Monday, May 09, 2011

Vatican Blog Meeting 2011; what I really thought...

... I'm sure you all dying to know, especially since comments I made were misconstrued as criticism. Criticism isn't always a negative thing and can serve a constructive purpose. I think by "criticism", they were referring to my comments about the insignificance of bloggers. I was honest. In interviews I gave for CNA, SQPN and Vatican Radio I reiterated the same sentiment.

Blogging is a source of ego. It's the printed opinion. The phrase should be "blogs are like assholes, everybody has one."

Blogging as a source of evangelization runs the risk of becoming little private sects with our thier magisterium, liturgically policing and critiquing. If you are going to blog about how your mass is superior to mine then might as well be a protestant. And while I'm at, where is your obedience? Or humility for that matter? Yes. I said this.

I made one exception, for those religious bloggers who through their writings reveal the very real and human side of sacrificing one's life to Christ. I believe theirs have the power of conversion and to increase vocations. The rest of us have hungry egos and insatiable senses of self importance that need to be fed.

I praised the Vatican's efforts for bringing us all together. Archbishop Claudio Celi, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and Richard Rouse of the Pontifical Council on Culture did an excellent job. There were the usual complaints about the lack of topic but this is easily overlooked by the fact that this was their first attempt at understanding the power of blogs and social media.

Sticky questions were asked, but after 4 hours of speakers the panel ran out of time to address them. Maybe next time.

I also congratulated Mr. Rouse on his splendid publicity campaign, though they swear it wasn't a publicity stunt. Whether inadvertently or not, it was a brilliant way to launch their new website, Let's get this amazing new website together converging all modes of social networking and present it to a room full of bloggers. I wasn't 4 seconds out the door before the news was on every major Catholic outlet. Brilliant.

I was honored to be invited, even if the invitation was extended through no merit of mine own but because readers wrote in; as I was repeatedly reminded and have no doubt that it was the case. Whatever brought me there, I was thrilled to be in attendance none the less.

Admittedly I was drained of the topic after 2 days. Bloggers are the heroes of the Church and defenders of Truth. We do such an amazing good. I wanted to ask if this good ever extended outside the computer monitor or in humbling acts of obedience. There is only so much of myself I can talk about.

I guess I have the luxury of honesty because my goal at blogging is not cross over journalism and for pay writing. Does that make me an honest whore?


The Ironic Catholic said...

Kat, you're great. Thanks for being such a breath of fresh air.

Pedro Erik said...

Crescat, take some fresh air.

Ok, in huge majority, bloggers are assholes, but it is always like that in every human being work.

Catholic bloggers can do a lot to help the religion.

But, if a blogger looks for being celebrity, he is not a real Catholic. Recently, I saw a interesting discussion about speaking in tongues that highlighta the need to submission to the Church, like all Catholic bloggers.


Pedro Erik

elena maria vidal said...

I love your honest feedback. Glad you were there.

Anonymous said...

You're kidding right?

I am totally on board with you on the egocentricity of blogging and how overblown the whole thing is.

But to present yourself as somehow above it all - wow. You may not be seeking writing work but damned if you haven't gotten a week in Rome at the expense of your readers out of this blogging gig.

I mean - have you even said thank you?

Anonymous said...

YES! I decided to stop blogging when I realized just that: I was getting too obsessed in my "fame."

I'm about to begin formation with an Order. I realize that my future work of saving souls is with the real people right in front of me, which should be my one and only focus. And, done with humility; only the Lord needs to know about it.

And as bloggers, religious are humans, too: they can just as easily fall into that egotism and self-aggrandizing that you mentioned.

Certainly blogs can be a great way to spread the Gospel, to encourage conversions and vocations. But there is plenty of work to do outside your door. Go out there and do it! Imagine if Mother Teresa did her work on a laptop.

Actions speak louder than blogs.

The Crescat said...

jmartin, of course I said thank you. And carried to Rome with me all the prayer requests I received. You must have missed the part where I stated I was honored to be there. And as for my week in Rome, this is a snippet of just 2 days out 8 on a single topic.

The Crescat said...

and yes, I realize that if it weren't for blogging I never would have ended up in Rome. It was a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity of which I am supremely grateful. I am just doubting the self inflated importance of blogging.

Charlotte said...

Dude, bravo!!!!

While I am guilty of all the things you mention that are wrong with blogging, I am constantly aware of these faults/vices nonetheless.

Your perspective on all this is right-on. It's exactly why (learned the hard way) I've calmed down on my blog and shunned other blogs that are just negative, mean, or out-of control.

As to you having an opinion and your readers sending you to Rome? Why aren't you allowed to have an opinion? What? Are you supposed to just be a mouthpiece for the majority? NOT.

I like you because you're real and honest. Stay that way. If someone sent you $20 and doesn't like what you said, oh well.

Mike L said...


The rest of us have hungry egos and insatiable senses of self importance that need to be fed.

It was when I saw that developing in me that I gave up blogging. During the 5 years I blogged, I believed did some people some good. I still think I was right about that. But toward the end, I felt I was seeking my own good more than that of others.I had to give it up.

If, by grace, my motives are purified, perhaps I shall resume. Or not.

Thanks for what you've done.


Tina in Ashburn said...

uhm, I read on the website of blogging convention that most everyone was decided by lottery - or did they tell you that you were hand-picked? jes' wonderin'

Jeff Thompson said...

I have to agree with you , even with my little blog I have to always ask myself "why am i doing this ? " there has been a few times where I had to scrap a post because after thought and consideration it wasnt about Christ or anything as I was intending to be the purpose , but it was a excuse to call to the world " look at me , aint I cool "

Anna said...

I like this. As someone more inclined to criticize, judge, and pontificate than to pray and love, I think you're keeping the right perspective on the tendencies and dangers of blogging, especially in the Catholic world.

God works through the Church, whatever its flaws, and while it's important to preach the truth, respect the liturgy, etc., it's also important to love God and the people around you. That's my little two cents.

Anyway, I'm glad you could go to Rome :)

Seraphic said...

It could have been by lot, though. A whole bunch got picked by lot. I have it on the highest authority I was #9. #8 got picked instead. I know who #8 is, but I bear her no grudge. Fair is fair. Anyway, obviousy Providence meant you to go.

I think I got the best bed at H's, though.

Smiley said...

someone put something in your gelato

elizabeth said...

"more inclined to criticize, judge, and pontificate than to pray and love" - HEH - I resemble that remark!! ;-) And this is why, at this time I do NOT blog. AND I just deleted a bunch of *catholic Blog* feeds as I no longer want to try to keep up with the Jones' with regard to anything -- but praying, trying to fast - and LIVE the Church's teaching.

God Bless!

Donna said...

Did you get the feeling they convened this meeting in order to try to keep the bloggers in line? It sounds like they were putting the mash on you for some reason.

Terry Nelson said...

I agree with you. My big concern is that you got to see the holy sites you were interested in,got some time for prayer, and had some fun too. Oh - and did you bring some holy souveniers back for your little boy?

Blipfillypicklepoo said...

"blogs are like assholes, everybody has one."

I found out not too long ago that, shockingly, this is not correct - not everyone DOES have an asshole. I am glad you got to go the Rome and that you seem to have a healthy perspective on blogging and people in general. Your gratitude for the support (financial and moral)your received from your readers has been very evident. Keep up the good work!

Seraphic Spouse said...

Did you actually use that word on Vatican Radio? <:-O

Digitalnun said...

I agree with much of what you say (I too was there). Personally, I've never had the time or inclination to do the self-promoting blog bit (chasing all those links, no, please, I have a far too interesting life for that), but those of us who blog for no fee and only on topics that interest us do tend to meet others online who may agree/disagree with what we say, and the debate that ensue is enriching. I think it is also enriching for the Church,
especially as blogging has given a voice to many who would not otherwise be heard, eg. the ordinary woman in the pew. Yes, there were aspects of the meeting that leave one with question but on the whole I thought it was a very positive experience and I'm glad the meeting happened.Now the real work begins (as always).

Anonymous said...

Uncle Di over at Catholic Culture related a story of someone disparaging blogs as a kind of internet graffiti, hence the title of my blog. He also recalls a time he witnessed in a public bathroom that had a condom machine and someone had scribbled on it: "My dad says these don't work!" It's the little guy versus the monolith. The little guy in the Matrix but not of the Matrix.

God bless,

Scott W.

Maryjohn said...

I love you and your blog and your honesty and humility are always evident.

The main reason I put you on my daily list of "must reads" is your delicious sense of humour.

I like many are thrilled you got to go to Rome. If many wrote in and suggested you go, that is even more meaningful. It means you are appreciated and that your words help us.

Keep on keepin' on Kat!

Smiley said...

This is why i do not write anything about myself on my blog i solely type up about the saints. My readership will never reach the blogs of those who write about themselves and thier spiritual journey, but i could never do that online its just too personal.
I admire bloggers who put thier whole lives out there, its brave.
Thanks for your blog.
I know of many bloggers whose blogs would indicate that they think they are better thn the pope. I find such blogs distasteful, just as i find the whole NO vs TLM really irksome and more destructive than anything else.

BurgoFitzgerald said...

Blogito ergo sum.

It is what so many people I deal with on a daily basis truly believe.

There is a thing or two about blogging that worries me. As a writing professor, I see too many of my students use blogs as the majority of their secondary sources for writing assignments. With this last batch of assignments I evaluated, twelve students quoted bloggers as "experts". One of the "experts" was a retired librarian with a burning passion for geneaology - but those were his ONLY credentials! Many of the students don't see what you have written, Kat: Blogging is printed opinion, and anyone with a computer can do it. I find it refreshing to finally hear someone who does it say it!

I came for the shitty art, Kat, but I stayed for your lack of airs, honesty, and willingness to laugh at and question yourself.

I am glad that you got to go to Rome, and I am glad that you can keep it relatively real.

Philomena Ewing said...

Hi Kat,
Glad to meet up with you at the bloggers meeting.
Like Digital Nun I remain positive about the event and I went as an independent blogger. The message was clear that the PCSC were not interested in regulation or control and I felt that for a first meeting we were all made to feel welcome. I do hope that there will be another get together and that it operates with the same spirit of openness and willing to listen. make it open to anyone and have a convention. La Dolce Vita.
Thanks for what you do

MaryW said...

Kat, I'm so glad that you finally made it to Rome, sorry though that you didn't make it to Malta. Well, next time. Keep blogging; like some others who have commented, I love your humor, honesty and humility. Your blog is one of the bright spots in this 70+ lady's day.

God bless you

Cruise the Groove. said...

Did you get to see the impressive Michael Voris?

Rosemary said...

Kat, this Catholic convert Grandma is GLAD you got to go, and, while taken aback sometimes with some of your --er-- "turns of phrase", I appreciate how open and honest you are. Please disregard any criticism based on envy, and (as they used to say in my old Baptist church) "Keep on keeping on!" Hugs!

Sarah said...

Kat, keep up the humor and honesty! I appreciate hearing your take on the Vatican blog meeting - from other coverage it seemed like the focus was more on news pseudo-journalism than on personal journaling.

I think Catholic blogs are at their best when people share their own struggles and insights on their faith journey - basically what you do. I'm always wary of popularity contests, cliques, and getting obsessed with boosting my stats.

Dymphna said...

Pedro Eric,

"not a real Catholic"? Really? I admit to shuddering when I hear (or read) someone saying that. Jesus ate with the sinners. Someone who is out for fame may be a sinner, but I don't think that would make them "not Catholic".

Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Thanks for this post! Can you please update your blogroll..Catholic Mom of Ten is now Lead Kindly Light..many thanks!

Oh we have a new blog:

If you could do an occasional post or any of your lady readers please email

s-p said...

This post is why I took the time to write to the Vatican. You rock because you know you don't rock, really. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your advice. I just started a new blog myself, Hopefully it will work out. St. Isodore, pay for us bloggers 1

Shelley said...

I've read your posts since you've been back home and my brow has been furrowed. You seem a little jaded by the conference. I'm so glad you got to go, but sorry that you seem somewhat dashed by your experience on the panel. At least our international headquarters is in Rome! The international headquarters for a well-known Protestant denomination has residence in my city, and I ain't in Rome. Although we do boast a very snappy Holiday Inn Express.

The Crescat said...

Shelley, I am sorry to furrow your brow. I am not jaded. It was just 2 days of blog talk and it was a bit much. I contend that blogging is not that important nor will it change the world or the Church. I don't think that's jaded, just realistic.

I was thrilled beyond belief to be in Rome. I found myself screaming from the top of Castello Angelo "I'm in ROME!"

I regret I haven't had time to transcript my journal entries into blog posts because there is SOOOO much I want to share. My laptop is in the shop and all I have is my work pc... and it's hard to blog at that length from work. I do have other responsibilities and blog is merely a hobby is my hectic thing called a life. But trust me, I will get to those posts!

Dvora said...

Well, go figure. I rush to check out the website so that I, too, may post its link to my FB profile wall. How cleverly they duped you and me. "NOT READY...but give us your e-mail addy and you'll be notified as soon as is ready." Oh, joy.