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pope urges priests to blog

popeThe pope has issued a proclamation challenging priests “to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.”

Internationally there are some Anglican blogging bishops (I try to keep up with these in the links section). Of the 31 bishops in our province, not one blogs as far as I know (the bishop-elect of Dunedin blogs – we shall see if that continues). Of the more than one and a half thousand Anglican priests in this province I’m aware of a couple that blog, and a few more on twitter. The official website of the province has not been updated in more than a year. Maybe there are Roman Catholic blogging bishops and priests in New Zealand. I am not aware of them. There are still parishes and ministry units without even a website – in spite of web-hosting and production being free and easy now, with advice and help provided on this site. Every parish can have a facebook page (and a twitter). Blogging has never been easier using wordpress or blogger. Such things are not, as those in the church often make them appear to be, things that require great planning and debate. These things take less than 10 minutes to set up. Nothing manifests the yawning gap between average young people and average churchgoers more than the unwillingness of most churchgoers to embrace late 20th century communication technology. The church can be so last millennium!

The pope is on youtube (his videos do not appear to be able to be embedded), and has an iPhone and facebook app, pope2you. Let’s urge him to take his own advice and start blogging. If he is reading this: “I’m very happy to swap links with you”. Some suggestions for the name of the papal blog? “Mass communication”? Maybe not “Papal Bull”. (Definitely not “Red Shoe Diaries”!)

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8 thoughts on “pope urges priests to blog”

  1. Blogging is good, but isn’t there more that modern communications can offer?
    Perhaps encouraging congregations as a whole to be visible using current technology is at least as important as asking just the clergy? But would would be the nature of the way somebody outside the parish physically (even in a different country) might spiritually interact with a priest – or be part of a congregation around the world? Could it be as good as being within a conventional faith community? Could it be better and occupy more of their life? Do people setting up such communications – as an outreach to the world, or to improve communication within their community – need to be prepared for something beyond their experience? Where could it go? Are there risks of it becoming something less spiritual than it should be? How big could it grow? Is big good? Is there a small step to take first? For example: can a parish youth group as a whole interact with an (Anglican?) youth group in another country and culture? The technology is available to allow a combined service of some sort linking congregations in countries – I’d like to see that happen, but for it to really work shouldn’t we also all be prepared to interact on a personal level with the remote group, else it would be like strangers coming to a theatre for a performance, never really caring about the body of believers we are worshiping with? (How many q’s is that??)

  2. A clergy person who does not tweet, blog, leverage facebook and/or use other forms of technology to cast a wider communications net are like those Reformation churchman in 1517 who did not see the value or potential in Gutenberg’s technology and moveable type. Those that do cast a wide net offer more points of connection to the Word, pastoral care and conversation with parishioners and those outside the walls of the church whose preferred or secondary language of choice is digitally based. Justin Wise, a culture, faith and technology blogger, posted a good piece on communicating on technological relational lines: http://www.bedeviant.com/need-a-digital-pastor. For me, I’ve also wondered what would Jesus Tweet…http://tinyurl.com/wwjtweet

  3. Beginning small–short posts, including links occasionally–has positive effects. The medium allws people to be alone with the words of the blogger, which allows people to rflect more deeply. I aim my blogs to parishioners, and that keeps me focused

  4. Dear Bosco,

    I thoroughly agree with you – we need to be open to all sorts of media. I have been blogging about my vocation journey for the last three years, including my vesture as a Sister in the Community of Solitude. I would love it if you could link to my blog – I’ve linked to you!

    1. Thanks Sr Therese, I just updated blog links today & also discovered several links to blogs no longer functioning. I will link back to you on my next link update.
      I just helped another priest to get a web-presence. So step by step…

  5. I have found Kelvin Wright’s (Bishop-elect of Dunedin) blog and parish website immensely helpful as I have considered moving to Dunedin for the past 2 years. I have now arrived and felt I already knew the Vicar of St John’s Roslyn (not so happy he is leaving). On the other hand the webpage of St Paul’s cathedral, Dunedin is hopelessly out of date. I am sure other people moving around in today’s more mobile world find it helpful to gain some feeling for a parish before they arrive.

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