Cafod, the overseas aid agency that stands for all that is truest and best in Catholicism in
England and Wales, has allowed itself to succumb to a combination of trolling, platforming,
and the Catholic alt-right – that is, the mad-as-a-hatter version of American Catholicism. It
has issued and then withdrawn an invitation to a distinguished American theologian to give a lecture in London – then reissued it after second thoughts – because of the fuss his most recent book might cause.
“No-platforming” means refusing to invite to speak – or having invited, then cancelling – people whose opinions draw strong disapproval. It has legitimately been used to keep academic campuses clear of outright racists or fascists, on the grounds that the invitation itself conveys some support or approval for the speaker’s views.
Trolling is the practice of using Twitter, Facebook and other social media to bombard a target with insulting or threatening messages.
And the alt-right (or alternative right) is a grisly section of the internet occupied by extremists who reject mainstream conservative ideas, and is usually ultranationalistic, rabidly anti-liberal, racist, homophobic and misogynistic.
(from The Tablet)
Comment The Jesuit Institute South Africa: read more