Bloggers clerical and lay can attract pedantic and unwanted attention. It’s not all that different to the sort of attention priests encounter in the parish from aggrieved faithful.
Even the saintly Curé of Ars was frequently confronted by parishioners demanding he reform his ways. His typical response included a gracious apology and a plea for prayers for his conversion. But bystanders who knew Vianney well noticed that at such times, he often wrung his hands until his knuckles were white – a sign, they said, that his patience was tested, and he was making every effort not to reply with a reasoned explanation and a curt dismissal.
Fr James Martin has supplied us with the digital equivalent! He does a good job satirizing the provocative and often willful misinterpretations some commenters attach to blog posts. Here’s a sample:
Me: I love Jesus.
Father Martin, with all due respect, I don’t mean to be critical, particularly to a priest, but I am compelled to point out that in your most recent post, you didn’t say “Jesus Christ.” As you know, Christ, from the Greek word Christos, meaning the Anointed One (years ago, all Jesuits understood Greek, but perhaps no longer), is the nomenclature that Holy Mother Church uses to signify Our Lord’s divinity. Father, do you somehow not believe in the divinity of Our Blessed Lord?
And on it goes, to hilarious effect.
(I hasten to add that my personal experience is quite different. I’ve received the odd comment which misrepresents me, or personally attacks me, but I have found in every case that if I send a personal email with a conciliatory tone, differences are quickly resolved.)