the rise of WebMD Catholicism…

You should take a moment to read Matt Emerson’s fantastic article.

“the notion of WebMD Catholicism helps frame a second concern: Faced with this multiplying number of sources, one might ask: Does the availability of information seduce us too quickly to believe that we can accurately understand and diagnose the theological and liturgical questions we face? Put another way, what has become of, or how do we make sense of, the notion of expertise among those who profess an interest in what the Church teaches? Do too many of us rush to encyclicals and other papal statements, or the writings of a famous saint or Catholic intellectual, with the same confidence with which we rush to WebMD to understand and diagnose sickness in our physical health—and with the same erring result?”

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Persis of Rome

    Excellent article!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • http://romishgraffiti.wordpress.com/ Scott W.

    Cancer. It had to be cancer. That’s the only way I could explain the twinges that a few years ago persisted behind my right eye, near my brain…I wasn’t going casket-picking just yet, however, and I decided to see some doctors.

    Yeah, that’s kinda where this article kinda fell apart for me. Unless someone uses WebMD, erroneously concludes he has brain cancer and then asks his non-medically trained roomate to open up his skull and pull out the tumor, the analogy falls flat. People mouth off about what Church teaching is all the time, but eventually someone gets to something resembling authoritative. That is, “decided to see some doctors”. The real problem as the Olmsted case provides, is the idea that there is no real authority and in many instances it was a case of plot the points first (mean ‘ol bishop just throwing his patriarchal hegemonic weight around) and then drawing the graph. (Cherry picking from x trendy theologians with axe to grind).


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