Pope Tweets, Some don’t get it

by Datechguy | December 12th, 2012

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Pope Tweets, Some don't get it

When the Phar­isees heard that he had silenced the Sad­ducees, they gath­ered together, and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking,

Teacher, which com­mand­ment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great­est and the first commandment.

The sec­ond is like it: You shall love your neigh­bor as your­self. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34 – 40

There was quite a bit of fuss when the Pope Bene­dict XVI got an actual twit­ter account where he would tweet directly to the faith­ful. Actu­ally 7 accounts in lan­guages from Ger­man to Ara­bic) with a low of 8070 fol­low­ers in Ara­bic to 728083 in Eng­lish, a com­bined on 1m124301 fol­low­ers as of 7:41 AM EST on Wednesday.

Today the Holy Father sent out his first highly antic­i­pated tweets in fact he sent three, here they are:

OK start­ing with a basic greet­ing to all, makes sense, but now here comes…the MESSAGE:

This being the newly declared litur­gi­cal year of faith…here it comes.…

A sim­ple clear and suc­cinct way of describ­ing what to do as a Christian.

The mes­sage (in Eng­lish) received over 5000 re-​tweets in the first hour and good responses from the faith­ful, there are some who were not impressed.

Meet Stephan Faris

Here is his twit­ter profile

My first intro­duc­tion to Mr. Faris was this tweet in response to the Pope today that was re-​tweeted by some­one I follow:

Anti-​Climax? It seemed to me as the vicar of Christ the Pope was deliv­er­ing the basic mes­sage that he is charged with deliv­er­ing: How to fol­low Christ. So I asked Mr. Faris what he expected and he answered:

And THAT tweet says an awful lot.

For­get­ting for a moment the con­fines of 140 char­ac­ters per tweet. Mr. Faris objects to the sim­ple mes­sage that “he could have writ­ten him­self”. I ask: how often have you writ­ten it? How often have you thought about that sim­ple mes­sage in terms of your own life?

There are a lot of peo­ple today who don’t under­stand faith, who don’t under­stand the Church and only see Chris­tian­ity in gen­eral and the Catholic Church in par­tic­u­lar through the sec­u­lar pro­gres­sive lens. Their only expo­sure to the Church is the NYT edi­to­r­ial page or from those who dis­sent from out­side or from within.

To such peo­ple the con­cept that peo­ple might actu­ally fol­low the Church and be Chris­t­ian because they believe it to be true (which is the only rea­son to be a Chris­t­ian in gen­eral and a Catholic in par­tic­u­lar) is totally for­eign to them. To them Chris­tian­ity and the divin­ity of Christ is just a con, believ­ers are rubes and the pur­pose of the Chris­tian­ity is to keep them that way.

So to these enlight­ened elites, the con­cept of using a plat­form reach­ing over a mil­lion peo­ple instantly to rein­force the con­sis­tent mes­sage of Christ and the Gospel, love of God and love of your fel­low man, is totally beyond their ken.

In real­ity help­ing peo­ple find Christ IS the pri­mary job of the Pope and all Priests from the hum­blest friar to the most cel­e­brated Car­di­nal. This is the mes­sage and pur­pose of the Church for 20 centuries.

The mes­sage of Christ, like the ten com­mand­ments, is sim­ple, but because it is sim­ple it’s very hard to fol­low, and needs to be rein­forced when­ever possible.

Most twit­ter accounts are about the peo­ple or orga­ni­za­tion who have them, the pur­pose of my account is to pro­mote me, keep me in touch and aid me in mak­ing my liv­ing. That’s not what the Pope is shoot­ing for. His pur­pose is not for his own aggran­dize­ment but to spread the good news of Christ for the sal­va­tion of any who hear it.

I expect most of the Pope’s tweets to be along sim­i­lar lines, and I also sus­pect they will pro­duce the same con­fu­sion and dis­ap­point­ment among our sec­u­lar media friends as this mes­sage did, I’d be sur­prised if it gen­er­ates much else.

But I’m sure the Holy Father thinks and prays oth­er­wise. His faith is much stronger than mine.

Update: And here is why it mat­ters so much

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them [a scholar of the law] tested him by asking,

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.

The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

Matthew 22:34-40

There was quite a bit of fuss when the Pope Benedict XVI got an actual twitter account where he would tweet directly to the faithful. Actually 7 accounts in languages from German to Arabic) with a low of 8070 followers in Arabic to 728083 in English, a combined on 1m124301 followers as of 7:41 AM EST on Wednesday.

Today the Holy Father sent out his first highly anticipated tweets in fact he sent three, here they are:

OK starting with a basic greeting to all, makes sense, but now here comes…the MESSAGE:

This being the newly declared liturgical year of faith…here it comes….

A simple clear and succinct way of describing what to do as a Christian.

The message (in English) received over 5000 re-tweets in the first hour and good responses from the faithful, there are some who were not impressed.

Meet Stephan Faris

Here is his twitter profile

My first introduction to Mr. Faris was this tweet in response to the Pope today that was re-tweeted by someone I follow:

Anti-Climax? It seemed to me as the vicar of Christ the Pope was delivering the basic message that he is charged with delivering: How to follow Christ. So I asked Mr. Faris what he expected and he answered:

And THAT tweet says an awful lot.

Forgetting for a moment the confines of 140 characters per tweet. Mr. Faris objects to the simple message that “he could have written himself”. I ask: how often have you written it? How often have you thought about that simple message in terms of your own life?

There are a lot of people today who don’t understand faith, who don’t understand the Church and only see Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular through the secular progressive lens. Their only exposure to the Church is the NYT editorial page or from those who dissent from outside or from within.

To such people the concept that people might actually follow the Church and be Christian because they believe it to be true (which is the only reason to be a Christian in general and a Catholic in particular) is totally foreign to them. To them Christianity and the divinity of Christ is just a con, believers are rubes and the purpose of the Christianity is to keep them that way.

So to these enlightened elites, the concept of using a platform reaching over a million people instantly to reinforce the consistent message of Christ and the Gospel, love of God and love of your fellow man, is totally beyond their ken.

In reality helping people find Christ IS the primary job of the Pope and all Priests from the humblest friar to the most celebrated Cardinal. This is the message and purpose of the Church for 20 centuries.

The message of Christ, like the ten commandments, is simple, but because it is simple it’s very hard to follow, and needs to be reinforced whenever possible.

Most twitter accounts are about the people or organization who have them, the purpose of my account is to promote me, keep me in touch and aid me in making my living. That’s not what the Pope is shooting for. His purpose is not for his own aggrandizement but to spread the good news of Christ for the salvation of any who hear it.

I expect most of the Pope’s tweets to be along similar lines, and I also suspect they will produce the same confusion and disappointment among our secular media friends as this message did, I’d be surprised if it generates much else.

But I’m sure the Holy Father thinks and prays otherwise. His faith is much stronger than mine.

Update: And here is why it matters so much

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