In my post on the subject yesterday I talked about the purpose the Pope on Twitter
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.
And it’s not just the spreading of the world but as the Anchoress notes, what matters is how he communicated to the faithful
I love this piece by Cathy Grossman in USA Today, in which she makes not of the real people behind the questions that Benedict answered, today:
At noon, he addressed a mom who asked: “Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?”
Benedict replied: “Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you.”
Let me introduce you to the lady in question:
Meet Linda Binggeli:
If you do a search of “Linda Binggeli” on the internet for the period of Jan 1, 2008 to Dec 1st of this year you will find 37 results the most interesting one being a story of an app for Eucharist Adoration for the iPhone. The woman in the picture resembles the photo above and the location is right so I assume the developer is her husband.
So Linda this ordinary wife and mother posed this question on twitter on December 6th:
#askpontifex Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?
— Linda Binggeli (@trainingsaints) December 6, 2012
and I’m sure to her surprise the Pope answered it directly:
Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you
— Benedict XVI (@Pontifex) December 12, 2012
Now that tweet got the attention of not just the news but people all over the world. The English Language version of it has been re-tweeted over 16,500 times.
That however isn’t the story. The story is a member of the faithful, an ordinary person, asked a question to the Pope and he answered.
This answer was not delivered by the Vatican, not by a Cardinal, an Archbishop, Bishop, Monseigneur, Priest or Deacon. It was delivered directly from the Pope.
It was not filtered by any media service, not the Vatican News Agency, CNN, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, FOX, The New York Times, Washington Post, London Times, or even her local paper before the Pope stated it.
It was not dissected by Morning Joe, Made fun of by Maureen Dowd, scoffed at by Fr. Richard McBrein or Denounced by Richard Dawkins before the Pope expressed it.
This was the Holy Father, the Supreme Pontiff, the direct Successor to St. Peter, the holder of the Keys who can bind and loose on earth and in heaven, speaking directly to the faithful and interested in general and to Linda Binggeli in particular.
It’s been my experience that the many of the objections to the church (particularly among Christians) are objections the a Church not as it is or as it teaches but what they think it is and teaches based on what they’ve been told it, perhaps from a minister, a secularist or perhaps even from a priest who has given poor catechesis.
In other words they object to or attack a Catholic Church that doesn’t actually exist.
But with the Pope now able to tweet directly to the masses, that is eliminated. There is absolutely no question that the message given is consistent with the authentic teaching of the Church.
That power and ability to bypass the media filter will only grow over time and that effect will be profound, The Anchoress again at the Washington Post:
I’m tempted to say there is a danger that the pope can be misconstrued, but it’s difficult to imagine how Benedict can be any MORE misconstrued than he usually is in most media stories about him — witness the silly headlines following the release of his latest book, suggesting that Benedict was naysaying the Christmas narratives. On the other hand, if His Holiness is misconstrued, setting the record straight is much faster and more efficient online. He won’t have to wait four days for a “clarification” (in section C, page 36) of the screaming headlines that had appeared front page, above the fold. In that sense, I guess you could say Rome has a shot at grabbing the wheel of the Barque of St. Peter from the hands of the media and being its own helmsman-of-perception.
And it is this fact more than anything else, the potential to do this and actually save souls that causes that anger and venom spewed in his direction. The Anchoress however notes this will backfire in a special way:
It’s interesting to see folks indulge themselves like that; lashing out at an 85 year old man — or tweeting risque pictures to try to shock him — reveals a great deal about the people who do it, but if folks think they’re hurting the pope, they should think again. All they’re doing, when they try to shock, or vent, is opening the door to their own salvation. They’re only prompting Benedict to pray directly for the healing of their souls, as the Vicar of Christ encounters their need.
Seen in that way, it’s impossible to take offense at these tweets; easier to see them for what they are: cries from the shadows, by sheep in search of their shepherd but wounded, and cold — and so very afraid — that they do not know how to trust.
as Thomas McDonald put it:
When you tell the world to hope, pray, and look for Jesus in the faces of the needy, and they respond with “f*ck you you child molesting old queen,” that doesn’t say a thing about the pope or his message. It says volumes about the demonic forces unleashed in our world. It’s nice for Catholics to see a tweet from the pope, but it’s important for the haters to see one. emphasis mine
No matter if it’s a cry for help, demonic forces unleashed or a little of both, they will get the word of Christ and his Church directly from the Chair of Peter.
And that reality will not change no matter how they protest, but it might in the end change the world.