Sunday, September 08, 2013
A time to keep silent?
After recent happenings I have been thinking I ought to stop blogging. I do not think I have done anything wrong but if journalists, like the unscrupulous, or possibly he is not malicious just not that bright, Bill Gardner, are getting the wrong end of the stick and using it to beat the Church with, then maybe silence is better.
I certainly do not want to be an embarrassment to brother priests, and I am well aware that although the young tend to rely on electronic media, older people, for example those amongst my parishioners and many clergy I know 'don't read blogs', the majority of people would simply read what was presented in the Argus, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph etc and come away with a very bad opinion of the Church, something quite contrary to what I have endeavoured to project.
And although I care little for the opinion people have about me as an individual, I care a great deal about the opinion people have of the priesthood. Mr Bill Gardner and other journalists have been enjoying trashing my reputation as a priest nationally and internationally and therefore of course all Catholic priests and bishops have suffered, because of way I have been portrayed, it is of course an attack on the Church.
Frankly I feel rather battered by this latest onslaught, and yes as Christians we understand the supernatural dimensions of these attacks but nevertheless we have to realise the effects of our personal actions on others and the whole Church.
Maybe I am being a little cowardly, Brighton is after all the second most atheistic city in Britain, although I didn't see them myself, I am told that there were lots of malicious remarks on the Argus website regarding 'my pervy friends' and threats of violence too, which were presumably were from the mad and taken down eventually by the editors, I don't like being the cause of that. Indeed some the versions of Mr Gardner's story are such a vile attack I haven't read them, besides there are so many.
One or two people have suggested I complain to the Press Complaints Council, I might, perhaps I should, but I consider irritating journalists rather like other irritating little *******s who steal, who lie, who mess up life for the rest of us, as part of the course of life, they are sent to test us, we grow closer to God if we bear them with mercy and patience. Others are free to make such complaints if they feel strongly they should, in the interest of Truth, and a decent press in this country. I am more concerned about other things at the moment, though I will be interested in hearing about the legal situation of such journalists from those who know about such things.
I was rather amused by Eccles little bit of humour today and in the light of it I would be very interested to hear how today's Gospel about hating one's family, and one's own life and giving up all one's possessions might be played by a journalist. Throughout the years I have been writing this blog I hope only rarely have I treated as my possession rather than a way of extending my ministry as priest of God.
Pope Benedict who has been the inspiration for this blog chose silence and prayer and for the time being I make that same choice, to reflect at least for the time being on whether God is best served by speaking or being silent and what purpose my blog can contribute anything useful to the life of Our Mother, the Church.
Pray for me!
And pray for journalists
Posted by Fr Ray Blake