Why do we allow comments on some posts but not on others?

It's vital to have forums where Catholics can express their opinions freely (AP)

Over the past few days several people have asked me why we allow comments on some posts and not on others. I thought it might be helpful to explain why here.

We recently decided to turn comments off on all news stories, bringing us in line with big web news sites such as the Telegraph. A technical glitch means that comments are sometimes suddenly turned on on our news posts. When this happens we turn them off again as soon as possible and we are working to fix this problem.

One benefit of this decision is that comments are now focused on items in our Comment and Blogs section, and we are able to pay them close attention.

We want readers to be able to comment on all items in our Comment section, but occasionally we have to turn the comments off. Why? Usually for legal reasons and with the greatest reluctance.

We want you to know that we appreciate your comments. We and other readers gain a lot from your insights. We think it’s vital to have forums where Catholics can express their opinions freely, within the constraints of the law, and will work hard to ensure that this site remains one of those places.


The Catholic Herald comment guidelines
At The Catholic Herald we want our articles to provoke spirited and lively debate. We also want to ensure the discussions hosted on our website are carried out in civil terms.

All commenters are therefore politely asked to ensure that their posts respond directly to points raised in the particular article or by fellow contributors, and that all responses are respectful.

We implement a strict moderation policy and reserve the right to delete comments that we believe contravene our guidelines. Here are a few key things to bear in mind when com

Do not make personal attacks on writers or fellow commenters – respond only to their arguments.
Comments that are deemed offensive, aggressive or off topic will be deleted.
Unsubstantiated claims and accusations about individuals or organisations will be deleted.
Keep comments concise. Comments of great length may be deleted.
We try to vet every comment, however if you would like to alert us to a particular posting please use the ‘Report’ button.

Thank you for your co-operation,
The Catholic Herald editorial team