First Patheos... then the rest of us.
Oops! Sorry - Burke said nothing about Patheos, or blogs specifically - so where's the story here?
I don't know. But let's try to figure it out...
BTW: Evidently crackdowns only happen when conservative crack-pot bloggers say they do, but in the meantime, I hear cracks in the foundations of the Spirit of Vatican II communities... but that's really another post isn't it... maybe after the smoke of Satan clears... What?
In all seriousness, His Eminence Cardinal Burke gave a homily reminding Catholic communicators that "they must obey Church teaching!" One friend sent me a copy of the news story with an added "capiche" - just to give it punch I suppose... in a crackdown sort of way. She's so strict!
"But Eminence! but Eminence! I try to be faithful to Church teaching." Can't you just hear me and everyone else claiming orthodoxy to the max? It's so all about the blog and the tweets and the wall... and the stats, ain't it? It's just about you and me, ow da time.
But seriously, jabs aside, the Cardinal speaks well and is right on target - I think. Although I have to believe he's really talking about the NCR - and not the EWTN one. No - he's most likely talking about Peggy Noonan and how she can no longer write for anti-Catholic media groups. Yep, that's it. See how we can assume 'they' are talking about us, you, or even me - when 'they' say stuff in their homilies and Catholic communicators print the sound bites? That's another post in itself. So anyway - what follows are a few snippets/sound bites:)
ROME (CNS) — Church communicators have an important and serious duty to obey church teaching and defend the church’s mission of saving souls and safeguarding truth, said the head of the Vatican’s highest court.
Caution as well as control over content and where it’s distributed are needed because while the field of communications “has great potential for good,” it “also can be turned to the harm of the faithful,” said U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature.
Communicators should be guided and directed by pastors to make sure their content is free from doctrinal and theological error, and Catholics should avoid outlets that openly attack Christian morality, he added. - I'm not reprinting the whole thing - finish reading here.
I was going to post this yesterday, after I first came across the story, because I really do think it is important - but I didn't.
While not specifying which kinds of media were inappropriate, Burke cautioned against those who “foster the fragmentation of thought and language*,” permit anonymity, lack any ethical standards and lead to “highly inappropriate or even offensive language.”
Which made me think of bloggers... although the Cardinal admitted, "it would be difficult to effectively discipline such media to serve the church in promoting its teaching." He did say, "According to Canon 831, Catholics should not be writing for newspapers, magazines or periodicals that openly attack Catholicism or good morals “except for a just and reasonable cause,” he said."
Two things came to me mind with that one: Catholic journalists who work for the ever increasingly anti-Catholic MSM - is he really suggesting that Catholics shouldn't be on staff? That there shouldn't be a Catholic voice/presence within that arena? I very much doubt it. Secondly, is the Cardinal hinting at some sort of ecclesial control over what is said in the 'digital media'? I mean how do you control rogue priests and nuns and lay people of either persuasion - meaning; rad trads, EF-ers, OF-ers, liberals, or even Catholic conversion celebrities? Yeah, "it would be difficult" is an understatement.
See how news-bites, snippets, and subjective commentary like mine contributes to the confusion? From the very onset of blogging I have often - indeed regularly - cautioned readers and bloggers to be wary and discerning about those who call themselves Catholic online. Isn't that pretty much what the Cardinal is saying? However, so far the Church hasn't even been able to control errant nuns and priests, or Catholic institutes of higher learning, much less Catholic politicians; and as far as digital media is concerned, that genie is out of the bottle. Likewise, the Church seems to be unable to control its own newspaper and the flury of rumors, leaks, or even the dissemination of spurious apparitions and messages from heaven. Obviously, we are going to need to find out exactly, what does the Cardinal really say/mean? And is anyone listening?
That said, the Cardinal's remarks should validate the presence of good Catholic canon lawyers online - but even they don't agree on everything, do they. I know!
Back to pray, pay and obey I suppose. Or. Just shut up.
*Although there was no mention of L'Osservatore Romano.
Photo source: "Didn't the Vatican say we were satanic or possibly satanic -- and they've still forgiven us? I think the Vatican, they've got more to talk about than the Beatles."