Another lament about the state of the conservative blogosphere from Dr William Oddie at the Catholic Herald. Dr Oddie on his own writing:
More and more, my heart just isn’t in it; and I blog less than I did. Now, increasingly, I feel that silence is all. Under Benedict, there was vigorously under way a glorious battle, an ongoing struggle, focused on and motivated by the pope himself, to get back to the Church the Council intended, a battle for the hermeneutic of continuity. It was a battle we felt we were winning. Then came the thunderbolt of Benedict’s resignation.
Perhaps the battle was misdirected in recent years. I’ve always found the most challenging, subtle, and dangerous battle is the one within. Conservative Catholics made a cottage industry of calling other Catholics out: getting people sacked from jobs, wishing they would lose jobs, hoping for their excommunication, wishing they would die, and the like.
I’ll be honest: if some believers feel chastened, good for them.
But there was a lot of energy in the blogosphere during the Benedict Decade (“2001-2013”). Rather than sullen silence, I would hope that Catholics could put their verve to the task of evangelization and renewal. Can they offer a word that will inspire not just elder sisters and brothers of the household? Can they present the Gospel with joy, not just a wicked, narcissistic good cheer?
The jury’s out:
Now, we have a Pope who can be adored by such enemies of the Catholic Church as the arch abortion supporter Jane Fonda, who tweeted last week “Gotta love new Pope. He cares about poor, hates dogma.”
In other words, for Fonda and her like, the Church is no longer a dogmatic entity, no longer a threat.
Which all begs several questions … Why do people care what Jane Fonda thinks? Why are people considered enemies? Why is it a good thing for the Church to be perceived as a threat instead of a herald of the Gospel?
But whatever happens now, it seems, the glad confident morning of Benedict’s pontificate has gone, never again to return; and I (and it seems many others) have less we feel we can say.
Perhaps it was only a false dawn, the flare of distant artillery welcomed by soldiers in the culturewar. My mother used to remark, “If you can’t think of something good to say about someone, then it’s better to say nothing at all.” Is that the kind of silence we’re getting? Maybe a reflective, self-searching will do some of us great good.