Catholic Culture Podcasts
Catholic Culture Podcasts

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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  • Posted by: bkmajer3729 - Jul. 25, 2018 8:49 PM ET USA

    Until there is real transparency and the Bishops living a life truly following Christ, the problem will remain.

  • Posted by: thomas28899 - Jul. 21, 2018 8:06 PM ET USA

    Sadly, as you have said many times, our bishops are captives of the dollars that feed their administrations rather than being teachers and true to the faith. Unfortunately, I believe many bishops/cardinals are chosen for their administration skills rather than their fidelity to their faith. Shining a light on their faults, which we all have, is not conducive to the continuation of the reason they were chosen to be leaders.i.e they are quiet in situations like Cardinal McCarrick.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Jul. 20, 2018 4:55 PM ET USA

    Read the book. I didn't think it was possible but now I think you underestimated the size of the problem. The next time I see our bishop I intend to ask him what he knew about "Uncle Ted" and what he did about it. If the bishops are not confronted they will continue to hide under their desks.

  • Posted by: fenton1015153 - Jul. 20, 2018 2:00 PM ET USA

    Your words were prophetic. Sadly, there appears to be no directions from our Pope or the Vatican. The Church deserves better. A paraphrase from St John, we must increase our prayers so our weak leadership will decrease.