Just as I did a year ago, I thought it might be interesting to look back over the year and see which of my blog posts had the most hits.
And just as it was a year ago, the Blackfen Affair topped the bill. My brief post announcing that Fr Fisher Resigns from Blackfen was the most visited post, by some considerable margin. Another two in the top 12 (who needs decimals anyway?) were on the same topic: in More on the Blackfen Saga (no 5 in the charts) I raised the question of episcopal oversight in this case; and in Telling Fr Fisher's Story (no 10 in the charts) I discussed Joseph Shaw's post and reactions to it. The whole saga was clearly one that my readers, at any rate, were keen to follow closely.
The other issue that resulted in several highly-visited posts was the pair of letters, one from priests and one from the laity, in the run-up to the Synod, calling for fidelity to Catholic Teaching. The second most-visited post on this site over the year was A Roll of Honour, listing all those who had signed the letter from the laity. Just behind it in popularity, was the post inviting signatures In Support of Our Priests, Our families and Our Church ; the next most popular discussed Cardinal Nichols' Rebuke to the priests who had signed the original letter; and the one after that (no 6 in the charts, if you have been counting carefully [and even if you haven't]) was my post on The Bitter Pill on the Priests' Letter , which revealed the paucity of thinking of those opposed to the brave and faithful priest signatories. Again, I see it as very significant that this was a topic of such interest to my readers.
The remaining five in the top twelve dealt with different issues. Having said that, no. 7 was also related to the Synod. In Not Wholly Convinced, I took issue with Austen Ivereigh's claim: Pastoral approach triumphs over doctrine at synod.
No 8 was pure self-indulgence: fisking Tina Beattie's absurd presentation of dissent as a legitimate Catholic approach to morality: Shooting Ducks in a Barrel. I mean, really... Even today, looking back, I cannot read her words without wondering what on earth she imagines she believes in - other than the magisterium of me.
In at no 9 is A Straw God Argument, in which I discuss the idiocy of the increasingly ludicrous Stephen Fry, when he attempts to do theology. Maybe he and Tina should team up and found a new sect for narcissists.
At no 11 was one of my many posts on the issue of homosexuality, which often get a lot of hits. Making Gay Okay is a review of, and some reflections on, the book of that title. The subtitle is How Rationalizing Homosexual Behaviour is Changing Everything, and gives a clue to the comprehensiveness of the book, which is well researched and well worth reading.
The 12th most-read post was More on ex-priests and ex-nuns as teachers, which does what it says in the title. I am always mildly surprised when a part two post has more hits than the part one to which it relates, but such is the blogosphere.
Needless to say, I don't think these are my 12 best posts; not necessarily the most important, nor the most edifying, nor the wittiest, nor the most thought-provoking, nor the most heartfelt. But who am I to judge?...
I hope all my readers have a happy and blessed 2016.