Saturday, 15 September 2012


It is perhaps overdoing it to liken the Catholic blogosphere to Samizdat.  After all, we do not risk imprisonment for expressing and sharing our views.

However, there are similarities. Until relatively recently, the main means of communications in the Catholic community in this country were under the control of a relatively small number of people. They chose which articles to commission and publish, which news to report and with what slant, and, very noticeably, which letters from ordinary Catholics to publish.

Maybe they did all that very well, and the reason letters from people like me were routinely binned was because people like me are nutters.  But with the rise of the Catholic blogosphere, it has become apparent (which was previously invisible and easy to ignore) that there are many such people around; not a homogenous group who all hold to the same analysis and propose the same solutions, but a concerned group keenly aware that the Church in this country is not as it should be.

The other similarity is that the breaking of that control of communication has given a certain amount of power to people previously disenfranchised.  By being able to talk together, and express common cause where that is found, we are no longer voiceless.

It is hard to say which of the following voltes-faces (if that's the correct plural) have been influenced by the fact of having the light of critical publicity shone on them, but I imagine it has at  least helped in some cases.

Anyway, here's the start of a list (I'm sure I had more in mind when I started writing this post, but that was five minutes ago, and my short term memory is such that.... what was I on about?...

Ah yes, a list:

  • A bishop celebrating an anniversary Mass for a homosexual partnership
  • Methodist ordinations at Liverpool Cathedral
  • Cruddas speaking at Oxford
  • Cruddas speaking at Brentwood
  • Beattie speaking at Clifton

Add the ones I've forgotten in the comms box!


Ttony said...

I wonder if it the case that the communication element had to embed itself first, and that what we are seeing is the first-fruit of the network of like-minded people which has come together. It's not so much the "Catholic Blogosphere" as that part of the blogosphere where a small number of like-minded, articulate, Catholics have come to exchange news and information, and which has achieved enough critical mass to have developed a personality.

By the way: Voltes-face, I would have thought, unless you are two-faced ...

Recusant said...

I guess that while the internet has given nutters more of a voice, it has also given anti-Magisterium, reinterpretation of the bible, relativism-loving nutters a voice as well. OK, so they had a bigger voice berfore, but given that so many people now use the internet for research and believe everything it says, I don't know how much the balance has changed. Google "Tina Beattie" for example, and almost the entirity of the first page of links is in favour. However, I think that what it has given type-A nutters is the confidence that they aren't the only nutter on the planet.