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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fr. Orsi Article on Blogging and Calumny

Here is an interesting article by Fr. Orsi entitled "Calumny in the blogosphere" that appears in the June 2008 issue of Homiletic and Pastoral Review. I think Fr. Orsi makes some very good points about calumnious blogging. I agree with him that calumnious blogging is a concern, especially because it is so easy for people to act uncharitably behind the mask of anonymity. So, thank you, Fr. Orsi, for your insights.

What is calumny, you ask? Fr. Orsi gives the American Heritage Dictionary definition: "a false statement maliciously made to injure another's reputation."

Here is an example of non-calumny: Mr. Monaghan committed an objectively evil act by seeking the termination of a tenured professor on exaggerated and/or false harassment charges.

And here is an example of calumny: Thales is mean and his earlier statement a line above this one about Mr. Monaghan is calumnious.

UPDATE: I thought that I should clarify the point that I am making in the main post.

I wholeheartedly agree with Fr. Orsi that calumnious blogging is damaging and uncharitable. I also want to remind everyone that untruthful accusations that someone is being calumnious, is itself calumny. Restraint is necessary on all sides of blog debates. Speaking for myself, I am confident that I have never engaged in calumny and I stand by every word that I have written on Fumare.