24 February 2017

On why I haven't been blogging much of late.

I was recently asked by someone why I didn't blog much these days.  First reason would be that I haven't had much time lately, but that wouldn't be entirely true: I never had much time in the past either, and yet I did so anyway.

Second reason is that it seems that blogging has been fading on the whole.  As Twitter and Facebook continue gain ascendency people want to read a short quick hit, not a longer piece where someone tries (as I generally endeavor to do) to  consider both sides.  And the sources they seek tend to be either from a source that confirms their worldview, or one that they despise, so they may then engage in a battle or two minute hate with each other, and then walk away declaring victory, their worldview intact.  Both mediums tend to favour wit over thought. Oscar Wilde would have been amazing on Twitter, but men and women of his wit and insight are few and far between.

As an aside, I don't have a Twitter account, nor do I want one.

Third, this started as a blog that was mainly concerned with music in the Church. Back when we started,  we advocated a more traditional approach to music. and we occasionally drew some attention from those who prefer the new stuff.  We had some exchanges, which I had originally thought were lively debates, but now regard as pointless wastes of time.  We would debate briefly, then they would begin throwing around names, storm off, and declare victory over me on their home page.  Tedious, very tedious.

But the main reason why is probably because of Pope Francis.  I have read other people's discussions of his statements, and every time- every single time- I have gone to the source of the original comments or statements and read them in their full context, I have found that he did not say what others said he has said. His words were being twisted.  And that was before Amoris Laetitia came out.

You can, if you wish, drill into Pope Francis' statements and declare them to be in line, or at least mostly in line, with tradition. You can, if you wish, drill into Pope Francis' pronouncements and declare them to be  nearly heretical.  Amoris turned that debate up to an absolute maximum. Whether he is the one or the other is not a question I really wish to address, nor did I wish to be part of the fever swamp that sprung up about him hotly debating that very issue.  I found myself longing a little for the time when the Pope stayed in his apartments at Rome and occasionally came to the window to wave to the crowds, tell everyone he loved them, and return to his room. He was not present in our media or in our thoughts every second of the day,  nor did we feel compelled to weigh and parse his every word and off the cuff remark. I simply wanted to live my faith as best as I could, and while the Pope's statements are important one way or the other, the debate of whether or not footnote 351 should be read in isolation from the rest or should be viewed in the light of footnote 329, or of section 222 which exhorts pastors to help couples develop a 'fully formed conscience' and we have failed at that, or that the bishops who couldn't read clear and unequivocal passages in Vatican II are now reading somewhat equivocal and not entirely clear passages of Amoris and what are they going to do with that now? and have you heard the last thing someone said he said, or what someone is doing based on what someone said he said?- these are distractions from that goal, and I grew weary of it long ago.

I am sorry to admit, but I am inadequate to the task of this hour.  I have insufficient knowledge to judge both what has been said, and what is being said about what has been said, and therefore I have no business advising people to go one way or another in that debate.  My only advice would be to pray for wisdom, clarity and charity, and no one wants to hear that. 


Kathleen1031 said...

Well thank you for your efforts, nonetheless. I agree with most everything you said here, and commiserate, even recognize myself in there, not favorably. I have long noticed it is a phenomenon of the current culture that so many people either have very short attention spans or cannot interpret a string of words longer than 140 characters. It is a loss for civilization, most definitely. Can Shakespeare be condensed into 140 characters? Dante? We are a dumb culture, it's official, and getting dumber.
I tweeted for about a week, then couldn't figure out the point, and while I have had moments I feel I should fire it up again, in the end, I can't be bothered. I'm already up to my eyeballs in just the stuff you mentioned. I am planning a change for Lent, more prayer, less computer, but, I have to admit, right now, I feel as if there is a place for online politicking in the secular and church-y realm. Both arenas are now political, and I feel like it's not the time to withdraw.
I disagree with you on the pope. While there are blogs that spin, there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that we are dealing with a thoroughly terrible papacy committing unprecedented damage to the faith, the church, and souls. Of that, there can be no doubt if one has followed events carefully over the last four years.

Bear said...

Thank you for your comment, but, just to be clear: I did not say I think we have a terrible Pope, nor did I say we have a good one. That is part of what I am trying to stay clear of, but I should perhaps write about that another time.