The aim of the meeting, which is being organised by the Pontifical Councils for Culture and Social Communications, is to allow for a dialogue between bloggers and Church representatives, to listen to the experiences of those who are actively involved in this arena, and to achieve a greater understanding of the needs of that community. The meeting will also allow for a presentation of some of the initiatives to engage with new media practitioners being taken by the Church, both in Rome and at the local level.
In two panels, speakers will open up some of the key issues in order to set up a more general discussion open to all participants. The first panel will involve 5 bloggers – they will be chosen to represent different language groups and each will address a specific theme of general relevance. The second panel will draw on people involved in the Church’s communications outreach – they will speak of their experiences in working with new media and initiatives aimed at ensuring an effective engagement by the Church with bloggers….(Source)
First blog to address the Committee:
Socon or Bust
Title of Talk: Using the Blog to hold Professional Catholics and the bishops accountable to the Gospel.
All joking aside, LifeSite News (even though it is not a blog per se) has to be one of the main contributing influences which has precipitated this meeting. That’s why all of our readers should flip them a few bucks as a thank you.
If LSN is not one of the 5 selected, this whole conference will likely be a sham. We’ll be waiting to see who the 5 are. I have no doubt that Socon or Bust won’t likely be one of them.
If the five selected are part of the lapdog establishment, Socon or Bust will call it out. If the Church wants to get serious about the Wild frontier of the blogosphere (which is part of the reason why this conference should be called), then it’s going to have to bring to the table those blogs which have legitimate criticisms of how the Church witnesses to the Gospel. If it’s a “yes men” conference initiated and controlled by Fr. Rosica, it will produce nothing but cynicism and contempt from the Catholic blogosphere.
You’ve been forewarned, gentlemen. Come clean and be prepared to be challenged.
But once again, I’m afraid the Vatican doesn’t really get it. They are focusing on the form instead of the substance. If the Catholic hierarchy and their professional Catholic appointees were faithful stewards of the Gospel, there would not be a need for this conference, but still, I think it’s a move in the right direction because it gives the Blogosphere the opportunity to preach the Gospel to an establishment that is spent and in need of some serious repentance and reform.
The Establishment, and in particular members of the Pontifical Council for Culture and Social Communications, like Fr. Tom Rosica, need to disabuse themselves of the clericalism which tries to call into question the integrity or the validity of what bloggers say, simply because they are mere peasant bloggers…instead of examining the evidence and the arguments which they present.
The truth is what gives us the legitimacy we’ve earned. And no amount of brow-beating is going to affect that.
Moreover, it’s the refusal to report the truth and even to lie and manipulate the facts which has caused Catholics to turn away from traditional forms of media, the Professional Catholics and their mouthpieces.
It’s the Catholic blogosphere that is saving the Church. And this whole meeting is a de facto recognition of that.