Worse, calling people names is disgraceful. Especially in the name of religion. These ad hominem attacks—an attack not on the argument but on the person–has no place in theology. It doesn’t matter if you’re attacking Pope Francis, Antonio Spadaro, Massimo Faggioli, John O’Malley, me, or anyone else. It’s completely unchristian. Feel free to disagree with us, but questioning our fidelity is out of bounds. Speaking of doctrine, one of Jesus’s lesser known teachings, and completely ignored because it’s so hard to adhere to, is his admonition against calling people names. “If you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Mt. 5:22)
I am gateful for this post by Fr. Martin, because it shows me so clearly what respectful disagreement unsullied by mean-spirited invective and ad hominem comments looks like. Verily, a model for us all.