South African Catholic actually owes its birth to the fact the Southern Cross was once entirely void of an internet presence.
Back then, in the stone age, I was known as a Catholic apologist, a blogger: seldom political, and creater of a search engine of the Vatican: better than the Vatican's own blind fumblings at the search world.
But, my fascination, my obsession with the Continent: my continent: Africa: meant that I wanted search results for events here. Or RSS or something. CISA (hereinafter CISA; that is Catholic Information Service for Africa) spoke of Africa, but their website was impossible.
I begged the Southern Cross to let me Blog their articles. I pleaded, and instead got the right to discuss them, as critically as I should choose. I did. Kindly. Then critically. A good friendship emerged.
A storm however changed the shadows of time and space. I was contacted by a person from media, who informed me of their strict view: that the Southern Cross were not good friends.
It turned out they published more anti-Catholic than Catholic letters: Cardinal Napier told us, calling them anti-magisterial (anti-Vatican). But he wouldn't bring his own newspaper, on which board sat his inferior Chris Townsend: under raps.
The Southern Cross promoted legal abortion, gay rights, condoms, sedevacanists: all while contradicting anything the Vatican said as false.
I had Catholic Culture review their website with the note that they sold their product in Parishes officially for the Bishops. I noted their failings. A review came out attacking them.
The offer I had to help the Vatican design a new search engine, and that to help set up a specialist news service for the SACBC soon fell away: especially when I caught out an ally of theirs' abusing Vatican charity funds to support anti-Catholic political campaigns. They were forced out of office, following Vatican activity on the SACNS.
It was then that the Southern Cross launched their new website, finally giving the SACNS a minor competitor online: in our own water territories.
CISA, allied with them, and started to Blog for them. The Church also now has the paper which organised to have the new mass trashed, after the Bishops in charge of it introduced a version early: the church now has it explain, "justify" such mass.
So, if one goes on this new website, easily linked to by Radio Veritas, and other Catholic media locally: but not by us: one finds a basic platform: the type non-IT types update easily.
What is lacking, in this pseudo-independent media; ironically is independence. Articles are either clearly from the SACBC: some figure demanding them, or else fitting a specific liberal, secularist almost ex Catholic worldview.
Sadly for the Southern Cross: such publications are a dime a dozen: especially among local media.
Even more sadly: their site disappoints.
Even if their contents didn't, their site is only mediocre, if even that.
SACNS was founded to create a Catholic web presence in South and Southern Africa: because I thought Southern Cross articles, or some Catholic view needed to go online: even if I had to write some of my own articles.
Ironically: that very fact: is why we compete in a small but powerful way: independent of the Bishops: yet successfully against the Southern Cross.
At a total operations cost of about R 1 000 a year, it isn't bad that we compete online with much larger services.
Sadly, CISA and others, who's value I can't determine, as they truly enter so little into the debate: have sided with the Southern Cross over their own independence. At present I know of only two Southern African Catholic Voices: SACNS and our allies etc, and the Southern Cross.
But the latter, even if it were loyal: hardly competes. It is marketed sorely by almost every parish priest, but hardly grows. It is neither fascinating nor independent where other services are. It isn't original, and its views are clear and in opposition with what those same priests promoting it, same bishops publishing it promulgated!
A site of mixed opinions, all most confusing than the last: helps explain why 90 percent of Johannesburg Catholics have left the Church. Though other contradictions more strongly evidence this contradiction in terms, that is at work within the SACBC.
What gospel is preached, when the gospel itself is the enemy of so many claiming to be within the City of God?
We obey our rulers in what they say not what they do: as long as they don't contradict the magisterium or good morals: yet, what sadness when the lives of the church's servants are so undedicated to the gospel, as to allow it to be slandered right within the very walls of the church!