Recently I used the term "pride and prejudice" as a metaphor, and then - because we writers feel compelled to substantiate our assertions with good evidence - listed a number of people as examples. That offended Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and many others on their behalf. For that I want to apologize. I shouldn't have given names, and I shouldn’t have used the term "pride and prejudice". Sorry.
Sorry, folks! I was right of course - I always am - but I shouldn't have said it!
Well, that didn’t work out so well. I tried to push out an inflammatory novel under the cover of what in the UK the media calls the "silly season" - John Allen came to me and said "Crux needs something silly, and you're the silliest person we employ" - but all I provoked was a chorus of fury.
I am also in the position of having insulted a very worthy clergyman, Fr William Collins, a good friend of Fr Thomas Rosica, describing him as a pompous and grovelling man, with some kind of neurosis about his position. Would that I had been more respectful, sensitive, and measured when writing about that slimy creep!
Lady Catherine de Bourgh objects to my describing her as "haughty and domineering".
Finally, Miss Lydia Bennet, now Mrs George Wickham, is another whom I have mortally offended, labelling her as silly and flighty. I apologise to the stupid cow and her crooked husband.
It will be noticed that many people have written criticisms of my writing, such as Dr Joseph Shaw, Fr Tim Finigan, Fr John Zuhlsdorf, Fra' Eccles, Dan Hitchens, Ed Peters, Fr Ed Tomlinson, Fr Dwight Longenecker, G.K. Chesterton, Cardinal Newman, ... they can't all be wrong can they? Well, of course they can, if I am right! Still, as Fr Phineas T. Barnum pointed out "there's no such thing as bad clickbait!"
Pope Francis, in his encyclical Al Italia, observes that differences in philosophy, theology and pastoral practice "bring richness to the Church", and he welcomes people who disagree with him. In fact Fr Spadaro has compiled a list of them, with skull and crossbones symbols besides their names! They've not been forgotten!
What new doctrine will the Holy Spirit give us today?
Respect and love and openness to the Spirit - there's the basis for dialogue. How to be equal and unequal; disagree without dividing; how to make two plus two equal five; to square the circle and get round my critics; there's the challenge for querulous Catholic commentators.
Why it's not as if there were some absolute truth that we were all seeking - what a quaint and (dare I say) rigid idea!