Where we’re going from here: Forward! Always forward!
[Does (or should) AQ follow suit?]
OCT 27, 2015 by HILARY WHITE in WHAT’S UP WITH THE SYNOD-CHURCH?
You may have noticed that the Synod ended on Monday, and we’re still posting.
This is not a mistake.
You may also have noticed that something on the masthead has changed:
I’d like to start by sharing with y’all a little photo screen captcha kind of thingie that our doughty IT guy, Patrick, gave me the other day.
These are the stats for WUWTS from our first day on October 4th, to, I think, Oct. 25th. That’s you guys.
Now, I don’t know much about these technical things, but 260,000 page views seems like a lot to me. And I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here, and say that perhaps, just maybe, 70.8% of nearly 30,000 people visiting this site multiple times would like us to keep going.
If we compare this with the nice little tea party numbers I have enjoyed on my personal blog, Orwell’s Picnic, which I started counting in about 2007 (after I had been blogging there for three years). We topped a million PVs at O’sP a few weeks ago, and I was very proud. But I don’t like a crowd. Longtime readers will affirm that whenever there has been a big stat spike, I have sort of panicked and shut down, gone on hiatus, for long enough for all the interlopers and weirdos to go away again. I hate having big numbers over there and have a longstanding policy of refusing link requests. I also shut off all the “feed” thingies I could. We’ve all been very happy there with our steady stream of about 450 to 500 a day to a site where I mostly talk about gardening and hiking and recipes and post photos of flowers and bugs and the kitties.
So, imagine my surprise when I learned that at WUWTS, in 21 days, we had had over a quarter of the number of PVs I have had in more than ten years of blogging. I would be willing to call this little effort a grand slam success!
Naturally, I was wondering all through the last grueling three weeks what we were all going to do once it was over. I floated the idea among my little team of contributors, consultants and helpers, that maybe we could just keep going, and there was general agreement.
We do seem to have hit upon a winning formula here. I told each contributor that the point of the thing was to make people laugh at the whole disaster long enough to slip them a little perspective-inducing truths. Post short; post funny; post often. We looked at this appalling Synod and its ancillary disasters from a perspective that few in the wider Church are hearing from. And we don’t do what most Trads do. That is, we don’t moan, we don’t freak out or be all doomy-and-gloomy. Our readers are mostly taking care of that end of things themselves.
I explained that the “tone” we were looking for in posts was this:
and quite a bit of this:
Now, my buddy Steve Skojec, the founder and proprietor of One Peter Five, who is on that little Greek Chorus of advisors and consultants, likes content. He has a degree in theology, so he likes to interview theologians and professors. He likes to play it straight most of the time. That’s fine. I don’t begrudge him his “content”. Each to his own. I’ve done a couple of contenty things for him, and for Mike Matt at the Remnant. I suppose it has its place. But I’ve really just kind of had it with that stuff. I did my time. I spent four years producing the kind of meticulously documented material that gets used in parliamentary committees. And then I spent eleven years interviewing and looking things up. I still know how to do it, but I’m done. I learned some diplomacy, and I’m telling you brothers and sisters, diplomacy is bunk.
Now, frankly, I want to use some of that capital to say and do things that no one else seems to be saying and doing. And yes, maybe say a Bad Swear now and then. I just don’t think I can stand any more polite tip-toeing around. No more weaselly circumlocuting, no more hints and sly winks. If it’s Pope Bergoglio’s fault, we’re going to say it’s Pope Bergoglio’s fault.
Over the years of my involvement with the political end of things in the Church, I gained a reputation as the Bad Kid, the kid who inevitably sticks her foot in it by saying out loud what she really thinks. Now sometimes that was valued, sometimes people would just roll their eyes, and sometimes I’d get the stuffing beat out of me. But I still think there’s a valuable place in “the discussion” for people like me, and Ann Barnhardt, and Patrick Archbold, and Dorothy Cummings McLean and Laurence England … the kind of people who might be amusing enough to get invited to the right parties, but who now will never, ever, ever get a paying contract with the National Catholic Register or EWTN. (Well, maybe Dorothy will; she’s the nice one.)
So, we’re just going to go it on our own. It’s too late to back down now anyway. I started this ‘blog because I knew from many years of close personal observation, that we had now gone way, way WAY too far to turn back in the Church. The election of Jorge Bergoglio was the moment I knew we had, as a Church, committed ourselves to strapping in and plunging to the bottom. Do you worry about being polite and diplomatic in an emergency? When someone is about to wander out into traffic or walk in front of a train?
I’ve talked to Patrick and we are just going to stick with the current domain name. I can change the title of the blog to open things up a bit, but mainly we’re just going to keep talking about it, and making our jokes and tossing out short posts.
Towards the end of the Synod of Doom, some of the bishops and cardinals started talking about changing the Church to be more like a neverending Synod. The “synodal process” was going to be taken from now on as the model for the entire Church forever. Yep, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church is now in the hands of the kind of people who…
Indeed, the Holy Father himself told us in his memorable speech on the 50 anniversary of the Synod of Bishops that he is giving us a whole new Church. This, ladies and gents, is the Synodal Church:
“A synodal Church is a Church of listening,” said Pope Francis…
“The Synod of Bishops,” continued Pope Francis, “is the convergence point of this dynamism – this listening conducted at all levels of Church life,” starting with the people, who “also participate in Christ’s prophetic office” and who have a right and a duty to be heard on topics that touch the common life of the Church. Then come the Synod Fathers, through whom, “[T]he bishops act as true stewards, interpreters and witnesses of the faith of the whole Church, which [they] must be able carefully to distinguish from often shifting public opinion.” In all this, the Successor to Peter is fundamental. “Finally,” explained Pope Francis, “the synodal process culminates in listening to the Bishop of Rome, called upon to speak authoritatively [It. pronunciare] as ‘Shepherd and Teacher of all Christians’: not on the basis of his personal beliefs, but as the supreme witness of the Faith of the whole Church, the guarantor of the Church’s conformity with and obedience to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ and the Tradition of the Church.”
Well, that sounds like almost a mandate from heaven, don’t you think?
You want a “listening Church”?
Well buddy-pope, have we ever got stuff to say!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Hilary White is an Anglo-Canadian, who started researching, writing and lobbying in the political end of the pro-life movement in 1999, moved to Rome in 2008 and covered Vatican and European news related to “life and family issues” from a Catholic perspective until May 2015. She lives with her three cats and garden in the Peaceable Kingdom of Norcia, in Umbria, where she chants Vespers in Latin every day, and refuses to go to Rome for any reason whatsoever. She hopes the world does not end before she can get the last of the tomatoes in.