As you may have heard, the pope recently encouraged Roman Catholic priests to start blogging. Start? What have they been waiting for? If social media is all about building community, this is precisely what “communities” of faith should have been doing all along.
Sure, Benedict himself still writes out his speeches and sermons by hand in German. Probably on those yellow legal pads. But he’s now encouraging younger clergy to get out into this new-fangled thing called the World Wide Web. It’s unclear how this was communicated from the Vatican hierarchy: snail mail, fax, carrier pigeon, or message in a bottle.
His message, released on the Catholic Church’s World Day of Communications (who knew they had one?), has gotten a lot of press. Here’s the article from MSNBC titled “Pope to priests: For God’s sake, blog!” My friend, fellow blogger, author, and communications expert Meredith Gould (herself a Roman Catholic) grieves ”the too-pervasive lack of awareness and understanding about the power and value of digital communications” by the Catholic leadership. Check out her recent post on the subject here.
I’m hardly an expert blogger. At least on the technology side: I’ve been blogging for a year and a half and I can’t even figure out how to add a Twitter widget! But I do look at this as part of my ministry; an extension of the pulpit. Though of course I can have a bit more fun with such an informal medium and I cherish the back and forth with those of you willing to leave comments.
Meredith concludes her post by expressing pride in the Catholic clerics who have embraced digital media. “But does the Pope and his advisers truly think average parish priests have either the time or talent to blog on a regular basis? Will they have the freedom?” It’s a good question — I’m interested in seeing ( and reading) the answer.