Latest news on the blogging frontier is that Pope Benedict is encouraging priests to start blogging. The Vatican has been behind the media curve for a while in getting its message out. But then again the Catholic Church is over 40 years old and many of us who are over 40 struggle with the challenges (and opportunities!) of all this technology. As a Catholic theologian I experience a lack of abundant, qualified, spirituality information on the Internet. Hopefully, with priests doing more blogging as priests, this will change. This story wa reported in the online version of the New York Times, in an article titled “Pope to Priests: Go Forth and Blog.”
Helps Fill the Void for Good Information on Faith & Morals
Many times Catholic priests are stretched too thin to be able to answer all of the questions people have about faith and moral. At other times, people will want to get the information anonymously and not put their face and name to the particular questions. And, sometimes, the local priest or religious may be a jerk who feels he is too important to answer the questions of mere earthlings. I have experienced all three of those versions.
By encouraging priests to blog, we can now (hopefully) have fuller access to better quality information on faith and morals. If I am an Internet “Lurker” and just want to read the information or ask questions without revealing my true identity, then the priest blogging sites could be of real value to me. Many of us who are active bloggers know we have a range of readers: registered users, visitors who comment, and lurkers who read but never comment or register. Given that all of our needs for information our individual and unique, the presence of blogging priests on the Internet can help people learn more than they would otherwise.
Getting Past a Deserved Anger
As priests heed the Pope’s call to blog the first thing they may want to do is apologize for the scandals caused by the minority of corrupt priests and bishops.
Some readers will probably flame otherwise innocent priests for the terrible sins of their fellow clergy in the blogs’ comments section. I hope that the new priest bloggers can avoid getting hyper defensive. They need to apologise and offer compassion to those who have been physically and spiritually wounded by evil clergy. If they can’t realize that we have been harmed and offer to help us, then they should not be blogging (and they probably should not be priests)
Christianity is About More Than Money
You may have seen the soft news piece on the up and coming baseball player, Grant Desme, who is passing up a chance for big baseball bucks to enter the seminary and become a Catholic priest. Good for him. Nice to know that some of the up and comers, particularly athletes, are not glamoured and seduced by money.
The web blurb is located at “A’s prospect leaving baseball for call of the priesthood.” It was reported by someone calling themselves “Duk” (I am feeling over forty again).
I read some of the comments about Grant Desme going to seminary instead of becoming a priest. Yes, I was lurking! I saw how some people did not understand Desme’s decision. They criticised this young man for giving up a sports career and wealth for the priesthood. The more thought out objections indicated he could do more good by just donating the money he earned to a religious cause. While money donations are nice, there is more to spirituality and compassion than writing a check.
As a properly ordained Catholic priest, he will be able to administer the sacraments. That is more valuable than the money. It is tragic that some feel compassion and helping others is only manifested with a dollar sign.
What do you think? Can he serve God better as a baseball player or as a priest? Has he harmed people by not potentially earning big bucks and donating them to charity?
Are You Vocation Curious?
If you are curious about a religious vocation or would like guidance on discernment, then check out Vocation.com. They have some very good information for men and women who wish to discern if God is calling them to a religious vocation.
Click this link for another good resource for Roman Catholic vocations and discernment. What is nice about this blog is that the right hand side bar has extensive links and categories dealing with Marriage, Consecrated Life, Diaconate, and Priesthood. Always nice when the grown ups acknowledge that marriage is also a sacrament and a vocation.
So, this blogging stuff is pretty cool. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to comment and visit again. Semper Pax, Dr. Z