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Pope Urges Priests To Go Forth and Blog 284

Posted by kdawson
from the heavy-content-filtering-at-the-seminary dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Pope Benedict XV, whose own presence on the Web has grown in recent years, is urging priests to use all multimedia tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel and to engage in dialogue with people of other religions and cultures. 'The spread of multimedia communications and its rich "menu of options" might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web,' but priests are 'challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources,' says the Pope. The message from the Pope, prepared for the World Day of Communications, suggests such possibilities as images, videos, animated features, blogs, and Web sites and adds that young priests should become familiar with new media while still in seminary, though the Pope stresses that the use of new technologies must reflect theological and spiritual principles. Many priests and top prelates already interact with the faithful online, and one of Benedict's advisers has his own Facebook profile. So does the archbishop of Los Angeles. The Pope adds, 'I renew the invitation to make astute use of the unique possibilities offered by modern communications. May the Lord make all of you enthusiastic heralds of the Gospel in the new "agorà" which the current media are opening up.'"
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Pope Urges Priests To Go Forth and Blog

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  • Religion (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) *

    Please, just please make it be one domain, like religiousblogs.com. Nothing worse than all the spam and pushed things and messages on the internet is such religious ones.

    I do not think there is any god anyway. It's as likely possibility than that we would be living in a computer simulation. In fact, I suspect the later one is more likely possible.

    Religion is something that was used in old times to control people and have them do "moral" actions (moral here being what the government considered good). It also

    • Re:Religion (Score:5, Funny)

      by WED Fan (911325) <akahige.trashmail@net> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @04:58PM (#30882022) Homepage Journal
      Well, could bring a new definition to "flame war" when the comments section of the blog turns ugly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jc42 (318812)

        Well, could bring a new definition to "flame war" when the comments section of the blog turns ugly.

        We already have a term for such discussions: "religious".

        (I was tempted to add a "smiley", but decided it would be inappropriate. What we need is more like an "evil grinney", but I don't know if there's an ASCII symbol for that.)

    • Re:Religion (Score:4, Informative)

      by Henry V .009 (518000) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:03PM (#30882068) Journal
      I don't know. I'm not Catholic, but I read Fr. Z's blog at wdtprs.com [wdtprs.com] fairly frequently. It's not spam by any stretch. It's interesting to peep into another world.
      • by sznupi (719324)

        I know. Formally I'm still Catholic (can't be bothered to do a long travel just for apostasy). Your example is hardly a "peep into another world"...it's just how one representative of that world wants to be seen.

        Unleash more of them, and it will get "funny" :)

    • by sznupi (719324)

      While contemplating how irritating this might be, remember that...they don't really have any other choice but try to shift their methods towards new reality. And it's not so bad; might a bit messy for a time, but ultimately those are convulsions of the old ways - which simply won't fit to that new reality.

      Whether that will result in human consciousness at large being, finally, freed from those ideas (extremely doubtful) or new variant of them taking hold (more likely; and you might try to influence it) - it

      • by jc42 (318812)

        Since it should end up, again, more tolerable generally.

        I wouldn't bet on that. To many religious people, one of the main points of having a religion is that it gives you an excuse to be intolerant of other people.

        It has always seemed to me that if there is a God, He (or She or It) must be rather frustrated by this. After all, if we were created by such a being, it's pretty clear that we were designed to be highly variably in pretty much everything. So this purported God must find it rather annoying to b

        • by sznupi (719324)

          That's why I said "should" - there's no guarantee, of course. But two things suggest it will end up slightly better this time, IMHO; not only the general trend in recent times, associated with similar kind of civilizational advances, but also, somewhat unexpectedly, "reverting" to a state when people regularly came into contact with other faiths. Necessitating greater tolerance among other things.

    • Re:Religion (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:07PM (#30882128) Homepage Journal

      Please, just please make it be one domain, like religiousblogs.com

      What a wonderful time and space saving idea. Hey, while we're at it, lets limit and compact all thought on the Internet. We'll start by forcing all geeks into one domain... something like geekblogs.com, and why stop there? We'll put political people into one domain and... by the way, who do we put in charge of forcing all this to happen?

      • by ral8158 (947954)
        Jeeze, learn to take a joke, man.
      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        by the way, who do we put in charge of forcing all this to happen?

        CowboyNeal. He is our last hope.

      • by the way, who do we put in charge of forcing all this to happen

        Al Gore?

      • by hey! (33014)

        In order to do this, you have to get people to self-identify their religious thoughts (or what you would consider their religious thoughts) as "religious thoughts". Likewise with "political thought".

        Good luck doing that.

        • In order to do this, you have to get people to self-identify their religious thoughts (or what you would consider their religious thoughts) as "religious thoughts". Likewise with "political thought".

          Good luck doing that.

          This is worse than the proposed .sex TLD.

    • by Gonoff (88518)

      used in old times to control people

      I cannot think of any type of philosophy that has not been misused in this way. They have all been used as ways of dealing with, or resisting, that control as well.

      Just because some ideas are used to control people, it does not mean the ideas are bad or untrue.

      In a few hundred years, how do you know that people won't look back on us and feel sorry for us being oppressed?/p?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sznupi (719324)

        Nihilism. There you go, at least one.

        Just because some ideas are used to control people, it does not mean the ideas are bad or untrue.

        No, if some idea is consistently and reliably thorough history used for nefarious purposes, that is what this idea represents and not what it claims to represent.

    • I object to religion and general, and churches in particular, but I don't think segregating by religiosity (let alone by religion) would be a good think. I disagree with them, but I like knowing WHAT I'm disagreeing with. And sometimes I don't disagree quite as much as other times. Also, there a bunch of stuff/lifestyles that not only don't interest me, but bother or irk me... should we segregate everything and everyone, like those sad people who live in a very small peer group of like-minded people ?

      Also,

  • by Tony (765) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @04:56PM (#30882008) Journal

    I hope he warns them about FBI posing as 13-year-old choirboys.

    • by couchslug (175151)

      "I hope he warns them about FBI posing as 13-year-old choirboys."

      With current priestly pedo payoffs worldwide at roughly a (B)illion dollars (hundred of millions in the US alone) he would be wise to do so.

  • The Pope is right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CrazyJim1 (809850) *
    The Internet is a great place to let people know God is real. Before people had to travel to meet people. The Internet is less disturbing than a face to face meeting.
    • by argent (18001)

      God is transcendental. The real number line can not contain Him.

      • by DesScorp (410532)

        Heh, this should be modded funny, but some people will go "Eh?"

      • by DJRumpy (1345787)

        "God is transcendental. The real number line can not contain Him."

        Apparently Comcast can however. Go over your cap, and he's history...

        • by JohnFluxx (413620)

          Huh? Transcendental numbers can be real. In fact, almost all real numbers are transcendental. It just means that it can't be a solution of a polynomial (e.g. PI can't be written as the solution to 0 = ax^1 + bx^2 + cx^3 ... )

    • by sunderland56 (621843) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:09PM (#30882144)

      The Internet is a great place to let people know God is real.

      True. Before the Internet, how many people had even heard of the one true supreme being? [venganza.org]

    • by DesScorp (410532)

      The Internet is a great place to let people know God is real. Before people had to travel to meet people. The Internet is less disturbing than a face to face meeting.

      Ultimately, it's just another line of communication. It's important, but getting priests to blog is not exactly a revolutionary idea. Some are doing it already, and have been for years.

    • The Internet is a great place to let people know God is real. Before people had to travel to meet people. The Internet is less disturbing than a face to face meeting.

      What does God need with a LAMP server?

      • "Thy word is a LAMP unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

        Who knew that verse would end up being so literal. OTOH, "the kingdom of heaven is like a net" -- Matt 13:47. Whether an 'internet' or .NET is not clear in the Greek.

        I realize that posting Bible verses on /. is like unto casting PERLs before swine.
      • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:52PM (#30882630) Homepage

        What does God need with a LAMP server?

        You know what the Catholic Church needs with a LAMP server (or similar)? It some unified website, administered by regional authorities or the Vatican itself, which will provide a good way to find parish locations and mass times for each and every parish in a first-world country where Internet access is common. Then, when I'm on a trip to White Plains and three hours jet-lagged, I can get some idea of when and where I can attend church on a Sunday. Or when I'm back in Silicon Valley and it's a random Holy Day of Obligation in the middle of the week, I can know where to go after work (or possibly before work or over a lunch break). Right now, it's a crapshoot as to whether the church even has a website.

        Calendering. Please. Inter-parish calendaring, ideally; I'd love to know everything going on in the Diocese of San Jose at a glance. Bulletins would be nice too, even if they're just .pdfs. Maybe they could coordinate those with what'stheirface, LPI? those liturgical-publishers who seem to put out a lot of those. If you're looking for gravy, throw in a quick podcast (and computerized transcription) of the homilies. If they can standardize on something, it would be pretty easy to plug into most existing parish sound systems, and reasonably cheap.

        Next step out: Get the church behind some sort of free-content/Creative Commons angle with its liturgical music -- not necessarily to the exclusion of all else, mind you, but choir directors shouldn't have to jump through copyright hoops to legally express praise and worship. That, of all things, should be Free.

    • by sznupi (719324)

      If preaching ended up being a disturbing experience, the preachers should had noticed something right at this point...

      • by CrazyJim1 (809850) *
        LOL. I did a drive by posting and I knew someone would say this! Thats why I came back.

        When I say disturbing, I mean: If I knock at your door, you have to drop what you're doing and answer it and give me attention. This is a disturbance to your life. If I call you on your phone, you have to answer it and then likely you'll respond to me as a telemarketer which is an unhappy disturbance. That is what I mean by disturbance.

        I use the Internet as much as I can to get the word out. God is good and he
    • by knarf (34928)

      The Internet is a great place to let people know God is real.

      Nah, any god worth a capitalised name does not need something as primitive as the internet. They just, you know, appeae out of nothing in burning bushes or goat entrails or burned toast. Internet is for wannabe-gods.

    • by Aurisor (932566)

      I totally agree! One minor point, though. You misspelled 'Zeus.' From looking at my keyboard, though, it's quite easy to see how those d's and g's got in there.

    • The Internet is less disturbing than a face to face meeting.

      Makes me wonder if the Spanish Inquisition would be less disturbing if it were conducted over the internet. Spanish Inquisition 2.0

      Don't say it couldn't happen. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Maestro485 (1166937)
      I was thinking the same thing. Although I was raised Catholic and received the relevant sacraments, I'm not religious and haven't even stepped foot in a church for a number of years. I've considered checking it out again for no real reason, but it feels awkward to me to just show up on Sunday (and I'm not that committed to the idea anyway).

      If I were able to sort of "check it out" by reading the priest's blog or whatever, it would make my decision to show up and participate much easier. Either I'll decide
  • virtual confession app

    want to be forgiven for your sins

    there's an app for that

    • by DesScorp (410532)

      I know you're joking, but that raises some interesting questions. As long as it's direct communication between the priest and person, could that kind of stuff... like confession be done over an iPhone (or IRC, instant messaging, etc)? I wonder if something like that has ever been done over, say, videoconferencing? Suppose someone is dying, and is requesting last rites, and you just can't get a priest there physically in time?

      • by sznupi (719324)

        It is believed that if somebody can't obtain confession, but will express sorrow and wish to confess mortal sins, they should be "saved".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mdwh2 (535323)

        Well, the phone was invented over 100 years before the Almighty Iphone came and revolutionised the world, so I presume they've already had time to think things through.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Petrushka (815171)

        I know you're joking, but that raises some interesting questions. As long as it's direct communication between the priest and person, could that kind of stuff... like confession be done over an iPhone (or IRC, instant messaging, etc)? I wonder if something like that has ever been done over, say, videoconferencing?

        The short answer is "no", it seems; this document [vatican.va] prepared by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications indicates a very firm negative on that -- though it states it as an assumption, rather than a policy ("Virtual reality is no substitute for the ... sacraments, and shared worship in a flesh-and-blood human community. There are no sacraments on the Internet ...").

        Suppose someone is dying, and is requesting last rites, and you just can't get a priest there physically in time?

        My understanding is that in in extremo situations, very few rules apply. The Eucharist can be administered under the weirdest of circumsta

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by IICV (652597)

          My understanding is that in in extremo situations, very few rules apply. The Eucharist can be administered under the weirdest of circumstances, people of any religion (or no religion) can perform baptisms. It'd be up to the local bishop to decide, of course, but I'd guess when someone is dying just about anything goes.

          I love that. Our most sacred rules apply always, except when it's inconvenient or bad PR to enforce them.

  • Off-by-one error (Score:3, Informative)

    by Old Man Kensey (5209) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:11PM (#30882168) Homepage
    You guys mean Pope Benedict XVI, right?
    • I'm waiting for Pope Benedict XVII, a.k.a. Pope Benedict Forever. They've been talking about it since the 16th century. But, they better watch out, I've heard they might go the Catholic Wars Galaxies route.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by peslick (963381)
      No, they did mean Pope Benedict XV. He was a very progressive pope. He was one of the earliest advocates of blogging - the early 20th century in fact.
  • Or wait a minute, probably he didn't mean that kind of Forth: http://www.eng.uwaterloo.ca/~comp03a/misc/humour/shootfoot.html [uwaterloo.ca]
  • by creimer (824291) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:30PM (#30882354) Homepage
    If the Pope was serious about using new communication technology, he should make the entire Vatican Secret Archives [wikipedia.org] searchable on the Internet.
    • by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp.Gmail@com> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:40PM (#30882486) Homepage Journal

      If the Pope was serious about using new communication technology, he should make the entire Vatican Secret Archives [wikipedia.org] searchable on the Internet.

      That's not a bad idea, but people need to realize that "Secret" doesn't mean what they think it does in this case. From the same Wikipedia link:

      "The word "secret" in the title "Vatican Secret Archives" does not have the modern meaning: it indicates instead that the archives are the Pope's own, not those of a department of the Roman Curia. The word "secret" was used in this sense also in phrases such as "secret servants", "secret cupbearer", "secret carver""

      The article also notes that the archive has been open to scholars since 1881, and about a thousand a year access it for study. So let's nip any DaVinci Code-ish conspiracy theories about the archive in the bud here.

      • by sznupi (719324)

        Though what you say doesn't change the fact that many really interesting documents are kept secret in "proper" meaning of the word.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by lawpoop (604919)

        The article also notes that the archive has been open to scholars since 1881, and about a thousand a year access it for study. So let's nip any DaVinci Code-ish conspiracy theories about the archive in the bud here.

        That's fine, but the wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] says that "[t]here is no generic browsing, and researchers must ask for the precise document they wish to see, identifying it either by consulting the indices or from some other source."

        So if you want to find outwhat the Vatican knows about, say, UFOs, Bigfoot, and Nessie, and none of the documents in the secret archive are referenced in the indices or any outside material, you are SOL.

  • SOAP (Score:3, Funny)

    by symes (835608) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @05:33PM (#30882380) Journal
    He gave a sermon on iptables in linux and simple object access protocols. It was call "Pope on a SOAP on a ROPE"... I'll get my coat
  • Irelands Blasphemy law [examiner.com] will extend to the internet if given a chance.

    I recently started a blog Abstract Beliefs [blogspot.com] that some may find interesting.

    Wanna know where god came from? How about what should be obvious contradictions in religion that require as much effort to apply suspension of disbelief as what you use when you see a fictional movie?

    To have religious leaders communicating in the openness of the internet, can be a very good thing, so long as they don't censor what they might oppose (The catholic chur

    • by jc42 (318812) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @07:56PM (#30883792) Homepage Journal

      Its time to properly address the issues and errors of our philosophies..... Imagine open source religion.

      It's far too late for that; all the world's religions have been "open source" for centuries. It's true that as recently as 7 or 8 centuries back, the religious leaders did team up with the political leaders to introduce this new "copyright" concept, whose purpose was to limit the copying (by scribes mostly) of religious texts to a small number of carefully-controlled publishing houses. But then some interfering tech geeks developed printing presses, and pretty soon it was out of control.

      Some of the first printed texts (and the topic of the first copyright trials and executions) were the major religious texts of the day. This eventually led to near-universal literacy in several parts of the world, and the leaders found it impossible to keep cheap copies of their religious texts out of the hands of people who could read the scriptures themselves. Life has been tough for the religious leaders ever since then, as the local monopolies over religious thought were lost.

      Fact is, printed copies of all the world's religious texts have been widely available for going on half a millennium now. As with open-source software, it has led to both widespread forking of the religions and widespread understanding of how religions work. Or, more often, how they fail to work. (Just ask a few Catholics about their ban on priestly sex.) Nowadays, you can rapidly download most of the holy texts for free from somewhere on the Internet. And it's not hard to find online discussions of many of them. If not, you can easily start your own discussion (or religion).

      Of course, most religious organizations probably haven't profited from this open publication. The story with software isn't quite as clear yet.

      • by 3seas (184403)

        It's far too late for that; all the world's religions have been "open source" for centuries.

        Perhaps you are right! Ultimately seek and you will find.
        And who's looking on the internet that wouldn't look elsewhere?

        What I was thinking was that the internet does provide a world wide (more or less) collaboration system where the people of the world have the opportunity to develop a cross platform philosophy where there is effort towards integrity of the one god or common consciousness ...etc..

        By calling it philo

  • "The Son is good. The penis is evil. The penis shoots seeds, and makes new life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was, but the Son defeats death, and purifies Souls of the filth of sin. Go forth . . . and Blog!"
  • I wonder how this will affect the Youtube Atheist movement? I wonder if it will mean that Youtube Atheists can refute the Pope immediately and in real time.

  • We all know examples where we sent an email or posted a comment quickly and had regrets later. I encourage any person in a position of influence- minister, politician, teacher, etc. - either have a second pair of eyes review what they have just written, or sit on the post 12-24 hours before pressing the send key. Haste, emotion of the moment, fatigue can all lead to poor replies.
  • by RobertLTux (260313) <robert&laurencemartin,org> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @06:24PM (#30882930)

    If the current Pope is telling priests to go forth and blog
    how would the situation of a Church in SecondLife be handled??
    (bonus round question are there any real cross and steeple churches with SL locations??)

    Personally i would challenge churches to extend their reach into this wilderness

  • by PaganRitual (551879) <splaga&internode,on,net> on Sunday January 24, 2010 @06:28PM (#30882960)

    Posting your crap online makes it that much easier to ignore than if you bother people in the streets or coming knocking on their doors bothering them in the name of your chosen mythology.

    This invitation should extend to all religious institutions and their constituents.

  • "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

    (Saint Matthew about digital media.)

  • Terrific.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by azakem (924479) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @06:46PM (#30883092)
    So now I can look forward to being aggressively proselytized on the web as well as by obnoxious yokels in the real world. Wonderful.
  • Amazing visionary (Score:5, Informative)

    by leromarinvit (1462031) on Sunday January 24, 2010 @06:57PM (#30883190)
    Wow - this Benedict XV must have been an amazing visionary to tell priests to blog, given that he died in 1922! [wikipedia.org]
  • So now the catholic priests will twitter to convert the muslims?

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