As we go through the present crisis in the Church, there are some who criticize the revealers of truth, claiming that it is better to live a good Catholic life as best as you can and ignore all the news. “It is better we don’t know,” they may say. “After all, curiosity killed the cat.”
These people have forgotten the fact that without people revealing the truth, it is impossible for us to live good Catholic lives, or to make informed decisions on where we should attend Mass, whom we should listen to, and what prayers we should pray. It is fundamentally the equivalent of saying, “Wouldn’t it be better if we just didn’t know what sin was? That way, we would never be responsible for it.” And even if someone is legitimately leading a holy Catholic life, others may not be, and they still need help.
Some people have already found truth and live in a community that loves it. Those with the fortune to have a strongly orthodox parish, such as the one I am a member of, may not need the spiritual advice or insightful articles of a blog like OnePeterFive to live a good Catholic life. But it’s a sad fact that most Catholics have not found the truth.
How many Catholics do penance on Friday, abstaining or otherwise? How many Catholics know that “religious liberty” is wrong? How many Catholics know that the death penalty is legitimate? The reality is that there are many Catholics in need of the truth out there, and it’s important that it reaches them.
In a world where information is hugely obtainable, heresy has a much wider scope, and so truth must be given a wider scope as well. If blogs such as OnePeterFive report on the things the pope does, even the bad things, they do it for a reason. There are many bad blogs out there, some no doubt legitimately spreading lies, but we cannot just damn all blogs in one fell swoop. The more evil there is, the more good must counteract it; the more libelous reporting there is, the more true reporting must counteract it.
We cannot just boycott the internet and shut down the traditional blogs. People will be on the internet either way, and that’s why we have to continue. We have to continue to spread truth and hopefully wisdom; we have to continue to be a voice. Almost every story a traditional Catholic blog like OnePeterFive brings out — yes, even the reports on abuse and other scandalous things — serves a purpose. It’s easy for someone who has always been fortunate with fairly reverent liturgies, like me, to consider the Novus Ordo fairly orthodox and to dismiss the occasional abuse as unique and not widespread. But it is through seeing the stories of others, in articles, in the comments, and learning about one’s Faith, that one realizes that the abuse is everywhere, and that there really is something wrong with the Novus Ordo, perhaps giving that final motivation to seek out the Tridentine Mass.
The pope as well is worthy of criticism. It is all too easy for one to treat the pope as a god, when he’s not. So many people have misconceptions of papal authority, and this too must be confronted. We are supposed to respect the lawful authorities and protect another’s good name, especially the pope’s — but Pope Francis is actively slaughtering our Faith. We should respect the pope, we should pray for him, and we should not slander him. But when he does something wrong, we should not remain silent just to protect his good name.
It would be different if we had a holy hierarchy that cared for our souls. We don’t. It would be different if Vatican II had turned out differently. It didn’t. It would be different if the pope still called for evangelization. He doesn’t. We live in a time when it is necessary for someone to stand up for the truth — necessary that someone say something.
The traditional bloggers are the ones doing this. They do what they do because they’re Catholic, and they care about being Catholic. They aren’t perfect, and they make mistakes, but they’re doing their best to spread truth. If they don’t do it, who will?
Thomas Greninger is a junior in high school living in the Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon. The eldest of a large family, he enjoys writing essays and poetry and learning about the Faith.