On November 11th the US Bishops met with Catholic bloggers at a conference in Baltimore. I was able to follow many of happenings from the conference through Twitter feeds (#bspblog & #USCCB12) and video and blog coverage thanks to so many bloggers and bishops active live on-line. It was said that Facebook is the “new parish hall,” and these living Apostles of Christ are realizing the great importance social media and catholic on-line content will play in the future of the church. The bishops are being strongly encouraged to use Catholic New Media in this Year of Faith by using (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, &You Tube). I liked a tweet from Brandon Vogt who said “St. Augustine would have sacrificed his right arm if he could have the power of the internet for evangelization.”
Bloggers have a great responsibility to write good and faithful content that is true to Catholic Doctrine. Some bloggers suggest that the future of Catholic blogging is to band together on sites such as Patheos or New Advent, which offer “trusted” Catholic content providers. It will be interesting to see what new partnerships are formed through this conference and how bloggers move forward to promote their website. I pray that Catholic Bloggers will find inspiration and courage to write blogs that increase readership with original and motivating stories.
Here is a great video (by Matt Warner) with many influential Catholics at the CNMC offering supportive advice to fellow Catholic bloggers about what makes a good blog/podcast/website:
It is amazing how many Catholic bloggers there are — currently the Catholic Blog Directory lists 2,677. With so many out there, it may be hard to discern what are the good and bad blogs. There was some discussion about a need to have a certification process for blogs and websites, to verify the content is true to Catholic Doctrine and values. Could the USCCB or another organization help to make this a possibility?
Through the original leadership from Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI there has been an embracing of the new technology to spread the message of The Gospel and the mission of The Catholic Church. I have been impressed by the following Bishops who have truly used the internet for this purpose using social networks and blogs: Cardinal Timothy Dolan-New York (Blog, Twitter, Facebook), Cardinal Sean O’Malley-Boston (Blog, Twitter), Cardinal Donald Werl-Washington (Blog), Bishop Christopher Coyne Indianapolis (Blog, Twitter), Bishop Daniel Jenky-Peoria (Blog, Twitter). These bishops send out inspiring messages daily to their flock which offer hope, faith, and love. I pray that the other bishops follow their great example and use the internet’s good power to help all Catholics in this Year of Faith and beyond.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops also met the following days in Baltimore and made some important decision for the American Catholic Church. They agreed on a letter about The Sacrament of Confession, agreed on beginning process to update The Liturgy of the Hours to be in line with updates to the New Missal, suggestion of meatless Fridays all year, and agreed to move forward the case for canonization of Venerable Dorothy Day.
Bishops Who Tweet (Set-up by CWS member, Lisa Hendey–well done!)