Sunday, October 24, 2010

Catholic Bloggers Aim to Purge Dissenters

This NY Times article headline made me laugh, but overall it is not a bad article.
My comments are in red:

"Pressure is on to change the
Roman Catholic Church in America, but it's not coming from the usual liberal suspects. A new breed of theological conservatives has taken to blogs and YouTube to say the church isn't Catholic enough."

The NY Times is really up to date, this paragraph could have been written 4 or 5 years ago.

"John Allen, Vatican analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, has dubbed this trend "Taliban Catholicism." But he says it's not a strictly conservative phenomenon — liberals can fit the mindset, too, Allen says. Some left-leaning Catholics are outraged by any exercise of church authority."

Allen as usual is a fair liberal - this is a good point that many liberals fail to admit.

"The work of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is another frequent target."

Is should be - there have been some things within the USCCB that were rightly criticized.

The rise in lay conservative fervor comes at a time when the need for activism would seem less urgent. The U.S. hierarchy has seen a wave of retirements in recent years that has swept out leading liberals. The men taking their place are generally more traditional and willing to take a harder line against disobedient Catholics, from politicians to parishioners. "

This is true and a good thing. It also makes me wonder why some are still so negative - things ARE better today than just 5 years ago!

"Critics of the bloggers contend the activists are motivated mostly by politics, not theology. The blogs feature nearly as many attacks on President Barack Obama as church leaders. "

Another good point and one that I have made before. The President may not be another Reagan, but he also is not dumb, nor a terrorist, nor another Hitler/Lenin/Castro as I have read on Catholic blogs. I like Mark Shea's commentary on politics that best - he criticizes all groups when needed. He points out when people put their conservative or liberal ideology above Christian principles.

"Many of the conservatives most active online had spent years raising the alarm about dissent on their own in their local dioceses without much effect. Now, they feel they are finally being heard online. "

Another good point that is often left out of the criticism of Catholic blogs. Blogs were and are a platform where faithful Catholics can be heard, which was and is often not the case in parishes and dioceses. Then again, we need to be careful not to become 'sour faced saints', simply criticizing everything around us like the two old men in the balcony on the Muppet Show.

Speaking of Catholic blogs - the Catholic Blog Directory I created has been maintained by Andrea since I was engaged to be married. It has been around 5 years now and the directory has grown to over 2,200 Catholic blogs. I am glad Andrea has done such a great job and that the directory includes all types of Catholic blogs.

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