I’ve been pretty overwhelmed by this week’s news items. With same-sex marriage, a controversial encyclical, racial tensions, etc., filling our social media timelines today, Catholics ought to know what the Holy Father and the Church’s communications council are saying about how to use social media.
Listen to Scot Landry explain the Catholic approach on Real Life Radio with Allison Gingras (1 min., 50 secs) — transcript below:
Excerpt used with permission.
By the way — tune in to Real Life Radio this week as Elizabeth Reardon (@theologyisaverb) features Catholic bloggers on An Engaging Faith. I’ll be her featured guest this Thursday! Check out her promo here for details.
Gingras: And the other point, number six, the word that’s just jumping out at me is this ‘invitation’: “The Church’s approach to new media should be to listen, converse, invite, and then to share its message.”
Landry: So often, when people think about evangelization, they think that what we need to do is really teach or preach at people, and what Pope Francis in particular has encouraged everybody in the Church to do — and his — you know, his social media coordinators at the Vatican are great at this, at saying — the reason for our presence first is to listen to other people, to be there for them. Then to engage in a conversation with them. Then invite them to follow us more, or to explore deeper — but only after an invitation should we then start to — you know — teach more about the Faith. You know, my own strategy is never to be preachy about it; to just — you know — engage: ‘What are your questions about this?’ ‘How can I help you find resources, or perhaps answer your question right now (if you have one) about the Faith?’ But to take it as an adventure. One of the things that turns off people to the Catholic Church — or the Christian faith, or other faith — is when people of faith seem like, to every question somebody has, we’ve got a quick, ready answer. The better approach is to say, ‘That’s a great question. Let’s explore what the Church teaches on that.’ And then we walk on a journey of helping them find the answer, instead of just kneejerk-ing and saying, ‘Oh! Catechism 7361 has that…’ but it doesn’t allow them to go through the process where, when they find that truth, it sticks and it changes their life.