When a Catholic blogger makes a mess
We live in a litigious society. People sue for every and any reason: finding something gross in their fast food, slipping on an ice-covered driveway, getting one’s feelings hurt.
In media, lawsuits abound: copyright infringement and stealing someone else’s work is illegal. When we post an image on this website we have to be 100% certain that it is copyright-free and we have permission to use it.
Sometimes, readers take offense at what we write. My article on NFP resulted in a strongly worded letter to my editor. Someone else called me a member of the “communion police” when I wrote an article that was critical of a supposedly Catholic funeral that really wasn’t. An atheist website threatened to “expose” me (whatever that means). As Catholic bloggers and writers who strive to be true to Holy Mother Church and uphold the teachings of the Magisterium, at times what we write doesn’t sit well with other people. As long as there is a mutual respect for differences of opinion, we can live with criticism and opposing views.
Now it seems that Catholic bloggers can be sued simply for questioning, calling out, and exposing erroneous statements and actions of priests in high places who really should know better. The style in which a few of us write may be somewhat abrasive (therefore feelings may get hurt) or too traditional or orthodox for others; but as long as we stick to the facts, especially publicly acknowledged facts, we have the freedom to publish our work: freedom of the press, freedom of the law, freedom of our conscience.
On that beach in Rio, Pope Francis exhorted the Catholic world to “make a mess!” As someone who has spent years cleaning up after my eight kids and my husband, I know that often in the process of cleaning my home, things get worse before they get better. Making a mess in order to clean my house includes shaking out the rugs and uncovering what is hidden underneath, piling mounds of dust and dirt while sweeping out what is lurking in the corners, overturning stones and rocks to expose new growth.
Making a mess with our blogging and writing is much the same. Sometimes, you have to shake things up to expose the facts. Sometimes you have to make some noise and rattle people out of their complacency. Sometimes you have to expose that pile of garbage. And sometimes making a mess with our words means shining a light on the cracks and crevices that threaten the foundation so that it can be fixed and the cracks eliminated.
So go ahead, faithful Catholic bloggers. Make a mess! Keep it factual. Keep it real. Do it out of love for Holy Mother Church and in defense of authentic Catholic teaching.
Copyright – free photo courtesy of morgueFile.com