Thursday, 11 February 2010

Dialogue for unity in the Church

I have for some time now been wanting to review the list of blogs to which I have links. At the same time, the recent launch of "Stand up for Vatican II", and the attendant controversy, has prompted thoughts on what the implementation of the Second Vatican Council might mean some 45 years on. Other events in the Church have also prompted a reflection on the mission for unity in the Church - Summorum Pontificum and its accompanying letter from Pope Benedict XVI, and more recently Anglicanorum Coetibus.

I have also been reflecting on the nature of that virtual world that it is the blogosphere. The Catholic blogosphere has by and large been dominated by blogs of a traditionalist or conservative inclination, forming what I have termed the "tradosphere". But if the Catholic blogs are seen as being at the service of the mission of the Church, then they are at the service of communion. This service to communion is lived out through the element of dialogue that can be, but is not always, a part of the blogging phenomenon. If this dialogue is really to be part of the Catholic blogosphere, it will not be served by traditionalist/conservative blogs that only speak with each other, and a kind of parallel universe of liberal/dissenting blogs that again only speak with each other. A certain intersection of the "tradosphere" and the "trendosphere" is needed. It is this thought that has prompted me to include in my revised blogs list blogs that some visitors might find surprising.

So, what are the specific factors that I have used in deciding what to include in my blogs and links lists?

1. Consideration of what is meant by the authentic implementation of the Second Vatican Council, trying to understand the expectations of those who have an experience of those times in the life of the Church.
2. An authentic understanding of the thought of John Henry Newman, partly because of his impending beatification and partly because of how some use his thought to support interpretations of the Second Vatican Council of doubtful authenticity. His notions of conscience and of the development of doctrine are particularly relevant here.
3. I have wanted to exclude journalistic or politically motivated dissent from the Church's teaching, not so much from the point of view of censorship, but from the point of view that such dissent does not offer real opportunity for dialogue. I have tried to include intelligent articulation of liberal/progressive points of view because, though I might disagree with the views it expresses, there is a real possibility for dialogue. Distinguishing between these two is not easy, so there may be some inclusions that do not meet my intentions perfectly.

This represents a wish to use this blog for the promotion of a dialogue for unity in the Church, as well as for its wider purpose of providing a Catholic commentary on things in general. My school half term gives me a bit more time to implement the full review of my blog and site links, so for the next few days this will be a "work in progress". While that is the case, the blog and site links will probably look a bit odd and mixed up. Bear with me until it is finished!

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