The virus of hateful commenting seems to have infected a lot of otherwise tranquil corners of the blogosphere — including the very fine blog of Msgr. Charles Pope, in the Archdiocese of Washington.
I DO appreciate vigorous and honest discourse and am undisturbed that disagreements are frankly aired. But there comes a line that, when crossed, makes me hit delete, or post the comment, but with a blow of the referee’s whistle.
Recently however, I am getting more comments that are just plain rude, mean or unnecessarily personal. I have had to press the delete button more than I’d like. It is not just the use of profanity that is alarming (and that too is becoming more common), but it is the excoriation of one’s opponents with dismissive labels and terms which either question their orthodoxy, or their love of the poor, label them as rigid or as communists, etc.
There is also the unnecessary ridicule of positions. And most of these comments come in the context of a discussion outside dogmatically defined issues, where reasonable people, reasonable Catholics, can differ and terminology may have more than one meaning, where the presumption of good faith and the celebration of the Catholic faith ought to be presumed. Gentle corrections are appreciated, but making a person look foolish is usually unnecessary.
The most nasty remarks often center around liturgy and the social doctrine of the Church.
Amen. All I can add is: I feel your pain.
Read the rest. It’s sane and sensible.