May 3, 2011. (Romereports.com)
The Vatican met with a group of Catholic bloggers of all ages, that
come very every corner of the world.
The Pontifical council in charge of communications accepted requests
to attend and chose 150 bloggers based on their nationality,
language, and the basis of their blog.
Thomas Peters is a young American blogger. He says meetings like
this one will help improve dialogue with the Church.
think it's a good step to kind of normalizing the relationship
between the the Catholic blogging world and the Church. I think
there's a little bit of misinterpretation on both sides, so I think
having us together in the same room is a really useful way to have a
more fruitful conversation in general.”
Many of these bloggers have a large number of followers on their
websites. Rocco Palmo is the author of “Whispers in the Loggia,”
which receives around 25 thousand visitors per month.
He believes that even though social networks have their own place in
the Church, it still can't replace receiving the Sacrament.
Blogger, Whispers in
many people are doing so much more virtually that the face to face,
there's a reason as a Church we don't allow people to go to
confession over Skype or instant messenger and watching Mass on a
web-stream doesn't fulfill your obligation. It kind of takes us out
of the digital so we can make it stronger and really make a genuine
Catholic contribution to it.”
The bloggers were made up of non-Catholics as well as the Catholic
laity and a handful of priests and nuns who have their own blogs.
They think it's a good way to reach out to youth for the coming World
Youth Day and spread the message of the Gospel to people who may have
never heard it.
have a forum on World Youth Day, where a lot of people write asking
about hotels, travel arrangements, and what the event will be like.
And there is a separate website for the youth where we put news from
the official website but done by us.”
think it's a very important way of getting the gospel out to people,
it's a way which is accessible, it's a way in which people who don't
come to the Church, who aren't part of the Church, can easily access
information about it.”
The Vatican said it held the meeting with these bloggers not to try
and control their writing but rather to develop a relationship with
them and a code of conduct.
In the end, both sides agreed that they would need each other.