...is it kind, is it necessary?" These useful questions are a quick reminder for bloggers, and their commentators. I have been sent some comments that will not be published, because their authors failed to get this right.
One correspondent announced to me that an archbishop had written, in an official letter, something that the archbishop had certainly not written. Because my immediate instinct was to check the facts, I didn't make the mistake of slandering the archbishop. I checked to see what he had actually written, and it didn't include the words about which my correspondent was waxing indignant.
Some correspondents simply write angry stuff, others are fond of predictions. The "Fatimists" - the campaigners who assert that St John Paul and Papa Benedict XVI were/are part of A Great Conspiracy to Silence the Real Secret, and all that - have got odder and odder. One of their number announced a little while back that Pope Francis isn't really the Pope. Another had confidently asserted that A Norfle Dreadful Catastrophe could be expected in April when St John Paul was canonised (several of these people were obsessed with trying to stop the canonisation of St JP) but the day passed joyfully in the soft golden sunshine of a Roman spring, and he fell silent...
Here's the basic rule, to be applied to all of us when sharing information or chatting about some topic or person of interest: "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?"