Monday, January 24, 2011


Pope Benedict sprinkling Catholic bloggers to purify and cleanse(as in the temple) them of incivility!

My comments first: I've had to bleep out some comments written on my otherwise benign and non controversial blog. We haven't yet developed a sense of civility when we comment anonymously as we are when we normally converse with someone face to face. So be nice in your comments and don't get into personalities.

I read a more liberal liturgy blog and the commmenters there are down right nasty to one another at times. Evidently they don't see a connection between being Catholic and the golden rule either. Conservatives and liberals alike can be nasty. Commenters on a wide variety of blogging ideologies operate like hit and run drivers. What a shame, especially for Catholics who engage in such sinful, mortally sinful, ways.Get thee to confession.

Pope to Catholics online: It's not just about hits

(AP) – 2 hours ago

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI told Catholic bloggers and Facebook and YouTube users Monday to be respectful of others when spreading the Gospel online and not to see their ultimate goal as getting as many online hits as possible.

Echoing concerns in the U.S. about the need to root out online vitriol, Benedict called for the faithful to adopt a "Christian style presence" online that is responsible, honest and discreet

"We must be aware that the truth which we long to share does not derive its worth from its 'popularity' or from the amount of attention it receives," Benedict wrote in his annual message for the church's World Day of Social Communications.

"The proclamation of the Gospel requires a communication which is at once respectful and sensitive."

Benedict didn't name names, but the head of the Vatican's social communications office, Archbishop Claudio Celli, said it was certainly correct to direct the pope's exhortation to some conservative Catholic blogs, YouTube channels and sites which, with some vehemence, criticize bishops, public officials and policies they consider not Catholic enough.

"The risk is there, there's no doubt," Celli said in response to a question. He confirmed that the Pontifical Council for Social Communications was working on a set of guidelines with recommendations for appropriate style and behavior for Catholics online.

"I don't love such things, but I think we can define some points of reference for behavior," he said, adding that he hoped such a document would come out as soon as possible.

The Vatican's concern comes at a time when incendiary rhetoric — in the media and online — has come under increasing fire; even U.S. President Barack Obama has urged greater civility in political discourse following the attempted assassination of a U.S. congresswoman.

In his message, Benedict echoed many of the same themes he has voiced in years past about the benefits and dangers of the digital age, saying social networks are a wonderful way to build relationships and community. But he warned against replacing real friendships with virtual ones and warned against the temptation to create artificial public profiles rather than authentic ones.

"There exists a Christian way of communication which is honest and open, responsible and respectful of others," he wrote. "To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in one's own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preference and judgments that are fully consistent with the Gospel."

The 83-year-old Benedict is no techno wizard: He writes longhand and has admitted to a certain lack of Internet savvy within the Vatican.

But under Benedict, the Holy See has greatly increased its presence online: It has a dedicated YouTube channel, and its portal gives news on the pontiff's trips and speeches and features I-Phone and Facebook applications that allow users to send postcards with photos of Benedict and excerpts from his messages to their friends.

Celli said the Holy See was working on a new multimedia portal that would be the point of reference for the whole Vatican that he hoped would be operational by Easter. It would start out in English and Italian, with other languages added later.

Currently, the Vatican website has links to the Vatican newspaper, the Vatican Museums and other Vatican departments, but it's clunky and out of date.

Celli acknowledged that the pope's annual message — which is full of technical jargon — is not his alone. Celli's office prepares a draft and the pope then makes changes. Celli said he didn't know if Benedict had ever been on Facebook, but said he expected one of his aides had probably shown him around.


Paul said...

Common courtesy is far from common. Even after all these years, I am still shocked when highly educated executives drop numerous "F bombs" during business meetings.

pinanv525 said...

Fr., I fear I need total immersion! LOL!

Robert Kumpel said...

You $#&*@ people better listen to the pope! Every *%$*#! word he said was right on the mark!

Henry Edwards said...

Fr. McDonald: "I read a more liberal liturgy blog and the commmenters there are down right nasty to one another at times."

Of all the Catholic sites I regularly check, the most rancid incivility I see is at the liberal PT blog. Most of it appearing to come for "professional Catholics" of the sort recently mentioned by Pope Benedict.

I think what's unique about the situation there is these chancery and apparatchik types being mildly challenged by faithful Catholics. Apparently they aren't used to faithful Catholics "talking back" calmly and sensibly, and just can't handle it gracefully.

Anonymous said...

When someone gets angry, you know you've got 'em.


Pater Ignotus said...

Yes, we do.

Seeker said...

Thank you Father, I need reminding often. Not only in on-line commentary, but everyday life. I can and will do better.

Adlai said...

I hope that the Holy Father communicated his wishes directly to Pater Ignotus.

Still waiting patiently after all these months.


pinanv525 said...

Ignotus, the Japanese have a saying: "It is dark at the bottom of a lighthouse." Let that be a koan for you to ponder today.

Robert Kumpel said...

After thinking about this, I have decided to form a consortium of orthodox Catholic bloggers and I invite you to be the first to join Father. My organization will be called the Association of Catholic Taliban Bloggers.

Whaddya say?

Frajm said...


pinanv525 said...

How about Aassociation of Catholic Templar Bloggers?

Templar said...

Count me in Pin :-)