In the many rebuttals to Fr. Antonio Spadaro's hit piece, one point raised by some (e.g., John Allen, Fr. Raymond de Souza, Phil Lawler and Stephen White) was: Why attack Church Militant, of all organizations, as they're basically "irrelevant" in forming public opinion?
Father Spadaro at least acknowledged that Church Militant is "a successful U.S.-based digital platform." Backing up that point are the statistics from the Comment1000, a website that correlates the number of comments left each month on any site in the world. Stats show that in April, May and June, Church Militant hovered around the top 300 of all websites worldwide for comment engagement, and number one among all other Catholic sites — figures that have remained relatively consistent in previous months. Other more well-known, established Catholic sites didn't even make it in the top 1000.
As anyone who tracks analytics knows, engagement — not necessarily followers, likes or views — is the number one indicator of influence and relevance.
The way Establishment Catholic media dismisses Church Militant as insignificant is much like the way secular mainstream media considered Trump to be laughably irrelevant before the election. After all, who could possibly take seriously the message of a man they considered a "buffoon"?
But lamestream media pundits vastly underestimated the influence of the Republican candidate from New York — and didn't realize it until it was too late, waking up on the morning of November 9 in shock to find that Americans had rejected the Culture of Death message of Hillary Clinton in favor of Trump's populism and pro-life promises. Up till then, media ignored the crowd sizes at Trump's rallies, writing him off as the sure loser — much like Establishment Catholic pundits are ignoring how the message of Church Militant resonates with an increasing number of Catholics.
Hillary — who had the overwhelming backing of the media and political machine and far more financial support — had a message that may have reached more ears, but Trump had a message that won more hearts. And Church Militant, who may not have the backing or reach or dollars of the Catholic Establishment, has a message that resonates with more hearts — a reason we've been put on the map and been a target of the Left in case after case.
Watch the panel discuss Spadaro's hit piece in The Download—Vatican Attack on Church Militant.
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