**Note update 8/22/05 Since the original writing of this article we have been upgraded to the new system of traffic lights?? to the color yellow meaning "caution" (the equivalent of their original "B" for Fidelity") This page to be fully updated soon.
We received the following grade from Petersnet: Fidelity: C, Resources: B, Implementation: A-
Are we upset over the "C" for Fidelity? You bet we are! First of all, I suspect that Peter's Net is a self appointed clearinghouse of sorts for what THEY consider is Catholic. I also suspect Petersnet has no mandate from the Catholic Church and is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church in any way. If they have an official mandate, where is it?
Upon a closer look, one finds that the staff list consists of Jeffrey A. Mirus, President, Peter V. Mirus, Vice-President, Kristina Mirus and consultants. This implies that it is a family business. It seems to have no official connection to the Catholic Church. I notice that Kristina has been dropped from the staff list on their page. I have not found one member of the clergy on its staff. And if the above is true, Peter's Net uses the papal keys of the chair of Peter as part of its logo, thus lending a false impression to the visitor of their website that they are under the auspice (or umbrella) of the Holy See. This, I feel, is a gross misuse of the papal symbol. Each local bishop is entrusted in deciding and telling the faithful within their jurisdiction what is Catholic and what is not. In view of the above, I also suspect Petersnet has set itself in authority above the Pope and each local ordinary which is your local bishop in telling everyone what is Catholic and what is not while implementing, (in my opinion) their own extremely narrow lens of the Catholic Church.
One of the reasons we got a poor grade is because Petersnet is inconsistent in their grading system. Let's take one example in our case. One of their consultants told me that I should remove Access to Catholic Social Teaching http://www.justpeace.org Justpeace is the be all and end all of Catholic Social Teaching websites. It has thousands of links on Catholic Social Teachings and ways on implementing the Social Doctrine of the Church. They told me it was because Justpeace has a few bad links. Excuse me? A few bad links out of thousands? At the time of correspondence, Justpeace had received an inferior grade from Petersnet. I told them that, if this be the case, why didn't they give Catholicity a lower grade since it links to Justpeace as well. We were told that Catholicity would be contacted. Months have gone by, and the link on Catholicity is still there along with their "A" grade and we notice that Justpeace now has an "A" for fidelity. Since this is so, why are we being penalized for linking to Justpeace ourselves?
At the time I contacted Petersnet, they did not give me one, let alone three links to Social Justice websites that they would give an A to, which I asked them to do. Instead the impression I got from the consultant is that all Social Justice websites are full of "radical dissidents". Read all the papal statements and the Bishops' statements in recent years and you will find that the Pope and the Magisterium teach, advocate, and promote Social Justice, to the point that the pope has commissioned a Social Justice Catechism to be published. In fact, the Church has 100 years of Social Justice Teachings, judging by the numerous papal encyclicals, and bishops' statements from the past. Petersnet should get into conformity with the Pope and the Magisterium and find out what "the mind of the Church" really is, and stop stereotyping all Social Justice workers. In all my years of Social Justice work, I have found that the vast majority of Social Justice workers are mainstream and loyal Catholics who have the guts and who are committed to "Living the Gospel Message" to its fullest. They not only are committed to giving alms to the poor but attempt to correct the structures that perpetuate poverty to begin with as Christ and the Church call us to do. (This is just one social justice issue)
I suspect Petersnet uses "bully-peer pressure" type of tactics. A website may have all of its content which is totally Catholic and faithful to the Magisterium and yet receive a poor grade for fidelity because of the websites it links to. (Which is the case with e-Catholic/2000). This secondary website can also have all of its content also totally loyal to the Church but because of a weak link or two on that website, You get a poor grade on your website. This is nothing short of 'guilt by association' which most of us including Jesus have condemned. We are in good company then because Jesus hung out with sinners.
Picture this scenario if you will: You are a webmaster trying to link to other websites in order for your visitors to obtain further reference material. Each of those websites may have thousands of links with thousands of webpages each. Try visiting each website that you link to and each of its pages and each of the websites that it links to and all of their pages and links , while reviewing each page for orthodoxy and you now begin to see the magnitude of the problem. Petersnet gives me the impression that the only way to get an A for fidelity is to link to only the websites that THEY approve of, or do not place any links at all. I say rubbish to all of it.
Another bone of contention between us and Petersnet is that they are penalizing us for one of our webpages: Contemplation--A Treatise on Mysticism by --Jacqueline Galloway Petersnet labels it as "promoting centering prayer" Why are we being penalized for this? Catholic Mysticism and Contemplative Prayer mean essentially the same. It is one of the three traditional forms of Catholic prayer as listed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. It is in keeping with the teachings and writings of the great mystical saints of the Church, St. John of the Cross, Theresa of Avila (Who is a Doctor of the Church), etc. You will not find one official Church statement from the Magisterium including the Bishops, against Contemplative Prayer.
When performing the method of contemplative prayer outlined on the webpage, a prayer to focus on God may be used. This is not centering prayer in the sense of "New Age Mysticism" that Petersnet seems to think we are promoting. In our extensive correspondence with a Petersnet consultant, that person could not prove to me that Contemplative Prayer is "outside the Church" which indeed it is not. On the contrary, it is historically and traditionally a well recognized and accepted form of prayer in the Church. They presented me with one of their webpages which has an article written by a well meaning, but in my opinion, misinformed priest. We humbly and respectfully disagree with him.
Our author has informed me it would take six pages to refute everything this priest says, however it is not our focus to refute priests or their works and never will be. Our webpage on the subject was written by an author who is well informed, is a published author in her own right, has published works on the subject, and has given lectures and who's complete loyalty to the Church we entirely support. The article was previously pulblished in Carmelite Digest. The article has been reviewed by more than one priest and was found to be in complete conformity with Catholic Teaching. How more orthodox can you get? We stand by our webpage as being fully Catholic and completely loyal to the Church and the Magisterium.
The rest of our grade B for resources and A- for Implementation? Again this is their subjective opinion of our website. I have received too many compliments from clergy, religious and the laity, praising us for our orthodoxy, content, and appearance. I have never received a word from anyone having anything negative to say about our website. All feedback has been extremely supportive and good. Period.
Upon visiting Petersnet, it is my opinion that any visitor will find that Petersnet does not have much good to say about many of the "Religious Order" websites out there as well. Please read their reviews on:
Monks of Adoration
These are the ones I found, there may be others. These are Major Religious Orders of the Church, both religious and clergy that we and the Catholic Church loves and respects. Who are these people to bash our Major Religious Orders and their websites? Shame on Petersnet. The mark of holiness of anyone in the Church is unity. I suspect Petersnet is actually a source of division in the Church. "You will know them by their fruits" comes to mind here. There is no shortage of Catholic bashing from outside the Church, does it have to come from Church members from within as well?
Petersnet also gives any visitor the impression that it is against most Catholic Internet Directories, or that is the impression I get since they give such poor grades to websites like:
The Ecole Initiative
Roman Catholic Webring
International Catholic Directory
and as we mentioned before, Access to Catholic Social Teachings (They most certainly have in the past).
All these types of Directories, webrings, and the like are an invaluable source of information for every Catholic. I consider them Libraries, of Catholic information. And like every library contains both books that are good and those that we know, that we need to stay away from, so it goes for these online information websites. Each of us is responsible for safeguarding our own faith. By virtue of our Baptism, we are called upon to use DISCERNMENT when visiting any website, let alone Catholic ones. From petersnet I get the impression that we should stay away from public libraries as well.
Also look at their reviews of the major Catholic websites and you will find that many got inferior grades. I know of two of them run by parish priests, and one run by an order of religious.
What is truly a wonder is that they did manage to give an A rating to some websites with chat rooms. Everyone knows that the best place to get Catholic misinformation is in a Catholic chat room. A warped sense of the Catholic Faith comes, more often than not by friends in chat rooms, well meaning, but often misinformed friends. So using the analogy about libraries above, all Catholic Chat rooms should be shut down if we follow Petersnet's mentality, because certainly many can be a "danger to one's faith" since none of the Catholic Chat services that I know of, have priests, deacons, or religious standing by 24/7(This would have to include Petersnet's chat room). Of course we all know this is absurd, and that when visiting a chat room, we again are called upon to use the DISCERNMENT God gave each of us.
I suspect that Peter's Net uses an unfair, and arbitrary rating system. This system seems to imply that the websites that got less than an A for fidelity just aren't good Catholic websites, that the webmasters are not good Catholics and that those who visit these sites are not good Catholics either. I suspect that in doing what it does, Petersnet in effect has set itself up in the business of website and webmaster "spiritual-character assassinations". The word cult here comes to mind and cults tell their members what to believe, what to read etc. I also suspect that Petersnet assumes that no one knows the difference between good and bad and what is Catholic and what is not.
Our firm policy has always been and will continue to be to present ONLY SOLID CATHOLIC INFORMATION. It is our intent to provide only information which is totally orthodox and loyal to the Roman Catholic Church and its Magisterium. I believe all the content on our website to fall squarely within these guidelines. If anyone finds anything on our pages to the contrary, I urge you to email me, and after investigation, if it be the case, I will promptly remove such information. Period.
As always, I defer to the Pope and the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church (and not Petersnet or their subjective reality of the Catholic Church nor of their subjective opinions of other Catholic websites.)
Our Links Policy We are not responsible for the content of the websites that we link to. Nor are we responsible for the websites that THEY link to. We did not create them and thus we are not responsible for them. On most of our pages we offer links on given subjects for further reading and spiritual development of our visitors. At the time these links were placed on our website, nothing was found which would exclude them from being listed as a link. We also have a Catholic Resource Directory.(Library) The authors of these outside websites are solely responsible for their own content. Websites change/delete/add to their content and links on a constant, if not daily basis and this is impossible to keep up with. Again we urge you to use complete discernment, guided by the Holy Spirit whenever visiting any website.
I rely on the fact that most Catholics will see right through Petersnet. They will then surf the internet with a clear conscience and discern for themselves what is Catholic.
God Bless each of you on your spiritual journey!
admin and webservant: http://www.ecatholic2000.com
A second opinion: The Hidden Truth
A third opinion: Help Hammer Home by Alapadre This website offers practical ways to repair the damage done by Petersnet
A fourth opinion: Shawn's Traditional Catholic Web Site Scroll down, and under "Site Updates" look for the article titled "Earlier in March 2001"
A fifth opinion: Catholic Doors Ministry -Catholic Bashers Page
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