- It is a lot harder to blog. It is pretty easy riffing off the latest outrage.
- Outrage (especially with some humor) drives traffic. (Rush Limbaugh made a fortune off that realization decades ago.)
- Bear is more peaceful and is beginning to refocus on the Church as the institution of his salvation, not a daily target.
- Bear believes the Church is WHAT IT IS, not WHAT BEAR THINKS IT SHOULD TEACH. In other words, the constant outrage is eroding the bona fides, which Bear believes is a disaster. The Bear kind of already went down this road with Orthodoxy. Arguably, Orthodoxy is a better Catholic Church (or so believe converts). In reality, it is something great, but different. It deserves to be respected for what it is, not as a “better Catholic Church before it got all screwed up.”
- Bear anticipates the objections that you cannot blame honest bloggers for the Church going evil. The answer is the medium is the message. The other answer is Bear does not see improvement, despite all the outrage of all the bloggers.
- When you focus on the outrage of the day, you lose historical perspective. It is easy to blame Pope Francis and those around him. But we are seeing a natural autolytic historical process in the West of which the Church’s problems are only a part. Why is the Church failing in the same way at the same time as all other Western institutions? That is the real question.
- The Bear was always right about his three favorite themes: demographics, Amusing Ourself to Death, and The Treason of the Intellectuals. Look at his own diocese. The cathedral is tucked in a corner, in the decaying metro east Illinois side of St. Louis. Belleville was once “Rome of the West.” The large German Catholic farm towns are gone and churches are closing. It is sitting on a bubble of Mexican agricultural labor and temp priests from Africa and Cental America. 139 churches still open across southern Illinois. 39 priests, over half over 50. Number of vocations from Bear’s parish in history? Zero. Vocations for entire diocese for year? Two. Long-term prospects? Heck, short term? Reorganization with a very different experience for Catholics used to mass every Sunday. Circuit-riding priests for the rare mass; laymen introducing novelties into the usual weekly fare. Recommend learn to say your Divine Office. Invite friends.
- The Bear was also right about how modern worldwide communication and social media are driving changes that go far beyond the individual issues they carry. We are being forced into polarization and fragmentation that will eventually render every institution unworkable. Again, the Pope may faulted for saying x, but it is magnified beyond reason by the present state of communication. To put it bluntly, Catholics were never meant to deal with a Pope like Francis in a communications environment like exists today. No wonder we see that giant “TILT” light over St. Peter’s.
- The West is in demographic/cultural meltdown. It remains to be seen how the Church will manage without the West. (It did once, but the idea of “the West” had not been discredited.)
- Vatican II was a result, not a cause.
- The safest place for Catholics is in the Catholic Center, in the Church, realizing times are tough and we will face every kind of challenge we can imagine. And then some. The best response is not outrage and rejection, but humility and perseverance. The Church is still the Church. God knows our confusion. We can rely on Him to help ordinary Catholics if we keep focused on fundamental Christianity.
- The rise of the Catholic Media Personality with his or her own followers as a kind of counter-Church has proved a disaster. If only we had to choose between Paul and Apollos.
- Private revelation and prophecy applied to current events is an old Catholic tradition. It should be retired, along with conspiracy theories. While there are supernatural elements and conspiracies, Bear believes, there are plenty of natural, historical answers.
- The Bear was right all along about staying in the intitutional (real) Church. You either trust God and let your light shine or not.
- Twenty minutes with the Divine Office or Rosary is better than blog-crawling for three hours. Decent, peaceful Catholics is the best answer to the problems in the Church. But it also the one over which you actually have direct control - scary.
Monday, May 7, 2018
The Catholic Outrage Blog Industry
the Bear has learned a few things since retiring from the Catholic Outrage Blog Industry. (Beyond a certain number of lines, Blogger does not display text for editing on iPad. That is the Bear’s excuse for today.)
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