Wednesday 21 February 2018

The 10 commandments of the Internet according to the Archbishop

What would Jesus do, online?

Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop Eamon Martin: 'We need to educate young people to use the internet responsibly'
Archbishop Eamon Martin washes the feet of a member of the congregation at Holy Thursday Mass in St Malachy’s church in Armagh. Picture: Mark Marlow/Pacemaker press

Eimear Phelan

Archbishop Eamon Martin has handed down 10 “digital commandments”

The online rules for the faithful are designed to help Catholics “boldly become citizens of the digital world” in line with Pope Francis' speech to the modern church.

The holy tablets were handed down in a speech at the Soul Waves Radio conference in Dublin on Monday and reproduced on the Irish Catholic Bishop’s conference website.

In his speech Martin told the audience that the internet is a new means of communication and with it “the Christian message can reach ‘to the ends of the earth", according to The Sunday Times.

It isn’t just about spreading the Catholic message though. Martin’s second rule cautions the faithful to “strictly avoid aggression and ‘preachiness’ online”, but instead to be “positive and joyful. Offer ‘digital smiles’ and have a sense of humour”.

The message of the speech was connecting with people where they are. “If our young people are living in this gigantic network, then we, as people of faith need to be in there, dialoguing with the inhabitants of this world, with the men and women who dwell in the web!”

These forward thinking rules coincide with Pope Francis’s digital focus and his forays onto twitter on the @Pontifex account.

Martin is very open about the realities of the web. He mentions that while Facebook has over 1.2 billion users “the majority of these people may never enter a Church”. But he implores Catholics to think of the internet as its own space and to ‘go out to the whole world’ as it says in the gospel and “proclaim the Good News there.”

Lastly he asks his followers to use the internet to build relationships and community and to “establish sacred spaces” where people can pray together and use to guard this network to guard against “disunity” within the catholic community.

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