In our last article we spoke about the need for laymen to take the initiative when it comes to Catholic Action. Don’t wait for the clergy to start projects. Ask them for input and guidance and supervision, but don’t expect them to use their nonexistent marginal free time to build or create projects you and others could more easily do. One of the “projects” that has become popular is “sharing my opinions as a Catholic for money.” The “Professional Catholic” has been with us for some time now, alas, and Traditional Catholics should avoid these people.
There’s obviously nothing wrong with a Catholic sharing his opinion. Indeed, it’s something Catholic men enjoy doing, sometimes with tobacco in one hand and alcohol in the other. Some people even film or stream such conversations. And some may pay to watch others do it. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this scenario, in general. People are free to pay to watch people chat about issues others are interested in.
The danger lies in laymen talking to other laymen about issues relating to the Faith. Laymen are not trained in theology nor have they been given a mandate to teach publicly. We aren’t speaking about teaching catechism to your family as a father, which is in fact a duty. Rather we’re talking about Taylor Marshall’s (and others who imitate him) famous “just a dad with a webcam” schtick.
One might argue that Marshall, with a philosophy degree, has at least received some kind of training. But he still does not possess a mandate from the Church to teach publicly, which is what he is doing. He and others like him have managed to make a living from being Catholic! It’s an extraordinary thing, but people don’t realize that, like welfare, the money they give to Marshall ultimately handicaps him and his family. And if Marshall consulted real Traditional Catholic priests, instead of the sycophantic conservative Novus Ordos and Indult types he has on, he would be told that what he is doing cannot be encouraged or permitted.
Instead of Marshall going out and getting a real job, having to contend with the issues that every Catholic man faces these days (which would then actually help him relate better to what Catholic men and fathers have to deal with) he asks you to give $10 a month to feed his family (if you pay more you can get a rosary too!). When that $10 a month adds up to hundreds and thousands a month, ego and delusion begin to set in. Before too long, such people start staging events in order to gain followers, and even Wikipedia acknowledges what many now know: the famous “Pachamama in the Tiber” event was entirely funded and staged by Marshall with the help of a willing accomplice.
Other Professional Catholics complain that “AI took my job, so please give to my podcast so I can feed my family.” They might even unnecessarily hold a child while talking in various videos in order to hammer home the “help me pay for these kids” theme. Imagine what our Catholic forefathers would have thought of able-bodied men who would act in such a way.
There are indeed people who should be “paid” to be Catholic: our clergy and religious. Scripture reminds us that, “the laborer is worth his wage.” Will the Professional Catholics now include themselves in that verse?
The Clergy – Our Primary Concern
Our religious and clergy are the ones who deserve our money (but often don’t get enough of it). They are the ones who have been formally trained, often for years, in complex matters of theology and marriage. While in the current state of sede vacante, our clergy do not possess a mandate from the Church, they still possess the grace of state and have the experience laymen could only dream of to discuss these difficult issues. After our expenses are paid each month and we have some money left over, they should be first in our thoughts.
Unfortunately, these Professional Catholics aren’t going away anytime soon. They’ve hit a mine of grift and will stay until the entire vein has been taken. Our job, as non-professional Catholics, is to ignore them. Catholics, more than ever, should look specifically to clergy and religious for guidance on all matters pertaining to the faith. Laymen, possessing little to no training and no mandate from the Church to give any guidance whatsoever, need to be ignored. And when enough people do ignore them, they will be free to get real jobs and do as amateur Catholics do: look to the clergy, not themselves and their own inflated egos, for guidance.
Help Professional Catholics become amateurs again.