had no idea what a shower was” and were made to take a shower and had their clothes deloused with Zyklon-B. He elaborated that as a consequence, Zyklon-B has been conflated with showers by the Jews. He said that Auschwitz had amenities such as a swimming pool, and that Hollywood is the “regime that rules America” and sustains the Holocaust “narrative”. He also said that saying the word “Jew” is taboo in America, but that this taboo is now being broken, and that the overturning of Roe vs. Wade is the beginning of the end of Jewish “hegemony” over American culture. He also said that the “fundamental problem” with American politics is that the Jews control both political parties.

I watched Dawn’s Twitfeed with interest to see what would happen, particularly because I know a few of these people personally and could not believe that they would have joined this horror show if they really had the faintest clue of either what Coffin has turned toward since his departure from Catholic Answers Live, or if they knew some of the other names on that roster–most appallingly, Jones. As Where Peter Is chronicles, there have been other instances when people, having no idea the depths to which Reactionary kookery can go, have wound up lending their good names to fringe weirdness, such as when Robert Sungenis somehow roped Lawrence Krauss, Michio Kaku, George Ellis, Julian Barbour, Max Tegmark, and Kate Mulgrew (who played Captain Janeway on the television series Star Trek: Voyager) into participating in the production of a kooky film called The Principle arguing that the Earth is the center of the universe. Unsurprisingly, these people all distanced themselves from the film by light years and at warp speed when they discovered what it was actually about.

Following the release of the film’s trailer, narrator Kate Mulgrew said that she was misinformed about the purpose of the documentary and that Sungenis’ involvement, which would have been a dealbreaker had she been hitherto aware, was not disclosed to her.[3][4][9] Max Tegmark explained that DeLano “cleverly tricked a whole bunch of us scientists into thinking that they were independent filmmakers doing an ordinary cosmology documentary, without mentioning anything about their hidden agenda.”[10] George Ellis corroborated. “I was interviewed for it but they did not disclose this agenda, which of course is nonsense. I don’t think it’s worth responding to — it just gives them publicity. To ignore is the best policy. But for the record, I totally disavow that silly agenda.”[10]

Michio Kaku said that the film was probably using “clever editing” of his statements and bordered on “intellectual dishonesty”,[11] and Lawrence Krauss said he had no recollection of being interviewed for the film and would have refused to be in it if he had known more about it.[12][13] British physicist Julian Barbour said that he never gave permission to be in the film.[14]

Moral: Read the fine print.

Fr. Spitzer, for instance, comes from a Jewish background, is a very smart and energetic Jesuit (I first got to know him when he was at Seattle University) and I simply could not believe that if he really had the faintest idea who Coffin and his coterie of kooks was.

Happily, I was right. Two days later, Fr. Spitzer posted on his site:

I was made aware today, May 11th 2023, that Patrick Coffin has challenged the authenticity of the Pope Francis. I do not hold his position and would never hold this position.

Since I have already had an interview with him on a totally different topic I have asked that my interview be withdrawn from the series, and that my name not be associated with the series or other projects he is hosting including advertising etc.

My sincere apologies for the confusion but full disclosure was not made to me about Mr. Coffin’s controversial position prior to the interview.

Given what I know of Fr. Spitzer, this seems to me to reflect pretty much what I had expected. He didn’t have the faintest idea who Coffin is, was asked if he’d like to teach on something for an on-line catechetical conference, and said, “Yeah” without knowing much more than that. I’ve done similar things in the past back in the day when such conferences were simply, y’know, catechetical conferences and not ideologized freak shows organized by enemies of the Pope, antisemitic weirdos, and conspiracy theorists craving to steal legitimacy from Normals they duped into their orbit. I was relieved to see Fr. Spitzer flee the lunacy with all deliberate speed.

Next came another defection, but from very different motives and with far more toxic results. This was from Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, the worst in the US episcopacy (and therefore an absolute darling of the Francis-hating, Trump-adoring Reactionary cult who have been so wrong about so much so many times for so long that only an utter fool would trust their judgment about anything at all in the whole wide world, but doubly so about the Faith.) On the morning of the 12th, he wrote simply:

Note the cagey difference. Fr. Spitzer very clearly disassociated himself completely from Coffin, writing “I have asked that my interview be withdrawn from the series, and that my name not be associated with the series or other projects he is hosting including advertising etc.”

Strickland, a dogged enemy of the Holy Father, eager to endorse Vigano’s insane slander of Francis in 2018, eager to cheer for calling the Holy Father “diabolical” and fully behind the nutty crap about vaccine conspiracies, MAGA, and QANON idiocies, only separates himself from the one proposition that would make him unequivocally guilty of schism and put him on Rome’s radar: the sedevacantist lie. This half-assed bit of whole-ass saving is a way of remaining in the good graces of the Reactionary weirdos whom Coffin and Strickland both feed and nurture in their devotion to MAGA antichrist religion, while giving the virtue-signaling illusion of sharing in Fr. Spitzer’s honest repudiation of all of Coffin’s falsehoods, craziness, and toxicity. Most notably, Strickland remains stony silent about Coffin’s platforming of Jones and his denials that Jones is an antisemite (of which more in a moment).

That tweet came out in the morning. But by that afternoon, Bp. Strickland could no longer endure the possibility that even one person might not grasp the depth of his contempt for Pope Francis. So, he followed up with another tweet:

Somebody tweeted me to ask if Strickland declaring that the Pope had a “program of undermining the Deposit of Faith” was formal schism. I offered my reply. Dawn, with her characteristic wit, was more to the point:

Much bustle in Catholic media erupted after this tweet from Strickland, with Normals concurring with Dawn’s judgement in various ways while Reactionaries both denied that the Bishop is a schismatic and defending him for being so (a sure sign of a coherent position). Francis himself, as is characteristic when he is personally attacked by the weirdos and cranks who spend their days hating his living guts, said nothing. He’s busy being a good shepherd and not devouring the flock.

Bp. Strickland was on Coffin’s site for a few days after this (since he had already participated in a “Hope is Fuel” thing on March 18 with “eight mental health experts” meaning himself, former NBA player Royce White, and some anti-vax quacks and cranks). But then he appears to have quietly made his exit (though some video or recording may still be buried there, I don’t know).

He was not the last.

Jennifer Roback Morse bailed a few days later:

Meanwhile, Janet Smith, who has gained a reputation as a Catholic moral theologian and “prolife” leader initially offered this farrago of nonsense to rationalize giving her imprimatur of this festival of kooks and nuts.

But then, she decided to ditch the thing too. However, she did so with reasoning that fills me with horror at what the “prolife” MAGA cult has reduced itself to. She writes an embarrassingly long piece for CRISIS that begins, “After much reflection I have decided to withdraw from “Hope is Fuel” due to its inclusion of E. Michael Jones as a speaker.”

“After much reflection….”? Seriously? She had to ponder whether or not to lend her name and the last shreds of her credibility to this absolute cavalcade of schism, antisemitism, and deep corruption?

“After much reflection, I have decide not to swim in raw sewage” is not the way to persuade any sensible person that your judgment can be trusted about anything in the whole wide world ever again.

Smith then goes into an excruciating dance of qualifications, nuance, and excuses for Jones, starting with the damning remark that “I approached Coffin about Jones and was satisfied with the reasons he gave for inviting him; he did not believe him to be an antisemite.”

So: to be clear, Patrick Coffin, the organizer of the entire shit show, makes clear that this bizarre Holocaust-denying crank E. Michael Jones, is not, in his view, an anti-semite. And Smith was “satisfied” that Coffin believes that? Smith then goes on to offer a more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger case that Coffin might have committed a teensy weensy (but oh-so-sincere) moral booboo about that minor point.

She essentially concludes with a grotesque “Jones is not as vicious an antisemite as he could be” defense:

“I do not believe that Jones can be accused of being an antisemite in the sense of hating all Jews and wanting them to be killed, harmed, confined to ghettoes, or discriminated against.”

But, she reluctantly concludes:

What is relevant and ultimately decisive for me is that Jones’ uses the term “the Jews” in an unqualified way that makes it inevitable and to some degree reasonable to think that he means “all Jews” even ones who share not at all the views of the secularized non practicing powerful ethnic Jews Jones wants to warn us against. 

In short, her conclusion is that Jews are not all the monsters Jones routinely labels them to be.


Utterly absent from this perverse moral analysis was any mention of Jones’ vile lies about the mass murder of Jews in the Holocaust, which goes considerably further than “prolife” MAGA leader Janet Smith’s cautious and reluctant distancing of herself from the antisemite Patrick Coffin platforms and defends.

Neither Smith nor Coffin addressed Jones’ filthy apologia for the mass murder of six million Jews: rather an oversight in making the case (as Coffin does) that Jones is not an antisemite at all or (as Smith does), that he’s a bit too much for her tastes but that (de gustibus!) she certainly encourages others to sign up for Hope is Fuel if that kind of thing is to their taste:

I do not wish to discourage anyone from joining the course and in fact encourage people to do so. 

And to underscore that, CRISIS ran a piece right next to Smith’s by editor Eric Sammons titled “The Catholic Acceptability Police Are Watching” lamented people like Dawn Eden Goldstein who dare to confront the Cult with what they say and do. (By some unfathomable coincidence Goldstein has, along with other Catholics of a (((particular ethnicity))) such as Jenn Morson, Simcha Fisher, and Rebecca Bratten Weiss been the subject of CRISIS’ crack “journalism” on the subject of Jewish International Bankers and their nefarious plans to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.)

Sammons, true to CRISIS (and MAGA) form, whinges at the unfairness that antisemites and Holocaust Deniers, not to mention people who spread idiot conspiracy theories which declare Francis an “antipope” should face consequences for their actions.

Boo hoo.

As days went by, several more people ditched this horror show and Coffin was forced to offer a disclaimer saying, in essence, “Hope is Fuel is supposed to be a happy occasion! Let’s not bicker and argue about who killed six million Jews or whether I am nuts for calling the pope an antipope. Just pay your money! Also, forget the the people fleeing in shame! All is well!”

Disclaimer: Hope Is Fuel : Catholic on Purpose presenters do not necessarily support views and/or opinions endorsed by other presenters nor those of the host Patrick Coffin.

Presenters that previously agreed to provide a lesson but have chosen to back out as a result of the pressures of this world despite the disclaimer above (and the many falsehoods and accusations floating around) include:

Fr. Robert Spitzer, Jennifer Roback Morse, Jeff Cavins, Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Ken Hensley, Joseph Pearce, Dr. Janet Smith, Bradley Birzer, Lisa Duffy, Greg and Julie Alexander, Noelle Mering, Ralph Martin, Dr. Gaven Kerr, Marco Casanova, Jacob Imam, Adam Janke, Devin Schadt, Dr. Ray Guarendi, and Jim O’Day.

Note that the only falsehood told is that these people bailed because of “the pressures of this world” (Christianese for “because they were cowards denying Christ”).

In fact, they fled because, for various motives ranging from honest to shady, they did not want to be associated with 1) a kook declaring the Pope an antipope and 2) a Jew-hating Holocaust Denier. Also unmentioned is the fact that Bishop Strickland stiffarmed him (it doesn’t do for one of the biggest episcopal poseurs in the global Church to have caved to “the pressures of this world” when his entire schtick is about bravely defying the world as a Hero for Christ). Also unmentioned is the on-again, off-again presence on the speaker lineup of Milo Yiannopoulos, erstwhile camppaign brain trust of Hitler admirer Kanye West and the man who organized a dinner with Donald Trump, himself, West, and genuine bona fide Nazi (and Reactionary Catholic) Nick Fuentes. When Patrick Coffin promises quality, he seeks only the cream of the dregs.

Finally, there is this tortured rationale of a bow-out from Reactonary Peter Kwasniewski as it appeared on Facebook yesterday, which I print in full (with my supplemental commentary in bold) :

I have canceled my participation in the “Hope Is Fuel” conference and would like to explain why. Pardon the length of the post but thoroughness is important here [Because the Reactionary Freak Show subculture upon which Kwasniewski dances attendance regards criticism of Coffin and Jones as evidence of heresy, so he must walk a tightrope].

As a preliminary, I should mention that I was a late addition to the program, and, unlike the others who withdrew, I had not yet recorded my interview. (In other words: no interview exists; it was yet to be done.) In fact, I agreed to join *after* the initial outburst of the hysterical progressive Catholics on Twitter, about whose opinions I know little and care less, except perhaps as evidence of distressing sociological phenomena [In other words, motivated by unthinking spite and hatred of his culture war enemies, Kwasniewski reflexively allied himself to a schismatic crank and a Holocaust-denying antisemite].

Instead, it has been a number of conversations with fellow traditionalists that have prompted me to reconsider the prudence of being on the roster of speakers. Initially it had seemed to me that one could bracket Mr. Coffin’s views on the papacy or Mr. Jones’s theories about the Jews because these things were not at all touched on in the conference topics. No one needs to be told that conferences bring together people who often disagree about all sorts of important things. If perfect agreement were required, no successful conference could ever take place. [Only in the insane world of Reactionary Francis-hatred is “The Pope is not the Pope” and “Nazis were kindly de-lousing evil, ungrateful, dirty Jews” expressions of legitimate variety of opinion.]

Yet there can be situations in which someone’s views on something—even if not on display in the conference—make it unwise to share a platform. For instance, I would not share a platform with James Martin, SJ, even if he were talking only about Ignatian prayer. It would be a scandal because of the serious evils he promotes, which someone, by an understandable inference, might think I tolerate or don’t consider “such a big deal” owing to my presence there. [One of the curious quirks of the Right Wing Party of Personal Responsibility is the weird way it always casts its choices to do grave evil as though such evil is really somehow the fault of those it hates. Somehow, Fr. James Martin, not the guy who spits on the memory of six million dead Jews, gets cast in the role of Exemplar of Associations That Are Beyond the Pale.]

Today, questions of papal authority in general and of Pope Francis in particular are especially neuralgic among Catholics. Unlike the other participants, I have written extensively on these questions (many articles and several books), and my opinions have frequently been misconstrued both by people of good will who have an inadequate grasp of my work and by slick operators who, thanks to their “Catholicism = current pope” theology, label me a schismatic. [Standard “Let’s not forget that I’m the real victim here. The real villains are people who do not hate this pope with sufficient contempt” boilerplate. Where would Reactionaries be without a constant sense of self-pity?]

No one can find a shred of evidence that I do not acknowledge Francis to be the pope or that I am even remotely susceptible to the charge of schism. [Except your entirely spite-driven choice to freely associate your name with a guy whose whole bread and butter rests on the falsehood that Francis is an antipope?] By the same token, I have never ceased to resist—in an outspoken manner that has cost me much—the errors and misgovernment of Francis. [In other words, your income base is the same audience as Coffin’s, so you to be very careful not to piss them off as you seek to put a lot of distance between yourself and his schismatic falsehood that Francis is an antipope, which the Cult loves.]

All the same, given the centrality of these issues for Catholics, I believe it is my responsibility as a public intellectual [Mhm] to not be officially associated with anyone who is well known for holding that Benedict’s resignation was invalid and that Francis is not the regnant pope. Sedevacantism in any form I consider to be a disastrous dead-end—as disastrous in its own way as modernism and progressivism are in theirs. I owe it to my many readers to avoid any confusion whatsoever on this point. I do not wish anyone to be able to draw the infererence that I tolerate sedevacantism as an opinion or don’t consider it “such a big deal.” [So it turns out that the hated, vilified, despised and reflexively rejected “hysterical progressive Catholics on Twitter” (i.e. Dawn Eden Goldstein and Co.) to whom you give not a word of of apology or credit were, in fact, dead right in their critique of Coffin and you were embarrassingly, stupidly, and unthinkingly wrong in your reflexive spite against them. You might consider humbly showing a little gratitude to them for speaking the truth.]

Again, this has everything to do with my particular line of work and the topics I cover. If among the invited speakers there were a scouting leader who advocates outdoor education, an iconographer who decorates apses, or a psychiatrist who counsels married couples, I cannot see that they would have the same reasons for extreme care to avoid gross ecclesiological misunderstandings; after all, no one would particularly care what they thought about ecclesiology. Not so with the author of “The Road from Hyperpapalism to Catholicism.” A prudential judgment by its nature must take into account all details, including circumstances that make one person’s situation different from another’s. [It seems to me that every paragraph before this one could be deleted without much loss and a heavily edited version of this one could have been written saying, “I refuse to associate my good name with the idiotic claim that Francis is an antipope. Thank you, Dr. Dawn Eden Goldstein for sound the alarm about this dangerous festival of dangerous falsehoods.” But that would not mollify the conspiracy theorists and kooks in your and Coffin’s common audience.]

Social media being what it is, some will attribute my withdrawal to less than honorable motives or accuse me of cowardice. I think it is sufficiently clear to those who know anything about me and my work that I have never avoided calling a spade a spade and have spoken boldly and consistently on the evils afflicting the Church as I see them—and have been attacked on all sides for doing so. Many platforms are closed to me because I am “too hot to handle.” I know from ample personal experience what it’s like to be “canceled.” I do what I do out of love for Christ and His Immaculate Bride, and my conscience is at peace. Let those who do a brisk trade in divining motives or constructing backstories beware of the sin of slander. [It requires spectacular agility to leap from insults about “hysterical progressive Catholics” and “the errors and misgovernment of Francis” to self-pity about suffering the sin of slander. Impressive!]

About E. Michael Jones I will say only this: I am not familiar with his extensive corpus of work, except for his books on rock music and modern architecture, which were enjoyable if not wholly convincing. I was vaguely aware of his Jewish conspiracy theories, which, as far as I can tell, do not enjoy widespread diffusion, much less acceptance, in the broad world of traditional Catholicism, in which most people are much too busy with the cares of work and family to follow the ramblings of keyboard warriors. [Shorter Kwasniewski: I and my circle of acquaintances neither know nor care about the horrific lies by which this apostle of hate insults the memory of six million victims of mass murder and brings shame on the gospel, so the people perverted and harmed by those lies don’t matter, because everything is all about me. But that won’t stop me from covering myself in shame by writing the next sentence.] If [!!!!????] he is wrong in his voluminous research [you spelled “regurgitated Internet Nazi lies” wrong], he should be refuted rather than “canceled” in the virtue-signaling thought-police manner of our times. [Translation: People who know the actual facts about the murder of six million Jews are “virtue-signaling thought police”. Those who argue that the showers at Auschwitz were for de-lousing dirty, lying Jews whose children now run Hollywood are just asking questions.] That being said, I will candidly admit that I was disgusted with certain caustic and obnoxious statements of his that were shared with me and about which I did not know before. [Holocaust-denial is just the Free Play of Mind. But offenses against Puritan standards of Tone are beyond the pale.]

Nevertheless, my decision is motivated by the ecclesiological considerations described above.

I regret that I did not sufficiently think these matters through before agreeing to participate. That was a failing on my part. I regret the inconvenience I have caused to Mr. Coffin, who has done so much good work over the years. There is plenty of good content in the “Hope Is Fuel” conference and I am confident that those who sign up for it will benefit from it. [I don’t personally swim in sewage, but if it floats your boat, de gustibus!]

So about 23 people have bailed, but here are the names of those still willing (as of this writing) to continue having themselves associated with a grifting kook and conspiracy theorist who calls Francis an “antipope” and who cannot detect the slightest whiff of antisemitism in his dear good friend E. Michael Jones, the man who says “that the narrative that the Jews were gassed in the Holocaust is a ‘conflation’ of facts… that in reality, the typhus-infested Jews who emigrated from ‘”‘unhygienic'”‘ shtetls in Eastern Europe to America through Germany ‘had no idea what a shower was’ and were made to take a shower and had their clothes deloused with Zyklon-B, …that as a consequence, Zyklon-B has been conflated with showers by the Jews… that Auschwitz had amenities such as a swimming pool, and that Hollywood is the ‘regime that rules America’ and sustains the Holocaust ‘narrative'”.

  • John-Henry Westen
  • Christopher West
  • Gavin Ashenden
  • Rachel Fulton Brown
  • Hugh Owen
  • Eric Genuis
  • Bas Rutten
  • Dan Driver
  • John Saladino
  • Father Alexander Crow
  • Jesse Romero
  • Fr. John Lovell
  • Patrick Reidy
  • Dr. William M. Briggs
  • Elliott Hulse
  • Veronica Flamenco
  • Tim Gordon
  • Stephanie Gordon
  • David Torkington
  • Royce White
  • Matthew Plese
  • Ami Fournier
  • Tom Leopold
  • Richard Decarie
  • Fr. Jeff Langan
  • Abby Johnson
  • Matthew Marsden
  • Fr Cristino Bouvette
  • Joe Gallagher
  • John Gerard Lewis
  • Sara Huff
  • Andrew Wentworth
  • Anne Costa
  • Steve Pokorny
  • David L. Gray

Some of these people I have heard of and are either massively untrustworthy themselves (the most obvious being John-Henry Westen, whose Lifesite News is an absolute sinkhole of crappy misinformation and falsehood) and MAGA hacks like insurrectionist Abby Johnson (who calls for the death of post-abortive women not lucky enough to be Abby Johnson):

Her talk, for the delectation of Coffin’s base of angry, conspiracy-theorizing weirdos who think Jones a “scholar” is, unsurprisingly, “Abortion is murder” not “Love them both”. And her message is, “Give me money for being a post-abortive woman who tells you to kill other post-abortive women who are not me.”

Meanwhile, as the MAGA “prolife” heresy has made clear for years, the unborn remain perpetual human shields for the murder of the right sort of people. Here, for instance, is David Gray adding his voice to the denuncation of those prickly moralists who just can’t seem to get past Jones’ claims that the murder of six million Jews was just a kindly Nazi de-lousing program for ungrateful dirty Jews from the shtetl:

And of course, there is an assortment people who certainly know who Coffin is (such as Catholic Answers’ Jesse Romero or Theology of the Body salesman Christopher West), self-pitying culture warriors offering an assortment of fine whines about the right wing fantasy of “cancel culture” (which is code for “being held accountable for your actions”), conspiracy crap about Francis the Persecutor of the Righteous, wheezes about academia and Hollywood plotting to kill us all, and (I presume) a minority of participants who have little idea who Coffin or Jones are and who hope to teach something in good faith. That, at any rate, is the assumption I choose to make about the goodly number of names on the list I have never heard of.

I’m writing this on May 21 and setting it to post on May 22. By then, more people may have bailed on this horror show. But then again, it may also attract the sort of vice-signaling moral degenerate who thinks the flamboyant embrace of grave evil is “courageous”. You never know.

Meantime, raise a glass to Dawn Eden Goldstein for again acting as a prophetic voice of conscience in an hour when “faithful conservative prolife” Catholic witness in the US has become so depraved that, just so long as you rub your Precious Feet pin and parrot some moronic conspiracy theory about the Pope, you can continue to pass yourself off as a “dynamic Catholic leader” to a toxic, politicized, and stunningly dangerous subculture in the Church that believes God died and appointed them the saviors of the Church from the pope–and most ominously, from the Jews.

We’ve seen where those train tracks lead. Never again!


9 Responses

  1. Hi Mark:

    Maybe you could take up this question (or point me to where you may have already): Does a person’s descent into madness (or revealing himself for the nut he secretly was all along) invalidate all his (seemingly) good past work? For instance, our parish men’s group recently watched a video series on marriage, and sitting there in the room I was momentarily startled when Patrick Coffin’s talking head came on the screen, having to remind myself that the series must have been produced several years ago when Coffin was just another reliable Catholic Answers guy. Whatever he said about marriage was fine, but it was jarring coming from him. Another example: my son took the name Paul at his Confirmation, and I gave him a book I had come across by someone I didn’t know then but do now–2024 hopeful (hee hee) Taylor Marshall, who wrote The Catholic Perspective on Paul before he ever showed his face on YouTube. The book is still a good, basic introduction to Paul, but I want to put black tape on the spine of it now.

    I’m sure you have more examples of this phenomenon and am interested on your take.

    Thank you.

    1. Why spend all that energy when there is a vast corpus of work by non-insane, non-schismatic, non-defenders of Holocaust Deniers out there? If somebody is devoting their time to serving tossed salads in which you *know* they have mixed a generous amount of vomit, why would you waste your time picking through it for a cherry tomato that might be clean? Why not just go to a different restaurant and report this one as the health code nightmare that it is? What’s the point of this exercise?

      1. I would add in the fact that people simply change over time, and the person they were back then is not necessarily reflective of who they are now. For all practical purposes, you might as well be getting a perspective from someone completely different at this point, especially after the ascendance of Trump and his MAGA movement.

  2. I’ve also been disappointed when someone I thought was not awful turned out to be a nutcase, although luckily I haven’t followed that many people online so haven’t been disappointed as much as some. I did hold my breath when I saw headlines in my Twitter highlights feed regarding my various interests about this conference and Fr. Spitzer until I saw that he was disavowing it and I was able to exhale, as I enjoy his Youtube stuff and had trusted him (the same way I trust and admire Dawn Eden Goldstein). I guess “even a broken clock is right twice a day” when it comes to some of these people and whether their past work that seems ok can still be considered, but best not to try to figure out when they’re telling time properly and just move on to a better clock of information and thought. I am tired of allegedly prolife folks making the rest of us who identify as prolife with mercy for all look like crazy people by association. Did not realize Auschwitz was actually a resort…you learn something new every day…I’ll have to tell my half-Jewish nieces and nephew.

  3. I guess it is good that Father Spitzer has bowed out. But I have to wonder: Might it not have been better if he’d actually showed up and laid some Truth on the scene? If there was ever a crowd in desperate need of a voice of sanity in their midst…

  4. Mark you know that some of those comments above are satirical/parodies, entered here by EMJ allies?

    Also, someone has posted a photo they say is of your house on EMJ’s Facebook page.

    Also EMJ hates Trads, so there’s that.

  5. I still identify as a Trad because of what feeds my soul liturgically (Extraordinary Form, Byzantine Rite, Anglican Use, etc.) and because of my general stance on the theological spectrum (mostly Thomist, some Communio School, highly cautious when it comes to “development of doctrine,” etc.), but I take great pride in being a – for lack of a better term – “nonconforming Trad” when I see spectacles like this.

    From what I understand, Patrick Coffin is only acting as the host of each class and E. Michael Jones’ talk is about God having a plan for our lives. All well and good, as far as it goes…but as Dr. Smith (perhaps reluctantly) pointed out in her Crisis piece, WHY EXACTLY do we need THOSE GUYS to be doing those things? Couldn’t they find someone who isn’t an avowed Beneplenist (now sedevacantist by default) who was willing to be the host? Couldn’t they find someone who has no qualms about providing intellectual cover for neo-Nazis to give a talk about God’s plan for our lives?

    My guess is yes, they absolutely could have done, but they didn’t – either out of ignorance (very unlikely at this late stage), or out of malice (“Hey, it’ll make the libtards cry and that’s reason enough for anything!”), or out of some tortured version of “prudential judgment” (“Yeah, they may be horrible people, but we can’t afford to make enemies on the Right and thereby let the baby-killers win, so let’s just close our eyes to all those skeletons in the closet”).

    As far as Coffin’s wingnuttery is concerned, I used to be in the same camp – albeit the Ann Barnhardt section of the camp, who now regard Coffin’s section as heretics and traitors (and vice versa) – but God saw fit to smack me upside the head and bring me back to reality before I went into formal schism. Nowadays, I wouldn’t qualify as a papal cheerleader by any stretch of the imagination, but I recognize Francis as Pope, I pray for him every day, and on many of the issues that ruffle the feathers of conservative Catholics – especially those related to Social Teaching – I’m much more likely to side with him.

    As for Jones, even a stopped clock is right twice a day, but if it’s a choice between him and a clock that doesn’t have a multitude of broken, twisted gears to pick through, I’ll take the latter any day. Especially since, as Faith pointed out above, he has (or at least had) a real bee in his bonnet about Trads and took great delight in airing their dirty laundry in the pages of “Culture Wars” (not that some of it didn’t need to be aired, but it just makes it that much weirder that Trads would want to associate with him).

    BTW, I just looked at the Hope Is Fuel webpage and noticed something interesting: The bit about the people who backed out doing so “as a result of the pressures of this world” has been edited out. Also, Gavin Ashenden, Hugh Owen, and Jim O’Day have all pulled out. I would hope they did so for reasons of personal integrity, but only time will tell…

    1. Yikes! I just noticed a major mistake in my second paragraph. What I should have said was: “Couldn’t they have found someone who DOES HAVE qualms about providing intellectual cover to neo-Nazis?”

Leave a Reply

Follow Mark on Twitter and Facebook

Get updates by email