Thursday, January 27, 2011

Did the Vatican Slap Down Just Conservative Catholic Blogs?

Hmm here we go again!! Maybe!!

The Pope issued a very good message on the Internet and social media the other day. See

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI FOR THE 45th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY -Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age.

I am going to comment on some parts that are not getting the most attention in the very next post. However I want to AGAIN focus on a problem. That is the secular press making stuff up is misleading or is just damn negligent in their jobs !! This might have occurred again in this situation. If so this is the second high profile time this has happened in just two weeks.

In the United States as well as the UK a good bit of the focus right off the bat went not to the what the Pope actually said . But to the remarks that Archbishop Celli, head of the Council of Pontifcal Communications said (or perhaps as we might see did not say at all).

Vox Nova is an example that set the tone of the debate and focus right off the Pope's actual words but to alleged remarks at the press conference.

They like everyone else take their cues off the AP article written by Nicole Winflied of the AP.

This is from the AP article now online (see above link):
Benedict didn't name names, but the head of the Vatican's social communications office, Archbishop Claudio Celli, said it was certainly correct to direct the pope's exhortation to some conservative Catholic blogs, YouTube channels and sites which, with some vehemence, criticize bishops, public officials and policies they consider not Catholic enough.

Now notice a difference between that and the Vox Nova piece:

The follow-up comments from Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, are also noteworthy. He “said it was certainly correct to direct the pope’s exhortation to some conservative Catholic blogs, YouTube channels and sites which, with some vehemence, criticize bishops, public officials and policies they consider not Catholic enough”. This is uncharacteristically blunt, which tells you that the Vatican sees this online parallel magisterium as a growing problem. I’m not going to name names either, but I think we all know the blogs he is talking about! .

What is different? Well those little quotation marks!! Those quotation marks were there when the article first came out. Now they seem to have disappeared.

For example look at Mark Shea's piece on this where the " " are there but now seem magically gone in the main link. I looked at this FOX LATINO link when it first came out and I swear the quotation marks were there.

See the quote marks again at Liberal Pope Cracks Down on Conservative Catholic Bloggers

A UK blog called the Protect the Pope took notice of this. See Pope’s message on internet used to criticise ‘conservative’ Catholic bloggers. NOW take note!! I have gone to great efforts to find a English translation or a video of this press conference. There appears to be none. I asked via twitter a UK reporter that covers Catholic matters if such a thing existed. There seems not to be. Therefore we just have reporter Winfields word for it.

One thing that struck me about this quote was it would seem odd that the Archbishop would single out just "conservative" blogs. In some parts of the world liberal Catholic blogs are very tough. Alarm bells were further raised when it appeared in the European press and blogs no one seem to notice this slap down on "conservative" blogs.

See on this page the article translated from the Vatican Newspaper on the document and the press conference.This Pope uses a pencil to write but knows well what the Internet can do .

It also seems the Italian Press that covers the Pope a lot seemed to have missed this fraternal correction of just "conservative" blogs too. Via google translate I usually follow the Italian based Friends of Pope Benedict blog or in Italian Amici di Papa Benedetto. This blog usually looks and comments on the major articles in the Italian and European press .

They just today take notice of Protect the Pope article . See The Pope's Message for World Communications Day "used" to criticize the conservative Catholic blog (Protect the Pope) (which I linked and commented above)

But before that and elsewhere?

In an French article they took notice of at Patrice de Plunkett says the article in "La Croix" on blogs Catholic and in which I google translate from French to English here (no mention of the Archbishop comments though it would seem relevant to the piece if it happened.)

Proceeding on:

See The Pope and the web, innovation, truth and "fakes": comments of Father Antonio Spadaro and prof. Pier Cesare Rivoltella Pier Cesare Rivoltella (no mention)

In this Italian article they link From the Pope photo realistic digital universe (Tedeschini Lalli) and which I google translate here From the Pope photo realistic digital universe (no mention)

In this article link and translated Pope Ratzinger gives lessons to the world of Facebook (Macioce) (no mention)

In this article and Link translated Why stay in the network? L'incoraggiamento di Benedetto XVI ai Cristiani (Michele Sorice) The encouragement of Benedict XVI to the Christians (Michele Sorice. (No mention)

SEE their link from Radio Vatican translated of the Press Conference -Archbishop Celli: Pope looks positive to the Internet. Presto un portale multimediale di notizie vaticane Soon a multimedia news portal Vatican (NO MENTION)

See Pope: the virtual contact does not substitute for direct human. I giovani facciano buon uso dei social network (Izzo) Young people will make good use of social networks (Izzo) (NO mention)

See Internet, Mgr. Celli: il Papa propone stile cristiano sul web (Izzo) Celli: Pope offers Christian style on the web (Izzo) (no mention)

See Pope: the "social networking" offers new opportunities for "sharing" and "dialogue, exchange, solidarity and creating positive relationships" (Ansa) (No Mention)

See Pope: Christians involved in social networks, but with their style and witnessing to the Gospel (AsiaNews) (no Mention)

From the blogs the last few one can see the pieces from two day ago had the supposed quotations marks and newer blog posts do not.

So what is up.

First besides one reporter in the Anglo Press everyone seemed to have missed that the Archbishop at the Press Conference might have done a slap down of JUST "conservative" Catholic blogs. I am finding that doubtful.

Second in just the Anglo Press the main storyline was Catholic conservative blogs gone wild. We don't seem to see that elsewhere. Why?

Again we are very much hindered by the fact there appears to be no transcript of the event online.

Now I am not saying that there are not problems with some Catholic blogs. I am not saying that perhaps the Bishop was not alluding to them. Again we don't know. I just want truth and clarity as to what was said.

However it appears that by PERHAPS putting certain things in quotes what might have been a reporters interpretation of the Archbishop's words to a situation in the USA now has become the literal words of the Archbishop themselves.

This is very bad if that happened.

The Vatican is at fault too in this. They need to start putting transcripts and vids of these Press Conference online!! I suspect we shall never know if it is the mind of the Holy See that "conservative" blogs are a problem or not. This story will pass and we shall move on to something else. However for enough clues are present AGAIN to distrust AGAIN the Anglo press reporting on the Vatican.


Marc said...

You will see that I also noticed this Winfield/AP nonsense and also tried to find an English version of Mons Celli's comments, so am very happy to see your most excellent post with all its links. Thanks!

James H said...

Thanks and what a nice blog you have. Enjoyed just now looking over it

Yeah this sounded weird from the outset

Jeffrey Pinyan said...

All the articles I've seen that include the "conservative" angle do not even provide the question asked by the reporter, nor Abp. Celli's complete response.

Let's see a transcript of the whole Q&A / press conference!

Marc said...

I posted at Il blog degli amici di Papa Ratzinger, asking if anyone there knows of a complete transcription of Mons Celli's remarks. Alica cites the Zenit in Italian piece already known.

Mons Celli's 'che scomunicano' has to be translated somehow (it is an idiomatic usage of the verb 'excommunicate') and I suppose that may be the source of a paraphrase that includes the Winfield's "... not Catholic enough". But there are no grounds for her making Mons Celli single out 'conservatives', in Zenit's Italian, at least.

Marc said...

Alice; sorry.

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