Vatican releases guest list for blogging conference

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican has released the list of 150 Catholic bloggers who will be attending a one-day meeting designed as “the beginning of a dialogue” between church officials in Rome and the blogosphere.

Among the better-known English-language bloggers attending the May 2 session are Anna Arco, Elizabeth Scalia, Paolo Rodari, Rocco Palmo and Thomas Peters. Our own Carol Glatz will be participating for Catholic News Service.

The meeting is being sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Pontifical Council for Culture. Richard Rouse, who works at the council for culture, said the Vatican had to choose from more than 750 requests from would-be participants. In making the selections, they tried to ensure a broad representation.

“There are some famous bloggers and some new bloggers, some are institutional, others personal, some tell vocational stories and others comment on international news or local issues. Some are well-financed, most are run on a shoestring,” Rouse said in a statement.

While some pre-choices were made, he said, for the final selection they simply gave each blogger a number and had someone choose numbers randomly.

“I hope those not on the list will not feel excluded. The bloggers present in the room will surely keep you informed and engaged. They may even organize a livestream,” Rouse said.

The Vatican made clear — lest there was any doubt — that it will not be covering the participants’ travel expenses. And it added the kind of disclaimer one might expect from the Santa Sede: “Selection to attend does not imply Vatican approval of the contents of any of the blogs.  Neither does non-selection imply disapproval.”

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