Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Why isn’t the Church/pope/bishop speaking out on “X?”  Why do they seem so obsessed with sex when there is so much going on???
Funny how that seems isn’t it?  The fact is that the Church/pope/bishop IS speaking out on many of the hot button issues that are near and dear to your heart.  The problem is: How do they get the message to YOU? 
Firstly, the media has to be willing to print/report/post what was said.  You can send out a million press releases and hold ten thousand press conferences, but if someone doesn’t think it will sell or, and let’s be honest, if they are opposed to the Church, it will not make its way to your senses. 


That is the supposed purpose of the diocesan newspaper.  It is to be the voice of the bishop and the diocese.  Sadly that is not always the case.  Further, print is just going the way of the buggy whip.  It was announced this past week that the Diocese of Cleveland’s newspaper the Catholic Universe Bulletin (coolest name ever) is going out of print.
For years I have been hoping to find someone to write an article for the parish bulletin (I may have finally found somebody) who would scour the internet, Vatican, diocesan, NCCB, etc . . . and give the briefest of summaries on what is going on and being said in the Church and giving links so people CAN read and catch up.
The other problem is that the Church seems so obsessed with SEX.  But it comes back to how a story is reported.  It is fun (but sad) to read an article in the paper about something the pope said concerning the mating habits of humans which makes the headlines and absorbs 90% of the article only to find out that it was a passing comment within a much broader and far more important talk.
How do we get our voice back?  I know our diocese is looking for alternatives and not only online.  My hope is that not only will the form of the news reach each person but that the content will be worthwhile.  We don’t need any more fluff.  In the meantime we must be pro-active.  Do not take the T.V. or the local newspaper or internet story as the complete Gospel on Church reporting.  If something catches you, look it up on line.  Be careful of which sources you choose.  Scour the Vatican, USCCB, and diocesan websites.  Find original materials.  It’s work, but for now, if you want it, you have to look for it.


Chris P. said...

Oh my. That picture of Pope Francis looks like he's auditioning for the part of the antagonist in a horror movie.

In all seriousness - This is one of my favorite topics, because despite how we may be portrayed (boring, dogmatic, ritualistic, old-fashioned, blah blah...) by people who don't know better - we're just not.

Alongside quotes coming out of context, most media outlets view Catholicism as another flavor of "General American Christianity", and then we get lumped into things like Creation Museums which just cut at the soul of the Catholic tradition of brilliance in the Sciences (I know, Galileo, etc... We're sorry). For most of history if you want the best education man has to offer, and that includes in the Sciences, you got it through the Catholic Church.

So despite the fact that Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical about our view of Science and Religion, and Pope John Paul expounded on it in a piece specifically about evolution... And the line that forever sticks out in both is "Truth cannot contradict truth."... despite all that, we'll get lumped in with people who believe scientific facts act as some sort of test of our faith of the literal interpretation of scripture.

Sigh, sorry to ramble on, this is a pet peeve of mine, and I feel like our inability to get our message out of the dreck sometimes is no one's fault but our own.

Matt W said...

Are you really saying the "Universal Universe Bulletin" is a good title? I'm surprised you didn't title your blog "Fr. V's Blog by Fr. V."

MaryofSharon said... is a great site for customizing your personal news sources. They let you select which sources you want to use for news, including the USCCB and the Vatican and several other Catholic news and commentary sources, as well as a number of secular news sources. At a glance you can see the top five recent headlines from each source.

Then they let you add your own custom content. I've added the RSS feed from some sources like Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, and Crisis Magazine. Plus I've also added a couple of my favorite blogs , like Roman Catholic Spiritual Direction. I just figured out how to add Adam's Ale, too. Now my page also shows the titles of the five most recent Adam's Ale posts!

It only takes a few seconds for me to skim headlines from about 10 different sources. Then I can click on the headline links for the stories I want to read.

This is a wonderfully efficient way of accessing top quality news. I'd say that even if my brother in law wasn't the site owner!

MaryofSharon said...

I failed to explain is a website that you can set up as your homepage so that every time you open your browser, you see all your customized news.

MaryofSharon said...

One of my other brother-in-laws works at Faith Catholic which offers a customizable diocesan magazine. Their reporters and editors manage national and international Catholic stories and general Catholic guidance and inspiration. All the diocesan folks need to do is add their own local content. It's much more affordable for the diocese. It's a great concept. The diocese of Lansing uses it. Here's the most recent issue of the Lansing diocesan magazine. It's pretty impressive. Even the local stories are pretty polished.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to see the CUB fold. Sadly, in recent years, it seemed as if anything south of Cuyahoga County was a bit overlooked. I can remember back in the late 60's-early 70's (when I was competing in the subscription contest at my Catholic school - 40 cents per subscription for us kids!) that the CUB had an entire section for the Greater Akron area in every edition. It certainly helped make us feel part of things. The recipe page was always popular, and I can also remember, back in the day, The Damians, who were a group of seminarians who reviewed popular song lyrics with a view to Catholic theology. And the CUB visited and put the spotlight on a parish in the Diocese in each issue. I think that is a wonderful idea of yours to get someone to keep your parish updated on Catholic current events.

Anonymous said...

Want to get a message out? Write an article that someone will want to read. Most of the diocesan publications are dull and uninteresting to the masses.

Blogs like this are a WONDERFUL start. Interesting, entertaining and thought provoking. Plus links to other articles if you want background. Keep it up.