... blogging is a potent tool for expressing the responsible public opinion in the Church that's been endorsed at the highest levels from Pope Pius XII to Pope John Paul II.
If anyone thinks public opinion doesn't belong in the Catholic Church, he or she will find the papal Magisterium on the other side of the argument. As a matter of fact, in the last major document of his pontificate, Pope John Paul echoed Pope Pius in declaring that if public opinion were absent from Catholic life, "something would be missing from the life of the Church."
On the other hand, no one even slightly familiar with the blogosphere can help being aware that it's the kingdom of the gossips, the ideologues, the cranks, and the no-holds-barred venters of spleen — a place in cyberspace where opinion, rumor, ad hominem nastiness, and unfettered ego-tripping are par for the course.
Of course none of this is new to anyone reading this. In recent months, I really try to stay away from comment boxes arguments, at least on certain hot topics, as a general rule, because this is where the real nastiness can take hold and disrupt your day. And, you never, in my experience, really gain any headway. (That is not to say I stay away from all disagreements in comment-boxes, but there are certain topics, certain people, and certain blogs thatwhen entered into, arguments disintegrate pretty quickly.)
I guess there is two takes on this. The first is that if you believe something to be true, you should argue it for it to the end. And to a certain extent, I am sympathetic to this view. But, moderation in all things. There is a time to remain silent...
St. Thomas More gave up arguing with son-in-law Will Roper over the follies of Luther's theses and committed his cause to prayer, (which, by the way, succeeded in conversion).
Sir Thomas More privately talked in his garden with his daughter Margaret, and amongst his other sayings, said: "Meg, I have borne a long time with thy husband; I have reasoned and argued with him in those points of religion, and still given to him my poor fatherly counsel; but I perceive none of all this able to call him home; and therefore, Meg, I will no longer argue nor dispute with him, but will clean give him over, and get me another while to God and pray for him." --(Harpsfield, "The Life and Death of Sir Thomas More")
I think this is most often the better way.
I believe in "Search and Rescue" by Patrick Madrid there is a line that goes something like this: You have to get used to the fact that it may not be YOU or YOUR WORDS and arguments that convert or bring back that loved one to the Faith.
It seems to always to come down to prayer. And yet we want to do it ourselves, with our own words and writings. Sure God will use these-but often not for our intended purposes or audience.
Sort of got off topic here, but ...
From, Bethany, the small holding in Bethune...Oremus pro invicem!