23 January, 2010

Pope calls on priests to use the internet to spread the faith!

Pope Benedict XVI issued a statement today in which he encourages priests throughout the world to better use the internet and all the virtual media to promote the cause of faith.

As a blogger, it does my heart good to receive this message from the Holy Father as it is evident that with a few exceptions, the Bishops of our lands have been slow to use these new mediums to spread the good news of Jesus. In fact, it is not at all uncommon for priests who have chosen to speak out for the faith to run afoul of their Bishops who are threatened by the clarity and faithfulness of their blogs and webpages in the promotion of our Catholic faith. Perhaps we might stand in better stead with the support of the Pope for our endeavors.

THANK YOU Pope Benedict... and thanks as well to Catholics everywhere who have taken up the challenge of promoting the faith in every venue possible, real or virtual.


  1. The first thing that came into my mind when I read about Pope Benedict and the internet.
    Will this bring more clergy out like Bishop Raymond Lahey from Nova Scotia? His famous laptop?

    Father Tim...just a motherly warning...I hear you may be on the internet a little too much? Please, do not be too angry with me. After all, years ago I was watching too many Soap Operas, the daytime dramas. On their message boards day & at times night. So involve in these fictional characters. These characters became my full time interest. Strangers were my family and my family became strangers to me. Today, I do not follow even one soap opera. I Thank God. I overcame a very bad obsession. It hurt but I burn & got rid every soap opera magazine I saved. I had one collector magazine item that was worth money I even burn it. I also got rid of a correspondence & a picture from a famous daytime actress Erika Slezak that won numerous daytime Emmy awards.
    I do have personal experiences on computers/internet. Some good(constructive time, time well spent) and some not so good(wasting time, ignoring my family & prayer, GOD).
    I learn the key is moderation. I am still learning & still watching myself.
    Take-care of yourself,

  2. Lina,

    Thanks for the concern. It is appreciated.

    Fr. Tim

  3. People are looking for a lot of stuff on the internet and with a little time and effort they can likely find most of what they are looking for.

    Christian evangelization is a uniquely interpersonal process. I'm not sure anybody has yet developed a successful model for doing it over the internet. I'm not saying it can't be done. It probably can. It just hasn't been done yet.

    Everybody that reads your blog already has established attitudes toward religion. The kind of thing you do edifies some and is provocative to others but will not change minds as far as converting nonbelievers. You run a very nice blog here and no one that reads it very much can doubt your sincerity but if evangelism is your aim, you need to go back to the drawing board and try some completly different methodologies.

    You do a very good job of adapting the traditional patriarchal personna of the Catholic priest into a sort of modern, accessible package. The kind of priest that was much sought after but in short supply throughout the '60s and '70s. I'm not sure there will be a place for guys like you in the future Church. Some people want "old fashioned" and some "progressive" but almost nobody wants "with it" Mach I, post Vatican II priests anymore. It's a shame, I can tell you worked really hard to get it down right.

  4. reddog: Thank you sincerely for your kind words about the blog. They are very much appreciated.

    Regarding your contention that the internet has not been proven to be an effective tool for evangelization, I must disagree.

    The internet is a very "one" oriented medium, meaning that an individual can make a choice to subscribe or follow the material that he or she chooses in the privacy of their own time and thought. It puts, if you will, the arguments that they are interested in are thus available for their personal reflection and thought. This is the genius of the net: to offer an on demand library of ideas through which we can reach out and communicate directly to individuals at a time and place when they are perhaps most in need of inspiration.

    The numbers of emails that I deal with each day certainly would seem to validate the point I am making.

    In fact, the internet is as perfect a vehicle that I could think of for presenting the questions and answers that our faith provides. It allows us to meet people "where they are" and put before them the argument for faith. This has been my mantra throughout my entire priesthood. This is the only effect way to minister in these times. Priests who wait in their office for the phone to ring and to find a parishioner bringing these issues to them are far, far out of date. It is by meeting people where they are at (literally and figuratively) means to come down of the priestly pedestal and to be willing to be open, honest and charitable with them is to truly imitate the example of the High Priest himself.

    To put it in terms I've used here before: I have learned by meeting people in bars or on the street who, drunk or not, are holding their head in their hands, are almost always having the most intimate and authentic communication with God. The song by one such man who has become a friend, Roy Payne (The Goofy Newfie) called Drinking Beer with Jesus captures this truth.

    God is always speaking to us through the events and people we encounter, if we only will have the humility to listen.

    Fr. Tim


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