Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fearing for our freedom of speech

As you know, Father Rosica has spent the better part of the last two weeks doing a tour of Catholic media outlets in order to criticize pro-lifers and discredit Internet news sources and blogs. I don't claim to know what he or the CCCB are thinking. Nor will I attempt to make a judgment of their intentions. However, I am entitled to express my feelings.

I feel scared. Very scared. And you should too. I feel that our freedom of expression is at risk.

We've just learned that the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has hired two former MPs and two communications experts in order to revamp their communications strategy. At the same time, we've learned that the plenary assembly of the CCCB, which will take place in October, includes a session to discuss Internet news services and blogs. All this comes on the heels of the Development and Peace (D&P) scandal, which was a source of great embarrassment for the bishops and in which Internet news services and blogs played a pivotal role in revealing D&P’s support for about 40 pro-abortion groups throughout the developing world.

Are you seeing a connection?

While Father Rosica was vehemently criticizing us bloggers, I felt rejected. I felt as though our presence was not wanted. I felt most unwelcome to express any views that opposed the actions or statements of the bishops or of Father Rosica himself. I felt like I was something despised or base.