Thursday, 22 December 2011

Of what use is a Diocesan website?

Is it to inform, educate and enlighten?

Well, virtually impossible, yes!
 Is it to help guide those in need of advice (whether that be where to find a Mass or how to find out more about the one true faith?)
Or, is it to show what a good job the Bish and his team are doing?

Or (yet again), is it just an ignored bit of new technology drudgery that has to be done?

I guess that all four could apply to many if not all of the Diocesan websites around England and Wales.

Their Lordships are still fixated in communicating via the medium of stone blocks for all the interest that they take in what is undoubtedly the most radical advance in communications (and, therefore, evangelisation methods) since semaphore.

This blog must appear as if it is one mega whinge about Bishops but, it's only because, when faced with crass mediocrity, I tend to get a bit ratty.

It is not hard to do a job well, in fact, it requires precisely the same amount of effort as doing a job badly.

But let's cut to the chase; let me take the Archdiocese of Westminster website for a start (I do hope none of my blogging friends had a hand in this).

The site carries an A to Z directory of any parish within its boundaries and the theory is that, with one click you are within striking distance of the parish (as opposed to Diocesan) website.

This is fine except that, it assumes that you know there is a parish church in this town or village in the first place.
Often there is not (as I have discovered) so then what do you do?

Ah, some thoughtful soul in Westminster has added a map so that you may zoom in on the area of your choice and see where the churches are by the little red blobs.

Only trouble is, it is so mind blowingly slow a process that a 3 legged geriatric tortoise could walk the distance before you can bring it up on the map. Bah!

And when you do finally get to the parish of your choice you make two interesting discoveries.

A Leap Year and an 'r' in the Month?
Gotta be a Latin Mass next Sunday

The first is that they only list regular Masses. So, feasts such as The Nativity and all the associated Masses are NOT listed - but this is only one of two occasions in the year when a lapsed Catholic might return to Mass!

What are they thinking of?

And second (a disgraceful second) is that, should the parish feature, at any time (like the fifth Sunday of the month every Leap Year) an EF Mass, it does not appear on the website, or, in my experience, on the church notice board.

Why do some priests ignore the Latin Mass when it comes to church notices?

This is not an isolated example, I believe that most parish or Diocesan sites fail in this respect.

One might almost think that there was a conspiracy against the TLM - oh, come, come!


  1. If my memory serves me WC has never advertised in its printed parish newsletter, nor on the diocesan web, the twice-yearly LMS Masses. The once-a month (?) EF Mass in the Lady chapel on - you guessed it - Saturday afternoon appears to be something nice people shouldn't mention.
    Some diocesan websites appear to be paeons to their Dear Leader. Most are hopelessly amateur. So much treasure to be mined. So much treasure remains buried.

  2. Never a truer word was said... This is why Catholic bloggers are so important for spreading the word about what is really going on.

    Last Saturday night in the centre of Manchester at Holy Name it was difficult to get in the queue for confession there were so many young men (of all ethnicities) kneeling in prayer outside the confessional boxes!! Young men waiting for confession on the Saturday night before Christmas Eve, alongside Eucharistic Adoration - what's going on?? You wouldn't imagine such activities if all you looked at were the deadpan diocesan websites!!

  3. Oh, yes, the question of publicizing that divisive Mass in the extraordinary form! Our wonderful priest offered the EF Mass every Sunday for almost a year - for the 6 people who usually attended (2 schola members, 2 servers, and 2 in the pews). Why didn't more people attend? Let's see: first, the time of the Mass changed from week to week. Second, the parish bulletin didn't list the EF Mass in the schedule (which would have been difficult, of course, given the elusive nature of the appointed time for the Mass).
    Now, after a 4-month hiatus, Father is trying to offer the Mass again, but he wants to see more people attending. I maintain that that will NOT happen as long as we're relegated to an odd time which changes frequently, and as long as there is no mention of it in the bulletin.