Of course, Mark then quotes Dr. Peters (.pdf here) as follows:
I don’t know how many small initiatives by Catholics use the word “Catholic” in their title nor, of those that do, how many have no authorization for it. Let’s assume, lots. If the Voris/RCTV matter is a wake-up call against slapping the label “Catholic” on every activity carried on by Catholics, fine by me. But, as a practical matter, I doubt that ecclesiastical authority is going to see grandma’s blog, “Catholic Cookies and Milk”, wherein she recounts what’s being read by the parish book club and how much her cats hate the snow, as topping their to-do list. If, later, though, CC&M morphs into a multi-million dollar broadcast operation self-appointed to expose lies and falsehoods among Catholics and throughout the world, I might reconsider.Did we all get that? So long as Catholics in America use the word "Catholic" without express ecclesiastical permission to describe endeavors which are trivial, unimportant, not particularly educational, and not particularly representative of the faith in any terribly noticeable way, they might be technically in violation of Canon 216, but it's unlikely that they'll get into any trouble for it. But if Catholics in America wish to use the word "Catholic" to identify themselves as followers of Jesus Christ and His Church in some mission, apostolate, or other faith-filled activity which they have begun out of zeal for the Lord, they'd better think of Canon 216 as some sort of combination between a business license and a franchise permission, and haunt the chancery until someone gives them permission to use "Catholic" in their name--and they'd darned well better get that permission in writing. Now, the problem is that chanceries being chanceries they've got a snowball's chance in Dallol, Ethiopia of actually getting that permission should the endeavor in question be the slightest bit more orthodox than the USCCB; and if the endeavor also looks as though it might be profitable, there's simply no chance at all--unless, of course, the chancery in question is located in Lincoln, Nebraska, or one of a relatively small number of other dioceses in America, in which case you've got a shot.
Just so we're all clear.
Of course, there's an abysmally simple solution to this problem: don't call yourself a Catholic. Oh, sure, in casual conversation you're probably safe, and so long as And Sometimes Tea doesn't turn into a multimillion dollar broadcast operation any time soon (ha!) I can probably leave up my "About Me" bit in the sidebar despite the renegade, non-Canon-216 approved identification of the blog author as a Catholic (perhaps by adding a prominent disclaimer that I don't speak for the Church, have never spoken for the Church, and that any similarity between anything I might ever say or write and actual Church teaching is purely coincidental, and indeed, totally inexplicable given the rotten catechesis dished out to my generation). Come up with names for blogs or similar endeavors such as "Liturgical Year Cooking" or "Real Live Rosary Renegades" and you'll be just fine; bury your Catholic identity as much as possible in any public works or activities, and you'll never have to worry about running afoul of Canon 216 or any similar law or policy.
Otherwise, we should leave the word "Catholic" alone, secure in the knowledge that it's being protected by our bishops in the proper exercise of their ecclesiastical authority. Why, just look at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which does not only have ecclesiastical approval for the use of the word "Catholic" in its name, but also has the full support of the USCCB for its charitable activities of community organizing, empowerment, and the funding of left-wing political activities! Of course, a few grumpy people keep complaining that the CCHD is funding stuff that, you know, really isn't Catholic. Stuff like an immigrants' rights group/CCHD grant recipient getting caught handing out condoms quite likely bought and paid for with Catholic money--which, it's quite fair to say, the Catholic officials at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development might never have noticed had it not been for a concerned group of people whose religion I cannot mention for canonical reasons who issued a report mentioning this agency (along with 54 other agencies engaged in practices contrary to Catholic teaching while still receiving largesse from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development) and its violations.
But we can trust the Catholic Campaign for Human Development to remain fully, devotedly Catholic, right? Why, they demonstrated their Catholic values by loudly dismissing the complaints the group already mentioned made about the other 54 agencies for such things as promoting gay rights and signing statements of support for Planned Parenthood. These shining gems of Canon-216 Catholicity assured the rest of us that the research American Life League did was outdated research and merely Internet research and thus not accurate (except for the condom bit, which was devastatingly and provably accurate) and that ALL is motivated by their hatred of Democrats, immigrants, and the poor and marginalized (except for unborn poor immigrant marginalized Democrats, of course). Which is not rash judgment unbecoming to a Canon 216 Follower for excellent reasons that will occur to me sometime after someone orders hot chocolate and electric blankets in this geographic location.
No, the Catholic Campaign of Human Development stands as one scintillating example of why lowly small-potatoes followers of Christ would be better off naming their endeavors directly in His honor. Leave the name "Catholic" for the experts, who prove to us time and time again that they know what they're doing.
UPDATE: Mark Shea addresses my concerns on his blog, and does so in a way that makes total sense to me. More on that later, the good Lord and this stupid migraine willing (yes, I've been having them a bit frequently; yes, our weather has been going like this: 52-68-52-77, which last is today's forecasted high, which explains things).