Monday, February 5, 2018

Civility in the church, in the culture

Following up on my previous post regarding the attacks on Fr James Martin, SJ, I think we can view these as a microcosm of the ugly social media driven fracturing of our civil polis.  And it's not just in the US.

Writing in La Croix, an international Catholic daily, Massimo Faggioli comments
The cancellation does not only concern Fr Martin and the Church’s LGBT community. Actually, it should worry all Catholics. That is not only because this was the third time that the Jesuit was disinvited from giving a previously arranged lecture. More seriously, it was linked to a campaign of hatred and personal attacks against the priest. 
This sort of vitriol is profoundly changing the communion of the Catholic Church. And not just in its ethos, but also in the way it functions. It signals a new kind of censorship that uses verbal violence to intimidate individual Catholics, as well as institutions within the Church – institutions that exist (also) to protect the rights of Catholics.
These cyber militants are not alone. Rather, they are part of the “age of anger” from which the Catholic Church is not immune. 
I don't know if you venture into Twitter very often, but it's a hells cape of over reaction, lies, and on line attacks.  The recent "Memo" nothing-burger was driven by social media, and now those reacting are doxing the FISA judge (doxing means to post personal information of a target such as their address, as an attempt to threaten them).  The Catholic "cyber militants" at least don't seem to be driven by Russian bots.  It's perhaps more concerning that they are real people.

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