Father McHardy of the Oratorians at the Brompton Oratory, where the bloggers met, put Catholic blogging in the historical context of centuries of apologetic writing.
Comparing the present use of the Internet with the pamphleteers of the Count-Reformation, Father McHardy noted that a combination of adherence to the Truth and charity form the basis for expressing the True Faith.
Starting with the example of such writers as St. Philip Neri, who Father pointed out was involved in the events of the day in the Church in Rome, and moving to the English pamphleteers, who daringly answered Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in the breaks with Rome, Fr. McHardy encouraged all to maintain dignity in writing.
But, as he said clearly, Father emphasized that the duty of the blogger was spreading the Truth of the Holy Catholic Church, no matter how unpopular this was to those who are caught up in secularization and the material pursuits of the world, or even for those Catholics who are struggling to agree with Church teaching.
Father stressed that there "is a place of controversial-ism in the Church and that controversy is not new in the Church."
He also said that, "To defend the truth is the most important thing to do."
Father also noted that anonymity or pseudonyms were used by the Counter-Reformation writers and that there is freedom in this method.
Referring to Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman, Father noted that he, too, was a public apologist, a necessity for the times.
"Being critical is not always a negative thing," said Father.
His talk was both encouraging and stimulating. Thank you, Father McHardy.