There has been a rule on this site for years that any comment submitted for posting must have a name attached to it. It is true I have at times honored this more in the breach. Usually this is because comments "contrary" to my opinion tend to be more likely to be anonymous than those that "support", and I have wanted to avoid charges that I squelch comments from those who disagree. I don't. I enjoy the exchange of opinion that forms the real basis for blogs to flourish.
Don't get me wrong, favorable or complimentary comments are always welcome, and I am grateful. But it would be a boring combox indeed to have uniform agreement, and I am equally grateful for anyone who thinks enough of the site or the topic to take the time to disagree or add a unique take.
As you probably know, one of my favorite sites is Rorate Caeli, and I was disappointed when they decided to close the comboxes. Their reasons are their own, and I don't question them. For instance, their numbers dwarf my own, and they have been especially targeted by some with scandalous, libelous accusations. In short, they are big enough to be on radars that pass me by. I am content with my littleness, to quote St. Therese.
But enough people read this site (7 and counting) that it can sometimes do some good, as well as some bad, I dare say. All the more reason do I encourage comments of all varieties. I think one of the good things about comboxes in these troubled days is that it is easy to feel isolated when one tries to be Catholic. This blog, all Catholic blogs, can fill the need for a "virtual parish" and community.
What parish out there contains only persons who think identically? None, and so there is no such blog. Feel free to comment here.
However, here's the thing. Some are quick to ascribe the comboxers' opinions as the blogger's. Most don't, but some do. I have had some friends "ditch" my acquaintance for some things said by commenters in the box, because they held me responsible for them. I respectfully disagree with that position, with some reservations. I don't allow profanity, and I don't allow comments that promote schism or heresy, and I don't allow comments that encourage contumely for the Church or her shepherds. If these ever get through, it is by mistake on my part.
You have to decide; do you want free conversation and argument in the combox, or don't you? I do. I respect the decision of Rorate to drop them, but I think something important gets lost. Not everyone has an agenda, many just want to ask questions and try to pursue truth, get or give advice, seek or give encouragement, etc.
So, all that in mind, I will from now on ruthlessly enforce the "no anonymous comment" rule. This does not mean you have to give your real name or url or email. It just means you have to put a name, any name, to a post. Click "anonymous" and subscribe your post. Or better yet, choose "name/url" and put a name. Of course, google and blogger have their own ids which can be used if you prefer.
Thank you to everyone who reads, and to everyone who writes. God bless you all, and may Mary protect us in the days to come.