Sunday, August 28, 2011

Catholics in the Combox: Read before you comment....

"Wait for me!" | 1903 | Sophie Gengembre Anderson

The first topic in the Catholics in the Combox series is in developmentIn the meanwhile, please read this post so you know how to participate.  All posts in the series will be linked to this post to avoid repetition.

Sometimes we are so quick to fire off that comment we leave everyone else behind.  The next thing you know, no one left in the combox is talking about the original post and people are quarreling.

This series is about heightening our collective awareness of online behaviors - specifically how we interact with one another and talk about others. 

  • Are we doing things that are not in harmony with Sacred Scripture and Church teaching?
  • Are there virtues and other lessons we need to look at more deeply and apply?

We can discuss an issue like detraction, rash judgment, or prudence without introducing things that will cause the combox to get sidetracked onto other issues and away from the targeted topic.  

For the Catholics in the Combox series, I am applying a special set of rules, some of which were mentioned in my introductory post. I'm going to truly "moderate", not just filter out spam, so the combox discussion is productive and filled with valuable information for all of us.

General Notes:

For the Catholics in the Combox series only, this what you must do to participate in the combox:

  • Read the post completely before commenting.  Comments which show clear signs that the post was not read, will be rejected.

  • I have opened the Anonymous option to allow for more participation. You must sign your post with a name or pseudonym. I recommend first, hitting the enter key and signing the bottom then begin typing your message above that.  This way, you won't forget to sign it and I won't need to reject your comment.

  • I don't mind one person having a number of contributions.  However, I would discourage a series of them in a row (besides, they sometimes end up in my spam folder).

    Photo: Graham Loveland
    These are not the kind of rabbit holes we want to avoid; rather, we want to avoid
    combox rabbit holes. These are created when someone introduces a particular name or word
    and the discussion gets sidetracked. 

    Avoiding the creation of rabbit holes in the combox

    We will not be including any of the following in our comments, not even veiled.  I'll have to make a judgment call because I want the post to stay on topic.

    • Names of other people (as in, pointing the finger at them)
    • Names of various groups/subcultures (i.e., democrat, republican, traditionalist, charismatic, protestantetc.)
    • Labels (i.e., rad trad, neo-con, liberal, conservative, progressive, orthodox, happy-clappy, etc.)
    • Political topics
    • "Scandal of the day" type stuff
    • Other topics, including Catholic ones not directly related to the specific topic.
    • Current or recent events (i.e., Obama at Notre Dame, Fr. Corapi case, priest sex abuse scandal,)
    • Unapproved private revelations/apparitions and general discussion about such mystical phenomena (a discussion on detraction does not require us to examine what takes place within a sub-group of Catholics. 

      I know this is going to be a challenge for people, but we want the Catholics in the Combox series to be rich with discussion about specific topics. 

      Is your comment not moderated? It could have been rejected

      I will try to have comments moderated within a reasonable time. In some cases, it may take 8-10 hours if I am having difficulty on my iPhone approving them.   Email me at if you do not see it after that period and I will explain why I chose to reject.  My advice is to copy your comment to word or notepad if it is longer so you can paste and edit out that which resulted in rejection, then resubmit.

      Good things to add to the Combox
      If the subject is something like, Rash Judgment or Prudence, for example, here is what I would like to include in the discussion:

      Quotes directly related to the topic from:

      The idea here is to develop a habit of going to these kinds of sources to seek understanding.  Don't limit yourself to Google.  Use the search tool at places like New Advent which has a huge online library.

      Don't just comment; ask questions!!!

      A truly wise person knows what questions to ask, and has the humility to "ask away". Such a wise person understands that the "teacher" will often be an unexpected person (Matt 23:12)

      While I may link to a page on the Summa and quote it partially, it is good to read the entire linked Summa article before commenting. Read it slowly and more than once.  Learn to slow down.  The combox isn't going away so you can add your comment after you read other things.   If something goes over your head in the Summa, that's ok.  Ask a question about it in the combox.

      Ask short, simple questions out there about what you are reading. If you read something in the linked Summa article and don't understand a particular sentence or line - quote it and ask what St. Thomas means by it. Paste the link in the combox so people can read it in context.
      Use the dictionary if you cross a term or expression you do not understand. 

       Use a Dictionary of Philosophy for some terms too.

      Final Note: Play nice!

      It is my hope that Catholics who may otherwise be at odds with one another will engage in fruitful dialogue and come to a better understanding of how we can participate in the New Evangelization in the most God-pleasing way.
      Boys Shooting Marbles | H. Armstrong Roberts

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      The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!
      Note: The recommended links below are automatically generated by the tool, so they are not necessarily related content.


      Nick Childers said...

      Spell check before you comment. You have a whole Internet full of dictionaries and encyclopedias.

      Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...

      That sounds like a whole different series, Nick.

      It would be nice if people would spell check, but I'm going to let people pass on that and I hope others will too.

      Nick Childers said...

      Ethics in Internet

      Diane M. Korzeniewski, OCDS said...


      I hope you will extract relevant short quotes out of there when we post on the various topics. We don't want to quote too much in one comment as it will leave people behind, but I'm sure that in some of the topics I'm going to cover, we can definitely pull a few short quotes out of there, then lead people to them.

      I think everyone should read that document. The live link as you provided it is helpful, but be sure to name the document in your comment.

      ALL: A tip for those who want to know how to make a live link in a blogpost comment

      Nick Childers said...

      Here is my favorite quote from Ethics in Internet:

      [The Internet] also can help men and women in their age-old search for self-understanding. In every age, including our own, people ask the same fundamental questions: “Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life?” 42 The Church cannot impose answers, but she can—and must—proclaim to the world the answers she has received; and today, as always, she offers the one ultimately satisfying answer to the deepest questions of life—Jesus Christ, who “fully reveals man to himself and brings to light his most high calling”.

      (42) John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Fides et ratio, n. 1.

      And my favorite quotes from Church and Internet are:

      A special aspect of the Internet, as we have seen, concerns the sometimes confusing proliferation of unofficial web sites labeled ‘Catholic'. A system of voluntary certification at the local and national levels under the supervision of representatives of the Magisterium might be helpful in regard to material of a specifically doctrinal or catechetical nature. The idea is not to impose censorship but to offer Internet users a reliable guide to what expresses the authentic position of the Church.


      The Internet places in the grasp of young people at an unusually early age an immense capacity for doing good and doing harm, to themselves and others. It can enrich their lives beyond the dreams of earlier generations and empower them to enrich others' lives in turn. It also can plunge them into consumerism, pornographic and violent fantasy, and pathological isolation.


      Prudence is necessary in order clearly to see the implications—the potential for good and evil—in this new medium and to respond creatively to its challenges and opportunities.

      Justice is needed, especially justice in working to close the digital divide—the gap between the information-rich and the information-poor in today's world.[52] This requires a commitment to the international common good, no less than the “globalization of solidarity”.[53]

      Fortitude, courage, is necessary. This means standing up for truth in the face of religious and moral relativism, for altruism and generosity in the face of individualistic consumerism, for decency in the face of sensuality and sin.

      And temperance is needed—a self-disciplined approach to this remarkable technological instrument, the Internet, so as to use it wisely and only for good.

      [52] Cf. Ethics in Internet, nn. 10, 17.
      [53] John Paul II, Address to the UN Secretary General and to the Administrative Committee on Coordination of the United Nations, n. 2, April 7, 2000.

      priest's wife said...

      Thank you for the suggestion of New Advent- I'll be using it a lot!