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Zombie ChurchWho would have “thunk” that August would be such busy time with respect to new flows emanating from behind the Sacred Walls of the Vatican and surrounding vicinity. And I am speaking figuratively.

Anyways, with all the news coming out in different parts of the Catholic world, I have decided to do an analysis post regarding the recent layoffs that occurred at the EWTN owned National Catholic Register. I will take the case of the firing of Mrs. Simcha Fisher, and tangientally the firings of Mr. Mark Shea and Mr. John Paul Shimek earlier, and use the LEX ARMATICUS to provide insights into the “what happened” and “why now” questions that are being raised in the Catholic blogosphere. Hopefully this analysis will provide us with some insights into the OBJECTIVE REALITY in which we find ourselves on the 24th of August,  Anno Domini 2016.

First order of business, I will put up shortly a page titled “What is the LEX ARMATICUS?” at the top of my blog. On this page you, dear reader will find what defines the LEX ARMATICUS and its current 4 Principles, along with a short introduction. Please feel free to reference this page at your convenience.

So let’s get down to business, since today we will be talking about business.

And Zombies…

We start today’s post with a reference to a The American Catholic blog titled Mark Shea Demonstrates Once Again That He Does Not Read What He Writes (see here). In this post, Donald R. McClarey makes 7 points while parsing a post written by Mark Shea post-termination regarding the termination of Mrs. Fisher. Two of the points are as follows: (emphasis added)

Let’s parse this out shall we?

(2) He goes on to say that Fisher could be making a million bucks somewhere unnamed.  (I guess then that losing a minor writing job is not an immense tragedy for her?)

(6) Once again he laments the loss of what I assume was a fairly modest income to someone who could earn a million bucks elsewhere.

Let’s focus in on point 2 and 6, since they relate directly to the 2nd Principle of the LEX ARMATICUS, namely “Even Neo-modenrists need to eat”.

If what is written in the above cited post is correct, this information would imply that by writing for the NCRegister, Mrs. Fisher is in fact performing a “spiritual work of mercy”. Let’s call this the “spiritual work of mercy” HYPOTHESIS.

The INFERENCE is quite straightforwad:

By writing for the NCRegister, Mrs. Fisher is consciously taking a pay cut , instead of taking a “next best employment alternative” in which “Fisher could be making a million bucks”.

The reason for this INFERENCE is simple:

Giving Mrs. Fisher the benefit of the doubt (i.e. Mrs. Fisher needs the free time that writing for the NCRegister provides her for dealing drugs on the side in order to offset the lost income),

IF Mrs. Fisher is foregoing additional MARGINAL INCOME (Visibilium Omnium) by writing for the NCRegister,

THEN she is receiving  NON MATERIAL BENEFIT (et Invisibilium) of greater value in return.

Please keep in mind that she has 10 kids to support.

Therefore, if Mrs. Fisher is not taking this YUGE pay cut for her own personal self sanctification and the sanctification of others (through here writing), then she is depriving her family of that added income that they would enjoy if she went and secured employment that provided her with a commensurate level of compensation for her work.

Simple logic, no?

So given the above, let’s see what SUPPORTING EVIDENCE exists for the above “spiritual work of mercy” HYPOTHESIS. Over at the Unam Sancatam blog, I found a rather neutral observation of Mrs. Fisher’s work. The following is written:

As for Simcha…I don’t know. I imagine more of the same. Simcha’s writing was terrible whiny and unprofessional; consider her lovely little NCR piece she wrote about Cardinal Burke’s transfer back in 2014, which we critiqued back then. Look at how she talks about people who were concerned about Burke’s demotion:

You, with the subscription to Whimpers in Blogvillia! You, with your Blackberry set to play “Dies Irae” every time Four Lattes Daily resets their Novus Ordo End Times Ticker. You, with the Lady Cardinal robes in your closet, still in the dry cleaner bags, waiting to be whipped out the moment it Finally Happens. You, with your all your personal clocks set to Central European Time, so you don’t miss a moment before you weep or break out the Chateau de Schutte ’79 every time the doorman at the Roman Curia unlocks the front door, sweeps off the doormat, and chases the homeless cats away in preparation for another day of things that never do and never could have any affect on your personal life.

From the above, I can’t really see any professional justification for why Mrs. Fisher’s work would be valued at “a million bucks somewhere unnamed”, but it could be just me. But I digress…

Given the above, let’s propose an alternative HYPOTHESIS. Mrs. Fisher’s work would appear to be better suited for publication at one of NCRegister competitor’s publications. A competitor that potentially could value her work so that “Fisher could be making a million bucks”.

The one that comes to mind is the same one that Fr. Z. on his blog recently tried to help out. (see here) Here is the pertinent passage from  that post titled: Wherein Fr. Z asks readers to offer the Fishwrap some constructive help. Yes, we are talking about the NCReporter. Here is the pertinent passage for our purposes:

NSR/Fishwrap posts a lot of nonsense.  They occasionally post something good (usually not written by any of their writers, but… hey!).   When years ago the local bishop where their HQ is located told them not to use “Catholic” in their title, it was well deserved.

Therefore, it would appear to be a reasonable HYPOTHESIS to suggest that Mrs. Fisher’s writing would fall very neatly into this category, i.e. NSR/Fishwrap posts a lot of nonsense.  They occasionally post something good (usually not written by any of their writers, but… hey!)

Corroborating EVIDENCE for the above comes by way of the Eponymous Flower blog. (see here) Here we read a more explicit critique of Mrs. Fisher’s writing:

Edit: after years of attacking faithful Catholics and clergy, their reign at the Neoconservative news organ, The National Catholic Register, Simcha Fisher and Mark Shea have finally been dealt with.  They’ve been what’s wrong with EWTN for a long while.

The above passage would be in line with what Fr. Z. wrote in the above cited post, namely:

The fever-swamp which is their comment box over there is just getting revved up on this one.  It is likely to get pretty nasty over there, quickly.

So naturally, given the above, one would expect Mrs. Fisher’s writing, along with Mr. Shea’s writing to be more in line (editorial policy wise) with that of the NCReporter and not the NCRegister.

So two questions arise at time point.

 (1) Why have these two writers not sought employment at the NCReporter,


(2) why is Mr. Shea trying to pressure the NCRegister to retract their personnel decision, rehire Mrs. Fisher back at an undervalued compensation level, and act to the detriment of the material needs of her family?

The answer to the above HYPOTHESIS needs to be processed through our proprietary Peirce/Ockham pragmatic methodology (POPM) (see here). When running it through the POPM, the answer as to the most likely reason is as follows:

First, the answer to question (2) is as follows: “Fisher could be making a million bucks somewhere unnamed” is not an OBJECTIVELY TRUE statement.

Furthermore, with respect to the observation of the Shea statement: “lament (-ing of) the loss of what I assume was a fairly modest income, is in fact an OBJECTIVELY TRUE statement since it most likely represents a “noticeable” if not “significant” part of Mrs. Fisher’s earnings.

Which leaves us with finding an answer to question (1) . Why has Mrs. Fisher, and Mr. Shea for that matter, not approached the NCReporter for an employment opportunity? It would appear that this would be a natural home for these two.

And once again, our POPM has an answer. The answer is based on the OBJECTIVELY TRUE situation in the Catholic Church at present. The answer to which the Peirce/Ockham pragmatic methodology points to is this:

The OBJECTIVE REALITY that the Catholic Church is that there are two “churches”.

One church, let’s call it the post-conciliar church is a dying church. This church is in fact a ZombieChurch. The individuals whose livelihood is dependent on this ZombieChurch have burned through their cash reserves a long time ago, have spent most of the cash in their legacy trust funds, are presently living off cash raised from the disposal of tangible assets (church property). They are losing pew-sitters at an accelerating rate, so their revenue stream derived from the collection plate take is imploding, thereby they cannot support the working age clergy, the bloated staffs, the retirement pensions and the maintenance costs of the church facilities. And it is this latter source of revenue from which publications such as the NCReporter derive their revenue stream.

On the other hand, there is a second “church”, what can be called the Neo-conservative church. This church has been deprived of the above mentioned sources of income and does not physically control the church properties. It is in the process of building new churches and infrastructure. Due to the general state of the post-conciliar church, the Neo-ConChurch is being forced to revert to a more… shall we say “conventional” Catholic Church funding model. I.e. one based upon TRADITION.

ETWN is a prime example of this. This Neo-ConChurch is thriving not because it proclaims the pure and unadulterated TRUTH as Our Lord taught. What it has developed though is a business model based on the “TRUTH subsisting” inside the Neo-ConChurch. Or at least more of the TRUTH than is found in the ZombieChurch. This has practical implications for the publications that are owned by the Neo-ConChurch.

And one positive implication is that it can pay higher honorariums to authors than the ZombieChurch does because it’s business model can attract new sources of revenue, i.e. Neo-ConChurch is growing.

In other words, the TRUTH is PROFITABLE, as per the 1st Principle of the LEX ARMATICUS.

But that is not the only implication from the above. The above also answers a questions that was raised on the Eponymous Flower blog, namely “what took the NCRegister this long to fire Mrs. Simcha and Mr. Shea”. And the answer is this:

The NCRegister is coming to the realization that the more TRUTH that subsists inside the Neo-ConChurch, the more profitable Neo-ConChurch becomes. (Positive correlation between TRUTH and NET INCOME.)

I don’t think that I will shock anyone if I state that EWTN is moving back to TRADITION, and TRADITION with a capital “T”. It is a process, but the process is recognizable.

Supporting Evidence comes by way of Unam Sanctam:

John Paul Shimek – who said he wanted his mission in life to be making Traditional Catholicism an “unthinkable option” for the Church – had had his scathing articles censured for posting his dribble without authorization and bypassing any editorial review. And even those that weren’t were horridly abusive to traditional Catholics in particular.

Say no more…

As for Mrs. Fisher and Mr. Shea,  the “next best alternative employment”, i.e. the ZombieChurch is not that appealing as an alternative since it is living off of its current asset base. NB:If these two were the “franchise” employees that is implied, then the NCReporter would have contracts waiting for them in advance, with big signing bonuses to boot. Since there is no new Net Income coming in, and it has to support its existing “beneficiary base”, this leaves no room for any new mouths to feed. Mouths who in turn have their own 10 mouths to feed, regardless of whether they value their work at less than “a million bucks”.

NB: In reality, the Management at NCReporter no doubt has already ran their income forcasting models to determine what value these two would bring to their enterprise. And Cr*p Crux and the rest of them as well…

So one can easily INFER that adding the writings of Mrs. Fisher and Mr. Shea to the ZombieChurch publication would not increase the revenue stream,  since if it did, they would have been poached long ago.

Therefore, all parties realize that this transfer option is a non-starter.

Concluding, What’s there to say other than:

The TRUTH is the best business strategy.

And Neo-catholic ETWN is a good case in point.

Numquam Ponenda est Pluralitas Sine Necessitate


PS. As for visual proof of ZombieChurch, please look below:

Angelus II

And here is my comment, with Fr. Z.’s comments in red.

Comments to Fr. Z.