Some Technical Questions About Clerical Bloggers

Some questions for those priests or deacons or canonists that might be so kind as to answer me.

1. Can a bishop give a blanket ban on “blogging” in his diocese? For example, by stating “blogging tends to inevitably become judgmental and divisive, and fosters divisions; therefore, I command that no priest or deacon of this diocese run a blog”. 

2. Can this “blanket”, “preventative” ban be extended to other social activities; like, say: Twitter, Facebook, or taking part to discussion fora?

3. If a Bishop does not like an already existing blog of a cleric, can he order the priest or deacon to shut it down, or even to delete the entire content as, say, “Proto-Lefebvrian”?

4. If a Bishop is allowed to shut down or forbid clerics from such activity because they “spend” in some way the name of the diocese, can he forbid that they take part to these activities anonymously, either as, say, “Dealbabor ;)”, or in a generic way, like “TraddyPriest”, but with no link to the Diocese? I know the one or other might blog anonymously anyway; but I am asking whether this would be in violation of their duty of obedience to the Bishop in a matter in which the bishop has a legitimate right to expect obedience, or not.

If any person in possession of detailed knowledge in the matter can give me such information, I would be very grateful. Desires for anonymity or non publication of the information provided will obviously be respected.

Once we have the canonical situation clearer, we will be able to better gauge the danger for the blogging activity of clerics in general; which, I am sure, does not worry only myself but many of my readers, too. 

Many thanks in advance.


Posted on March 19, 2014, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. M, I think your first point should read “Can a bishop … ” rather than a priest.

  2. I copy this from a comment on ‘Harvesting the Fruit of Vatican II’ as requested by the poster ‘Catholic at Rome’.

    If anyone can post a comment at Mundabor’s blog, please cross post this…on his post seeking canonical advise regarding silencing bloggers…
    see canons 49 §2, especially the commentary in the Università della Santa Croce edition, n. 5, edited by Juan Ignacio Arrieta, p. 102: «b) il precetto, pur se qualificato come atto amministrativo, viene descritto, in linea con la tradizione, quale atto singolare (ossia diretto ad una o più persone determinate) di indole imperativa: si tratta di un ordine diretto di fare o non fare alcunché. Tale ordine deve essere legittimo in un duplice senso: in primo luogo, chi lo impone deve essere competente sia in ordine alla persona che alla materia; in secondo luogo, quanto esigito attraverso il precetto deve rientrare tra i doveri che la legge cononica impone al destinatario. ecc…thus any written discourse which does not show disrespect for legittimate authority and defends the faith and opposes scandal, cannot in my opinion be forbidden by a bishop for any priest or deacon, since in virtue of their faculties to proclaim the Gospel they have the right and duty to speak on all matters which touch the divine, moral, natural, or evangelical laws…

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