Nearly five years ago, I started a Catholic blog that has been modestly successful. The high-point was when I was invited to the Vatican Blogmeet in May 2011. During those exhilarating days of Benedict’s pontificate, bloggers raised their voices in support of the German Pope.
Now the voices are going quiet. Talking to my fellow bloggers, they
say that their minds are occupied with spiteful thoughts on Church
politics. Some have taken an unfair personal dislike to Pope Francis,
and this aversion has coloured their blogging to such an extent that
they fall into two categories: blogging to critique the Pope or not
blogging at all. If Catholic blogging is limited to Vatican politics and
the personality of the Pope, then it will always run out of steam.
In response to the “there’s nothing to blog about” grumble, why are
some grand occasions being ignored outright by the Catholic blogosphere?
For instance, just over a week has passed since August 16 when Pope
Francis beatified 124 Korean Catholic martyrs. Their beatification was
not given adequate attention on the blogosphere.
Martyrs will make a difficult subject if you don’t like writing about
blood-spilling. There’s always the alternative of blogging about saints
who were not put to death because of their faith. Even in modern time,
saints like St Therese of Lisieux have a remarkable popularity.
Showcasing the good works done by Catholic saints also helps improve our
image and grabs the attention of non-Catholics who, for example, might
urgently need prayer for an illness.
My most successful blog posts have not been about papal politics but about Padre Pio.
There are times when I find it hard on my nerves to write about Padre
Pio because had he met me, I don’t think he would think well of me. But
readers continually say they are “very grateful” because they find that
reading about Padre Pio helps them cope with their personal hardships.
As regards bloggers who are “low on inspiration”, perhaps they could
devote their energy to myth busting? This takes patience and fortitude,
but surely there is little excuse to be idle when by and large our
society has such bewildered ideas about our faith. We have a missionary
faith, and the Church exists for the aim of saving souls. Being Catholic
means doing what we can – including using our blogs to bring back the
lapsed and attract converts.
Ironically enough, Catholic blogging will have to become more richly Catholic to survive.
I wrote this blog for The Catholic Herald website. Do pop over to the newspaper's official site.