Church and Communication

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Wednesday, 11 January 2012 10:05

Twitter and homilies. When a bishop chirps

Deep down even aspirations are quick prayers with few syllables, or we could even define them astweets ante litteram. Why can't the same thing be done with comments on Scripture, Bishop Hervé Giraud of Soissons, one of the oldest cities of the Piccardy region, and President of the Council for Communications of the French Bishops' Conference, asked himself, thus sending messages on the web no longer than 140 characters.

Amid the chatter of social networks, his micromélies have attracted the attention of the press, but the news is less strange than it might seem at first glance: the most urgent task of a priest is to proclaim the Gospel: "nothing is more important than this", the Bishop of Soissons Laon Saint-Quentin reiterated this to Le Monde, which recently dedicated an article to him in the Christmas issue of 24-26 December 2011.

As Paul wrote, the Word of God should be popularized opportune et importune. For this reason, to embark on what Giraud, a mathematics professor before he was ordained a priest, calls l’arène numérique is one way of following the Apostle's advice literally. The digital pulpit works: messages sent by @mgrgiraud on Twitter (already in use as a didatic tool in many schools in France) are read and sent again by other Internet-users — among the followers is Cardinal President of the Pontifical Council for Culture (@CardRavasi) — in an endless chain of tweets: we need to allow God to surprise us (Jn 1: 46Peut-il sortir de là quelque chose de bon? Dieu surprend mon attente en se laissant trouver là où je ne l’attends pas) and always contemplate the essential (Il nous faut peu de mots pour exprimer l’essentiel, il nous faut tous les mots pour le rendre réel: taken from the Avenir de la poésie by Paul Eluard).

Above all we should not be afraid of questions of the faithful; responding is part of the vocation of a priest and, even more, of a bishop: Je trouve spirituel de la part de l’Église d’avoir donné à la crosse des évêques la forme d’un point d’interrogation wrote Édouard Herriot, which was quoted in a message sent to Mons. Hervé Giraud, convinced that a "reborn" life (Ressuscités avec le Christ is his episcopal motto) should leave traces of the present.

  Silvia Guidi
January 11, 2012
[tags: Mass Media]





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