I think this brings up some very important issues for all of us as Catholics on the internet. Among them some things I have long thought about.
1) That you have everyone on the internet speaking with authority as though they are the pope (and in some cases probably claiming to be), when really, the average Catholic has got no business at all preaching or spreading opinions, or even POSSIBLY false statements as though they are the truth. And the fact of the matter is, I'm betting very few Catholics really stop themselves if they aren't sure, and go look it up in a reliable source.
2) That we are subjecting ourselves in public sites to countless errors, blasphemies, calumnies, hatred, and downright lies... and that this is easily dangerous for all of us, both because we may imbibe errors ourselves, and because we can also imbibe the spirit of that hatred and calumnies going around, if not spread them ourselves.
3) that sites that permit these errors are not good, and we should not be on them
4) if we should not be on sites with errors, then is it or is it not true to say, that Catholic sites are bound, then, not to permit them to be spoken to begin with?
The minute ANYONE brings up questions of "control" or "censorship" there are instant flames. Instant outrage. Because precisely everyone thinks that HE is right, and everyone else is wrong. So how dare ANYONE censor them, or keep them off of a site, or keep them from spouting what they think or believe anywhere they want to. What we forget is this...
When we go to, say... a novus ordo site... and we are censored from saying anything about their being an objective truth, or anything about not departing from the teachings of Christ, eg, from tradition... you are talking about censorship. But here you are dealing with censorship of things that really ARE true and good. People SHOULD be allowed to say, for example, that clown masses are not good, because they really aren't good. It's true. But if someone comes along and says, for example, that we shouldn't venerate Mary, because she was only human... that's an error.
We have forgotten, it seems, that errors are evil. And we may not do evil, whether by action OR omission, or even subject ourselves to evil. Therefore errors SHOULD be censored, and I think must be censored by Catholic websites. Yes, that puts the webmaster in the position of being responsible for what they do or do not permit on their site, to be read by Catholics why, perhaps being more ignorant, may read errors and believe them. But clearly, the line should be drawn at the truth... not before it, and not after it.
It's true that no Catholic website can examine it's visitors or contributors to see, point by point, if they are right about everything they think. But if someone is saying something that is clearly wrong according to dogma, Catholic doctrine, etc... the first person responsible for someone being led astray, is going to be the guy who let the liar (so to speak) in the door.
And it's not just the webmasters, then, that have a responsibility, but also the posters or contributors. We, too, have the obligation to make sure that anything we say on matters of Catholic faith or morals, are absolutely, positively, exactly correct, before we say them as if we ARE absolutely certain, because someone else will read it, and if we're wrong, may be led astray. Do we take that obligation seriously?
Personally, my policy is this (in posting). If it's a matter of the catechism or dogma or what not, and I am not absolutely certain that I have got it right, I will look it up. I try to go get the book I know I can find it in, be it St. Thomas or the catechism or what not, and read it and make sure I understood it, before I risk spreading something that is false. Or I will trust a holy Catholic priest to tell me the answer, because he's had years of theology, and I haven't.
But I think that ultimately, this topic is something taken way too lightly, whether by site owners (some of whom will allow anything, as long as it's not tradition, and others who will allow people to say just about anything short of complete blasphemy), or by site visitors. If I own a stage with a mic standing on it, I am responsible for what is said on it. If someone gets up there and gets a lot of people to renounce the truth, that will be my fault. So, too, if I grab the mic, and start spouting errors... that, too, would be my fault.
Leading others into sin by action or omission, is a sin. Visiting places which we know are dangerous to our faith and morals, is a sin (purposely putting one's self in the occasion of sin). Reading things contradictory to our faith or the truth about our Faith is sinful, because however sure we are that we won't fall, we are capable of being poisoned that way. We are responsible for what we say.
Here's hoping that both webmasters and the people who visit them, will one day start taking the matter as seriously as it deserves to be taken.
For my part... I wonder what His Excellency would have to say even about this place. Since hearing the words of that interview, I myself have begun to wonder whether I should allow myself to be exposed to a LOT of what goes on here.
A lot of people who knew the truth and were firm in it at one time, have their firm foundations rotted by such. We're all only human, and pride (Oh, _I_ would never loose my faith!) goeth before the fall.
:sheep: : :sad: