Even as bricks-and-mortar churches close, Catholicism thrives online in a vast, argumentative, virtual cathedral known as “St. Blog’s Parish.” Catholic bloggers have to a large extent stolen whatever thunder remained in the Catholic print press. These days, readers interested in Catholic responses to the news, pop culture, or the Pope’s every move are often better off searching the pews of St. Blog’s Parish. Below are some of its more vocal members.

A Catholic Blog For Lovers, it should be noted, also boasts of its “nastiness.”

Against the Grain is the work of the creator of the “Cardinal Ratzinger Fan Club.” For real.

Catholic and Enjoying It! — Mark Shea’s popular, two-fisted, conservative blog proves “tough love” wins hearts and minds in St. Blog’s Parish.

Catholic Observer: Stephen Haliczer puts the Catholic Church in historical perspective with long-form essays that place the contemporary church in a historical perspective.

Catholic Sensibility, in this case, mean well-written dispatches from the life of a liturgist in Kansas City. A gentler tone than many of the blogs here.

Church of the Masses is a favorite of The Revealer‘s; we’ve written about its creator, Barbara Nicolosi, here.

The Curt Jester is a blog of wise-ass musings on the media, politics, and things “Papist.” His word, not ours.

We liked Disputations‘ motto — ”For true and false will in no better way be revealed and uncovered than in resistance to a contradiction.” (St. Thomas Aquinas) — so much we added it to The Revealer‘s revolving carousel of mottos, too.

Fish Eaters: Apologetics and Traditional Catholic Instruction is an excellent introduction to the “traditionalist” Catholic movement that considers the Latin mass the high point of institutionalized religion. We especially recommend the audio conversion tales — one begins “Oy vey! What’s a nice Jewish girl doing in a place like this?”

Fructus Ventris combines Catholic musing with great baby advice, from — of course — a Catholic midwife.

Irish Elk: Conservative politics take second place to sharp and funny jibes on this Catholic-concerned blog by journalist Mark Sullivan.

Open Book is a smart, literary-minded blog by writer Amy Wellborn.

Progressive Catholic Reflections pretty much describes itself; worth noting in the predominantly conservative Catholic blogosphere.

Relapsed Catholic is one of the oldest God blogs on the web, and despite its occasional ferocity — or maybe because of it — one of the best. Its creator, Kathy Shaidle, took part in a spirited Revealer conversation here.

ReVersion 2.0 is newly conservative Catholic’s view of life and Mass, well-written and honest. More than a personal blogger, Nicole B. has a good ear for odd turns in the cultural conversation and a talent for short form writing.

A Saintly Salmagundi features a picture of the Virgin with a club, labeled “Mary, Exterminatrix of Heresies.” This site is maintained by a priest — one we can’t imagine confessing to. But he does have a keen eye for the absurd.

Santificarnos is a good blog for following current affairs and Catholicism in Spain, where one of its four contributors — a former Anglican — resides. Three of the four contributors include annulment in their bios.

Shrine of the Holy Whapping is a cheeky, history-minded blog by self-described “Catholic nerds” at Notre Dame.

St. Blog’s Cookbook — not a metaphor.

Summa Mamas contains personal stories, book reviews, lay sermons, and good-natured rants from three Catholic mothers, “one organic, one fun, one old.”

Surum Corda is an elegant selection of ideas, sermons, and prayers that tries to remain above the fray.

Julie at Theoscope teaches the history of rock at a Catholic school. Take that, heathen Jack Black!

Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor offers wide-ranging conservative cultural commentary from a “reverted” Catholic whose favorite religious movie is Babette’s Feast.

St. Blog’s Parish Webring is a partial guide to many more, some current, some not.

St. Blog’s Parish Hall — the place for St. Bloggers to talk about and to each other.

Although it’s an “ecumeniblog,” the sharply written Ut Unum Sint angles toward Catholicism.

Whispers in the Loggia‘s commentary on church politics runs the gamut from pious to biting.

Much more to come. Please write with your nominations — Name of site, url, and why you think it’s one of the best.

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