What Makes A Blog ‘Catholic’?

Scrolling through a well-known blogger’s ‘Catholic blogroll’ recently, I found myself wondering how one would define a ‘Catholic’ blog. Is it enough that a blog should be written by Catholics or from a Catholic perspective (theological, ethical, historical, liturgical, etc.) or is something more required? I suspect it depends whom one asks, but anyone who blogs as a Catholic surely needs to have some idea what he/she means by it — and so do their readers.

In days of yore we had the ‘Imprimatur’ to signify that what was printed was free from doctrinal error, but there is nothing like that nowadays for the blogosphere where authority is conferred by the number of ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ rather than anything more substantive. There are some popular blogs that seem to me to be a bit shaky theologically and very shaky where charity  is concerned, but they appeal to their readers and play a useful role in making people think. Whether they ought to be called ‘Catholic’ is, however, another question.

When Catholicism is limited to one particular interpretation, be it conservative or liberal, and everyone else is accused of heresy, I become uncomfortable. We cannot have a church within a church, so to say; and the idea of the ‘gathered remnant’ which alone is faithful comes perilously close to pure Protestantism. With the loss of the largeness of view that typically characterises Catholicism, I think we lose something very precious, something that actually defines us as Catholics. What do you think?

‘Catholic’ in the above context refers to members of the Church to which I belong, commonly known in the UK as the Roman Catholic Church although it also includes 28 Eastern Catholic Churches.
In the interests of transparency, I ought to add that iBenedictines didn’t make it on to my blogging friend’s Catholic blogroll. Not Catholic enough, I suppose . . .


5 thoughts on “What Makes A Blog ‘Catholic’?”

  1. My great grandmother was an Italian Catholic, my mother’s cousin was a Catholic priest (Fr. Vincent Borelli), my grandmother was a primitive methodist, I was brought up an Anglican but I would really like dual Anglican/Catholic membership. When I walked 450 miles of the Camino route to Santiago de Compostela I attended Mass en route. As a french priest said when I told him I was an Anglican, “C’est la meme chose” as he shrugged his shoulders. I’m sure God loves us all.

    • I don’t agree that Catholicism and Anglicanism are the same thing, nor do I think ‘dual membership’ as you call it a possibility; but you know that I value your friendship and have no difficulty honouring all that unites us and praying about all that still divides us.

  2. Yes, I agree with your perspective. I think there is Catholic doctrine – which has the ‘Imprimatur’. From that, we as Catholics can dialogue back and forth, which as you say, is the great part of being Catholic.

    We can do as we wish with this free will, too.

    Myself? I have a blog dedicated to Catholic Fundraising. It’ll never have the imprimatur, but I don’t mind. I hope to bring some level of faith dialogue in an aspect of our faith that doesn’t get a lot of discussion, apart from a donation request.

  3. I do worry about a church within a church – in fact it sends shivers down my spine. There can not be a select/elite/higher tier/secret knowledge within Catholicism. This would surely be one of the greatest heresies of all time. To assume that one group can exclude all other on the basis of “We have got it right” is dreadful. It is something one encounters online and, I am sorry to say when talking to people. The argument seems to run “That lot are not good enough Catholics so they do not really count.”

    I truly thank God for places such as this blog where thoughtfulness and a certain, open, honest approach can thrive while remaining Catholic in its broades sense as defined above!

    • Sadly, one does see a lot of infighting among Catholics online. Some of it is genuinely robust debate but often it oversteps that boundary and becomes something much worse. With the Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity almost upon us, I am reminded very forcibly to pray for the unity of the Church at every level, starting with ourselves.

Comments are closed.