Blogging

Priest Banned from Blogging Defies Bishop’s Order

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A Virginia priest has decided to go against his bishop’s order after he was banned from blogging to keep his flock informed during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

If you found yourself banned from blogging by your boss, would you blog anyway?

A priest in Virginia reportedly faced that problem. And he’s decided to blog again…despite orders from his bishop.

The Martinsville Bulletin reports the priest was ordered to stop blogging in February. In fact, the bishop demanded he remove his blog completely. Why? The paper explains he posted “critical comments of the Catholic hierarchy’s handling of its sex abuse crisis.”

As touchy a subject as that is, I can understand the church’s anger.

The priest resumed his blog in March. On Saturday, he published a post about Pope John Paul II’s letter in which he referred to the Gospel of Life. The Priest then used that as an illustration in dealing with the crisis over COVID-19:

We suffer social isolation, and we have to make many sacrifices. But we do so serenely. Because we affirm the priceless value of every individual human life.

He told WRIC-TV in Richmond he felt the need to “foster pastoral communication.”

“…He’s still with us. He hears our prayers, and we can stay connected with Him, and with each other, through the internet, until this crisis passes,” he said.

One thing blogs can easily do in a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic is to keep us connected. The practice of social distancing eliminates the ability for most to gather face-to-face. But blogs are one way to keep communications open.

Maybe it’s not the same as a phone call or a Facetime chat.

But it’s still better than silence during our self-imposed isolation.

WRIC-TV reports there’s no word on whether the bishop has seen the blog. But given the extraordinary times in which we find ourselves, I hope this priest gets some grace here.

Parishioners need to hear from their clergy. And our clergymen need to utilize any way they can to make sure everyone remains connected.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 29 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.