The Corner

It’s The Marketplace of Ideas

Catholic uberblogger Amy Welborn

raises the question of how come left-wing Catholics gather in church

basements to caucus, while right-wing Catholics gather on the

blogosphere. It’s pretty obvious to me: generally speaking (and despite what the

secular media think), the Catholic Left holds most of the institutional

power within the American church, and that includes the Catholic media.

Until the advent of blogdom, there were very, very few media forums for

conservative Catholics to discuss the issues that matter most to us. Even

the established conservative Catholic press suffers, in most cases, from a

sort of political correctness that inhibits free discussion. As Amy points

out, the conservative Catholic blog explosion came directly as the result of

the advent of scandal in 2002, when many conservative Catholics were

desperate to learn what was going on in Boston and beyond, and comment on

it. We didn’t trust either the diocesan press or the secular media. Bloggers

like Amy, Mark Shea and others became reliable conduits of information, and

provided a place for us to talk (and argue — Lord how we argue) about what

was really happening in the Church, as distinct from what the secular media

and the official Catholic media said was happening. There was a demand for

conservative Catholic blogs, and folks like Welborn and Shea rushed to fill

it. In a way, though, the lack of power re: the institutional church

frees them up to hold a more freewheeling critical discussion. And that’s a

good thing.

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