Before I get started, I want to give a disclaimer. The contents below are strictly my opinion on what I see as the Catholic world today in regards to social media and its role in the Church. With that being said, let’s proceed.
Social media sites have provided a platform for the new age of Sadducees & Pharisees in the Catholic Church and yet, nobody seems to recognize it. There are just as many supposed “Catholic” sites and pages as there are Protestant churches! The sad part of it all is that each one claims to be preaching Roman Catholicism yet, most of them disagree with each others view or version of it. There are many problems out there with all these people and sites claiming to be leading people to Jesus. Here are the main ones that I see.
The “Lay” problem.
Any Joe Blow can create a site or page and label it “Catholic.” I ought to know because I’ve had a few myself. As a matter of fact, since Vatican II, the laity have been encouraged to go out and participate more in their faith. The Church defines “laity” as: Laity—“all the faithful except those in Holy Orders and those who belong to a religious state approved by the Church. That is, the faithful, who by Baptism are incorporated into Christ and integrated into the People of God, are made sharers in their particular way in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly office of Christ, and have their own part to play in the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the World.” The laypeople are encouraged to go out and spread the Gospel yet few are mature enough in their Catholic faith to be able to do so. “There is so much need today for mature Catholic personalities, conscious of their baptismal identity, of their vocation and mission in the Church and in the world!” – Pope St. John Paul II, May 30, 1998 Message for the World Congress of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities. Most “mature Catholics” that I have met or have seen their works are converts to the faith. That is not a bad thing but a great thing as it should encourage those who are “cradle Catholics” or reverts, to grasp for a better understanding of the Catholic faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is a good start. Probably the best way to learn more about Jesus is to pick up the bible and read about his life but don’t just “read” the bible, let it speak to your heart. Pray before you start to read and pray after.
The “Ordained” problem.
Just as any Joe Blow layperson can create a site or page and call it Catholic, so can our ordained leaders of the Church. I’ve seen a whole slew of ordained clergy who have such different interpretations of the Catholic faith that it’s enough to make your head spin. Many tend to share their personal beliefs, some which go against Church teachings and the Magesterium or, that don’t do a good job in sharing or living the Gospel in a charitable manner. They have the tools to teach from (bible, CCC, religious formation, etc…) but they tend to shoot from the hip. Is it any wonder why most Protestants tend to see the Catholic Church as a bunch of hypocrites who don’t know their faith. How are we expected to know our faith when we are dependent on our leaders? Just as there are great examples of laypeople in the Church, there are just as many great examples of ordained clergy as well.
Everybody thinks that they know how to run the Church and what Jesus wants but, do they really know? When we depend on man to lead us to Christ, man will always fail us, for we are humans. God however, will never fail us. Let us all start listening to what it is Christ is calling us to do and stop focusing on becoming the next Scott Hahn or Bishop Barron. We can choose to do His will and go out and live and profess the Gospel or we can continue to do our will and continue to mislead others and misrepresent our beautiful Catholic Faith.
Note: Since writing this piece I have decided to eliminate anything Catholic related on Facebook which is the social media site that is use most. I have done so to eliminate the noise and focus more on my own personal relationship with Christ instead of reading about “how” I should be doing it. I hope to someday bring back some of the sites that will be beneficial in my walk with Christ but for now, I will depend on the Holy Spirit to guide me. God bless and safe journeys.