Pope Francis is encouraging his flock to spread the church’s message with digital smiles.
Archbishop Eamon Martin has issued the guidelines on Twitter, with the tone reflecting the Ten Commandments. Whilst urging positivity and a sense of humour, he warns of not bombarding people.
He is quoted as saying, “I see the Internet as being like the new ‘Athens’, a new marketplace or Areopagus, a global village to be won for Christ.”
With lots of Catholic outlets spreading the message across all the major social media platforms,, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
- Faith in God @PrayInFaith – quotes and biblical passages about faith and prayer
- Pope Francis (@Pontifex) gives his advice to his Catholic digital disciples: no ‘funeral faces’ or ‘sourpusses’.
Other advice includes to take online insults and criticism in good heart and to find a way to “pray” and meditate online. There are probably some things in here worth stealing (hang on… I mean borrowing) for your own social media strategy.
The Archbishop’s digital 10 Commandments:
1. Be positive and joyful. Offer ‘digital smiles’ and have a sense of humour.
2. Strictly avoid aggression and ‘preachiness’ online; try not to be judgmental or polemical.
3. Never bear false witness on the internet.
4. Fill the internet with charity and love, always giving rather than taking.
5. Have a broad back when criticisms and insults are made – when possible, gently correct.
6. Pray in the digital world. Establish sacred spaces, opportunities for stillness, reflection and meditation.
7. Establish connections, relationships and build communion.
8. Educate our young to keep themselves safe and to use the internet responsibly.
9. Witness to human dignity at all times online. We are well aware of the pervasive prevalence of pornography on the internet which can ‘pollute the spirit’.
10. Be missionary, be aware that with the help of the internet, a message has the potential to reach the ends of the earth in seconds.
— CatholicBishops (@CatholicBishops) May 21, 2014
Fi Bendall is the managing director of Bendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.