I've discussed before all the times I've heard from the pulpit admonitions about misusing the internet, including the Catholic blogosphere. Its a mess out there. Just recently one well known trad blogger called into question a certain trad apostolate, followed by a well known trad author responding on another well known trad blog in defense of said trad apostolate. It doesnt matter what the controversy was. It was just your latest flame battle in the trad blogosphere.
But both sides did make some valid points, I felt. A blog is nothing more or less than a blog. A blog writer, in so far as they are writing a blog, is nothing more than a blog writer. Its one man or woman's way of voicing their opinion from their armchair.
There's the ambivalent concept of the "armchair theologian" or "armchair philosopher." Usually the idea is criticized, but if you follow the usual discussion about that topic, it is also usually admitted that that role is valid.
I don't think a Catholic has to be a priest, professional theologian, or published author to write about Catholic subjects, or musings about daily life from a Catholic perspective.
To this trad blogger, I see the Trad Blogosphere as a good thing but with just as much weirdness and rigorism as you'll experience in any sector of the Trad Movement outside the internet.
For me, I'm still new to the blogging scene. Plus returning from my semi-hiatus means another learning curve. The last half turn around the Sun, I've been decidedly ignorant of Church and secular politics. But as much as those subjects can become a nutty, wasteful diversion from fulfilling duties of state in life (for myself mea culpa), they are also generally, necessarily something to be engaged, especially by traditional Catholic men, fathers, and husbands. In so far as ecclesial authority has been emasculated, it often falls on the shoulders of the family to figure out where to go to Mass or what is orthodox.
The Trad Blogosphere, I would argue, is a microcosm of the Trad Movement. Said movement is fractionated. One issue after another seems to separate us. And the issues are becoming even more specific and fractionating. Just look at the "SSPX Resistance" part of the movement, which a casual glance at it's online hub confirms it's own adherents readily admit is very divided in itself. And it seems one of the latest fractionating issues is Fatima, in light of the 100th Anniversary, and the passing of Fr. Gruner (RIP).
I've got chores to do, so I better get to the point. I'll list a few opinions about how I feel the Trad Blogosphere/Real World Community should interact, in a way that is unifying yet frank about our differences.
1. Blogs should be treated as just blogs, northing more or nothing less. They are the voice of one man or woman. That's the nature of a blog. The authority of the author rests purely on their own education, catechesis, and writing abilities. The Trad blogger can be an Armchair Theologian but that's all they are. Just a layman sitting in his armchair waxing theological about current events. But what makes the Trad Blogosphere vital and effective is it's expanding presence on the secular web. Together, we are a voice for traditional Catholicism.
2. Disputes between Trad Bloggers should avoid the typical Trad Blogger Flame Wars. But this requires seeing in general that we traditional Catholic bloggers are in fact traditional Catholics, each trying to find the surest road through this Hurricane that is the crisis in Church and society. We should try and be OPEN to one another. We should ask more questions, verify, privately confront, work things out, before attacking or rashly judging.
3. Confront real differences openly, frankly, in a GENTLMANLY and UNIFYING way. Not be Church of Nice, but also not be the Church of Trad Cat Fight Club Bloodbaths. There's a fine line in all of this, but I believe common sense will be judge about what is helpful and discussion-worthy, verses toxic and dividing.
I think the internet and the blogosphere will be here long after all of us are dead, and exponentially more and more a dimension of living in the modern world. The Trad Blogosphere could be used by the devil to divide us traditional Catholics against ourselves. OR, Trad Bloggers can help to restore all things to Christ and build up the cause of Tradition.
Did I miss anything? Do ya'll have anything else to add? Post in the Comment Box below.