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the efficiency experts

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 16, 2009

 You won't find Vatican employees updating their "friends" lists during office hours anymore. The Facebook web site has been blocked from the Vatican computer network. It's a question of efficiency, Msgr. Paul Tighe told the Catholic News Service. Keep the workers at work, you know.

Msgr. Tighe said he believed online social networking is more appropriate from home and not the office.

True, we don't want clerical workers kibitzing with their pals on company time. But Facebook users aren't always wasting their time. They might, just for instance, be checking to see whether a prominent traditionalist bishop questions the severity of the Holocaust. (That information, you'll recall, was readily available to Facebook users, yet somehow unknown to decision-makers at the Vatican.) Pope Benedict has been encouraging Christians to use all the latest means of modern communications technology in the service of the Gospel. Why not follow that advice in the offices of the Roman Curia?

Beyond that, there's some irony (to put it mildly) in the notion that an occasional Facebook session might detract from the streamlined efficiency with which Vatican business is conducted. The late mornings, early evenings, and long lunches-- not to mention the smug sense of immunity from direct responsibility or professional criticism-- are far greater problems for office efficiency than an occasional trip into cyberspace. 

Remember how Blessed John XXIII replied, when he was asked how many people work at the Vatican? With a wink, he replied: "About half of them."

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