The Problem of the Grandstanding Catholic Blogger
by Christopher A. Ferrara
September 5, 2017
I have never had a personal blogsite, nor will I ever create one. I write articles, commentary and books only for publishers that deem my work worth publishing. To them I am grateful.
Now, there are many blogsites which are not only useful but indispensable for Catholics who wish to stay informed about Church affairs, such as those maintained by The Remnant and Life Site News. But these are not personal blogsites dedicated to the daily or periodic musings of the one person who created them.
The survival of a merely personal blogsite requires its creator to “feed the beast” in order to retain a small following, and often what the beast is fed is not worth reading. That said, in many cases personal blogs on matters Catholic are indeed well worth reading. I follow several of them, especially those whose authors stand on their own merits and thus are widely published by non-blog outlets.
Other personal blogs, however, I simply ignore because they have become little more than dysfunctional exercises in attention-getting. With these blogs, we encounter the phenomenon of the digital turf-builder, whose aim is to set himself up as the one reliable authority on issues in the Church, while depicting what he perceives to be his competition as “sell-outs” or “neo-traditionalists” or some other moniker to indicate that they have compromised while he has “courageously” defended “the truth.” The attitude of such bloggers is summed up by a quip that is a running joke among my sons: “everyone’s a brat but me.”
Bloggers of this sort crave one thing they labor ceaselessly to get because they cannot survive without it: attention. In order to get attention, they endeavor to taunt the perceived “competition” with insulting commentary in the hope of provoking a reply that will turn into a public debate which the personal blogger can keep going in order to draw more traffic to his blog.
The Fatima Center has recently been the target of such pointless bellicosity on the part of blogosphere “experts” purporting to be in the know about what is “really” happening with this apostolate. The only productive approach to such people is to let them say what they will and leave it at that. The Internet permits such individuals to erect digital façades which suggest their remarks carry the weight of influence over opinion in the Church. But this is only an illusion — an illusion one must not dignify by descending to argument with mere provocateurs whose effectiveness depends entirely upon the number of people they can induce to waste their time by engaging with them.
The Fatima Center has been in existence for nearly forty years. It has distributed millions of books, booklets and pamphlets, has a major presence on the Internet, and maintains brick and mortar facilities in multiple countries. The Fatima Center has done more than any organization in the world to keep alive the integral message of Fatima. None of that has changed with the passing of Father Gruner in April 2015. His legacy lives on without compromise, as any objective observer can see from the work of the apostolate over the past two years.
There is still an immense amount of important work to be done for the cause of Fatima, and there is no time for distractions created by hand-waving denizens of the blogosphere, who contribute nothing but useless controversy aimed at promoting one-man enterprises under the guise of “defending the truth” to which they are, at best, Johnnies-come-lately. Debating with grandstanding Catholic bloggers is not on The Fatima Center’s agenda, nor should it be. Time is precious, and there is no time to waste on useless contention as opposed to the work of promoting the Message of Fatima and the cause of the Gospel according to our stations in life as confirmed soldiers of Christ and members of the Church Militant.