Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Important Changes to Unam Sanctam Catholicam

Pax et bonum friends. For the past year, I have been hinting about some changes to the Unam Sanctam Catholicam website (see here and here). As most of you know, the USC web presence is two fold, consisting of a blog (which you are now reading), and a website, which currently can be found here. The blog hosts rants, reflections on current events, and spiritual musings; the website is for scholarly articles, featuring content that is of more perennial interest and often too long to be posted on a blog.

The Unam Sanctam blog you have all come to love is staying same as it ever was—complete with its outdated 2007 blogger theme and iconic hard-to-read white font on black background that Boomers consistently complain about, so no worries there! The major changes are coming to the website. The format is a super clunky, unsightly Joomla template from 2012. It's ugly and it sucks. And, I've barely touched it; I think I've only posted ten essays to it since 2017? It's in desperate need of an overhaul! So, over the past year, I have been migrating this content to a new, slicker looking WordPress site that is going to be infinitely easier to read. Lord willing, this new site will be ready to launch by June 29, our fifteenth year anniversary.

That being said, you can expect some changes on the new site:

(1) More Exclusive Focus on History. When I first created the Unam Sanctam sister site ten years ago, I envisioned it as a kind of clearinghouse for articles on all manner of subjects Catholics might take interest in: history, economics, moral problems, theology, liturgy, and even pop-culture. However, the way my own interests and professional life have developed since then, it's become clear that history is my strongest field by far. And honestly, whereas ten or fifteen years ago I happily prattled on about theology or canon law, time has honed the edges of my self-assurance to the point that I have recognized I am not competent to speak on many of those matters. So, on the new site, I will mostly stick to history and leave the theology to the theologians, canon law to the canonists, etc. The old classic articles on these subjects—like "Balthasar and the Faith of Christ" or "Collegiality: The Church's Pandora's Box"—will remain, but I will likely not post new content of that sort. If I do create such articles, they will probably be guest-posted on other websites more suited to these sorts of essays.

(2) The Movie Reviews are going away. One consequence of this new focus is that the movie reviews will be eliminated. I don't think anybody reads these anyway, and to be honest I have not really updated them regularly since 2017, so they are woefully out of date. And I simply no longer have time to write about them anymore (although, if you've ever met me in person, you know I still love to blather on about cinema whenever I can). But, since I will not be updating them anymore, is there anyone out there who wants the current batch of reviews? I think there are about 165 individual write ups. Is there any Catholic out there who has a film review site or is hoping to get one started and would like to adopt these 165 reviews for their project? If so, please email me at uscatholicam@gmail.com.

(3) Higher Quality of Content. The essays on the sister site were always of a more scholarly nature than on this blog, but the new site is going to up this even further in terms of scholarship. It is my intention that the new site become an encyclopedic repository of highly researched, academic articles that are suitable to be cited as sources or used for research purposes. I'm really excited about some of the new stuff I've been writing and I can't wait to share with you all. I've got some fascinating stuff on St. Hildegard, the Annals of Fulda, Pope Gregory VII's reform of the sacrament of penance, the first regional synod in the Philippines, and much more.

One thing about the migration: Though all of the existing articles will be migrated over, they will have different URLs. If you have certain articles from the site bookmarked, I suggest you make sure you copy the titles of those articles down somewhere so you can find them on the new site, as your bookmarks will no longer work in a few months. 

I want to thank all of you for your support over the years, especially those who contributed financially to help with this project. I do not make any money of this site, save for the few times a year when I hock some books or when a few people offer me a donation. Consequently, this project has moved very slowly, depending in large part on charity. Everyone who has helped, you are remembered in my prayers! And, if you'd still like to make a contribution, please email me at uscatholicam@gmail.com. 

In a recent article ("The End of Pop-Apologetics", Apr. 10, 2022), a commentor stated that "Blogging is nearly obsolete as a content delivery system. People want to have a video or audio file running in the background while they're at the gym or working from home. Few have the patience to read even something as short as this post." I don't know whether that observation is correct or not. But I do believe there will always be a need for and interest in thoughtful, well-written articles. However the Internet continues to unfold (and I can only assume it will just get stupider) I pray that Unam Sanctam Catholicam will continue to be a beacon of knowledge.

One final word: If anyone would like to be a contributor on the new site, I am always willing to collaborate. If you are like to write scholarly essays on historical subjects, I'd like to hear from you. You can help me make USC the biggest and best repository of original Catholic historical essays in the English language! Email me at uscatholicam@gmail.com if you want to help.

Blessings and grace friends!

Founder and Webmaster of all things USC


Anonymous said...

For my money, I prefer to read over watching a video.

Most of the videos have too long of an intro, dead air, and lots of "um" and "ah."

I only have 24 hours in a day. How many 15 minutes can I give away to someone who maybe has something interesting to say?

I do listen to podcasts, if they are interesting, while I do other things.

And articles I can always scan quickly, and read in more depth if it catches my eye.

("For my money" - Who am I kidding?!? I expect all this stuff for free! So no need to pay attention to my preferences.)

Anonymous said...

Before you get rid of movie reviews I'd love to hear your take on the show the Chosen. I've only seen bits of it but it seems really cheesey and the fact that it's universally acclaimed by evangelicals makes me even more skeptical

Boniface said...

@Anon May 19:

Sure! I'll do a post on the Chosen

Anonymous said...

Great! I look forward to it!