Why the heck not?

Folks, so many of you have been so encouraging and so generous with your prayers already.  Thank you!  If you have a moment, and if you’ve enjoyed my writing here or at the Register, maybe you could drop a line to the  Editor-in-Chief, Jeanette de Melo.  She’s been getting lots of calls and emails about me lately, and I’d love to have some friends add their voices.

jdemelo@ewtn.com

137 comments

  1. My message to the editor (it is perhaps not very charitable, but alas, it was sent anyway)

    Simcha Fisher rocks and inspires so many faithful Catholics to dive deeper into the mystery of our Catholic faith and to live daily in a way that is charitable and loving.

    Michael Voris is a cancer on Catholic media who challenges even the most solid and conservative bishops, using an agenda of hate and fear that would make Jesus cry.

    That is all.

    Mary Wilkerson

  2. Sent! Pasting it below, in case you don’t get to see these emails:
    Hello,
    I’m just writing to say how much I appreciate Simcha Fisher’s writing for the Register. I’m currently in the process of becoming Catholic (about halfway through RCIA) and when I was exploring Catholicism for the first time, I stumbled upon the Register, and Simcha’s column in particular. Her excellent writing drew me in, as well as her spiritual insight, and I began to read her column on a regular basis. Her writing was one of the things that drew me to the Church and helped me understand what it would actually be like to become Catholic, as well as clarifying some things (like the role of Mary or the saints) that had been confusing me. One of the things I appreciated most was that she didn’t try to beat her audience over the head with her arguments (whether theological or practical), but was gentle while still being clear. This is a quality in spiritual writing that’s rare – but is a lot more effective than shock tactics or overstating an argument. In my exploration of Catholicism, I encountered a lot of Catholic writing that seemed way too strident, calculated to turn off anyone who hadn’t been raised in the Church. I kept reading Simcha because she didn’t throw off one-liners that dismissed non-Catholics out of hand, attack ad hominem, or unleash a torrent of hatred on people she disagreed with. When she wrote about people, institutions or ideas she disagreed with, she was reasonable, nuanced, and left room for the possibility that she might be wrong. It was refreshing to me, and helped me feel like I could read Catholic writing without gagging or being repulsed. God used Simcha’s writing to help me see the truth in the Church as well as the things that I’d been getting wrong without making me feel like I was being attacked personally, which is key for conversion, but doesn’t seem to be found in a lot of places. I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way, either – some of my Protestant friends, although they disagree with her often, are also big fans of Simcha’s writing, and it gives me hope that they might one day enter the Church as well. Writers like Simcha are a great asset to the Register and to Catholic writing in general, and the internet would be much sadder without her.

  3. Simcha! I can’t believe you’re facing so much flack and heartache over this. It never fails to shock me how ridiculous and what little sense of humour humanity in general can have. I think you were right on the money, and you shouldn’t be being persecuted by Catholics because of it. Prayers and righteous indignation on your behalf!

  4. I am sad to say that I did, indeed, contact Ms. Demelo late last night as I was agonizing over the awful, uncharitable and frankly bizarre posts in this blog and others attacking MV and just being incredibly unchristian IMHO. So, Ms. Fisher, with all due respect, can you at all comprehend that perhaps your post about “who is Gilligan” by you or your guest blogger, the Jerk (I find it really creepy that you either allow such a personality to post on your blog, or have it as a alter-ego to express your dark sarcastic humor) was just wrong? “His” comment back to my genuinely concerned post was certainly rude and mean. I am not usually shocked by internet attacks by one group against another, but what was the real purpose behind your/the Jerks posts? Do you even care that you are causing anguish in others who really pray that we all approach each other in love, even if the other person is in the wrong? What possible good can it accomplish to be so vicious, even if one thinks it is “all in good fun,” which I am taking a leap in assuming was your/the Jerks motive. Help me to understand you please. I have followed both MV and your blog for awhile now and enjoy both. Is that allowed? Perhaps I need to research MV more, but I still wish you would examine your motives and content and really help me to get how this whole thing glorifies God?

    • What are you, the Borg? You’re hijacking a woman’s request for support by writing the editor from the Voris disciple point of view? Despicable.

      • what are you the blog police? first amendment does not apply to me right? of course. and your definition of hijacking is “despicable”. I merely posted my opinion in a public setting and genuinely wanted to understand better. I think you maybe should save the derogatory term hijacking for someone who maybe hacks the site and does not allow any one’s opposing opinions to be posted. people are obviously free to support Ms. F. How am I stopping that? this is getting idiotic.

        • Since when is hijacking a derogatory term? I was merely referring to the fact that someone asked for a letter to help them and you wrote a letter to hurt them. That’s different than commenting on a personal blog. You can say whatever you want here, just as Mrs. F can tease Michael Voris for his odd haircut and Lenten Cruise all she wants and MV can say that Judaism is a man-made religion all he wants. That’s the internet for you. What you did outside of this comment section, however, was different.
          Also, your first amendment reference is pretty hysterical. Did I suggest that you did something illegal? No. Just despicable.

        • The first amendment doesn’t apply here. You have freedom of speech as to government not as to private parties or private businesses.

  5. Happy to do it! My husband and I both love to read your posts. We love all that makes you who you are. Don’t ever change!

    Also, we had been talking for months about sponsoring a child through one of the many programs, but never got around to doing it. Your post about all the different charities was the final nudge to help us sponsor a child through CFCA. Thank you!

  6. I sent a message. I told her that the ONLY thing that brings me to the NCR is your writing. And when I’m there, I read other stuff and click on links. But I never go there unless from a link here.

    Good Luck.

  7. Alex, you do need to research MV a little bit more. Any man who is not in line with the Catholic bishops, which means he is also not in line with the Apostles, is ultimately not in line with the Church. He is creating a division among Catholics. And you are offended by “the jerks” posts? How could you also not be offended by the condescending, rude demeanor of MV as well?

    • We went for for the short and sweet:

      My wife and I LOVE reading Simcha Fisher. She is a fantastic Catholic resource, and, along with Mrs. Fulwiler, the most vibrant voice at the NCR.

      Thanks for your time,

      Dan Kearns & Lelanya Kearns”

    • that is my issue with him. The drama that he stirred up with his local ordinary (Archbishop Allen Vigneron) who is a GOOD/SOLID servant the people of the AOD. Submission to your bishop is part of being Catholic, a part that apparently he does not like, so he disregards. smh

      • You mean the good and solid AB Vigneron who demanded Voris stop using Catholic in his title (which he complied with), while his own chancery and parts of his diocese are out of control? Right.

  8. Done!

    As I said to the Editor: Love Simcha, love ‘The Jerk,’ love the Register.

    Merry Christmas! (soon!)

  9. Done! I am sure that she is now being swamped by e-mails from your supporters! So sorry that this whole controversy happened – who knew that calling a lenten retreat cruise a dumb idea was such a controversial thought???

  10. Here’s my letter. Subject line: “Why Simcha Fisher is important”

    Ms. de Melo,

    I understand there’s some organized flak arriving at your desk about Mrs. Fisher. Fie!

    There is a lot of the Register’s content that I appreciate for it’s contribution to my understanding of the Magisterium, knowledge of important world and political events, or guidance about living my faith in the world. Simcha Fisher’s writing in the Register and elsewhere is a big part of that. She shows me what one real woman’s Catholic life looks like on the ground. She is humorous but not harsh or uncharitable, humble, non-judgmental, and really good at helping me challenge my self-righteous assumptions. Well, some of them. I have so many.

    I suspect that it’s fans of Michael Voris who are upset. I know there must be public relations and/or political concerns, and I respect the fact that they come with the territory when you are running a business. But I’m struck at the contrast between the angry words I’ve seen from Mr. Voris’ supporters and Mrs. Fisher’s words and actions when viewed through the lens of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Her attackers don’t particularly exhibit love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I hope and trust that Mrs. Fisher will receive your ongoing and wholehearted support.

    May God bless you with a joy-filled Christmas season.

  11. Done, Simcha. You’re pretty much my only link to the “Good Catholic” life. I said as much.
    Keep The Jerk around, too. He may be a bad catholic, but he’s made me laugh so hard tears ran down my legs.

  12. Good luck with all of this Simcha. I love your blog and your column in NCR. I did write an email to the editor in support of you. I read through your column again and most of the comments and still don’t get what all the anger is about. Thank you for your writing.

  13. Voris is a no talent hack working with late 1990’s TV technology. Oh, and sometimes he lies about stuff. That being said, The Jerk is not very funny. I get what he’s trying to do and I love mean humor, but almost all of his stuff just doesn’t really work. I’m sure he’s a nice guy and maybe funny in real life, it’s just not translating to the blog. What comes across is a guy who is trying too hard to be funny, but it’s just not working. My recommendation: eliminate him from the blog.

  14. Well, perhaps you are right and I will research MV more, but how does that make what Ms. Fisher is doing (and many others piling on in the blog o’sphere) correct? or charitable? I have not see any posts anywhere by MV attacking back or even defending himself, which seems rather Christ-like to me, unless I am somehow also “not in line.” I also have not seen anything by MV or Fr. Z being vicious back to the people blasting them. Do you really not think that detraction-publicly going on about someone’s even real faults is not a sin? And even if MV is doing it, or is condescending or rude in other contexts, why would Ms. Fisher want to stoop to that level? I just am really, genuinely shocked by the level of venom in the Jerk post about Gilligan, especially. Honestly, is this Ms. Fisher or not? Can someone just give me a straight answer. And if it is an alter ego that is being put forward as posting the nasty stuff, why? It really seems as if it is used as an excuse to say things that one’s better self would never dream of saying, much less putting into print for all ETERNITY. Ms. Fisher posted in her response to Karl Keating that people “read The Jerk to see in print what everyone’s secretly thinking in their heart of hearts.” Well, um, no. I am not secretly thinking these vicious things about MV in my heart of hearts even if he was wrong on EVERYTHING he has ever said about anything! And, before you jump on me, I am not saying this to be holier than thou. I am a rank sinner who has caught herself more than once blabbing on about what a jerk my ex is to strangers in the grocery line and seriously had to repent later and, yes, go to confession for it. I am not now thinking vicious things about Ms. Fisher either, but I sincerely hope she will bring all of this to her confessor/spiritual advisor. God Bless you. Oh, and if the Jerk really is another person, why doesn’t he just create his own blog. I believe Ms. Fisher’s reputation is being tarnished by his appearance on her blog, and she should care about that.

  15. and PS I am not an organized “follower” of MV. I am a fairly recent revert who just doesn’t get why Christians want to attack each other. Sometimes the best way to get someone to admit that they are wrong is by looking at ourselves and admitting, in all humility, when we are…

  16. Sorry, but where is the evidence for the following quote from Ms. Fisher in response to Karl Keating after the Gilligan post:

    The Jerk wasn’t going after Voris for hosting a cruise. He was going after him for his ludicrous, tin-eared hypocrisy. There’s no exaggeration there. Here is a guy who makes his living training people to sniff out sin in their fellow Catholics, and he pulls some spectacularly inappropriate nonsense like this — and his hordes of internet assassins has got everyone so terrified that they don’t even dare to speak the name “Voris” for fear of being overtaken by the mob. It’s just disgusting, and I firmly believe that The Jerk has done a service here by reminding people not to be afraid of this dope.

    Where is the proof that MV does these things? I sincerely want to know.

    • Hi, I just read all of your links but am still having a problem with your tone…is it possible to think anything he does is ok and be a serious thoughtful Catholic? I was in an actual cult (there are good definitions out there) and I don’t see how my appreciating some of his efforts make me adore him? Is it possible that your tone does not help your cause? thanks! I guess I wish you would draw finer gradations of meaning and not seem so shrill and absolutely condemning…

      • It’s quite possible my tone doesn’t help. It’s quite funny that the words “Michael Voris” and “having a problem with your tone” are spoken without irony.

      • Fear not Alex. Some, like Michael Voris, have a strong sensus fidelium. Probably from having been fed a bunch of nonsense that was passed for “catholic” teaching in his early formation. He ferrets out the BS and the parsing of words quite well and it pisses them off. Mr. Shea has a very caustic tongue and lashes out with anyone not in agreement with him as well (kind of hypocritical). Michael Voris’ presentations are quite orthodox and at the same time, cut to the quick. That hurts their egos but I imagine John the Baptist and Elijah were no different and received a similar response in their day. Voris is in great company!

    • Hi Mark, Below is the Michael Voris response to this situation. I know a lot of good Catholics who have gained much wisdom from Michael Voris. Are you really proud of calling us all a cult? Simca started all of this by her vicious personal attacks on Fr. Z and michael Voris. I see you continue it by branding all people who enjoy Michel Voris a cult. You should be ashamed but I have read enough of your writing to know you have way to much pride to take an honest look at yourself.

      Here is a letter from Michael Voris about the cruse – hate him if you will but only some very SELFRIGITHOUS people would want to stop this.

      Hello Frank,

      Thank you for your kind words and support.

      We are very much looking forward to the retreat as are the nearly 100 people who have signed up in the past few weeks. So many are coming, in fact, that we have had to go line to the cruise line to ask for more rooms. We are putting together what we think will be a wonderful opportunity for meditation and reflection during the Year of Faith, with a concentration on The Blessed Mother, The Scriptures and The Sacraments, in addition to The Church in the Modern World.

      We are also VERY excited that many many Catholics who up to this point, have not known each other, will have the chance to BE catholic with each other and develop what almost assuredly will become lasting friendships despite some great distances once they return home. We have people coming from Europe, Asia and Oceania, which is wonderful.

      They are coming because they want their faith to be reinvigorated, and emboldened – to meet, in short, others in The Communion of Saints. The presence of priests on board for Mass, Confession, talks and private guidance is literally a God-send. And one additional consideration – our cruise organizers have said they only with rare exception due members of the crew ever get to attend Mass because of their very long work hours. So we are going to open up our Masse for them and try to also have additional Masses said for them, in case some of them cannot attend Mass during our regular schedule.

      And you may be certain, that with 100+ solid Catholics on board, it wont be surprising, we hope, to see some perhaps wayward or lax Catholics, or others of good faith be invited to sit in on a conference or two. What added benefits of holding a retreat where other non-retreatant passengers can learn about the faith in the formal setting of a conference, or informally just talking with them casually over dinner.

      Thank you again for the opportunity to share our excitement.

      GOD Bless,

      Michael

        • You know, when I get to feeling a little SELFRIGITHOUS, a find a spoonful of Milk of Magisterium puts things to right in no time.

      • You say Simcha is SELFRIGITHOUS, but can you show a time when she has ever contradicted the Magnesium of the Church? SImcha Fisher is a Living Saint and will one day be a Doctor of the Church!

  17. This whole thing is ridiculous. You’re an amazing writer, Simcha, and quite frankly the Register needs your voice and perspective.

    Here’s what I sent:

    I wanted to write in support of Simcha’s blog at the Register. I am more of a National Catholic Reporter reader, but Simcha’s blog keep me reading the Register. I regularly visit the site. I don’t think I’ve missed one of Simcha’s columns. I would hope that one incident that incites the passions of some who are followers of whoever this Michael Voris person is will not jeopardize Simcha’s future with your organization. The fact is I have not come across a writer who so humorously and humbly writes about the beauty and the challenge of living as a faithful Catholic mother. She makes living out the Catholic faith look appealing, and the Register needs Simcha’s humorous, unique voice. Quite frankly, I think I will give up on the Register if Simcha doesn’t write for it.I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide your decisionmaking.

    • see, here we go, how does it make me a “follower” of MV to have the opinion that Ms. Fisher’s posts or the Jerks, or whoever’s are unkind and unchristian? could we not admit that the attack on the whole Lenten cruise thing is mean and just work on not stooping to other’s levels if that is what we think they do? Turn the other cheek, be loving? or am I so off in what I expect of the Catholic blogosphere? As a recent revert it is really turning my stomach.

      • I have no idea who Michael Voris is. I was commenting that it would be ridiculous for the Register to lose Simcha over this kerfuffle. My opinion is simply that Simcha’s organization should stand behind her rather than some guy I’ve never heard of because she has a valuable perspective that I appreciate.

        I don’t have an opinion on Simcha’s comments about this Michael Voris person or about his work (correct, incorrect, or otherwise). I think Simcha’s writing and perspective are a valuable addition to the Register’s content. That’s all. Have a Merry Christmas.

      • hey alex,
        I think something important to remember is that we are all human. Being Christian doesn’t mean not getting angry, justified or not. I appreciate when bloggers, especially faithful Catholic ones, are honest and straightforward with their emotions and real opinions, especially with something like this- someone who is spreading filth about the Catholic Church. Not cool. I think also when a front is put up and human nature and emotions are stuffed down to sound like a ‘good’ Christian, it actually does more bad than good,. It makes those who are faithful but imperfect (re: all of us) out to be “not real christians”. Saying something like “I’m praying for MV” doesn’t help to pinpoint why others should be wary of him.

      • It turns my stomach that people would try to get a mother of nine in trouble at work less than a week before Christmas in a bad economy. But I guess that’s okay if she isn’t Catholic enough. Too bad she isn’t like Michael Voris who never ever says the wrong thing ever.

    • oh, changed my mind, this is too interesting. got your reply to my post in an email, don’t know why I cant see it here. But you wrote:

      “So go away already. You keep hanging around demanding people explain jokes to you. It’s beyond tedious at this point. You also keep popping up on Thomas McDonald’s post about this as well. You seem to have a personal problem with Simcha, or maybe you’re just unbalanced in general.
      In any event, this blog is obviously not your cup of deranged tea. Go read something more your speed. I think The Wanderer has a web site.”

      Sorry if you think I am tedious. You must be so much more hip than me. And what business is it of yours if I show up on McDonald’s blog? And I did not have a personal problem with SF till I read the insulting Gilligan post by her, I mean you, today. And frankly I had a slow day and found this fascinating and sort of addicting, so yeah maybe I am unbalanced but certainly not more unbalanced or deranged than you are with your mean-spirited stuff…I am not interested in the Wanderer, looked boring. And don’t tell me what to do, please.

  18. Simcha’s blog is awesome and she is an asset to the NCR and the Internet at large. Anyway, I said something like this to your editor. So sorry for all the fuss.

  19. Simcha, I have read and re-read both the piece and the comments you added, and for the life of me I truly cannot see what it is that was “hateful,” “vicious,” or a “hit piece.” I said as much in an email to the editor. Good luck!

    (Is there some other article you wrote that I haven’t found yet, that accused Voris of torturing puppies or something?)

    • Aha, I found the Gilligan post. I thought this was all about your NCRegister post about charities.

      How dare you allow another person to express a personal opinion about Voris on your personal blog! For shame, Simcha!

  20. I sent Jeanette a nice note for ya. I won’t paste it here because it may come off as a bit too adoring. But yours is definitely my favorite Catholic blog.

  21. Writing one. My family have been very grateful for your voice Simcha. Sad that the bullies bring out this kind of thing. By their fruits we shall know them I suppose.

  22. The Catholic Register
    Editor-in-Chief,
    Jeanette de Melo

    I am an Australian lecturer in theology, blogger, convert to Catholicism, husband and father of seven children. I don’t always agree with the writers of the Register but I love reading them in a place that values a genuine range of opinions and styles within a truly Catholic worldview.

    Of all the excellent writers, if i only have time to check one on a particular day, the first I visit is Simcha Fisher’s, (the second Mark Shea, and probably the Archibald’s a close third.)

    If Simcha was unable to write I would probably still visit the register, but I predict my daily contact would wane to weekly at best.

    If, however, she were fired or censured for the crime of a) having a sense of humour and b) poking fun at the legitimately ridiculous, I would shut down the Register permanently in protest. The Register is supposed to be standing courageously against the silliness out there.

    Simcha helps those of us who are desperately unhappy with the world’s foolishness to cope better by learning to laugh at its absurdity. She is a saint, not for being perfect, but for being humble enough to allow her imperfections to be visible in a way that make us more perfect.

    We are praying for you all at this difficult time.

    Peter Holmes
    Lecturer in Theology

  23. Dear Simcha, this is what I sent:

    I wanted to offer you my perspective on Simcha Fisher’s writing at the National Catholic Register. I discovered it probably about a year ago, before I had decided to convert to Catholicism. I had had a pro-life conversion but was still highly dubious about the contraception issue. I stumbled on a few of Simcha’s great, funny, frank posts on the Register about NFP vs. contraception and enjoyed them so much. Her writings have definitely been part of my total conversion of heart to Church teachings (I became a Catholic last spring).

    At the time I first encountered Simcha’s posts, I was still almost completely surrounded by a secular/liberal bubble. I distinctly remember being startled by the fact that I enjoyed the writing of someone who was so critical of President Obama. (I’ve gotten used to it since then!) She was an important bridge for me out of that bubble into the real world of Truth that doesn’t dovetail so neatly with political parties. Please don’t underestimate the evangelical power of her authentic, humble, hilarious, down-to-earth voice. Sure, she has a snarky streak, but the fruits of the Holy Spirit are so clearly abundant. (Take her post “Why Are They Here?” for example, which could have been pure snark, but she really went to a transcendent place with it). I am so grateful for her writing. It has been so important and nourishing to me.

  24. Dear Ms. de Melo,

    Hello, I am writing in reference to the work of the wonderfully, beautifully profound Simcha Fisher. It isn’t usually my way to get involved in these silly intra-Catholic battles, but I am somewhat familiar with the rabid followers of Michael Voris, and so I feel compelled to write in support of Mrs. Fisher. My wife and I read her columns whenever they are published and forward most of them to our families and friends. Her perspective manages to be both orthodox as well as fresh and unique, which is, I think, what we are called to be as Catholics (as ours is an ancient faith, but is ever new.) Her writing has made us better Catholics.

    I will not use this as an opportunity to criticize Michael Voris. I agree with him sometimes, and disagree with him sometimes, which is, of course, the proper response to most things we encounter, and especially on the internet. The unchristian way manner in which his disciples have been conducting themselves, however, is indefensible.

    Please treasure Simcha. Please know what it is you have. Please support her. Please don’t give in to bullies.

    God bless you, and Merry Christmas,

  25. Done.

    Has anyone else noticed that the retreat cruise isn’t mentioned anywhere on Fr. Z’s blog? Maybe he doesn’t post about speaking engagements. I don’t know. I did get a kick out of this post though: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2012/01/holy-church-is-not-a-cruise-ship-still/ (It’s totally irrelevant to the topic–it just had a title that is funny in this context.)

    I’m assuming things have escalated a little or else you wouldn’t have posted about this, so I’m praying for you and the Register editors. Heck, I’ll even pray for The Jerk and Michael Voris.

  26. Funny, I sent an email to show support before you even asked. My wife and I enjoy your writing immensely. I would hate for you to lose anything as a result of this nonsense. Please continue to do what you do.

  27. Gladly sent an email of support. I won’t embarrass you by repeating here my words of slavish devotion to you.

  28. I am going to write, too, Simcha. You are an incredible treasure, very rare. Some other voices are tiresomely predictable – a quality utterly foreign to God.

  29. Done.

    Ms. DeMelo,

    I am another fan of Simcha Fisher and her writing both on her blog and for the Register. It seems that she is under fire from some readers who simply don’t agree with her. Well, that is the nature of things, and as long as it is not heresy or scandal, de gustibus, no?

    Simcha shares life in the trenches as a Catholic Mom of Many, a devoted Catholic wife, and just a plain ol’ down-to-earth Catholic. I have shared links to her articles with Catholic and non-Catholic friends, many times, and they are well received and appreciated. Please know how much a voice like Simcha’s is needed for we everyday Catholics who are often under fire from the world.

    May the blessings of Christmas be yours,

    Lori Katzaroff

  30. Just sent one. As I live near the Kansas home of the SSPX, I had to mention that the pants pass was my absolute favorite thing! Please, Simcha, keep writing. You bring a lot of happiness and encouragement.

      • In the SSPX crowd, there’s a high concentration of people who are offended by women wearing bifurcated bottoms, as opposed to skirts and dresses. A college friend of mine got turned on to Voris and later joined an SSPX church. The last time I talked to him, he told me – no joke – that he had moved to a small town in north Texas and planned on driving 70 miles every Sunday to the nearest SSPX chapel for mass.

        When he was still here, he sometimes griped about women being immodest, “even women who are supposed to be faithful Catholics” (like in our Catholic Student Group). I vaguely remember him saying that, well, it makes a difference seeing a woman’s curves. He also said plainly to me, “I prefer women in skirts and dresses.”

        Some people think it’s important for men to talk about feminine modesty. I think it’s enough to say a little about common sense, and leave it at that. But he – like many SSPX-folk, I imagine – was kind of obsessed, in a real creepy Rev. Harry Powell sort of way.

  31. Here is my message to the paper:

    Dear Register,

    Having a voice like Simcha Fisher’s quite simply raises the standard of The Register from predictable ingrown echo chamber to thoughtful, intelligent newspaper. Plus, Simcha is a powerful witness to the Catholic faith by her LIFE, even more than her gifted writing. No one can doubt her loyalty to the church and the sacraments, or to a life of generous (joyous, sacrificial) love.

    So often when I am “down” amidst the daily struggles of life, I simply think of Simcha, putting one foot in front of the other, on an evangelical journey to God and neighbor.

    Please appreciate Simcha as the treasure she is. She’s a rare one.

    Thank you,

    Marianne Bacon
    Connecticut

  32. I went back to your Register article and read the whole comments feed, all I could think was “holy cats this is crazy.”

    I wrote your editor, I hope pointing out what was clearly ironic, doesn’t damage your employment with NCRegister. I actually thought listing all of those charities was a great sanity check for anyone considering spending that much money on a luxury, particularly during Lent.

  33. E-mail copy below:

    I understand that there has been some controversy regarding Simcha Fisher’s posting on some other Catholic who’s running a ‘religious’ cruise during Lent.

    Ms. Fisher is the only reason I read the Register at all. I am not a Christian, not a Catholic, and I read her to remind myself that not all religious people are inane, unwilling to critique stupidity and cupidity, or just frothing-at-the-maw fundies. She keeps me from hating your church altogether. If Catholics had more representatives like Fisher rather than Voris they would be less despised.

  34. Done. Here’s the relevant bit: I read both [Simcha’s] column and that of Mark Shea regularly, and enjoy their perspective on the Church for its fidelity, humour, and honesty. They are thought-provoking and valuable for the idea they convey of the breadth and the intellectual strength of the Church. I understand that you might have been getting hundreds of emails for and against Simcha. Thank you for taking the time to read this particular one.

  35. Here’s mine:
    There is no Register blogger I read more consistently than Simcha Fisher. Her writing is a breath of fresh air. It’s clever, it’s witty, and it’s soundly Catholic.

    Anyone criticizing her on behalf of Voris belongs to a demographic that probably does not like the Register much anyway, since it does not share the extremist, hypercritical, self-righteous Voris vibe.

    Do not consider these critics to be genuine constituents who actually care about the mission of EWTN and the Register.

    (and I just got back a “thank you for supporting Simcha” message from Ms. DeMelo.

  36. my letter to ms. demelo:

    Ms. de Melo —

    Christmas greetings! I am writing in support of Simcha Fisher, the only reason I ever read the NCR. Why do I read every one of her columns? She’s funny, honest, faith-ful, and sharp. I am a Christian but not Catholic, and so often her columns are for me a window into the lives of other members of the Christian family. I’m not stupid nor am I gullible — I don’t uncritically inhale everything she (or anyone else, for that matter) writes. I appreciate her perspective and ironic wit, even on issues that as a Protestant evangelical I don’t really know much or care much about. It strikes me that rather than folding under the pressure of a vocal minority, perhaps the NCR could invite readers to grow up a bit and not choose such a lesser issue as something to die on the side of a hill for. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing to ask.

    Warmly in Christ,

    Laura Vellenga

  37. Dear Ms. Fisher

    Until today I had never heard of you. I have never read the Catholic Register and don’t intend to start now. I’ve heard Michael Voris but don’t listen to him often; I think some of things he says is thought provoking but sometimes he’s a little over the top for my taste. I happen to read your blog thru a link of Mark Shea via Pewsitter and that’s how I come to write to you now.

    I thought your piece was a little over the top and a tad rude, it might be your normal style – I wouldn’t know. You can write what and how you like, it’s your right and frankly I don’t care.

    The reason I decided to write you, obviously not to support you since I don’t know you, was to tell you why I will never read you or the Catholic Resister. The clincher was the way Mark Shea defended you. His article and his remarks within the comment section were vile, unfair and unwarranted. Between the flavour of your blog and Mr. Shea’s venom filed attacks I think I know everything I need to to say no to the Catholic Register forever.

    Regards

    • Susan Henderson,

      Three paragraphs to tell a blogger whom you’d never heard of before that you don’t plan to read her blog again? In response to a post specifically addressed to regular readers who appreciate the blog?

      Seriously, of all the bizarre things that people have said to Simcha over the last few days, yours may just be the bizzaro-est. And that’s some pretty stiff competition, lady.

  38. Here’s mine:

    Subject: In Support of Simcha Fischer

    Ms. De Melo,

    I’m sure you’re getting a lot of these, and probably by this point you aren’t even reading them (but perhaps counting them, thus the to-the-point subject heading). I wanted to add my voice to those praising Simcha’s blog and thanking you for giving her a forum. I wasn’t a Register reader 5 years ago, now I click through every time Simcha publishes a post. As over-the-top as she can occasionally be when something seems to merit a bit of sarcasm or ridicule, she is also the most thought provoking and inspiring spiritual writer I currently read. She frequently makes me laugh uproariously, and usually leaves me feeling both comforted and challenged – a good trick!

    Most of all, reading Simcha is like having coffee with a good Catholic friend and being able to talk about things that really matter, in an honest way. My life has taken a lot of very sharp and difficult turns over the last few years, and there are a lot of blogs I have stopped reading because it is simply too painful and disconnected from the realities of my not-very-perfect life. But I still read Simcha. Not only do I read Simcha, I share her posts to Facebook and through email several times a month. She is a writer I am not embarrassed to share with my non-Catholic friends, knowing that her humor is as disarming as her humility, and both make her accessible in a way most – not many, MOST – Catholic writers are not to a secular audience.

    Sometimes I get my fill of The Jerk pretty quickly, though his movie reviews are hilarious. But it’s worth putting up with The Jerk to have Simcha providing a voice for all of us who are just too earthy, too messy, too broken, too nasty, too silly, too blunt…too human…and oh so conscious that we need Him.

    Thank you for giving her a platform.

  39. https://simchafisher.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/which-ones-gilligan/

    Hey Simca, why do’t you stop lying to your readers. This link is to one of your sick and disgusting personal attacks on Fr. Z and Michael voris.

    You slander Michael Voris then beg people to protect your job. What a joke. Here is Michael Voris’s response to this situation. He does not attack you as you attack him personaly. He has class………

    Hello Frank,

    Thank you for your kind words and support.

    We are very much looking forward to the retreat as are the nearly 100 people who have signed up in the past few weeks. So many are coming, in fact, that we have had to go line to the cruise line to ask for more rooms. We are putting together what we think will be a wonderful opportunity for meditation and reflection during the Year of Faith, with a concentration on The Blessed Mother, The Scriptures and The Sacraments, in addition to The Church in the Modern World.

    We are also VERY excited that many many Catholics who up to this point, have not known each other, will have the chance to BE catholic with each other and develop what almost assuredly will become lasting friendships despite some great distances once they return home. We have people coming from Europe, Asia and Oceania, which is wonderful.

    They are coming because they want their faith to be reinvigorated, and emboldened – to meet, in short, others in The Communion of Saints. The presence of priests on board for Mass, Confession, talks and private guidance is literally a God-send. And one additional consideration – our cruise organizers have said they only with rare exception due members of the crew ever get to attend Mass because of their very long work hours. So we are going to open up our Masse for them and try to also have additional Masses said for them, in case some of them cannot attend Mass during our regular schedule.

    And you may be certain, that with 100+ solid Catholics on board, it wont be surprising, we hope, to see some perhaps wayward or lax Catholics, or others of good faith be invited to sit in on a conference or two. What added benefits of holding a retreat where other non-retreatant passengers can learn about the faith in the formal setting of a conference, or informally just talking with them casually over dinner.

    Thank you again for the opportunity to share our excitement.

    GOD Bless,

    Michael

    • Hey Simca, why do’t you stop lying to your readers. This link is to one of your sick and disgusting personal attacks on Fr. Z and Michael voris.

      It’s Simcha, not Simca. And you might need to get some reading glasses because she didn’t actually write the post.

      Other than that, I suggest switching to decaf.

      • Well, yes simcha wrote the post that mocked Michael voris, compared him to a drag queen, called Fr. Z gilligan.

        What so funny about all this Simcha can dish out the hatred but when she is called on her bigoty she starts begging her readers to defend her.

        None of really care about the hatred she wants to post on her own site, but when it get’s in the Register she make the Register look like a rag and that’s a shame.

        • I’ve been reading Simcha for a couple years now, Alex. Take it from me: The Jerk is not Simcha and Simcha is not The Jerk.

          Anyway, does your whole gripe with the Giligan post boil down to it sounding “mean spirited”, “nasty” and “uncharitable”, and therefore unChristian? Because that’s kind of lame.

          Christian writers have been taking the high road of skillful caricatures, snark and bold, sometimes jocular, correctives at least since the days of St. Paul. “I wish that those who are upsetting you would castrate themselves!” (Galatians 5:12). Dante sprinkled the inferno of his Divine Comedy with some of his disgraceful contemporaries. What makes the tone of the Giligan post so horrible compared to these?

  40. I hope that one day there is a safe place where we can giggle at the pretentious piety of luxury retreat cruises during Lent without being maligned. I don’t think there is anything wrong with laughing at others, provided we can laugh at ourselves as well. I used to be irritated at Voris, until I saw how unintentionally hilarious he can be, and how I can be that way as well.

  41. They must be more than a little tired of hearing from us. I got an auto message they would be closed 12/24 and 12/25.

    The what I say to Mary gets re-read in our family and is lived out loud. Thanks again for that bit.

  42. I know you won’t let this ruin your Christmas. This too, shall pass. Here’s what I wrote:

    I don’t really know anything about Mr. Voris, but I do know that Simcha inspires me to be a better person in my faith and as a mother. She provides a point of view that informs me greatly and which is difficult to find, otherwise. I was referred to her column by a good friend and would not know of NCR if it was not for her column. I usually only come to NCR when Simcha posts links to her new columns from her blog, which is on my blog feed. After reading her column I usually poke around a bit and check out other news and columns on NCR, but then I don’t return until she posts her next column.

    You have a good thing with her, please don’t lose it!

  43. Sent to Jeanette de Melo:

    Dear Ms. De Melo,

    I’m writing to express my gratitude for Simcha Fisher’s writing presence at the National Catholic Register. I thought at first of explaining to you how her writing has been deeply instrumental in my on-going growth in a more mature life of faith, but I assume you’re already familiar with her fantastic work. And considering that you’ve probably received a recent flood of emails about her – hopefully mostly positive – I simply want to register my support and thanks for having her onboard.

    Sincerely,

    Greg Camacho

  44. Done! See below:

    I’m writing to let you know of my fond readership of Simcha Fishers articles at NCR. She is one of the only reasons I read your website.

    What drew me to Simcha’s writing was her sense of humor. What keeps me reading, is her down to earth honesty in relaying her Catholic Faith. I am a mum like her. I understand her viewpoint. She is a gem in the Catholic writing community, because no one wears their heart on their sleeve like she does. No one is as unique, honest and genuine in her expression of her Faith through her everyday life with her wonderful family.

    I feel that in Simcha’s latest article about giving to Charities, she was unfairly treated for expressing a very fair opinion about the work of Michael Voris. Everybody has their view of Michael Voris. It is everyone’s right to express their opinions of another’s work. Simcha viewed her dismay at his poor taste in the way he conducts his “ministry”. And for that she received some really vile personal attacks. Ones that compared her to Satan. I was shocked.

    But what makes things worse, is that she is clearly now being unfairly hung out to dry.

    Catholicism is not a one moulded cult. Catholic means Universal. Which is supposed to portray the diversity and free-thinking of our Community, whilst maintaining fidelity to the Church and word of God. Simcha’s deeply thought out writing is a clear example of that, without having the cult of personality, like Voris and a select other Catholic personalities. Unlike the fore-mentioned, Simcha opens herself up to the opinion of others constantly, on her blog and on NCR. She is a fair writer and accepts fair viewpoints on her opinions. This alone should demonstrate her genuineness as a writer.

    If Simcha is unable, in the future, to be free to write and express in her own style, aswell as being free to voice her dismay as she wisely sees fit, whether they are Catholic or not, I think you will experience many readers will turn away from NCR.

    NCR should not pressure a good Catholic writer/mother with a voice that connects with so many other good Catholics, for the sake of political peddling. It’s not right. Your readers don’t appreciate it.

    I look forward to reading more of Simcha’s wonderful article at NCR in the future.
    Yours Sincerely,
    EBS (a reader from Australia).

  45. I see a bunch of people mad because you disagree with them. Frankly I don’t get it. There are posts of yours that aren’t applicable to me, or rub me the wrong way or I don’t really get because, well for example, I’ve never read or listened to one thing Michael Voris has said. But who cares? Not me! You are funny woman trying to claw your way to sainthood. We are more alike than not, which is what matters to me!

  46. To EWTN/ NCR

    Dear Ms. De Melo,

    Below is a letter from Michael Voris about this situation. Please read it and compare it to Simcha Fishers comparing Michael Voris to cross dresser, mocking his looks (donald trump hair), and the dozen other nasty personal attacks she have leveled against him (I have take screen shots if you want the proof)

    If you can read the description of the retreat below and all the good it will do for people on the ship and still think Mr. Voris should be viciously attacked by Simcha Fisher…… I and many Register Readers would like to know this.

    Hello Frank,

    Thank you for your kind words and support.

    We are very much looking forward to the retreat as are the nearly 100 people who have signed up in the past few weeks. So many are coming, in fact, that we have had to go line to the cruise line to ask for more rooms. We are putting together what we think will be a wonderful opportunity for meditation and reflection during the Year of Faith, with a concentration on The Blessed Mother, The Scriptures and The Sacraments, in addition to The Church in the Modern World.

    We are also VERY excited that many many Catholics who up to this point, have not known each other, will have the chance to BE catholic with each other and develop what almost assuredly will become lasting friendships despite some great distances once they return home. We have people coming from Europe, Asia and Oceania, which is wonderful.

    They are coming because they want their faith to be reinvigorated, and emboldened – to meet, in short, others in The Communion of Saints. The presence of priests on board for Mass, Confession, talks and private guidance is literally a God-send. And one additional consideration – our cruise organizers have said they only with rare exception due members of the crew ever get to attend Mass because of their very long work hours. So we are going to open up our Masse for them and try to also have additional Masses said for them, in case some of them cannot attend Mass during our regular schedule.

    And you may be certain, that with 100+ solid Catholics on board, it wont be surprising, we hope, to see some perhaps wayward or lax Catholics, or others of good faith be invited to sit in on a conference or two. What added benefits of holding a retreat where other non-retreatant passengers can learn about the faith in the formal setting of a conference, or informally just talking with them casually over dinner.

    Thank you again for the opportunity to share our excitement.

    GOD Bless,

    Michael

  47. Just thought I should add- I thought your Register post about charities and rising above the snarkiness was beautiful.

  48. (And I’m particularly glad to write that so that one of the bullies didn’t get the last say. Not that I think I do get to be the last word after this. I am sure i’ll be trumped by someone writing “But Voris has an STB after his name! That qualifies him to tear down our Bishops! How many letters does Mrs. Fisher have after HER name? Notice how she doesn’t constantly remind us of them!” or something like that.
    Still the ‘Voris isn’t lowering himself in the mud of tearing you down! He has us for that!’ argument is so silly that I didn’t want it to get the final word.)

  49. I read your er… “Resister” post pretty soon after it was posted and thus had no idea of all the combox madness until now. I need no prompting to send an email to your editor. In fairness to the “Lenten cruisers,” word on the street is that they pass out optional hair shirt life preservers at the all-night buffet. That being said, PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN, VORIS. We’ll be waiting.

  50. Here’s my letter, written in line for gas at Costco, so it’s not all that impressive.

    Merry Christmas!

    As a Catholic mother struggling with her vocation, I can’t express how much Simcha Fisher’s columns are a highlight of my day. Her wit and, honestly, sarcasm mixed with orthodoxy is a much needed lift to nearly everyday. I am grateful that the Register makes her voice audible to those like me lost in the heathen wilderness!

    I don’t know anything about Michael Vorris, I admire Fr. Z, think a cruise in Lent is, at best, tacky and at worst, scandalous and I think the Devil gets special joy out of circular firing squads composed of the orthodox. We’re Catholic, which means we’re universal. There’s something for everyone, thank God. And Simcha’s there for me

    God bless you,

  51. [I’m posting this comment in all the active posts right now, and closing all the comment boxes.] Okay, I guess everyone who has something to say has said it at this point. Thanks again, everyone! Closing comments now so we can all focus on the four last things: confession, stocking stuffers, Christmas, and brunch.

Comments are closed.