Saturday, 25 January 2014

Deliberate Controversy

Village of Athies - Mine crater to impede traffic - April 1917
Photo: Wikipedia

I was referred to a Blog, written by Sr. Sue Rakoczy, about the decision of the National Catholic Reporter to end online comments on its website. The National Catholic Reporter announced its decision to suspend online comments on 6 January 2014.

Dennis Coday, editor of the National Catholic Reporter, stated that comments were suspended because of the “malicious, abusive nature of the comments that have bombarded our site in recent days”.

Writing about the decision of the National Catholic Reporter in her Blog entitled NCR ends online comments, Sr. Rakoczy states: “I have been astonished by the vitriolic attacks of the conservative wing of the Church.” 

It is clear that Sr. Rakoczy is either convinced that it is ONLY the ‘conservative wing’ of the Catholic Church that launches these vitriolic attacks or she is not concerned with the vitriolic attacks by the other factions of the Church.

I am certain the ‘conservative wing’ will equally express their astonishment at the vitriolic attacks of other factions of the Church. I would hazard a guess that Sr. Rakoczy's comment may be cited as an example of such an attack. Sr. Rakoczy could after all have made her point without the deliberate dig at the ‘conservative wing’.

Sr. Rakoczy writes her Blog for The Southern Cross. This is the same newspaper that in January 2013 announced its intention to shut down its comboxes. It did so in an editorial entitled Scorched Earth Catholics. The editorial cited “intolerable levels of hectoring polemic” as the reason for the decision.

The Southern Cross has only recently reopened its comboxes. So it seems quite naïve of The Southern Cross to publish this Blog on its website so soon thereafter. Especially when the writer has clearly abused the access to launch an attack on a particular group in the Church.

Sr. Rakoczy's Blog serves no useful purpose whatsoever except as a personal outlet for her to vent to a national audience. The newspaper is clearly not there to serve an individuals personal agenda. That's why we have personal Blogs like this one of mine, which anyone can setup in next to no time.

In light of the above I must ask what game the editor of The Southern Cross is playing by deciding to publish this nun's Blog on the newspapers website? 

Does the editor want to incite a response from the ‘conservative wing’? Does the editor want to create controversy? Does he actually want intolerable levels of hectoring polemic”? 

If none of the above is true then surely the editor would have edited out the reference to the ‘conservative wing’ in the Blog or just not have published the Blog at all?

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