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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Bishop Drainey using social media to make his case

The other day, writing of The pitfalls of censoring Catholic bloggers, I referred to an article in the Tablet to which the Lancaster Diocesan website had linked. I also quoted the Tablet's report of Bishop Drainey's comment calling for a "radical re-examination of human sexuality."

Bishop Drainey has written to the Tablet, and posted the text of his letter on the Middlesbrough Diocesan Website. In it, he speaks of the many responses that his diocese received to the Synod Questionnaire and then goes on to say:
I was therefore saddened that your article appeared to demean the honest offerings of these good people by framing them in a sensationalistic style. All of these statements were published in the Middlesbrough Catholic Voice, our diocesan newspaper, in January, and while I would not expect the London-based Tablet to look so far north, to add insult to injury, we send you a complimentary copy every month. So much for the Tablet’s hot pursuit of the truth! I suppose the question I am left with is simply does the Tablet try to report and respect the truth or does it just massage facts to support its own agenda?
The Middlesbrough website page also gives the original response that Bishop Drainey gave to questions from the Tablet.

This response does include the "radical re-examination" paragraph that the Tablet reported, and I guess that the Tablet will argue that they did not misrepresent the Bishop or "massage the facts." There is reasonable ground for debate about the matter, but the important thing to my mind is that Bishop Drainey has shown that it is perfectly possible for Bishops to use the new media to present their side of a case in the public square. Using his own diocesan website rather than relying on the Tablet to publish his letter is also a wise tactic.
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