I mean, specifically, why do we as Catholics, blog?
What is the purpose of this exercise?
Is it merely a chance to air one’s views much as one might debate a topic in the local pub (always assuming you can find a Christian interested in discussing matters such as the hypostatic union and its various implications)
Or, do we blog because we wish to influence a larger audience and perhaps convert them to our way of thinking?
Or, is it just a personal whim and we have no cares about who reads our posts, what they think of them or how many read them?
I have the greatest respect for bloggers who can, hand on heart, claim that they have no interest in viewing their blog statistics; they must be saintly people.
I try very hard not to fret as to whether X or Y numbers of hits have been received concerning a post but, it’s in my DNA to measure what I am doing and to determine if it is for good or not.
If we have no cares for what we post then surely we must become as an empty gong or a clashing cymbal?
In the past twelve months, in particular, we have witnessed the power that may be wielded by the Catholic blogosphere; the odd Bishop about to be promoted quickly dropped from the list, Tesco calling a halt to sponsorship, beyond 2012, of Gay Pride, the
battle to retain its Catholic identity and many other incidents. Cardinal Vaughan School
And we are still in an embryonic state as far as refining and honing that ‘power’ is concerned.
There are many facets yet to be explored and developed.
One of those facets is the power to inform and even educate, in short, to evangelise.
I do not mean that we can take the word of Christ and actually convert people (although that might happen from time to time).
I mean that we have an opportunity to bring many thousands of Catholics up to speed with what is going on in the Church and guide them to a more profound faith.
Is that a bad objective? Is it, perhaps just a shade patronising?
Possibly it may smack of that but it is not intentional; the bulk of the laity have little or no concept of how the Church is changing, reforming, developing and, even, succeeding in the world.
They do know that the Church is now infamous for its muddle headed thinking on the clerical paedophilia issue but ask the Catholic man on the Clapham bus what they know about Summorum Pontificum and you will draw a blank stare before being thrown off!
Try telling a group of the laity that practicing homosexuality is a sin and see how many walk away.
Or that Purgatory is an approved doctrine of the faith (I know of some nuns who deny that this is so).
Or, even that we have returned to Friday abstinence from meat – you will get some funny looks I assure you.
The Sunday sermon does not usually focus specifically on current church affairs. It focuses on the Gospel or Epistle of the day or, if it is a special feast, then, possibly a homily on that.
The Catholic press struggles to maintain a readership that is way below the number of Catholics in the country.
Therefore, the Catholic blogging community has a great deal to offer (as our blogging priests have shown).
Take this concept one step further. Why not expose the Catholic world of blogging to the laity en masse?
Show them that the Latin Mass is legitimate, that there are forms of church music other than folk Masses - open their eyes to the reform of the reform that is moving at a faster pace in many other countries than it is in Great Britain.
And what better vehicle to undertake this role than the Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma?
A Guild poster distributed to key parishes and available as a download would not take too much effort and would spread the word much faster than the man with a cleft stick.
Posted by Richard Collins - Linen on the Hedgerow