Browbeating us with “charity”

…From their side of the table, Church officials are deeply wary of an interactive, lightening-speed media that seems to have no boundaries, rules or limitations. A major theme, put forward by Fr. Frederico Lombardi of the Vatican Press Office and American institutional blogger Elizabeth Scalia, continues to be the supposed “lack of charity” shown by bloggers who reveal the failings of Churchmen.  It was clear, however, that these officials were aware of the problems and genuinely wanted to begin a new, less mutually suspicious relationship. And the bloggers responded eagerly to the extended hand…. (Source)

The more I read this, the more I am less and less impressed with how this whole “lack of charity” theme was pushed.  Fr. Lombardi was pushing it. So was Archbishop Claudio Celli.  And also Elizabeth Scalia, from the Anchoress.   I would really like to know why she even brought up the topic.  Was it something she thought would be a good topic to discuss, or was the topic suggested to her by Fr. Lombardi or Cardinal Celli?

The topic in and of itself is fine and legitimate, of course. But it’s the political mileage gained for those who use it to silence or dumb down legitimate criticism of their actions which concerns me.  Why wasn’t there a time to discuss how the blogosphere can be used to root out corruption in the Church?  Or how to use it to mobilize lay Catholics against liberals and heretics?  I guess that didn’t get on the agenda.

3 thoughts on “Browbeating us with “charity”

  1. Exactly what I’m thinking.

    I would have wanted to talk about orthodoxy and how many bishops and Vatican officials do not manifest it.

    We should all be on the same page, doctrinally speaking– certainly WRT the more rudimentary beliefs.

    But we’re not. And that’s among the problems that the Vatican has. Because the dissident professional Catholics and clergy tell the secularists what they want to hear.

  2. Hello Pacheo,

    I don’t know if you applied to go to this blog meeting in Rome and didn’t get an invitation but I think you should actually take a breath of faithful courage because whether it’s been publicly stated or not, I believe this meeting was actually a result from a lot of the digging and unearthing that blogs like yours and Lifesite News have done. This discussion about of ‘lack of charity’ wouldn’t even exist if there weren’t cases of duplicity in the hierarchy / structures of the church, such as you’ve been revealing – duplicity that comes from going along with the ways of the world. Christ is the light of Truth and he had no charity for the darkness of the Evil one. He even bellowed at Peter flat out “Get behind me Satan”. I saw from your quote that Lifesite News was invited, which was good. Did you see this comment on Elizabeth Scalia’s blog – it’s interesting, as is her reply.

    “…Blogging is a form of journalism and journalism, in its purest sense, is after unbiased truth. I keep hearing about this lack of charity but I’m trying to understand what they’re talking about. It’s very vague. Did you address specific examples of a ‘lack of charity’. I’ve seen and read of some pretty heated battles between some pro-life bloggers and some members of the hierarchy in the Church – particularly in Canada – but in a country that shamefully has absolutely no abortion law at all because the major media has essentially censored discussion in totality I don’t peg this as a cause of concern or even a lack of Christian charity. I’d say it’s the fruits of a horrendously important battle for truth about abortion.

    I’ve read a few comments from people like Hilary White and others present that spoke of the real crux of the matter – the potential for ‘regulation’ of the blogosphere and while I’ve heard a few comments that people felt the Vatican wasn’t pushing in that direction there was no official comment from the Vatican that stated clearly their position. No doubt this was an amazing relationship building opportunity (if not delayed by at least 4 years) but can you shed any light on this central question about regulation from a factual rather than a feely standpoint?

    [Hi Ben, a little under the weather, here, but this issue is not clear immediately and I will try to get some clarity today. My take on that question of regulation is different than Hilary’s. I am not entirely sure that the vatican officials were talking about regulation/monitoring in the way we would normally consider, but instead means to explore how to create some sort of entity within the vastness of bloggerdom/blogosphere which will allow for consistency in terms of contact, information dispersal, etc. When you’re dealing with millions of bloggers, expediency might simply require that somewhere along the line, some sort of “guild” or something might be useful. I think that’s really all it is about, but will try to find out more. -admin]

    Lifesite news seemed to clarify this through a private conversation they had at the meeting:

    “…Later, both Rouse and Fr. Ruiz made a point of speaking to me separately, both taking pains to assure me that at the Vatican level at least, there is no intention or desire to regulate or control bloggers’ content. ”

    I think it was really wonderful and part of Christ’s plan that Lifesite News were able to go there. I really hope their face to face meetings have helped to weigh the balance against such truly disgusting and defamatory comments such as this that have been thrown against them:

    “… Father Rosica said American bishops are upset about the division it has caused in the Church. “One of the American cardinals asked me where the headquarters was and I said, `It’s somebody’s basement in the Ottawa Valley.’ He thought it was a tower in downtown Toronto, so it’s extremely deceiving.”

    God bless you in your mission and call from Christ but please remember to stay positive in the light of his love.

  3. Thank you for your comments, Candice.

    In regards to the Vatican’s intentions regarding the bloggers, like anything it’s a mixed bag. There are some people in the Council of Social Communications who would like (or at least try) to take control over the Catholic blogosphere but there are others who see how ridiculous that is and are having none of it.

    As for this blog, we will never agree to submit to any Church blogger bureacracy. If we were to submit, then the truth surrounding the corruption with D&P and other places in the Catholic Church would never get out.

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