May 16, 2011

CNS photo | Paul Haring

Rocco Palmo, author of the blogWhispers in the Loggia, speaks at a meeting of Catholic bloggers at the Vatican May 2.

The Catholic Church needs active members who blog, but Catholic bloggers also need the Church, especially to remind them of the virtue of charity needed in their writing, said participants at a Vatican meeting.

The gathering May 2 was sponsored by the pontifical councils for culture and for social communications.

Richard Rouse, an official at the culture council, said the meeting was designed to acknowledge the role of blogs in modern communications and to start a dialogue between the bloggers and the Vatican.

Elizabeth Scalia, who writes The Anchoress, said while the mainstream media tend to view blogs as "little more than a means of self-promotion," Catholic blogs generally are real sources of "Catholic clarity."

But bloggers can't claim to be purveyors of clarity unless they do so with charity, she said.

"Charity is one of the biggest challenges we face," she said, because "freedom is both a gift and a source of temptation for our egos."

Scalia said the Catholic blogosphere is host to too much "us and them."

As Catholics, she said, "we have no business fostering enemies."

"The Church needs us," Scalia said.

"It needs us for evangelization. It needs us to disseminate information and often to correct information."