I just cringe when I see posts like this over at Amy Welborn's site, on the Pope's Easter Sunday comments abour Iraq. I'm not blaming Amy for it - it's a legitimate, and important, story after all.
I cringe because you know how this is going to unfold. You know the nutburgers on all sides are going to come pouring into the combox. If you play any drinking games with these kinds of discussions, you're going to get drunk on this one. And probably less than 10% of the commentors are interested in calm, rational, good-faith dialog on this issue.
The rest of them are looking for ego gratification, one-uppsmanship, political grandstanding, theological grandstanding, or any one of a hundred other kinds of uncharitable commentary. Some will be caught up in telling the Pope how to run the Vatican, while others will be bursting at the seams to accuse some of being covert tools of the Republican party. Accusations will be made, integrities will be challenged, faiths will be questioned, name-calling will run rampant. We'll hear from all the usual suspects, some of them multiple times. The only thing most will agree on is that it's a black-and-white issue - no room for divergent opinions.
I don't mean to sound uncharitable about this myself, and that's not my intent. But what, precisely, is served by this kind of discussion? Surely it's not the image of the Church, which will undoubtedly be tarnished in the eyes of those who already think we don't practice what we preach. We're probably not going to have a meaningful conversation. We're probably not going to change any minds or convert any hearts. We're only going to see yet another nasty argument amongst opinionated people, no different than thousands which have gone before.
The internet is a wonderful tool, and the blogosphere provides a valuable service. And I am sick and tired of seeing people wreck havoc on it like a 70s rock group trashing a hotel room. When it's being done in the Catholic blogosphere, the tragedy is compounded.
Yes, The Fool Killer is overwhelmed by his opportunity...
Cross Posted to Our Word and Welcome to It