The season of Advent marks the beginning of the Catholic new year and the time of spiritual preparation for the Lord’s coming at Christmas. It is a time of waiting, conversion and hope – Archbishop Eamon Martin.
‘The kindly light will never be defended by nastiness and bitterness,’ Archbishop Diarmuid Martin tells social media pundits and online trolls.
In his homily, the Archbishop told pilgrims that, for many, material success and personal fulfilment have become the goal and purpose of human life.
There is a risk people can become desensitised to the depth of this crisis and we must always remember behind each single number is a child, a man or a woman who is homeless and who is suffering.
“Social media are powerful instruments yet paradoxically they can sadly become a trap for fruitless and at times even nasty internal Church polemics.”
Delegates attending Synod assembly see the pastoral care of young people online and in social media, as well as the need for digital missionaries, as a priority.
“It is very clear that good journalism really does matter. Social media has opened the doors to so-called ‘fake news’, widespread anonymous comment, and a scarcity of thoroughly researched news stories.”
The problem with children checking their phones at 2.00 a.m. is they “go to bed buzzing and can’t get to sleep”. The next day they are completely exhausted, not performing their best at school and so their confidence is knocked. “It’s a whole cycle.”
“We wouldn’t abandon our children to the streets of Dublin on a Saturday night at twelve o’ clock ... Yet in effect that is what parents are doing when they give their children unfettered access to the internet,” said Jeremy Pagden.
New bill is merely updating “the electoral laws that were written for the age of posters and leaflets” so that people know who are behind the ads on social media platforms: Deputy James Lawless.
“Failure to recognise and respond appropriately to the complex issues which abuse presents has, at times, compounded the profound and harmful impact on the lives of many young and vulnerable persons.”
“I want to encourage lay people and Catholics generally to stay involved in social media. You could say it’s a negative environment, there’s a lot of nasty comment, a lot of rough dealings with people. But then we’d abandon that field and let the trolls have it” - Bishop Paul Tighe.
Address criminal drug gangs, moneylenders, violence in the home, against children, sexual violence and violence against people because of their sexuality, as well as hate-talk about immigrants, exhorts Archbishop Diarmuid Martin.
Bishop Denis Nulty, president of Accord, will release the Catholic Marriage Care Service’s 2016 figures for marriage preparation and marriage and relationship counselling.
“It will be impossible for us to hold on to the ways we lived parish in the past. The parishes of tomorrow will be ‘communities of intentional disciples’ sustained by committed and formed lay people.”
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