Pope Benedict tells Priests to start blogging
The Holy Father is taking this year’s World Communications Day as an opportunity to encourage Priests to make better use of blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media to connect with their congregations and, even more importantly, spread the Gospel to those “who have not heard”.
Responding adequately to this challenge amid today’s cultural shifts, to which young people are especially sensitive, necessarily involves using new communications technologies. The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul’s exclamation: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16) The increased availability of the new technologies demands greater responsibility on the part of those called to proclaim the Word, but it also requires them to become become more focused, efficient and compelling in their efforts. Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word.
The Church has always attempted to use current communications tools to reach as many people as possible, from the first mass produced Bibles, to Mother Angelica’s creation of EWTN, to Notre Dame’s current widespread use of iTunes and it’s website for live Mass broadcasts and other Church events and news. The Church has had as reputation as obstinate and unchanging, a perception that the Holy Father seems intent on changing.
How big of a role should blogs and other social networking play in the everyday duties of Priests, Pastors and other local-level Church leaders?