The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

US bishops: go forth and blog

That’s just one of the messages to emerge from the fall gathering of the USCCB in Baltimore:

Roman Catholic bishops in the United States should go forth and blog, tweet and preach on the “new digital continent” of social media, a church leader said Monday.


“The church does not have to change its teachings to reach young people, but we must deliver it to them in a new way,” Bishop Ronald Herzog told the general assembly meeting of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in Baltimore.

“If the church is not on their mobile device, it doesn?t exist,” he said, likening social media to a “new digital continent” waiting to be evangelized.

The biggest handicap facing the church is that many members of the clergy don’t understand the culture of the unexplored continent and might even fear confrontation with the natives, he said.

On the digital continent, “Anyone can create a blog. Everyone’s opinion is valid. And if a question or contradiction is posted, the digital natives (bloggers) expect a response and something resembling a conversation,” Herzog said.


“We can choose not to enter into that cultural mindset, but we do so at great peril to the church?s credibility and approachability in the minds of the natives, those who are growing up in this new culture.”

Ignoring social media could have a similar impact on the church as another communications revolution did back in the 1500s, said Herzog.

Social media “is causing as fundamental a shift in communication patterns and behavior as the printing press did 500 years ago. And I don’t think I have to remind you of what happened when the Catholic church was slow to adapt to that new technology,” he told the gathering of Catholic bishops.

Read more.

And for this and other USCCB doings in Baltimore, be sure to check The Rock

Comments read comments(4)
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Gerard Nadal

posted November 16, 2010 at 12:03 am

The Deacon is way ahead of the Pope and the Bishops!!
Your blog is exemplary.

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posted November 16, 2010 at 12:23 am

Fascinatingly, the press credential form for the meeting does not even acknowledge the fact that such media exist. If it’s not in print or on the airwaves, it’s not press coverage?

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posted November 16, 2010 at 4:59 am

I don’t think many US Bishops even teach at all. Many do not even promote links on their Diocese and Parish web sites to the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” first printed in USA in March 2000 – which is the “compendium of Catholic Faith and Morals”, a “sure norm for teaching the Faith”, and an “authentic reference text”. When was the last time your Parish Priest (who works for the Bishop) said anything about this CCC from the pulpit?
Seminarians, most Catholic University Students, 11th and 12th Grade Catholic High School students, and Laity are not encouraged to read it.

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Richard Plavo

posted November 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

Most bishops simply put our a diocesan paper, and think that this is doing the work of evangelization, when all it does is to report on clerical, episcopal, and papal news

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