Action Alert!

Bishops, spare us your tweets!

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Nov 12, 2012

Our American bishops, meeting in Baltimore this week, have apparently decided that the world needs to hear more of their offhand comments. There’s a push to encourage more bishops to blog and tweet, and a supportive study that says (to quote the UPI headline): “Poll: Catholics want pastors to blog.”

Actually, for the sake of accuracy, let’s make it Some Catholics want pastors to blog. The study reports that 33% of the Catholics surveyed wanted their pastor to have a blog. That means 67%--two out of every three—did not say they wanted the pastor to blog.

Moreover, the same study found that only 5% of Catholics read Catholic blogs. So if the bishops do what a minority of Catholics want them to do, they’re likely to find that an even smaller minority is interested.

Look, some Catholic bishops use the internet effectively, because they have something to say. But setting up another blog for bland announcements, or tweeting thoughts-while-shaving, will accomplish nothing. And on any list of 50 Urgent Tasks for American Bishops to Undertake, blogging and tweeting would rank about 65 and 66.

As my wife Leila (who is not a bishop) put it on her own Twitter account: “Bishops, make your schools orthodox, your liturgies sound, your priests obedient, then tweet and blog.”

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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