Echoing Pope Francis, the bishops advise in new pastoral letter that Catholics using social media must have a realistic understanding of how the platforms work and the dangers they can pose.
Catholic institutions and media outlets must hold themselves to the highest standards, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a Jan. 24 pastoral letter that focuses on social media.
As a communication tool, social media has great potential to “serve a fundamental human good: the building of bridges among people by the sharing of information,” the bishops write in “Let Your Speech Always Be Gracious,” released on the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, who was known for his graciousness in speech and is patron saint of writers and publishers.
The Canadian bishops “applaud the missionary spirit of those who have chosen to witness” through social media, and they “admire the creative work” of Catholic parishes, schools, and organizations that use social media to engage people with opportunities for greater participation in local faith communities.
However, the letter comes with a warning: We mustn’t be naive. Echoing Pope Francis, the bishops warn that Catholics using social media must have a realistic understanding of how the platforms