It is some considerable time now since Protect the Pope appeared on my side bar; I took it off because, if I am quite honest, I got a bit fed up of the harping/antagonistic tenor of many, though not all, of its posts. I also felt that it was not trustworthy as a news source - not that it was deliberately dishonest, but that I felt I could never quite trust it enough not to want to check out what it said from other sources before relying on it. It had become very difficult to separate the blogger's spin from the news story itself. And that was quite a considerable time ago. I have never felt the need to put it back on my side bar.
One might benignly forgive the pontificating - that is, the desire to busily tell others, particularly those in ecclesial authority, how they should be living out their Christian vocations. See here for a recent example, or perhaps reflect on the implications of the erstwhile excommunication of Enda Kennedy portrayed in the side bar. [In this latter case, one might want to suggest that Mr Kennedy might have better represented the Catholic point of view in the political sphere ... but that has a definite dose of humility about it rather than busily telling bishops how to live out their vocations.]
One is less forgiving of those posts where, essentially, Protect the Pope has just got it plain wrong. I think of his post on Philomena, upon which you will recognise my own comment. This was something I was familiar with because I had seen the film (my own post on it is here) and could comment on it - but I just wonder how many other posts at Protect the Pope, about which I do not know the background, are just as unreliable as this one was. And yet, it was all stated with such confidence (and considerable levels of what I remember being termed "glosses" - aside marginal additional comments - when many years ago I studied Nestle-Aland's critical apparatus to the New Testament Greek text). And with the support of commenters who appear to be a rather uncritical fan club and appeared to have not seen the film itself. I was tempted to comment again, to the effect that Protect the Pope and his commenters might want to ride the train of anti-Catholic media and attach all sorts of different carriages to that train, perhaps quite justifiably or perhaps not ... but that Philomena was a carriage that definitely would not belong on that train as it had the wrong gauge and would only derail the whole train by undermining its credibility.
One cannot forgive a post that is just plain cyberbullying, I refer to the attack on Mike Conway. There is a hefty dose of getting it wrong again - just look at the spin put on Mike Conway's letter, which completely distorts its intention, and the complete failure to understand any idea of a dialogue as per the "Court of the Gentiles" that underpins the publication of the article about Peter Tatchell. Protect the Pope might not have published that article, and, if he had done so, might not have been as unqualified in the praise of Peter Tatchell as Mike Conway appears to have been. He is quite entitled to explain why, but to then turn that into pontificating about what Mike Conway and others should or should not be doing .... The advocacy among the comments of sending emails to Mike is clearly bullying. [Everything I know about Alive Publishing suggests that they are a positive apostolate in the Church - a couple of years ago they even published an article by me on Edith Stein, for heaven's sake!]
I would suggest that those who "like" Protect the Pope as a defender of the faith might like to consider more carefully how far he is actually reliable in this regard. The more thoughtful among us do not find him always credible - and that does matter as much as hits. And, of course, one takes one's life in one's hands (in blog/web terms at least) by offering criticism such as that in this post ....
Which leads me to ask of Protect the Pope: in the Gospel story, is he the publican or the Pharisee?