A representative of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights (sometimes known as the Catholic Defense League) has zeroed in on blogging as "the new relativism," I.C. has discovered.
The representative, speaking on terms of anonymity, told I.C. that its analysis of contemporary forms of communcation has revealed a shocking number of Catholics speaking for themselves. "While the blogosphere may not be illicit in and of itself, we hold that it encourages people to seek websites other than vatican.va and our own," he said.
With the pontificate of Benedict XVI, there has been an increasing focus in Catholic intellectual circles on the wrongs of relativism, defined as a refusal to acknowledge that there is an objective truth. Relativism argues that truth is determined and named by each social group. The most extreme form of relativism is called solipsism, which argues that each individual defines truth for him or herself.
"'Bloggers,' as they call themselves, threaten to undermine the truth of the Christian faith as handed down from the apostles. They make all kinds of commentary, which is not in the least bit magisterial. In fact, we have discovered that blogging is a seething hotbed of opinion," he opined.
When asked whether the Catholic in the pew could be trusted to recognize the difference between the magisterial authority on doctrine from Rome and the pastoral reflections of the vox populi, our source said, "That has never been our position, and we'd rather not chance it. To that end, we're considering asking all Catholics to boycott blogs, especially during this penitential season."
The source was then asked whether this approach could backfire, given that many bloggers are faithful Catholics attempting to promote the Christian faith to a largely unchurched population. "No, of course not," responded the CL representative with some exasperation. "We've always held that there is only one way to present the Catholic faith, and that the 'pastoral presentation' of the faith is another one of those fizzy Vatican II ideas. Why would we trust the faithful to evangelize? No, it's just too dangerous."
In an informal survey of bloggers asked to respond to these statements, 65% expressed disinterest, and 30% ennui. One blogger, however, became quite angry. "How dare he," he said. "I'm a solipsist, and I think it's great. Everyone should be a solipsist."