Tuesday, January 31, 2012

APOSTOLATE - USING THE INTERNET


USING THE INTERNET
POPE BENEDICT XVI - REPEATED ADVOCATE OF THE ONLINE APOSTOLATE

The privilege of spreading the Good News and of defending Truth has always come at a cost. For most of the Apostles, the cost was, ultimately, their lives . Many of the Saints have paid the same price, but all with a glad heart. We live, as yet, in less demanding times. Yet the threats to the Good News and to Truth are multiplying like a cancer's cells. And now, in the United States of America, " Land of the Free", a great cause has moved the United States Government at the direction of its slick President to mount a direct attack against the Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ.

What could this great cause be? You may well ask! It is nothing less than the killing of babies in their Mothers' wombs! In a word, Abortion.

The President himself has led this campaign from the front. He aims to force Catholic Institutions offering Health Insurance to provide cover for the cost of Abortions- thus obliging Catholics working in those institutions to be complicit in the Abortion process if they comply. His Presidential Arrogance has acknowledged that this will involve severe problems of conscience for those people and has allowed them one year to find ways to stifle their conscience before applying the law. So much for the Constitutions guarantee of freedom of religion.


Cardinal-Elect  - Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York
President of the American Bishops Conference

Happily, the United States Bishops have been very much on the front foot in meeting this attack and have firmly insisted that compliance with such an immoral law is not possible. They have been quite forcefully outspoken on the matter both individually and as a Conference. It is to be hoped that their fellow citizens will see the dangers which this attack threatens more widely and support the Church, in this struggle. The President is vulnerable, especially in a Presidential Election year.

But the Internet?

One of the prime means being used in defense of the Church is the Internet. It has two very attractive aspects: Firstly, it has an already large even colossal reach and secondly it is inexpensive. In addition it is swift in mobilizing support and explaining, even in great detail the particulars of a problem.

In the United States there are very many very good Websites and Blogs which advance the Catholic Faith and the great majority are entirely orthodox and faithful to the Magisterium and the Holy Father. It is more difficult for "spirit of the Council" folk to use the Internet for long without going into such detail that they expose their lack of fidelity and their heterodox positions.

But in Australia we have too few lay driven Catholic Websites and Blogs, and very few Catholic Clergy Bloggers. The few that do exist seem to concentrate on a "soft" Parish Events image, rather than a harder nosed active and positive apostolic effort. No doubt it would be argued that busy clergy do not have the time to commit to Blogging, or that the very nature of the pastoral effort requires "face to face" contact.

FIRST PRIORITY  -  HOLY MASS


The allocation of time is always a matter of priorities. Some are absolute: the celebration of Holy Mass and the Sacraments, the Divine Office and the preparation of properly researched homilies, and visiting the Sick and the Aged for example, as well as visiting schools where that is not obstructed. But it is difficult to believe that time could not be found to devote say, thirty minutes a day to preparation of Blog Posts. This is a work which has an impact not only in the priests' Parish but very far beyond it, and carefully developed it can bring those considering a vocation into closer contact with the life of a Priest than any likely casual contact in the Parish. It offers invaluable opportunities to, in effect, preach and teach and give good example and to develop material that is not only useful on a one time basis, but is there for recurrent use.


Father John Zuhlsdorf - over 2,000,000 Visitors to his Blog WDTPR S?
"WHAT DOES THE PRAYER REALLY SAY?"
We know and know of many Australian Priests who could be very effective Bloggers, giving great impetus to the growth of orthodox Catholic awakening from the long slumber in spirit of the Council nightmares. Come on Reverend Fathers, join the effort! To the barricades and up and over them! Let's not wait for an Obama like attack on the Church here. There is so much you can do to make and develop contacts for the Glory of God and the Salvation of souls using the Internet. Each Priest using the Internet well, is like having 10 Priests not doing so, save of course for the celebration of Holy Mass and the Sacraments etc.

Please don't think about it"! If you are reading this, you can DO it!

I ask my lay readers too, to encourage your Priest acquaintances and friends to get active on the Internet. If they want help, those of us already involved are only too willing to assist. If they prefer to speak to another Priest they have the remarkable Father John Zuhlsdorf and Father Tim Finigan as glowing and helpful points of contact.

Would Saint Paul sit at home bemoaning his impotence in the face of a hostile ancient world - no way - out he went into the marketplace in all manner of hostile places. And Saint Francis Xavier, did he wait for the right opportunity, sitting safely at home, or chatting with some committee - no, Bell in hand , he went into the marketplace to claim attention for the Word of God!

To - day's Marketplace for ideas is Global and it is the Internet, you Reverend Fathers and Catholic Laity can easily do your bit and multiply your effectiveness, and have no trouble in looking Saint Paul and Saint Francis Xavier in the eye when you get to Heaven!


3 comments:

Kate said...

First, in reality there as been a big increase in the number of clerical bloggers in recent times -take a look at the list on my blog of a dozen on my blog, and I know there are others.

Secondly, I think you are being quite unfair about the nature of the blogs that do exist - I've only listed the ones I think provide orthodox and thoughtful material worth the read, they are far more than puff pieces for what is happening in particular places!

Thirdly, while I'm all in favour of more bloggers, it is wildly optimistic to think that half an hour a day at the keyboard is all it takes! Unless a priest is simply uploading his Sunday sermon, most people put a lot of thought into blog posts. Fr Z, for example, as far as I can work out, does little else (I think he's been otionally working on a thesis for some years now...).

Finally, if you want to encourage others to blog, perhaps a little mutual support would be apropos. Like including more Oz bloggers on your blog list, and acknowledging them when you refer to a story (such as the Toowoomba Cathedral one which perhaps you learn of independently from my blog??!) someone else puts up...

vexilla regis said...

Kate,

Thanks for reading my Blog and for your energetic comment.

I have to correct your suggestion of relying on your Blog re Toowoomba Cathedral. As you might expect, since I lived for twenty years in Brisbane, I have my own sources and contacts there, and I have even more material if I decide it can be used productively.

My Internet Apostolate post was aimed, nicely, at numerous folk whom I know have the ability to do good work on the Net but for whatever reason, do not. I was careful to avoid writing in offensive tones, and, having re-read my post, I think I succeeded.

Quite a few , including Clerics, could indeed sustain a respectable Blog with half an hour's work a day, resulting in three or four posts a week. It might be that their posts would rely in part on their Homilies. That would be great. We have many great Homilists, and it is a shame that their efforts cease to be available as soon as they are uttered. Others, or often the same clerics, are contributors to Magazines and Papers, or deliver Papers at Conferences/Universities/Institutes which, in whole or in part, would warrant the wider availability the Net can give.

Your “mutual support" reference was interesting. Perhaps I have not paid enough attention to my Blog List, I shall review it. It was an accurate reflection of the Blogs I follow when I put it up. It is unfortunate that your reference to it was connected to the mistake concerning Toowoomba Cathedral and the accompanying inference.

I’m glad that you find a good number of new Oz Catholic Bloggers. I shall continue to keep my eyes peeled! Thank you again.

Kate said...

Thanks for taking on board my suggestions, and sorry if I was a tad intemperate there, I do realise you have your own sources, its just that your comment was a bit cryptic unless you were 'in the know' unless you were assuming readers had read more elsewhere.

My point is really just that it is helpful to cross-reference stories on other blogs on these things where possible - helps build a community of readers and debate, and thus might prompt more to set up their own blogs and join the conversation.

I still think you are optimistic about what can be done in half an hour though! You must be a much faster writer than I, and I thought I was pretty fast...