Thank you, Deacon Martinez, for your letter. It's the first time in my recollection that a member of the ordained clergy in good standing on Guam has acknowledged in the public media there are problems. I hope that you will not face any reprisals for what you have written.
My prayer for the Church here is that its many secrets will be replaced with an honest transparency and that our evangelistic and catechetical efforts will reflect the legitimate diversity of Jesus's flock.
Dear Deacon Steve, I respect your opinion. However, I have to disagree. Internet blogs can be useful as forums to share thoughts. But there are minimal cultural expectations blogs have to keep in order to be considered worthy to read. In most European and mainland American blogs with wider readership there are some unwritten rules followed that enforce these expectations and make the ensuing conversations possible. These basic rules are simply not followed at JungleWatch.
As a former commenter at Tim Rohr's blog, I was greatly embarrassed to see that many of my comments challenging Tim's position were simply censured out. When I protested, Tim stole my profile picture from social media and posted it on his blog, together with my workplace information including my office location and phone number. It was such an abuse of trust that would never ever happen at any of the above mentioned culturally acceptable blog sites.
I warned Tim about a year ago that his methods of managing his blog are intellectually dishonest. You may read about this more here: http://www.johntreed.com/debate.html . Then, a mob of anonymous comment-trolls were unleashed on me, trying to silence and chase me away from his blog. I suspended my comments altogether under these culturally unacceptable circumstances. So it is completely justified to call these kinds of "grey matter" blogs like JungleWatch, that do not follow a required minimum in fairness and conduct, trash blogs and hate blogs as these terminus exactly describe and cover their scopes.
If you, dear Deacon Steve, want to have meaningful exchanges of ideas to happen on blogs, you have to establish one with minimal cultural expectations. In particular, you have to ensure that
1. only registered persons can make comments; 2. anyone who makes a comment is identifiable by IP code; 3. no anonymous comments are possible; 4. there is an unbiased team of moderators who make moderation decisions by consent; 5. common Internet blog protocols on acceptable vocabulary and conduct are enforced.
I wish you good luck in acting on your idea by establishing a suitable framework for further, culturally acceptable exchange of thoughts and opinions.
Let me emphasize: anonymous comments are possible on blogs because the owner of the blog validates the "anonymous" comment option. It is a deliberate choice of the owner, an invitation in fact, to make anonymous comments. It is possible only because the owner wanted it that way! Anyway, it is popular feature on trash blogs and hate blogs, where trouble makers hide behind anonymity.
However, if the owner of the blog invalidates this option, then no more anonymous comments can be made! Does it sound simple? Well, the technology to clean up the mess caused by anonymous comments is given. What else is needed? Only good intention from the particular blog's owner. Is there any good will and good intention?
It's unbelievable to see a deacon advocate a counter message to the shepherd. Many people have reported being so disturbed by these blogs that they can't go to sleep. Appropriately the archbishop's message which is the same as the nuncio, Archbishop Krebs is to stay away from these blogs but I never heard him say all blogs or all social media. Similarly, if the Archbishop says not to watch a particular movie which can lead you to sin, he is not saying do not watch "all" movies. Deacon Martinez seems to be advocating for us to watch the particular movie and figure it out yourself. If you sin,...well at least you are informed. Wow!