May 2 2011, Vatican City: The first meeting of Vatican representatives and bloggers throughout Catholicdom had good conversation and thought-provoking questions. And then, the inevitable conflict occurred.
After a series of trash talking tweets posted throughout the meeting on the virtues of blogging platforms, a Vatican official strode to the microphone and said "My brothers and sisters in Christ. We must stop this squabbling and address this right now." He then ordered mystified bloggers using the Blogger platform to move to his right, and the WordPress users to his the left. As everyone stood around, feeling somewhat naked without their laptops and IPads, he came back with a long piece of rope and announced solemnly, "Tug of War."
After a very long pause, people jumped into the spirit of the challenge. Movable Type users were appointed as the neutral parties judging the contest. The WordPress users quickly collaborated on strategies, pooled resources, and took up the rope chanting "o-pen source! o-pen source!" Blogger users looked at each other and said, "You just pick up and pull, right?" So they did.
Rocco Palmo was the anchor for the Blogger side, and Elizabeth Scalia was anchoring for WordPress. Although both initially thought that anchoring meant commentating (as in a newscast), they realized that they could indeed "tow the line", and did. After back and forth grunted pulls and shouts of "Santo!" "Subito!" "Santo!" "Subito!" (which seemed to have been lifted from the beatification ceremonies that ended only three hours prior), the momentum began to shift. At first the 53 WordPress users were ahead through the sheer creative devotedness of its members, but Blogger's heft and sheer weight (83 users) ended in the WordPress Catholic bloggers eating the dust off the elegant Vatican floor. The Blogger contingent promptly knelt and recited the Angelus. The WordPress users forgave them for their lack of charity. The Movable Type folks felt a bit left out and offered it up.
The "take charge" Vatican spokesman, who preferred to remain anonymous for this article, said that he "wanted to test the digital Church's faithfulness to reconciliation--as St. Augustine said, 'In essentials, unity, in non-essentials, freedom.' He continued, "Platforms are not essential," said the spokesman. "But gospel values are. That's why we have this in person, and not over the internet. We needed this physical and moral exercise."
The Ironic Catholic would like to duly note she twisted her ankle in this pastoral event, which she is spiritually joining with the suffering throughout the world today.
p.s. real report tomorrow! Got to pack to fly out in the morning!