Unfortunately we live in a society where making fun of Christians, and specifically Catholics, is widely accepted. It’s common to turn on TV or go online just to hear or read some snide remark about Christians. So what do we do? We grow thick skin, we turn the other cheek, and we love them anyway.
But as soon as I heard the Pope would be posting on Twitter, I sighed and braced myself for the parodies, the Onion articles, and the mocking tweets that would follow. (And they did.) I learned not to look at tweets directed at @Pontifex, since at least 75% of the messages are derogatory.
Earlier this week the Pontifical Council for Social Communications posted an article, “The good, bad, ugly: Church can’t shy away from Twitter’s Wild West.” Monsignor Paul Tighe, secretary of the council, had some positive takeaways from the Twitter responses:
“What stuck with me most was all the lovely stuff,” the positive and genuine comments and queries in the midst of the ugly. Just because there is a negative side to new media doesn’t mean the church should shy away, he said.
Monsignor Tighe’s interpretation was a good reminder to always look at the bright side. There will always be negativity online, but I can’t allow it to overshadow the importance of Pope Benedict XVI’s message of evangelization and the significance of his presence online.
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