On June 3, Bishop Gabino Zavala, auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Communications Committee, delivered a talk on Catholic media in general, and in one portion of the talk, the Catholic blogosphere. Bishop Zavala made some very good points.
First, he called upon Catholic media to “Speak the truth out of a love for the Church, and a love for the people of God.”
Next, and this one I particularly liked, the bishop called for the Catholic media to
always proceed with humility and civility. The humility comes from the realization that none of us have all the facts of a story. There are always other perspectives beyond our own. Committing to civility means moving away from positions of attacking…
Indeed! Finally, Zavala expressed his hope that the Catholic media would “always work to present Church teaching fairly and accurately.” I couldn’t have said it better.
On the blogosphere in particular, finally, the bishop expressed the following thought:
[W]e are particularly concerned about blogs that engage in attacks and hurtful, judgmental language. We are very troubled by blogs and other elements of media that assume the role of Magisterium and judge others in the Church. Such actions shatter the communion of the Church that we hold so precious.
This talk certainly made the position of the bishops on Catholic media and the blogs quite clear. One nagging question remains, however: does it apply to the bishops themselves?
For instance, does it apply to Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles – Zavala’s boss, no less – whom on April 18th denounced the immigration law in Arizona as “German Nazi and Russian Communist techniques”, and without any evidence claimed that the law mandates that “people are required to turn one another in to the authorities on any suspicion of documentation”?
By the criteria set forth by Zavala, Cardinal Mahony owes the state of Arizona, its lawmakers, officials and citizens who support the law, an apology.