Category: Web Watch

A prophetic warning of the risks of social media

One of the strangest sights in social media in recent times has seen Cambridge classicist Prof. Mary Beard being mocked by the US-based essayist and risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb over her  supposed inability to handle evidence relating to the ethnic diversity of Roman Britain. The minutiae of the argument go a bit beyond this…

Silly season on the Catholic internet turns up on time

It’s been a strange month for online Catholic news. July 1 saw Pope Francis informing Cardinal Gerhard Müller that he would not be renewing his tenure as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Church’s doctrinal watchdog. Readers may recall his public disagreement with Irish child protection advocate Marie Collins in…

Test Acts and modern politics

The dust hasn’t yet settled from the UK general election, and debate across Britain is febrile over the wisdom and propriety of Theresa May’s Conservatives placing themselves in debt to the DUP. Astonishingly and – one might think –  irresponsibly, the controversy is but rarely over whether Britain’s governing party should be beholden to the…

Nuncio’s transfer causes conjecture and intrigue

‘Ireland’s Outcast’ was the headline on the front page of last week’s Catholic Herald, prominently and admirably flagged across social media ahead of publication as is usual. Below the headline was a picture of Ireland’s then outgoing papal nuncio, Archbishop Charles Brown, and the tagline: ‘The nation’s respected nuncio has been sent to Albania. Jon…

Social media as much a challenge as it is an aid

The advantages of social media as a tool for evangelisation or – arguably – an environment in which evangelisation can take place are discussed on a regular basis nowadays, but the difficulties of maintaining a coherent, timely and appropriate social media presence aren’t always acknowledged. This was demonstrated all too sharply last weekend, when the…

Shedding light on Amoris Laetitia

It’s hard to deny that online debate about Amoris Laetitia has been marked far more by heat than light. Indeed, disagreement about the Pope’s exhortation on love and the family has reached such a point that at least one commentator has claimed the Church is now entering a fully-fledged civil war. This is, of course, nonsense: that…

Pro-life Catholics at a pro-choice march? Own it!

It’s hard to imagine a more inflammatory title for a blogpost than ‘Catholic pro-lifers at the Women’s March? Get used to it’, but American blogger Simcha Fisher has never been one to pussyfoot around. Writing at simchafisher.com, she starts with a bang. “Were you surprised, even shocked, to see Catholics and other pro-lifers joining in…

Only time can tell as blogger looks for rescue

Among the most consistently interesting religious blogs over recent years have been those on the Catholic channel of patheos.com, with Eve Tushnet’s being a fine example of this. Tushnet, who converted to Catholicism in 1998, describes herself as an “openly lesbian and celibate Catholic”, and writes often on themes of religion of sexuality. In a…