Yet here is the ugly truth nobody wants to confront. By its very nature, the Catholic blogosphere is an insular echo chamber.
The way the Catholic blogosphere is designed is so that you will never have to get any news you don't want to. Blogs typically link only with blogs they agree with. Patheos in particular is mostly an insular community: they spend time congratulating each other in front of a mostly friendly audience. Very rarely do people link to an alternative viewpoint, because a lot of times that alternative viewpoint is spiritually dangerous.
Why is this happening?
Whether we like it or not, the Catholic Church, especially in America, is undergoing an institutional collapse. This collapse did not happen as a result of splendid leadership. While some of it was out of the control of Church leaders, many of the declines the Church in America faces were conscious choices that had the opposite result of what was predicted.
When an institution collapses, a power vacuum occurs. As nature abhors a vacuum, various personalities will attempt to undertake the mantle of authority. Since none of them are strong enough to provide centralized leadership (as the leaders themselves are normally products of the culture behind such a collapse), what you typically get is the equivalent of commentator warlords who carve up their own little niche kingdom. In their kingdom, they are the guardians of orthodoxy.
They will tell their subjects what is true, and what isn't. They will also remind them (in ways subtle and not so) that without them, it's a pretty scary world out there. If you don't have their commentary, you have to get it from them. They will lie to you. "Pope Francis" [then-Cardinal Bergoglio] called it something else. He called it "The Self-Referential Church."
When we descend into warlordism, we are too busy trying to defend our little fiefdoms, and only give glory to members of the same tribe.
HT: Steve Hays