Site Guidelines

Thank you for coming to visit my little corner of the internet. I’m a big fan of transparency, and to that end I want to make sure I have published my guidelines for this site, both for myself and those who chose to participate.

Starting with myself:

  • As a deacon, I am expected to conduct myself in a way that honors Christ and His Church here on earth.  I will do everything in my power to live up to that expectation.
  • I will strive to treat everyone, even those who do not extend me the same courtesy, with respect and fraternal love.
  • I will strive to make this a welcome place for people of all faiths and perspectives to come and learn about the Catholic faith and experience my journey as a deacon.
  • I will strive to respond charitably to other’s thoughts and opinions.
  • I will try my best to present the Church’s position on things.
  • However, I do not explicitly speak for the Catholic Church or more specifically my bishop or pastor.  While I will do my best to represent the Church, I defer to the Church’s wisdom in all things.  This site will often have my personal opinion and while I do my best to form my conscience to be as closely aligned to Christ and His Church as possible, I am sure there are ways that I fail in that regard.  Please never presume my opinion to be in any way authoritative.
  • I will do my best to make it clear when I am speaking my opinion and when I’m trying to share Church teaching.
  • I will do my best to accept fraternal correction when I am in error.  If you feel the need to do so, please do you best to do so with charity and where possible, reference official Church documents that support your perspective.
  • Along those same lines, I want to be *VERY* clear about the following: I did not create this site because I think I am some particularly holy person, much less an exceptional deacon.  In fact, it’s quite the opposite.  I see myself as a pretty regular guy with regular problems and failings.  Make that far, far, far too many failings.  This site is here to share my journey, warts and all, not to proclaim my journey as a holy path to be emulated.
  • Whatever good I may do, I give God the glory for having molded me to do it.
  • Finally, I reserve the right to censor or ban people who are not participating in a way that is in line with my expectations.  I will do my best to give people ample warning, to be very clear about why anything was censored, and to give people a path back to being able to participate, should they be willing to correct their behavior.

To that end, here are my expectations for you:

  • You are free to disagree with me, but I ask that you do so respectfully.  Please avoid any expletives or any Ad Hominem attacks.  I ask that you focus your points on issues, not people.  This is particularly true when referencing other fellow commenters.  I’m willing to take a little abuse directed at me, but I will be much more quick to censor attacks on others.
  • You are free to argue against Church teaching but only as long as you are clear that’s what you are doing.  Of course there can be genuine misunderstandings and I will do my best to be charitable about people who are earnestly trying to present Church teaching, yet mistaken.  However, I will not give much leeway to those who persistently attempt to suggest the Church teaching is something other than it is.
  • To that end, do your best to clarify in your comments when you believe you are speaking your opinion and when you are suggesting what Church teaching is on a subject.  Obviously all good Catholics hope those two things are in line with one another, but Church teaching allows for a range of opinions and perspectives and I don’t want people to confuse your opinion of what is best with what the Church states as acceptable or required.  By way of example, the Church teaches that the Liturgy of the Hours is a holy prayer and lay people should consider using it in their prayer life.  But the Church in no way says that all Catholics should pray the LOTH.  If you want to promote that form of prayer as a good thing, I think that’s great.  But I would like you to be careful about not making it sound like it’s a requirement.
  • There may be times when I ask that we continue a conversation outside of the comment section, usually by e-mail.  Sometimes it is best that a conversation is held in a one-on-one format.  When I do that, please refrain from continuing the conversation in the comment section.  I will usually make this request directly to you via e-mail.
  • I ask that you limit your comments to what is presented on this site.  While websites that allow commentary on what is going on in the world can be a good thing, it’s not what I’m hoping to host here.
  • I ask that you do your best to treat everyone here, even those who do not extend you the same courtesy, with respect and fraternal love.