To much fanfare and approbation, Boston College launched its special seminar series on the Church in the 21st Century, billed as a response to the Scandal.At the time, most people used to the actions of the heterodox rightly suspected that the series was a thin cover for fomenting dissent from Church teaching. Oh sure, they invited orthodox speakers like George Weigel, but when Weigel comes they give him the smallest lecture hall possible even as hundreds of people overflowed into the halls. Yet, for their other ill-attended events featuring heterodox speakers, they set aside the big fancy halls.
Of course, BC officials also said that the forum wasn’t about questioning the Church’s teachings, but about discussing the root causes of the Scandal. Did any of you believe that either?
In today’s Boston Globe, the leaders of the seminar hail the series as an unqualified success and look to expand its scope. First, was it as big of a success as they say? They claim that 13,000 people attended 75 events over the past year. But 4,000 of those people attended the opening event. That leaves 9,000 people spread over 74 events. Subtract the 1,000 people who attended Weigel’s speech. That’s an average of 110 people per event. Not exactly an overwhelming number, especially when you consider how many Catholics are in Boston and even how Voice of the Faithful members they claim to have.
They also tout the fact that they’ve had 27,000(!) visitors to their website. So what? Look at my page counter at the left. I’ve had almost 120,000 visitors since the end of last October and this isn’t even that popular or important of a web site.