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An Invitation to a conversation

Dear Visitor,

A kind soul wrote me at the end of a spirited exchange between myself and some familiar characters who lurk through major Canadian news sites looking for opportunities to insult, demean and discourage Catholics. Implicit in her description of these folks as "trolls" can be found elements of fatigue and (charitable) dismissiveness of these internet threads.

My experience has been different.

I would appreciate comment on either argument. Thanks,


My kind poster wrote:

"Thank you Fr. Tim for being willing to defend the Catholic Church so well. From time to time I have participated in some very good conversations on this blog on various topics. I have learned though that there are some persons who frequent blogs that are called Trolls. In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts controversial, inflammatory, irrelevant, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. Both ***** and ****** are well known Trolls on this site and they jump into many good conversation, particularly on Catholic issues and do the same thing they are doing here. It is best with these always to not feed the trolls. They are not worth engaging in conversation because they are not willing to have a true and diplomatic conversation. They are not searching for the Truth.

Thank you though Fr. Tim for all your great effort here.

We know that this Spanish priest has this feeling about Halloween and he makes some good points. But we do not know from this article anything about the Pope's view on this. This same sort of thing happened a few years ago when an article was saying the Pope condemned Harry Potter. We ended up eventually finding out he loves Harry Potter. We also thought the National Post was going under last Friday and thankfully that proved wrong too.

Lesson learned is that we cannot believe everything we read in the media and from Trolls. Some people just like to get all the attention for they think it is all about them.
-------------------

My response:

******: Thank you for your kind post.

Although I am unfamiliar with the terminology, it was not hard to understand your opinion of my companions in this thread. I soon came to share your opinion of the situation. Yet, if I might offer a couple of points in favor of keeping the dialogue going.

First off, interspersed between the volleys of vitriol and nonsense, you will find a few others who enter into the thread with valid questions and points of view. The connection made with some of these, and more than a few hundred others, who each day who visit my blog as a result of being silent participants in this public side of this "debate". I hope perhaps that even the manner in which I respond to these barbs offers examples of items to keep at hand around the water cooler arena. Each hit is an opportunity to be educated and sustained in their faith by learning what it is the church actually does stand for. What the answers are to the accusations implicit in questions hurled at Catholics each day.

It is becoming a difficult time for many people. These kind "trolls" are generous enough to grant me the opportunity to make this possible; and in doing so, they help to anchor another Catholic link onto the net. This enters the conversation into the "google" world, and that of other search engines which generate hundreds, in fact now even thousands of catechetical opportunities, as evidenced by hits on my blog.

These contacts are then taken up by intelligent and faithful souls such as your self, who take up the offer to bring a personal witness and support to fellow Catholics. As well, through links to other blogs, I can bring people to the voices of Bishops, priests and other faithful Catholic by posting links. Their interventions strengthen the efficacy of the Catholic voice in the public debate.

Besides all that, it's fun, especially in the conversations and links shared in the sincere debate of serious people who do not hold a theist or Catholic point of view!

I am grateful that sites like the National Post, CBC, CTV and other major media sites permit the opportunity to make the argument for the faith. I believe that the voice of faith must and will have a role within the public square. After all, since they permit the obvious malfeasance of my some of our fellow posters, (aka the "Trolls"), so too they allow a Catholic voice to be heard, arguing for the faith.

The Quebec bishops missed their opportunity 40 years ago when presented with a similar challenge in the Quiet Revolution (as I express in a blog post called "Je me souvien") and the consequences were catastrophic to the faith. I pray we don't make the same mistake again of leaving baseless accusations unchallenged,such that they metastasize into the "conventional wisdom" of our times.

Today is All Soul's Day. What better way to spend it working to better this world through faith, and pray for the souls in purgatory.

God bless the trolls! Matthew 11:16-20 is as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago

God bless the blogosphere.

Fr. Tim Moyle



****** names removed out of respect to my fellow participants
Your comments are invited. Just click below

Comments

  1. Great response Father! You are much more charitable than I am.
    You are very correct Father and of course it is important to make sure the truth is out there for everyone to see. This is a much better news blog then some because it does not stifle free speech. And our beloved Trolls are very brave for speaking up on what they have hidden in their hearts.

    I do agree and try to keep the dialogue going but it can become an obsession and we have to be careful not to waste too much time. I pray for a healing of their hearts so that they can be free of the demons that harm them. I hope that they are sincere in their postings and not just doing it to cause trouble. And I am available to have a real conversation with them if they do want to really talk. I have actually become friends with a Troll from another country who I offered to talk with and try to work out the problem that they have with the Catholic Church and it has become a wonderful and true friendship. It would be wonderful if we could all meet a good Catholic priest like you Father and really talk out our problems with the Church. I just do not think going around the blogs purposely looking for Catholic issues to cause problems will help you or anyone in the long run. It is great to know there are others who are willing to help make sure the record is set straight.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I came across the National Post article and was appalled by the comments. I was pleased that you were willing to stand up for the Church, so thank you for that. I was also pleased that you were so willing to call out those predatory priests (and bishop) who so richly need to have their sins denounced. Thank you for your witness to Christ and His Church, and don't let a few hostile commenters turn you negative!

    ReplyDelete
  3. It is certainly great when a priest speaks out but I think we need more lay people to get involved as the priest is busy enough. I had a letter to the editor in the Post recently trying to defend our Church and I try to convince my friends to help out too. Here is the link to my letter:
    http://www.nationalpost.com/story.html?id=2109089

    I am a stay at home mom of 8 children and letter writing helps keep me involved in life and is easy to do even though with children it is sometimes hard to get out of the house. This way I can still help evangelize but I do not have to leave home.

    ReplyDelete

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