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Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Vatican surprises bloggers with successful meeting


The Vatican meeting of bloggers was a great success by all accounts. With touching honesty, bloggers who were formerly skeptical have basically agreed that "Yes, they understood us, they weren't trying to control us, and they were keen to co-operate with bloggers."

For a good example of the success of the event, consider that Hilary White was thanked by the organisers, mentioned by name in the introduction by Rocco Palmo, and was quoted by David Kerr of the Catholic News Agency. Even the alternative blognic in the pub has made it onto Vatican Radio who interviewed Hilary! (It's well worth listening to.)

Her summary for CNA of the Vatican meeting:
"What I think is that they (the Vatican) are trying to do today is to send out a message to the national bishops conferences to say ‘let them go, bloggers are here to stay and that they’re going to keep saying things that people don’t want them to say and they’re going to keep looking under rocks that nobody wants them to look under'."
The above photo is from Hilary's blog, showing the Prosecco that was given out at the break - there also seems to be a seat belt in the background. Perhaps this was in case the ride was rougher than expected, though I imagine nobody used them: bloggers tend not to be too risk-averse.

Vino Nuovo has a list of memorable quotations from the meeting. One that will be of interest to Catholic bloggers is from Fr Lucio Ruiz (Head of the internet service of the Holy See.) Here is my translation of it:
"The Holy See has for some time excluded the idea that one might in some way put a 'Catholic stamp of approval' to sites and blogs that present themselves as Catholic ... We are not a sect."
Obviously there are a lot of blog posts about the meeting so here is just a sample of those I have read:
Many people used the hashtag #VBM11 and Lemessin has posted a link to a collection of over 4000 tweets.

Zenit has the list of all 150 bloggers whose requests to attend were successful. (The Vatican received 750 applications in all.) I was impressed by this photo of everybody working very hard...


... and it was good to see two bloggers from the British scene featured in the official photo set: Anna Arco and Mary O'Regan. James Bradley of the Ordinariate Portal was also there - he was congratulated from the rostrum on his recent reception into the Catholic Church (he has joined the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.)


Here is a link to more official photos courtesy of intermirifica.net, and Rome Reports has a piece on the proceedings:



I was rather cynical about the meeting when I heard about it, so I am also very glad that it all seems to have gone so well.
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