Tuesday, April 12, 2011


of the group of people I mentioned below who are annoyed with the way this idea, a good idea that could bear fruit, has been mishandled precisely in the way that the Vatican normally mishandles things.

Jane Mossendew blogs at the Oasis, describing herself thus:

dedicated to the support of His Holiness Benedict XVI through prayer-based apostolic action. Traditional ROMAN CATHOLIC and loyally obedient to his authority as Successor of Peter.

She writes of her irritation:
My dear readers must judge for themselves whether I have calmed sufficiently to avoid a rant..

I am glad to see that Mulier Fortis agrees with me about the ridiculously short notice we have been given if we wish to have the slightest chance of attending the first Vatican blogging conference. In my turn, I agree with the other points Mac offers about expense and the difficulty of making arrangements at this late stage. The Vatican seems to have launched this initiative on the basis of some questionable assumptions.

1. that we can all afford to go to Rome at the drop of a hat. (There seems to be total unawareness that many of us blog simply BECAUSE it is a CHEAP way of keeping in touch with the Church at large, and of sharing out views.

2. that many of us will be in Rome anyway for the Beatification

3. that many of us do not have jobs which preclude any chance of our being there

4. that the majority of Catholic bloggers are 'young'. (see Rome reports video on Bones' blog) Of coursse the Church must attract and look after the 'young'. They are the future. But if you are between 40 and death, do you ever feel that the Church has forgotten about you?)

5. that in the terms they give, the Vatican thinks that with a full capacity of 150 (worldwide and from several different language groups) it can select a truly representative assembly.

SEVERAL QUESTIONS ARE BEGGED. According to the Catholic Herald 'hundreds' have applied already. Who is doing the sifting and how thoroughly? [and I would add, according to what and who's criteria?] Will a list of the successful applicants be published? Why the haste? How can such an event be properly organised within such a short time frame? Rome is usually much more cautious and thorough than this. It shouldn't be surprised that many of us are sceptical.

In their defence, it was probably someone's idea because of the millions who are expected to show up for the week of the Beatification. As I understand it, among those who are going to come anyway, the invitation went out in hopes that some bloggers would be interested and able to attend. It was some fast thinking to try to take advantage of a situation that may not arise again soon. Obviously the Beatification was expected to attract the 20, 30 and 40-something crowd for whom JPII is still a significant figure, and who, statistically, represent the largest bulge in the blogger/new media demographic.

I'm becoming more certain that there was no idea within the walls that this idea would be either so popular or cause so much annoyance. As I've said, I think the learning curve here is pretty steep. And if the goal of many of us bloggers is to get the people in charge of the Church to get up to speed on these things, then I would say that we are likely already seeing results.


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