Last Thursday, The Revealer shared a stage at the Yale Divinity School with a panel of journalists talking about “The Belief Beat.” Among them were Michael Paulson, a member of the Boston Globe team that won a Pulitzer for its coverage of the Catholic Church’s priest problem, and Peter Steinfels, a New York Times “Beliefs” columnist and author of A People Adrift: The Crisis of the Roman Catholic Church in America.

Paulson and Steinfels are both brilliant reporters. When it comes to Catholicism, they’re two of the most knowledgeable journalists in the secular press. So what does it mean that both consider St. Blog’s Parish outside their beat?

Paulson was quick to note that the internet had transformed the grumblings of a few into the revolt of many, as the laity formed online communities to trade information about abusive priests, but he was speaking primarily of email; St. Blog’s, he said, was not as influential.

Steinfels, meanwhile, said he had never been to “this St. Blog’s site.”

So The Revealer wonders: Just how big is St. Blog’s? And how much does it matter to the future of the Church? This is not just a question for Catholics, but for all bloggers — can blog communities genuinely challenge or transform real-world communities? Or are they simply steam valves for malcontents, exhibitionists, and know-it-alls? Discuss.

In the meantime, we’ll grant St. Blog’s the benefit of the doubt, with a Sunday walkabout of its pews…

Christopher Blosser takes up the Revealer discussion of St. Blog’s that began here and herea couple of weeks ago on Against the Grain. Of interest even to those not immersed in the theological disputes over Vatican II are Blosser’s thoughts on the authority of St. Blog’s Parish to question Church governance.

Barbara Nicolosi, director of the Act One Christian screenwriting program, offers up a list of books she thinks would make great Catholic movies on Church of the Masses. Several focus on religion in the former Soviet Union — a story that does indeed await great cinematic adaptation, and may receive it the further we get from the hot-headedness of the cold war.

Todd, of Catholic Sensibilities (a new addition to The Revealer‘s St. Blog’s guide) responds to Amy Wellborn‘s thoughts on “getting mad (or not) at liturgy.” Todd on a very old media: “Liturgy is not the time to compose a thoughtful protest. If a distraction pops up, set it aside and return to focus. Ongoing analysis of hypocrisy, illicit or invalid things, heresy, or even the pedestrian values of incompetence, comedy, or accidental satire are not asked for — not by God anyway.”

A Saintly Salmagundi points us to a springtime special (think mint juleps), Walker Percy‘s essay on bourbon.

And Irish Elk, another new addition to The Revealer guide, takes the measure of architectural plans for Domino’s Pizza titan Thomas Monaghan founder Ave Maria University: “A previous cathedral financed by Monaghan, in Managua, resembles a Moorish wastewater treatment plant.” Elk rounds up the complaints of the faithful, including one believer who Monaghan’s“crystal-methane-greenhouse-effect excuse for a church.”