Feb 21, 2022Liked by Steve Skojec

You were wondering the type of substack your readers were looking for, this is the type of stuff I love!! Another Great One. Something I’ve noticed a lot from your writings, and please don’t take this the wrong way, but have you ever thought that Pope Francis had a similar experience as you in his mid forty’s, because he was also extremely conservative as a young man, but something broke in him and changed him, he has a quote, “gay marriage is the work of the devil” so he was a real man of the right, every Jesuit knows this, they pretend now that he wasn’t, and for him it led him to this place that God is all merciful even with the contradictions that would bring, your comments recently on otherwise good people damned to hell made me think that

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Oh my God! Three of my favorite personalities and commentators on our insanely precarious lives were in a room together not even ten miles from my house. God has a distinct sense of humor as I did not even hear of Peterson coming to Providence until after it happened.

I have tried for days to answer the question in your last post. What do I want? Where should your postings and those of the folks following this thread go? In my mind I knew the answer but could not put it into words. What you have written today is why I am here.

“Reconverted” fifty years ago to Jesus, and to a belief in the Eucharist. I have spent a lifetime wandering in the enormous and treacherous wreckage of a Church and society that both seem intently committed to nuking themselves into oblivion. In retrospect, much of my life has been spent trying to guide myself and my family out of the path of direct hits. Hoping that the fallout would not do us in even after all my maneuvering.

The McCarrick affair left me almost overwhelmed by disgust and nearly ready to admit defeat. I began a search for answers and meaning in the face of this senseless denial and parody of everything I held to be true and holy. In this search, I wandered into the online world of Traditional Catholicism. At first, I was relieved. Here are folks like me. They believe. They seek the truth. They realize how insane the society and much of the Church has become.

My relief became another discouragement. I realized that I could never be part of the club. I would not commit to giving up my orthodox but novus-ordo parish. I would not decry Vatican II as the work of evil interlopers. Receiving the Eucharist in my hand (Even though it is a profoundly powerful statement to me as to how much God and Jesus love me by allowing sinful, miserable me, to hold the Word, the Lord, creator of the universe in my palms) would only be seen as a mortal sin on my part. I could taste the pharisaical disdain from many Trads. The over scrupulous thoughts that drove me from God in my youth began to return.

You, Steve, did not dismiss me in the way many others did. We had some back and forth in the comment section of 1 Peter 5. We never came to full agreement, but you did not dismiss me as a recalcitrant failed Catholic and Christian. I admired your willingness to address topics which others dismissed as unworthy of discussion because they already knew the answers.

I loved podcast 76 with Kale and since then have sought anything of him I can find on the web. In the past couple of years, I have followed Jordan Peterson and James Lindsay as well. They have much to say about the contrived world in which we move. So much of it is unreal. So much is constructed from or on lies.

I want to have open and frank discussion, exchange of ideas, with people who seek to make sense of our condition. I do not have all, or maybe even any, of the answers. I want to converse with people, like me, who struggle to understand and accept the present situation of the Church and our society. I want to deal with people who realize we may never know the answers, but who still see the search as something valuable and positive.

That is why I am here. Reading this over I guess there were a few words I had to say. I just needed the correct trigger. Keep up the search. Keep up the work.

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Feb 21, 2022Liked by Steve Skojec

Reading this right after your request for suggestions from subscribers tied something together for me. In my too long and rambling comment there I mentioned the way everyone, right, left, and trad, wants their ideas in a sealed tamper proof box, intellectual eclecticism of the most conservative kind makes it hard to be accepted and trusted in the traditionalist community. Now my eldest son has been a Jordan Peterson admirer for a long time, and converted me, he follows him along with Rod Dreher and the others you mention as the IDW. My daughter, who is a very devout Catholic also reads Dreher. It is this mixing of ideas that complicates fitting in, yet there is no real conflict here, only a need for humility. It is a sound observation that many in the traditionalist movement have off loaded, or deluded themselves into believing that they have off loaded, their arrogance onto the Church - She is always right, they are only Her humble supporters.

The vitriol that always shows up when Dreher’s (or anyone else’s) Orthodoxy is mentioned is a case in point. Everyone seems to feel that they can take to the keyboard and prove the Orthodox are heretics. The arguments are often facile, superficial, and unconvincing but they keep coming. Yet Dreher’s perspective on the state of the world and what is to come is extremely valuable. Peterson’s insights are exceptionally acute and add scientific (insofar as psychology can be considered a science), and empirical weight to traditional moral snd societal norms, which can only benefit everyone interested in living well, which should be all of us.

The Brave New World of today does require some modern mapmakers to help us navigate.

Thanks for this.

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Feb 21, 2022·edited Feb 21, 2022Liked by Steve Skojec

Thanks very much, Steve. I was reflecting on the close to zero impact of the variety of Trad Catholic groups. One extreme example (probably not the most extreme) is the Integralist alliance. Jonathan Culbreath's recent contribution on integralism as mystical theology is a superb example of an argument that will reach hardly anyone and convert even fewer.


But at least it forced me to look up "apophatic theology", which had been below my radar for my first 68 years on earth. Apparently one of the Church's most important tasks is to control what can NOT be said about God. I would guess that 99.99% of Catholics are unaware of this task and would not recognise apophatism if it came up and bit them on the leg.

Seeing that the Vatican's website still contains the Abu Dhabi document of 4th Feb 2019, one thing that you cannot say about God is that he is intolerant or exclusive. All religions are willed by God. Or, if you believe Ron Conte's interpretation, only those religions which worship one God. So Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism are not on the approved list. On the other hand, I am willing to bet large sums of money that the Integralists are unhappy with the Abu Dhabi declaration.... Or they might be if any were inclined to discuss such a radical contradiction by a Pope of their whole policy.

Ditto the Orthodox, from Moscow, Athens, Sofia or wherever, who often have up close relations with the Religion of Peace.....yet were not invited to the signing party or the design meetings for the triple-religion site in Abu Dhabi (coming later in 2022).

Much of the chatter I see on the Trad sites looks like a desperate attempt to avoid mentioning Abu Dhabi. Talk about the political arrangements of the New Christendom. Or the evil vaccines. Or apophatic theology. No one has to read it. Least of all anyone outside the purity circle who might be a valuable ally.

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I like following Sargon of Akkad, (Carl Benjamin,) for much the same reason. I'd honestly be surprised if he and Peterson don't land somewhere in what CS Lewis called "Mere Christianity" someday, but no one will be able to accuse either of having been dragged in by the hair.

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Mar 29, 2022Liked by Steve Skojec

Wow Steve, you have said so many things I have wanted to say since coming back to the church. I was away for 14 years . Jordan Peterson was crucial and someone I came across when I came back into my faith and he explained the human condition better than anyone I had heard before. I remember coming back to the church and diving into every catholic podcast there was and feeling like wow did I even know my faith, but then I became so paranoid that I felt like if I don’t sound like these people I’m listening to was a really a good Catholic? My 16 year old daughter reminded me and often still does, “mom st Bernadette didn’t even know how to read and write or her catechism, God chose her to teach humility to all those prideful people” I had to step back and have had to again follow my own path on this journey of faith not as I was raised as a fellow cradle catholic, but someone having to think for myself, ask questions, and hear not a one size fits all approach. As for the “you’re not on the team” talk, that only made me start to have distain more and more for the faith. I had to take a step back. Even approaching the faith with my kids and allowing them to have free will and even have those very hard discussions on how they feel or get their thoughts. How many parents raise their kids a certain religious way and ask their kids what they think of what they’re being taught or if it even makes sense? My 13 year old is going through the how do we know God exists, or the I hate God I’m angry at Him stage. Instead of beating him over the head with his faith, I listen. How many people actually listen to another human or try to really understand the human heart or struggles. Who remembers being a young kid growing up and going through those hard questions and thoughts in life? Even the way I’ve taught my kids how to pray isn’t beating them over the head with a rosary or devotions, it’s getting to know and love Jesus as a friend. I tell them to just talk to Him like he is your best friend and how much he loves them. How many people feel unloved? Mother Theresa was always a favorite saint because she said, “people are more starved for love than they are hungry for a piece of bread”. 17 years in nursing at the bedside of patients, I discovered Christ in these moments the most. Despite what the rad trad people say about working mothers. No one talks about the human being dying in their bed and sometimes that nurse is the only one to hold their hand and bath them and tell them they are loved before they draw their last breath. Do we live our faith or just get high off of talking about it for clicks and views and wallow in the past and negativity? Anger and fear go hand in hand and the fear that is produced and anger from these catholic YouTube’s is enough to shake your stability for days. Your writings are a breath of fresh air and they are human and raw. Never stop writing ! 😀

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Feb 23, 2022Liked by Steve Skojec

I hear you and understand how you came to this crisis of faith. I am going to pray for you daily.

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Feb 23, 2022Liked by Steve Skojec

Steve, let me first say that, like you, I'm a huge Peterson fan. I saw him speak in Austin in 2018. I paid extra to get VIP access after his speech, which included a meet and greet (photo op) and a separate Q and A session. It was a memorable night.

I got on his bandwagon (so to speak) pretty early on when he hit the scene after the Canadian Bill C-16 stuff. This was only a year or two after I had converted to Catholicism. For whatever reason, I never felt threatened or cut off from his wisdom based on the fact that he wasn't in the "tribe" of Catholicism or traditional Christianity.

I give all of that as background for my main point and question to you, which your essay didn't really address: Do you see any incongruency in the fact that as you fall further away from traditional Christianity, Peterson is undoubtedly moving closer to it? I could point to numerous podcasts and videos since he's returned from his illness supporting that fact (his discussion with Jonathan Pageau a while back stands out in particular). In any event, it is clear he's reached a point where he can't simply dismiss the claim of Christ's divinity as irrational nonsense. I'm sure you saw his tweet yesterday quoting a passage from John's gospel.

In any event, I'm glad he's helped you during your time of darkness.

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Feb 22, 2022Liked by Steve Skojec

I know it's repetitive, but I'll throw in my comment anyway. This is EXACTLY the type of content I am looking for. This is the direction my think has been going only not as organized and well said as this. This morning I listened to Peterson's S4 E82 "The Spiritual Void and the West" (excellent) so this was good timing

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Trads like to talk down to bishop Barron, but he is seriously engaging with Peterson's ideas.

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