AP’s Article On The Catholic Blogosphere & NPR’s Firing Of Juan Williams Are Par For The Course

Monday, October 25, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

National Public Radio’s ludicrous firing of Juan Williams and a subsequent mainstream media article on Catholic bloggers may seem to be two separate issues. Some may say what does the overwhelmingly conservative leaning Catholic blogosphere have in common with the liberal leaning Juan Williams? The answer is quite simple; both scare the mainstream media because Juan Williams and the majority of the Catholic blogosphere put forth interesting solutions to often discussed questions.

The modus operadi of some in the mainstream media is to find a couple of unnamed fringe Catholic bloggers, who few read, and then make them become bigger players than they really are. Combine this with a Juan Williams quote which most of America agrees with and voila you have it; the ultimate straw man from which you can tear apart any minority who appears on Fox News or any Catholic blogger who faithfully defends the teachings of the 2,000 year old Catholic Church.

In this Associated Press article on the Catholic blogosphere, the piece mentions Thomas Peters and Michael Voris (who is known for his videos not his blogging,) but focuses on harsh unnamed Catholic bloggers. The article quotes John Allen who calls elements of the Catholic blogosphere “Taliban Catholicism.” The highly respected Mr. Allen, who though working for the dissident leaning National Catholic Reporter, is often known for his many high ranking Church contacts and his fairness. He should have know better than to give the quote that he did. To take a few bloggers from the right (or even from the left) and call them the Catholic blogosphere is the type of journalism that would not pass muster for a high school paper, let alone the AP. This would be akin to taking the worst rated college or pro football team and telling the world this is the best of American football, or perhaps watching the Walla Walla Community theater production of Hamlet and saying this is Hamlet at its finest. John Allen should have realized where this article was going and chosen his words more carefully.

The AP article continues by naming a Church official who seems worried about the Catholic blogosphere. One wonders if the Church official would know the difference between Father John Zuhlsdorf from Father Richard McBrien, Amy Welborn from Aimee Semple McPherson, Mark Shea from Mark Sanford, Rocco Palmo from Rocco Mediate, or Tito Edwards from Tito Santana. I worked for years in a diocesan office and I have yet to meet, even in my travels, a diocesan official who is well versed in the blogosphere. It seems to be a generational thing and most diocesan officials are not to be confused with the younger, more conservative seminarians or young priests being ordained.

While some in the mainstream media snicker at the Pope and Magisterium (the teaching authority of the Catholic Church) they in reality have their own magisterium. In their secular magisterium anyone who believes in the Catholic Church’s authority is hopelessly outdated, because according to gatekeepers in the mainstream media, true thinkers are those in the dying liberal churches who don’t know what they believe. Sadly, GK Chesterton prophetically predicted this would happen. He said, “It’s not that atheists and agnostics believe in nothing, they believe in everything.” In modern parlance, “It’s all good.” How sad that some who proclaim to be “open minded” can’t see the obvious; liberal Christianity is dying on the vine.” Read the rest of this entry »


Why Satirical Catholic Blogs Fail

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

I finally returned to internet connectivity this week, which has meant catching up on news & blogs I have neglected. Part of this “reconnecting” included denying a facebook friend request from someone I never heard of-only to find out that this someone was a fake online persona created in the Catholic Fascist’s attempt at satire. Having looked over all of the posts there, I was struck by how eerily similar the site was to another parody group blog-The Spirit of Vatican II.

Both blogs employed a host of satirical characters with enough resemblance to real life to make laugh (I think whoever thought of danmclockinload deserves a guest post on TAC) at first, both got roaring laughter from their own partisans-and neither blog was funny after a few days.

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Will The L.A. Bishops Take Their Own Advice?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 \PM\.\Tue\.

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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.

Read the rest and comment here.


Forgiveness, Mercy, and Charity for New York City Saint James Parish

Monday, January 25, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

[Updates at the bottom of this posting; latest update on 1-26-2010 at 12:24pm CST]

The Catholic blogosphere is currently in an uproar over an event that occurred at Saint James Church on Friday, January 15, 2010 A.D. when a Christian youth group requested and organized an event to draw more young adults into the Catholic Church.  This seemed as an innocuous request since the parish in the past held a classical piano concert in honor of the church’s founder Father Felix Valera.

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USA Today Reports on Catholic Blogosphere

Tuesday, November 3, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Last Friday on October 30 the mainstream media here in America reported inaccurately that the Vatican was warning parents that Halloween is ‘anti-Christian’.  Of course no such thing occurred.  The Vatican did not say that Halloween is ‘anti-Christian’, in fact they didn’t say anything at all.

On that same day, Jack Smith of The Catholic Key Blog debunked the story with yeoman’s work finding the source of the “alleged” Vatican Halloween Warning to a priest of the Spanish Bishop’s Conference by the name of Fr. Joan Maria Canals, CMF, a liturgy expert.  I followed up with a posting on this website early the next day supplementing Jack Smith’s findings with common mistakes made in reporting what is and isn’t official.

I then submitted my article to several news organizations, including the Drudge Report and the USA Today.  Additionally I left comments and sent emails explaining why their reporting was inaccurate.  To their credit, both the Drudge Report and the USA Today, rectified the situation some extent.

Drudge Report Catholic Church Halloween Evil 2

The Drudge Report removed the link to the Daily Mail late Saturday morning.  Then early Monday afternoon on November 2, Doug Stanglin, who wrote the piece that inaccurately attributed the Vatican warning parents of the anti-Christian nature of Halloween, followed up with our side of the story.

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“Closed Door Session” on Catholic Blogs in Canada

Friday, September 18, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

The ongoing and increasingly uncharitable public exchange between Fr. Thomas Rosica and LifeSiteNews.com may be on the verge of taking a disturbing new turn for the worse. Citing an article in “The Catholic Register”, LifeSiteNews informs us that

“The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has scheduled a closed-door session on independent blogs and web sites claiming to be Catholic at its October plenary.”

This follows, of course, the same Fr. Rosica’s public denunciation of LifeSiteNews, EWTN, and the Catholic blogosphere in general. Fr. Rosica also said that he “hopes the Pontifical Council on Social Communication takes up the issue”.

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Res et Explicatio for AD 9-7-2009

Monday, September 7, 2009 \AM\.\Mon\.

Salvete AC readers!

Buckle Up! Because here are today’s Top Picks in the world of Catholicism:

1. Sadly most of us will miss the Catholic Report blog run by Dave Hartline.  Due to pleasant new circumstances of a new member of the family, Dave will be rolling back some of his extra-curricular activities to attend to his growing family.  In addition Dave will be the newest contributor to the American Catholic website and joining our family of writers.

2. Since First Things began gobbling up good bloggers such as Spengler, Wesley J. Smith, and Elizabeth Scalia and adding writers such as the American Catholic’s own Christopher Blosser, Jay Anderson, and Joseph Bottum under the First Thoughts blog, their website has gotten a WHOLE lot better.  Many interesting stories and newsbites all neatly marketed in a spiffy new look.

I suggest you all check it out here.

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