Dehumanization of online media

I’m sure everyone has heard or read the comments made by the Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, about facebook. If not, it’s worth a read. Go ahead and take a gander, if you haven’t. And, yes, irony not intended that I’m blogging about his comments.

I think he’s right to be wary about some of the community springing up from online media, as we’ve all seen. But while he makes valid points, I don’t think he’s got the full story, either. Granted, my view is a bit skewed towards Catholicism in the US.

So once upon a time, you’ve got a group of people who’re disenchanted with some of the things happening after Vatican II. For whatever reason, these people were happier with the extraordinary form of the Mass, traditionally-designed architecture, and all the aesthetics that came with it. In the changes, they saw a lot of other things–Eucharistic piety and devotion, for instance–getting lost or thrown out altogether. A lot of the time, these people’s voices weren’t heard.

So enter 1993 and the internet. As technology became faster, cheaper, and more available, people got online more. It became easier to find people who thought like you, and so these people connected with others who had been disenchanted by the Church in the 1970’s and 1980’s. (No matter where you fall on the spectrum, you have to admit that there were some atrocious things that came out of those decades.) Suddenly a group of people who had no voice were heard and found others like them.

Fast forward ten to fifteen years later, and you’ve got the situation we’re in. Neither side is speaking to the other, and neither is willing to budge. I can’t say I disagree with some of what the traditionalists want (especially when aesthetics and the liturgy are concerned.) That having been said, I think both sides are falling into the trap that Nichols discusses.

Real question is: how do we fix this situation?


~ by Jen on August 4, 2009.

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