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Vatican Praises Bloggers as Church’s ‘Public Opinion’

c. 2011 Religion News Service

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The pope may not be ready to start a blog or a Twitter account, but the Vatican is taking note of the unruly world of the blogosphere, recognizing its potential and the value of online “conversations.”

That much was clear on Monday (May 2) at the Vatican’s first-ever bloggers’ convention organized by the Vatican’s Pontifical Councils for Social Communications and for Culture.

The 150 invited bloggers were mostly Catholic, picked from among 750 applications. Orthodox Catholic commentators were alongside skeptical observers and priests who became Internet celebrities for their posts on “Star Wars.”


In his opening remarks, the Vatican’s top spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, conceded that he himself was not a blogger but that his life has “changed” since he started receiving an “informal” digest of Catholic blogs every morning.

Lombardi said the Vatican will launch a multimedia news portal ( in the coming months to harness the potential of expanding social networks. Catholic bloggers, he added, are influential because they give voice to “the public opinion in the Church.”

Vatican correspondent and blogger Paolo Rodari wrote that an “important Vatican personality” told him during the meeting that “some bloggers’ views” have a great impact on the appointment of bishops.


But Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, remarked after the summit that some bloggers’ “aggressive language” is “astonishing.”

For some Catholic bloggers, their voice is a necessary counterweight to a perceived anti-Catholic bias of traditional media. “The Internet is the land of he who speaks louder. So we have to shout too,” noted one French blogger, Francois Jeanne-Beylot.

  • Tweety58

    The Remnant Sheep hunger and we are for orthodoxy and we are not being fed by our pusillanimous,frightened and in a lot of cases pathetic heterodox Bishops.Perfect example of the Smoke of Satan in God’s Church.

    It’s difficult to believe that that these frightened mice are successors to the apostles.We need more CHAPUTS,OULLETS,PELLS AND HENRYS-real two fisted men of CHRIST,ANSWERABLE ONLY TO Christ and entrusted with his lambs.The bloggers and those they represent are the rams of the flock and it it is quite obvious(Father Rosica,Father Pfleger,father Gravel)that some prelates resent outspoken pew potato “taliban”(How Christ-like an appellation) Catholics who `criticize them once scandals like Development and Peace and renegade priests have been exposed by LIFESITE NEWS which was in turm vilified and LIED about by the Canadian Conference Of Catholic Bishops and especially their “Professional Catholic” Staff,so aptly described by the Holy Father who have shameful inordinate and unordained influence in this Church until they were forced into a half-hearted apology for their sinful calumny.

    But Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, remarked after the summit that some bloggers’ “aggressive language” is “astonishing.”

    Get used to it Claud-you ain`t heard anything yet.The web is the new media and fed-up Catholics must seek out orthodoxy there as we are only getting it from the Holy Father some of his loyal Priests like my Parish Priest Father Croal and not this cabal of frightened Bishops nor their power hungry staff who seek to change us into their own pathetic follow the world image.I follow Christ,the Holy Father,the Holy Catholic Church and the Teachings of the Magisterium,not these failures.I am loyal to my Bishops but they are NOT the Pope not are they infallible and NONE are inpeccable.In the matters of liturgy and their legitimate apostolic descent I listen but just like our first Pope they are not above reproach and ST Paul nor we should hesitate to correct when personal harmful error or misplaced arrogance and pride is perceived.e need a Vatican III to explain Vatican II to all the heterodox liberal Catholics,priest-social workers-liberationists,bishops and cardinals,and renegade theologans in this Church.Retire these cankers upon the One,True,Catholic and Apostolic Faith.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    Some of the most vicious, angry and self-righteous people I have ever encountered were in the Catholic blogosphere. Their spirits and energy were as dark and ugly as some of the murderers I encountered in a 15-year career in journalism. I had already been an ex-Catholic for many years, but these bloggers, especially in places like Catholic Answers Forum, helped convince me that I needed to cut all ties, register my formal defection from the church and dispose of all related paraphernalia from my life.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jerry heil

    I visited the Catholic answers web site several times, and one must separate Cathoic Answers from some of the respondents who spew forth venom and judgement. Overall, it’s a greart site. Moreover, to judge Cathoic bloggers as the previous writer has done also calls upon him to judge the biases and judgementalism of his fellow journalists, not tomention the utter hate that spouts forth against the Catholic Church from fellow “Christians” and secularists. This is another case of the kettle calling the pot black (no racial inference intended. I have adopted children of another race).

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment nnmns

    Quite the pity party. The RCC has brought an immense amount of grief onto itself, going back much farther than the known child abuse cases and their cover-ups by the highest of the RC Muckymucks. And its main way of dealing with its failings seems to be to wrap its true believers around itself rather than to make a clean breast of what it’s done.

    Those who defend the RCC as it’s now constituted just soil themselves, too.

  • Pingback: Remarks Delivered at VBM11 | The Anchoress

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment kenneth

    Actually Jerry, I would dispute one point: There is no daylight whatsoever between CAF and it’s thuggish respondents. I spent well over a year on there and “those who spew forth venom and judgment” constitute a very large majority these days, and they have the full support of the moderators. You either toe the line on far-right Tea Party politics, or you’re cited for “contempt of Catholicism” and booted. I knew I had a target on my back because I’m pagan, but I saw them do that to a lot of very thoughtful and devout Catholics as well. Like all extremist movements, it eventually devours its own…

    There are some decent Catholic bloggers out there. The Anchoress and Deacon Kandra do some good work. A great many are just Culture War hacks who blindly defend the most ultraconservative bishops and serve as lobbyists for the Tea Party/GOP. They manufacture grievance and outrage, crying “persecution” every time the Church gets an unfavorable reference in pop culture or when it’s leaders are held accountable to the same laws as the rest of us or when they have to share the public space with anyone else in our plural society.

  • Leticia Velasquez

    Forgive us, we Catholic bloggers have spent decades being told to be quiet and when our voices are finally released, they can be a bit harsh. Look at what we are saying, not how we say it.
    When Jesus was harsh in the Temple, He was chastising religious leaders who were more interested in position and power than the souls of their flock. We follow His example by defending Church teaching, often against Church leaders, causing them pain.
    Maybe those in power could stand to take some of our ranting to heart. Painful as it is, examination of conscience is the first step to repentance. When the Catholic establishment sponsor events such as featuring pro-abortion speakers at Catholic institutions (Obama at Notre Dame) and arrest good Catholics who protest, we will make a stir. Loudly.
    We were heard, and those arrested have had the charges dropped.
    The Catholic blogosphere has done the Church a favor.

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