I wrote back saying I saw some hope, as I did think they were trying, and I thought many of Ms Hogan's curious polices reflected ignorance of the faith rather than necessarily deliberate rejection of it.
I've changed my mind. Cath News must be destroyed!
As a number of readers have pointed out to me offline, I stopped posting on them for a day or two, and instantly they've reverted to form over there!
Speak and thou shalt be rejected!
Ms Hogan offers, over at Cath Blog today, a response to my campaign. Fair enough, she has the right to speak up. But in the process, she does confirm a number of my claims.
In particular, if Ms Hogan decides that you are rude, criticize a bishop, criticize a sister for not wearing a habit , or display "a sense of entitlement" (what on earth does that mean?!) you will have your comment rejected.
But there is another category of people who automatically get rejected over there - anyone who posts here! She writes:
"When I became aware of the write-in campaign, I made the decision as the Publisher not to lend the credibility of CathNews to this grandstanding hectoring, and have since deleted comments from those people without reading them. (How do I know who was part of the campaign? It was not rocket science – I just had to read comments on the inciting blogspot.)"
Well yes, I did stop asking people to publish their comment here if it was rejected over there for just this reason. But I didn't expect Ms Hogan to actually publicly admit it!
So anyone who posts here (and remember I only asked people to publish anything that Cath News wouldn't publish so we could scrutinize whether the reasons claimed for rejection really matched up with reality) is automatically disenfranchised.
I'm guessing that those who posted over at the Country Priest's blog are likewise on the banned list.
Well, I guess that's one way of excluding all the orthodox commenters from Cath News...
Never heard of Michael Voris!
Ms Hogan says no one at Cath News has ever heard of Michael Voris before now!
Given the controversy he regularly creates in the US blogs and beyond, I find that kind of surprising, but kind of not! If the only American sources you read are America magazine and NCR, you will tend to get a limited view of the world.
Ms Hogan's other argument for not including Michael Voris over at Cath News is that apparently Cath News is not allowed to run a piece from a single source. Really?
I'm assuming we are talking about opinion pieces here.
But how then to explain all those pieces from group blogs like Eureka Street and other such pretty singular looking sources?
In fact Voris' 'Vortex' videos can be found on any number of good third party sites (and for any Catholic news aggregation site, a daily look at places like Pewsitter would go a long way to rounding out Cath News' rather narrow casting of opinion piece and other news sources).
But hey, why let the facts get in the way of the Cath News agenda.
Rejected posts from Cath News
She goes on to report her offline bullying of someone who commented over here about having a blog post rejected.
That is truly disappointing.
The poster in question made a minor, and understandable, error of fact - he said he had one blog piece published and a second never appeared.
In fact he had two published; it was the third that was rejected over there.
Ms Hogan could have published a polite correction on my blog.
Instead she sent him what I consider to be a bullying email.
He, not unnaturally, in the face of her onslaught (read the Cath News post to get a bit of the flavour) was extremely contrite, publicly apologized and removed the comments from my blog. Yet she reports the whole affair anyway.
That is not, in my view, a Christian response!
Worse, she published the comment that he in fact withdrew from my blog.
Then she actually went a step further, and published his private offline correspondence with her, despite the fact that the email string was explicitly marked 'not for publication'!
In praise of the liturgy!
And just why was the blog post in question rejected?
The author of the piece speculated in his (withdrawn) comment on my blog that it may have been because of his reference to orthodox (Latin) liturgy.
Ms Hogan claims it was because another blogger covered the same ground.
I've read the rejected blog post in question (as Ms Hogan kindly gave it to me with a view to publication and the author also provided it to me).
And I've reread all of the blog posts from Madrid, including all those by the author Ms Hogan pointed me to (who, by the way, was not one of the bloggers explicitly invited by Cath News to post on Madrid).
I couldn't see the overlap.
To the extent that the same events were alluded to, it was a very brief mention indeed (indeed, so brief that...). And each of the accounts was highly personalized. Moreover, this - rejected - blog post was the only one I found that talked in praise of the Latin liturgy.
But you can judge for yourself, because I'm posting it here today, so herewith the long missing Madrid blog post by David Busher (published with permission of the author).
Madrid, WYD 2011: A guest post by David Bucher
Again I have to say... ¡Viva Spain! Never have I experienced such a mix and mash of emotions.. From ecstatic happiness all the way through the (emotional) spectrum to crushing defeat. It's been an extremely busy, but amazing day in Madrid today, the Pope's official arrival being the event to be at. I was full of memories this morning of WYD Sydney when Pope Benedict XVI at the bow of a massive ship sailed into Sydney Harbour. That day was spectacular in 2008 and we were gearing up for a similar, if not better repeat of then.
Before the excitement of the afternoon, there was the fulfilling task of attending the Catechesis sessions. This involves an uplifting talk from a bishop or above. Today we had an Archbishop from America speak (with an accent I didn't get used to...) And yesterday we has the pleasure of hearing from Australia's very own Cardinal George Pell!!
The venue for the Catechesis was a revamped, 12,000 seat basketball stadium which is also mainly functioning as the English speaking pilgrim's domain. There are various speakers from all over the world meeting here to discuss every topic under the sun, it's an amazing venue to be at, and the only air conditioned venue of it's size in the city!! (we're very spoilt!!)). The morning ended with an amazing Mass celebrated by over 200 priests! From our seat, at the very back of the stadium I could just make out the short figure of Whitfords parish priest Father Joseph, almost right at the front of the procession!
The mass was breathtaking, the choir chanted in a way I had never heard in person. The Latin chants gave a royal/regal feel to the Mass (regardless of the fact we were in a repurposed stadium). Those reading will the the first (and only) people to know that I literally shed a tears when the Bishops, two-by-two venerated the altar. An overwhelming feeling came over me and a statement appeared that I couldn't get out of my head: "This is the beauty of Catholicism."
My pilgrim companions and I left Palacio de Deportes (aka. The Stadium) at about 4pm. Benedict was only three hours away and we wanted to stake out a good bit of space to relax in before the hoards of people arrived. After a half hour walk we spent the afternoon in a nice shady spot right next to the Puerto de Alcalà playing card games with two energetic youths from Germany.
Pope Benedict arrived not long after 7.30 and what crushing disappointment I felt! As the vehicle turned the roundabout the hundreds of pilgrims that surrounded me rushed forward... People jumped on shoulders, they were standing on chairs, I was left at the very back, jumping up and down to try and see the influential man that everyone was joyously screaming for.
I slumped back onto the hard concrete pavement, overwhelmed with regret... "What if I had got here earlier?..." and "What if we had walked around to the plaza? We had a great view of everything there at the mass only two days ago...". Were just two of the thoughts running through my mind. It didn't take me long to remember and notice all the happy faces at the event and just exactly how silly I was being. World Youth Day isn't about briefly seeing the Pope, maybe taking a photo of him from 100 meters away. It's a journey of discovering and committing to a stronger, more personal relationship with God. (Knowing that there has to be sacrifice somewhere along the track) So I sat up straight on the hard concrete and started praying: "For the Pope, Lord God, may he be firm in his faith and in doing your will."
There is such a strong presence of God here in Madrid. Everywhere you look people are discovering God or having their prayers answered. My prayer was answered not long after the Holy Father finished his liturgy. We had left a bit early and were making our way up a rather central, yet rather empty road when suddenly we hear the noise of police sirens. Turning around, I saw sometime that I will lock away as one of my favorite memories ever! A motorcade with the Pope right in the centre driving right towards our small group of five. As he quickly drove past we screamed and shouted and took as many photos as we could of the humble, huge-hearted man in his funny shaped pope-mobile.
We're half way through WYD week now with only days until the biggest event of my life, the Saturday night sleep out: almost 2 million anticipated to attend. I ask you that you continue to pray for all the MadridBlog pilgrims, but especially today for Pope Benedict. In his brief homily today he spoke of the fear he felt when he took up the role of Pope. A fear I imagine he still carries with him today. He reached out to us individually to pray for him daily, as it is only through this that he is able to do the amazing job he does.
David tells me he wrote this piece in the dark, around midnight, with 90 other people around him sleeping.
Glad to help this wonderfully vivid evocation of WYD 2011 finally see the light of day...