28, October 2020
Many Catholic Priests and Religious do not, in theory, oppose technology or the social media. Many tend to reluctantly embrace newer technologies. There seem to be a slow adoption of social media. The majority of Catholic Priests and Religious lack a social media presence.
From my observation, there is an insufficient commitment on the part of many Catholic Priests and Religious as regards to the use of social media. There is complacency and ignorance in the communication apostolate. Some are biased that the social media is not meant for Priests and Religious. Some perceive the social media more as a threat than a partner. This can be seen in the fact that some Priests and Religious do not use social media and some who use it do so anonymously. Some tend to use it without revealing their personal identities or personalities.
Though some Priests and Religious point out the evil and harm of social media, we all have the choice to use the social media for our own personal gratification or use it as a tool to bring glory to God. We can choose to use social media for good! It is unfortunate that many Priests and Religious who use the social media use it only for personal gratification. They use it to post pictures when they have put on new dresses, new shoes, visiting a new place, eating a good meal, personal achievements like buying a new car, graduating from some studies, etc.
It is the responsibility of the Priest and Religious among other things to teach and proclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the responsibility of the Priests and Religious to bring the Church’s teaching into the “digital continent” (Pope Benedict XVI). The Priests need to approach the social media as a powerful means of evangelization and to consider the Church’s role in providing a Christian perspective on digital literacy.
It is urgent that every Priest and Religious should use the social media for sowing the seeds among the Christians, secular audience, proclaiming the Gospel to “housetops”, catechesis, and spreading the Gospel of salvation.
Social media offers to Priests and Religious more space to actively engage with sermons, preachings, public prayers, religious music, Holy Masses, penitential services, present parish events. It enables Priests and Religious to reach and engage those in and outside the Church-the lapsed Catholic, the divorced, the marginalized, the unchurched, and the young.
If you are concerned with the crisis of faith, the decrease of faith and you as a Priest and Religious are not fully committed to employing this massive communications infrastructure that is free to use and at everyone’s disposal, then you share in the blame.
It is time for you the Priest and Religious to effectively join the social media and use it for evangelization. Create accounts of Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and use it to make disciples of all nations. Create Websites, Blogs, and Online Platforms to proclaim the Gospel. Share daily and weekly reflections, create videos, voice, visual and text content, present Parish Events for the purpose of reaching lost souls. Live stream or record Holy Masses, prayer meetings, praise and worships, concerts, preachings, teachings, catechesis, charities, retreats, etc to fulfill the reason for which God called you-to save some from the Fire!
Why are you afraid of social media? Why are you reluctant to use it? Why don’t you reveal your personality on social media? Is it because you have skeletons in your cupboard? Is it because you do not want some individuals to know you are a Priests or Religious because you have compromised your state of life and vows? Are you in to a kind of double lifestyle? Take seriously the encouragement about social media and engage urgently in the mission of evangelization. This is the golden age of evangelization and apologetics. Seize the opportunity! This is a tremendous opportunity not to let pass by. Let it not be said or witnessed that you were a Priest or Religious who did nothing in spreading the Good News through social media by which you could reach millions of people in a short time than just a hundred in your parish or mission station or diocese. You are entrusted with the teaching office. The world waits for you to fully engage in it through the social media.
Rev. Fr. Constant Leke
Fresh Anointing Ministries