Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Catholic Blogging-What Is Our Responsibility?

Paula on her blog 'Receiving Light' raised an interesting topic about how we should treat one another as Catholic bloggers. I would like to expand on this issue and ask what is our responsibility towards those who read our blogs?

In my own journey to the Catholic Church I did not have access to a computer and I am thankful I didnt, mainly because of the blogs which deviate away from Catholic Doctrine. Instead I read as many books as I could on the Catholic Church and all facets of it including books on Our Lady, The Eucharist and our Saints.

What concerns me most is how we define our blogs, do we only write on what the Church finds acceptable or can we exlpore issues where our private opinions may not be inline with Catholic Doctrine? And what happens if a person who may not be Catholic visits our blogs in order to search for the Truth and then find themselves reading instead about what a person 'thinks' the Church should be teaching. Would this not be confusing to the individual?

I know in my own internet forays I have come across blogs where women claim that the Catholic Church believes in the Ordination of women, we know this is NOT correct but what about the seeker who is searching for Truth, what are they left to think? I have also read blogs where many claim to be catholic yet they do not recognise Pope Benedict XVI but rather believe that the Throne of Peter has been vacant since Pope Pius X.

Perhaps one of the best ways to circumvent these problems is to make clear what is your private opinion and where the Catholic Church stands on a particular issue. For instance I am open minded if the Catholic Church decided to have both celibate and married Priests, however I will never propogate this thought because it is MY own private opinion (there will be NO posts on this issue as it is NOT Church Teaching).

When we write as Catholics we need to be aware that not every reader is Catholic and that some may have NO idea what the Catholic Church Teaches. Therefore surely it is incumbent upon us to represent the Churches Teachings on matters of Doctrine and Morals.

It is a very fine line to tread, which is why we should clarify what is our private opinion and what is the Teachings of The Catholic Church.

Another aspect is how we respond to bloggers who do express thoughts which may not be inline with Catholic Doctrine. Is it a good idea to represent ourselves as a divided Church where Catholics bicker and infight with their responses? Is that how we want people who do not belong to the Catholic faith to see us, at our worst? Surely not!

We need to be more aware that when we define our blogs as Catholic that we behave as Christ would wish us to behave towards each other and towards those who visit our blogs.

"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another...Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."(Colossians 3:12-17)