Vatican Instructs Nuns To Drop Their Social Media Use

Rome Reacted After A Few Cloistered Nuns Took Strong Exception To A Court Case

A legislative document released by the Vatican instructs nuns to restrict their time on Social Media. The Religious Life Office in Rome insists that sisters must not be distracted by words, news, and noises. The document states a concern that social media has weakened virtues like contemplative silence and recollection.

The Vatican document gave guidelines that social media must be utilized with discretion and sobriety. The report is full of rules and many restrictions. They include what type of content, what communication channels to use, and the number of messages that should be sent.

The Catholic Church has always been successful in harnessing the communication medium of the day to propagate its ideas and thoughts. No wonder the Catholic Church deftly embraced social media like Twitter and Facebook. Pope Francis himself is a prolific tweeter. As per SocialBearing, an analytics services company, about 18 million people follow him. The pontiff’s tweets have been viewed and read by about 3.5 billion times during the last six months. His tweets get retweeted approximately 10 million times.

The subject of nuns using social media to get their points across came into prominence during the final days of April. A few cloistered nuns resident in Spain grouped to protest in Facebook after a Spanish court acquitted five men charged with gang-raping a teenager. The scene of the incident was the 2016 Pamplona bull-running festival. The court instead charged them with the lesser offense relating to sexual abuse. Sisters of Hondarribia wrote the protest texts.

In their April 26 post, the nuns wrote that they live in a convent and wear ankle-length habits. They do not venture out at night, the only exception being medical emergencies and do not attend parties. Alcohol is not consumed, and all nuns have made chastity vows. The post goes on to say that their life choice does not make them better or worse than anyone, just as it is a free choice. It concludes by saying that all women have the right to freely reply in the negative without being humiliated, judged, murdered, raped, or intimidated. The post was shared more than 15,000 times and got 14,000 likes.

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