Being new to the world of blogging, I am still learning many "virtual life" lessons. This fact has been made abundantly clear to me over the past day or two.
I was reminded that it is difficult to comprehend the line that separates our private from public lives. I have chosen to take the position with my own life to use my proper name and life situation in the public forum. Others have made different choices. Neither is right or wrong but it brought to mind the fact that there ought to be some sort of etiquette that applies to these internet exchanges. To date, I have not found such an item.
In one case, I had posted a request for prayers for a person that I have come to respect who had made know to me a particular prayer need. Alas in doing this I inadvertently crossed over the line where the private and public are divided. While he was (as always) gracious in pointing out my error, he did help me to see that whatever is posted on the internet lives on for a very long time.
This same lesson was taught again in another way when one of the posters on this site (and others as well) who repeats ad nauseum various charges and allegations about the Catholic Church was "outed" as a possible purveyor of child porn sites. I have always enjoyed my debates with the man I call "O/C", for amidst the nonsense he posts, he often demonstrated a keen mind which can bring elements to the topic that we are discussing that I had not previously known or considered. For this reason, I chose not to take offense at his allegations and personal insults and continued to participate in conversation with him.
However, a comment posted by someone else pointed out again the lesson about the permanence of our internet footprints by showing that if one were to google his online handle, one could see that there are incidents when someone with this same handle has visited and posted comments on various child pornography sites.
This somewhat shocking revelation put before me something to hurl back at him in the threads of the National Post's religion blog ("Holy Post") when he pushed on further with his insults and insinuations against the Church, its clergy and its practices.
He has subsequently challenged me to bring the matter to the Police, and this I have done. However, given the prevalence of aliases and on-line handles throughout the internet there may be little if anything that they can do. This being said, the scourge of child sexual abuse demands that we do all that we can to fight it in every way possible.
Yet, having done so in as clear and charitable manner as I could think of (asking why a search of his handle produced such disturbing results), I cannot help but feel "dirty" by participating in the exchange.
This is I fear not what the internet was intended for.
If anyone is aware of a site that publishes any form of etiquette or rules that one can follow which permits the free exchange of opinion while remaining unsullied in the process, I would appreciate knowing about it.
Until that day comes, I will try to follow two simple rules:
1. not to post any information that identifies anyone without first asking permission to do so, thereby respecting their right to privacy, and
2. I will use any information that I discover about fellow commentators in the most charitable manner possible.
The internet seems to be a muddy road to travel. It is difficult to journey without being sullied by the dirt thrown by others. I pray simply that I might be able to continue this virtual ministry I have undertaken in a manner that is right and proper as a representative of the Church, and of Jesus the eternal high priest.
- American Papist Blog
- American Spectator
- Archbishop Tim Dolan's (NY) Blog
- Big Blue Wave
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News Site)
- Catholic Dialogue Blog
- Catholic Education Resource Center
- Catholic Exchange
- Catholic Heritage Website (Ireland)
- Catholic Insight
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Online
- Catholic Sensibility
- Catholic, and Loving It
- CTV News Site
- Ethics and Public Policy Center
- First Things
- Fr. Raymond De Souza - National Post Columnist
- Fr. Raymond deSouza personal blog
- Freethroughthought blog (excellent site)
- Friar Rick's Webblog
- Get Religion.org
- Global TV News Site
- Holy Post - National Post Religious Blog
- Inside Catholic Blog
- New Advent
- Pave the Way Foundation
- Priests for Life Canada Website
- ProLife Blog
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke
- Rosary for the Bishops
- Salt & Light TV - Canadian Catholic Television Website
- Sandro Magister
- Sane Conservatism
- SoCon (social conservative)
- Sylvia's Website: Canadian Clergy Sex Abuse Cases
- The Catholic Register
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- The National Post: Canada's National Daily
- The New Jesuit Review
- The New York Times Website
- Vox Nova
- What Does Prayer Really Say - Priest bolg
- Whispers in the Loggia
- ► 2015 (1342)
- ► 2014 (2437)
- ► 2013 (1381)
- ► 2012 (1527)
- ► 2011 (1437)
- Fr. Ron Rolheiser's take on the "what bad things h...
- Evangelical Catholicism as expressed by John Allen...
- KEEP PRAYING FOR DR. ROB SUSIL
- Atheists go postal over stamp honoring Mother Ther...
- Pope Benedict - and his great drive for ecumunism....
- Your prayer help is URGENTLY and IMMEDIATELY neede...
- Point to remember when posting comments
- An excellent reflection on the Church's use of the...
- Here's you chance to put your "John Henry" on an i...
- US Federal Buildings closed for people of faith
- Today is a fruitful one on the internet
- A quick and easy post!
- Another civil exchange of the challenge the Church...
- Thoughts to consider before leaping into reaping v...
- BIG BLUE WAVE: Atheism: a danger to freedom of rel...
- Christianity: A Threatened Belief (The arrival of...
- Interesting statistics of the life of the Catholic...
- One of Bishop Fred Henry's (Calgary) classics
- Insightful editorial on the issue of God & Haiti f...
- From the "now I've seen everything" file
- Pope calls on priests to use the internet to sprea...
- Canadian Government continues its ATTACK against i...
- A theologian-pope sidelines theology | National Ca...
- More on the connection between evil, sin , grace a...
- Looking for help with an ancient theological puzzl...
- A summary for Martin - a fellow seeker for truth i...
- How did "sex" change from meaning one's gender to ...
- Another thought produced by the tragedy in Haita
- Kate McGarrigle R.I.P.
- Video report on Pope Benedict XVI to Jewish Synago...
- Moral/Mental Reservation
- Robert F Kennedy: 4 April 1968.... man of peace an...
- A little humor at the end of the day
- This puts the current War in Aghanistan into the p...
- Quebec defines that heterosexuality cannot be taug...
- Help!! I lost the Red Cross!!
- Pope B16's visit to the Roman Synagogue
- The devil is real... and he is us.
- Does Haiti teach us any lessons about God?
- Keeping "clean" on the muddy paths of the internet...
- Getting the most out of Mass
- Confession by the Numbers
- Canadians cannot withhold taxes in abortion contes...
- ROME REPORTS TV News Agency - Best keep secrets of...
- Finding God in clay vessels
- A Group worthy of support, praise and reading!!!
- Where Rights came from. A video series by Dr. Tom ...
- Accessing the historical memory of the Catholic Ch...
- Amid the hysteria... some perspective
- Defending the indefensible!
- Calls for moderation within the greater world wide...
- How to reach lapsed Catholics
- Eleven steps to a better ministry
- Questions about genetic research... is it about to...
- A Bishop faces and angry parish in France when he ...
- Why Catholic scandals are treated differently than...
- "You might be a redneck" as morphed for Catholics!...
- OPEN FORUM
- Picture Proof of what heaven must be like (at leas...
- Interesting articles.. and subsequent ruminations ...
- "The perspective of size"
- Code Words in the Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal - anoth...
- Demographic bomb in the heart of Europe
- A good news post
- John Allen's take on the past 10 years in the Vati...
- ▼ January (67)