Most readers will be familiar with the darling of the progressives, Fr James Martin SJ.

Fr Martin is fond of telling everyone that he is a “Priest in Good Standing.”

I don’t take much notice of Fr James Martin SJ, (who is a “Priest in Good Standing”) but my attention was drawn to a tweet of his recently.

He was annoyed that a conservative Catholic group raised objections to the hosts of one of his many speaking gigs and he was subsequently “disinvited.”

Fr Martin (who is a Priest in Good Standing) tweeted:

It’s time for bishops, priests and lay leaders finally to stand up to the hate-mongering of online groups with no standing whatsoever in the church, who seek to substitute their spurious authority for legitimate church authority, and who seek to run the church by fear and hatred.

Once I stopped laughing at this seventh grade girl hissy fit I started to think it through.

It sounds like Fr Martin wants censorship. What, shall the authorities of the Catholic Church stamp out this impertinent opposition to the self appointed pontiff (Pontiff means, after all, builder of bridges)

Does Fr. Martin (the Priest in Good Standing) expect the Spanish Inquisition? No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Talk about running the church by fear and hatred!

What does Fr Martin expect? a fatwaWill the American Bishops impose an interdict? excommunicate? smack on the wrists? Write a scolding letter? put them on the rack? Bring out the comfy chair?

That is hardly like them these days. Our bishops are mostly kindly men who quietly go about their business and avoid conflict if they can.

Will legal steps be taken? Will these “hate mongering online groups with no standing whatsoever in the church” be reprimanded in some way? Will the bishops and lay leaders pull their internet plug?

How exactly will someone stand up to these nefarious groups who “seek to substitute their spurious authority for legitimate church authority”?

What I find so haughty, hilarious and hypocritical about this blatant case of bullying on Fr Martin’s part is that he is invoking the “legitimate authority of the church” like the strictest sort of  purse lipped ultramontane clericalist.

What next a Syllabus of Errors? Shall we have an Index Websitum Prohibitorum?

The other hilariously hypocritical thing about Fr Martin’s tweet is that it goes right against the Spirit of Vatican II. Vatican II encouraged the laity did it not? Vatican II was all about the “pilgrim people of God” was it not? Vatican II was all about the people speaking up and having a  voice was it not?

The faithful lay Catholics who protested Fr Martin’s recent visit are simply doing what the Second Vatican Council called on them to do, to get involved in the church and to witness to the faith with energy, creativity and zeal.

Why does he call them hate mongering? I am sure there are some very nasty people out there who say unkind things online, but do we know that these particular people were the ones to express their reserve at  Fr Martin’s invitation?

He has deliberately taken a provocative stance. Why is he surprised when people are provoked?

Were they not simply exercising their right in the church to stand up and speak out?

Think of these good folk as “We Are Church” they are after all, the “voice of the faithful” in our day.

And to think Fr James Martin (who is a “Priest in Good Standing”) should want to silence them with the draconian arm of “The Legitimate Church Authority”!

I’m shocked. Shocked I say!