In my last reflection, I wrote about the benefits of technology with the context of our faith. With the power of our modern advancements in computer systems has come the democratization of speech. This is, again, good and bad. It is good in so much as it lends a voice to those that need to be heard but cannot afford previous means of doing so. It is bad in that people who want to promote evil or sin have equal abilities. The later issue brings to the fore the issue for parents and their right to teach, guide, and protect their children as they believe is best for them. That is why some parents limit their children’s exposure and use of many social websites and apps, let alone the use of a smart phone.
‘Many of my non-Christian and non-believing friends have remarked to me that we ‘Catholics’ have turned the Internet into a cesspool of hatred, venom and vitriol, all in the name of defending the faith!
‘The character assassination on the Internet by those claiming to be Catholic and Christian has turned it into a graveyard of corpses strewn all around,’ said Rosica, who assists the Vatican Press Office with English-speaking media, on May 11 as he delivered the keynote address at the Brooklyn Diocese’s observance of World Communications Day.
‘Often times the obsessed, scrupulous, self-appointed, nostalgia-hankering virtual guardians of faith or of liturgical practices are very disturbed, broken and angry individuals, who never found a platform or pulpit in real life and so resort to the Internet and become trolling pontiffs and holy executioners!’ Rosica said.
‘In reality they are deeply troubled, sad and angry people,” he said. “We must pray for them, for their healing and conversion!’”
I would like to offer another additional point of concern which are those websites which claim to be Catholic. Be very mindful of what it written, but also the tone in which things are posted. Recently, Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of Canada’s Salt and Light Media Foundation, made a critique that some Catholics engaged in online conversations speak more like the “culture of death” rather than the “culture of life.” Here’s an excerpt from an article on cruxnow.com which was written by Ed Wilkinson of Catholic News Service:
Ultimately, we need to be people of charity who speak the truth without vitriolic hyperbole. What people need to hear is compassion and a willingness to walk with them as they struggle in their life. May we all continue to be people who are welcoming and willing to share our faith in a way that is sweetly-compelling rather than sour-piteousness. The former attracts while the latter repeals.
Fr. William Holtzinger