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 . . .