Monday, August 20, 2007

Turn and face the strain...

This year has witnessed significant changes in the Catholic blogosphere. Earlier, Dom Bettinelli had taken Bettnet in a less news-oriented, more introspective direction, after joining the Archdiocese of Boston as a full time employee. More recently, Amy Welborn has done the same, shutting down Open Book, and inaugurating the more reflective Charlotte was Both.

Last and not least, author Stephen Hand has shut down Traditional Catholic Reflections and Reports after nearly eight years online. Stephen was a true original, transforming himself over time from an avowed radical traditionalist in defiance of Rome, to a "papal traditionalist" Catholic firmly integrated with Rome. His social and political commentary defied the usual left/right paradigm. Six years ago, he graciously published my first online-only piece, "By the Waters of Babylon," an eyewitness account of 9/11 in Washington. His departure from the Web has been contemplated for some time, and now the deed is done, as has been done with his accompanying TCR Musings blog.

People have wondered who would replace some of the above. There are those of us have come to appreciate the level of dedication involved in maintaining a continuous online presence. Anyone can get the attention of the crowd; few can keep it. Stephen did kept it as few others have. Yet they say that when God closes a door, he opens a window.

"Just gonna have to be a different man."

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