Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Thinking Globally, Whining Locally

One of the peculiarities of the modern media world is that it's far easier to find a plethora of world-wide information on a hot topic than it is to know what may be going on in regard to the same issue locally. Things that are big or exciting enough to become "news" can be well known world-wide, while things which don't hit a major news outlet's radar can be difficult to find out. (Which is easier for you: know what your US Senator has said lately or know how your city councilman is spending your property taxes?)

Even for those who are passionately interested in a topic, getting good local information is often difficult. Thus, many of us know more about what goes on in the Vatican and what the USCCB has said lately than what our local bishops are doing about particular issues.

With this comes a certain danger, which I often feel myself falling into, of taking all problems you hear about on a national level and read them down to the local level wherever you happen to be. Thus, you often see concerned lay people writing that they would never allow their sons within ten feet of a priest, or saying they'll never give money to a diocesan appear again because it just goes to settlement fees. Yet except for those living in the one or two dozen notorious diocese such as Los Angeles and Boston, it's hard to know what if anything is going wrong in your own diocese -- if anything. There are 194 diocese in the US, and most of them we never hear anything about. In our own case, we seldom hear anything about our diocese other than what comes through the in the diocesan newspaper and what we hear around the parish.

There's not a quick and easy other than a healthy dose of calmness and skepticism before blowing one's top. It's so easy to live in the ether of global and national news without ever coming down to roost locally that I'm not sure it can ever quite be avoided. The area that we know from personal experience is often pretty small, and what we know beyond that is very much filtered through where we hear about it.

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