The Call went out from Dylan Parry aka A Reluctant Sinner for a gathering of Catholic Bloggers with the intention of forming a 'Guild' and in some way further promoting the Faith and supporting fellow Catholics in a more cohesive unified way - an extension to our own blogs or our commentary elsewhere [I have to concede with Brian Sudlow of The Sensible Bond that I am more a commentator than a blogger - time restrictions and the availability of a good argument elsewhere are invariably to blame]
Now let's make one thing clear:
I don't think there is one Catholic blogger out there who doesn't want this type of 'Umbrella group' - Most of us have been calling for something akin to it for years - Damian Thompson had a few ideas in 2008 [which sadly all came to naught thanks to our illustrious Cardinal- but that's water under the bridge] and old Holy Smoker Benedict Carter had a similar idea in early 2009 but logistics, calendar restrictions and geography also led to this idea fading away]. I've been nagging everyone for years that we needed to be a unified force within the country - promoting and defending the faith and reaching out to dispossesed and disenfranchised Catholics throughout the country and reassuring them that they are not alone....
Poor Red Maria was forever getting it in the neck from me that we had to do something, James [Free the Brum 3!] Preece concurred, and the suggestion was oft-repeated to Fr Tim Finigan & Fr Ray Blake & Fr Mildew
and Mulier Fortis and Laurence England and the marvellous Ttony of The Muniment Room have all either promoted or supported the idea of it...Fr Tim has always been one of the first to offer his services and his Parish for anything that would promote the cause [God bless him!]
But apart from a few blognics and Fr Mildew's lunches nothing was ever really done - then after a few run-ins with Radio4 regarding their choices of guests on their religious programming and Channel4 over the Jon Snow/ Joanna Bogle debacle of hiv/condoms
[and I advise everyone to watch it again - recognise just how well Joanna started - that the other lady repeatedly lied [yes lied - she knew exactly what the Cochrane report of 2007 said in regard to condom safety in serodiscordant hiv couples - only reducing the rate of infection by 80%] - and that Jon Snow was being his most pig-ignorant [ the issue continued on his blog; within two days he apologised - but ironically this fact has never been mentioned by certain individuals prominent in the catholic 'meedja scene' [ we all know who they are ] despite repeat reference to the incident itself] One of the bitterest ironies - there are two prominent people lengthily defending the Catholic position - yours truly and certain Mr D Parry!!!! [who'dathunkit!!!!?]
Now yes of course what the hell was Joanna Bogle doing on a TV news programme as an unofficial spokesperson for the Church? Where were the CCN? Where was Bishops' Conference - Archbishop Smith in particular [this being his remit - and his duty to support his Brother Bishop the Holy Father]? We know from some journalists' articles and blog comments that rather than arguing for the Catholic position they'd have said the exact opposite of Joanna's position - Both CAFOD & Austen Ivereigh support the idea that the 'prophylactic intention' overrides the contraceptivity issue in condom use.
Of course they were nowhere to be seen - and to be honest would they have used the truth to argue their case and defend the Faith? I think not! Now I don't think Joanna will mind my saying that I got tore into her and told her for her own sake that she really needed to get some media training [and why the bloody hell shouldn't conference pay for it given she was there in their stead - doing the job they refused to do?!!!]
Anyway back to what I was saying - this incident - together with +Vin and +Smiffy making major gaffes in radio interviews and guests on the Sunday programme, Beyond Belief, the Moral maze and TFTD being from the extremely progressive wing to the point of being fantasy-sushi-catholics rather than plain cafeteria ones; it seemed to everyone that the Tabletista had all of the media completely sewn up!
[to be continued - hopefully this evening]