Catholic commentator George Weigel doesn’t want fellow Catholics reading aggressive conservative Catholic websites, like (presumably) Lifesite News, One Peter Five, and Church Militant:
“Resolve to limit your exposure to the Catholic blogosphere. In 2019, many Catholic websites went bonkers. There is no need to click on sites that specialize in all-hysteria or all-propaganda all-the-time. If you want reliable Catholic news, visit the websites of Catholic News Agency and the National Catholic Register. If you want sane commentary on the turbulent Catholic scene, go to the websites of Catholic World Report, First Things, and The Catholic Thing. That’s more than enough for anyone. Limiting your blogosphere browsing to these sites, while ignoring the hysteria-mongers and propagandists, will lower your blood pressure while keeping you well-informed.”
Well. I can’t fault his recommendations for those websites at all. They’re all quite good, and I check in with them regularly. But it’s more than a bit rich in 2020, after events of the last two decades, for Weigel to put down those other websites. He’s right that they at times lead with their passions, and go beyond what the knowable facts state. That’s something that readers should know going in. That said, it pays to remember what the Catholic journalist Ross Douthat has said about conspiracy theories:
“[W]hen I was starting my career as a journalist I sometimes brushed up against people peddling a story about a network of predators in the Catholic hierarchy — not just pedophile priests, but a self-protecting cabal above them — that seemed like a classic case of the paranoid style, a wild overstatement of the scandal’s scope. I dismissed them then as conspiracy theorists, and indeed they had many of conspiracism’s vices — above all, a desire to believe that the scandal they were describing could be laid entirely at the door of their theological enemies, liberal or traditional.
“But on many important points and important names, they were simply right….”
The above comes from a Jan. 6 story on the American Conservative by Rod Dreher.