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Friday, May 09, 2008

Comments

Paul H

This is an important subject that needed to be addressed. Thanks for posting this article. I think that most of the Catholic bloggers that I regularly read avoid crossing the line most of the time (at least they avoid crossing it too far), but I have occasionally seen a few things that I thought were clearly inappropriate for discussion, under Catholic teaching on calumny and detraction. And the sad thing is that I often enjoy reading such posts -- but I shouldn't.

LJ

Amen.

Carl Olson

but I have occasionally seen a few things that I thought were clearly inappropriate for discussion, under Catholic teaching on calumny and detraction. And the sad thing is that I often enjoy reading such posts -- but I shouldn't.

But not here on the Scoop, of course. We pride ourselves on being humble, perfect, and otherwise user friendly. ;-)

BillyHW

I would point out one well known popular Catholic blogger who engages in such behaviour regularly. But then that would be detraction, wouldn't it?

Mark Brumley

I think detraction and calumny are big problems on the internet, especially in the blogosphere. Ineptitude is. too.

As I have stated before, it amazes me what many people feel free to say online and it amazes me what supposedly reputable websites allow to appear on their site.

Augustine II

"I would point out one well known popular Catholic blogger who engages in such behaviour regularly. But then that would be detraction, wouldn't it?"

Not if done with reason.

Augustine II

Also see Fr. Hardon on detraction and calumny:

http://www.therealpresence.org/archives/Commandments/Commandments_004.htm

mj anderson

Augustine II, oddly enough, when I first began to write articles for Catholic publications, I had the great blessing of spiritual direction with Fr. Hardon specifically about the line between fair and necessary reports and detraction.

Fr. Hardon advised that a Catholic journalist whose material addressed the activity of Catholic dissidents (as my work often does) should take care to err on the side of charity and discretion. He taught me that truth has it's own ultimate charity, but that to hang out an entire line of dirty linen when one item would do to substantiate the point would border on detraction.

Thus, where a bishop permitted irregular liturgies, even participated in them, I could only report the details of what I witnessed *personally*. I could NOT impute motivation to others unless they themselves divulged their motivations (As some did).

Needless to say, this line is not always easy to distinguish.

MenTaLguY

I'd also like to add that beyond being simply bad form, ad hominem argument is at best an easy occasion of sin in this area, even while it is very prevalent in online disagreements. I think I was clearly out of line in that respect in the comments here a month or two ago—there was a situation where it would have been sufficient to correct a claim made about the actions of a particular person, rather than also attacking the character of the people making that claim (those who read the thread probably know to what I am referring; otherwise I'd rather not draw attention to it).

Augustine II

mj, what a blessing to receive direction from Fr. Hardon! Or should I say St. Hardon? See:

http://te-deum.blogspot.com/2006/09/national-catholic-register-st-john.html

Augustine II

By the way, people, Fr. Hardon's The Treasury of Catholic Wisdom, published by IP, is pure gold.

Elaine

I would think that Fr. Orsi's article is really about the intense scrutiny given to Tom Monagahan and the Ave Maria institutions - both of which he is a strong supporter - by blogs sites like this one,.

I'd guess that's what's ticking him off.

MenTaLguY

Perhaps it's what motivated him to write the article, but it isn't what the article is about.

joanne

Thank you. The warning against detraction is of great value to me, and timely, too.
That doesn't apply when you're trying to prove that an organization (not its people) is rotten to the core and to be avoided, does it? If it does, I'm in big trouble. (I'm thinking of a certain abortionist "business", here...)But if the reason for their being is license for immorality, we would have to lay out the reasons for our objections, wouldn't we? (without saying things like, "Besides, the director, Ms. X, scarfs downs 6 bags of Fritos for breakfast daily", I'm sure. I totally invented that example, btw.)

Paul H

But not here on the Scoop, of course. We pride ourselves on being humble, perfect, and otherwise user friendly. ;-)

Actually, I would agree that you folks here usually don't cross that line, and in fact most Catholic blogs that I read don't, at least in my opinion. I was thinking specifically of two particular recent news items within the church, which were reported on several blogs I read regularly, and where I thought that a line was crossed in much of the reporting that I read on those stories. But it's sometimes hard to know exactly where that line is, and I'm not trying to single out any particular blog.

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