USCCB Blog offers “Rules” on “The Gospel and Social Media”

Sr. Mary Ann Walsh posted on the USCCB blog some “rules” for social media and evangelization.

I’ll edit this down to some bullet points, so that you will have to go over there and give that blog some traffic.

The Gospel and Social Media

Two caveats for evangelizers, that is, those who spread the Gospel today: 1. Use social media and 2. Follow its rules. It’s a new day in church work: the computer has replaced the pen, 15 minutes seems like eternity, and if you don’t get your message out fast, the audience disappears.

Here are some rules for social media evangelization:

1. Translate church teaching.

2. Avoid church speak.

3. Use images, as Jesus did.

4. Understand that social media is social.

5. Social media sometimes calls for a suit of armor. [I’ll say.]

6. Use the delete button if comments cross the line of decency, but, hopefully, not often.

7. Spread Catholicism’s fun parts.

8. Remember rules are changing.

9. Remember web messages live forever.

10. Keep it short.

Perhaps you will have your own suggestions.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. JayneK says:

    The spiritual acts of mercy can happen online. We can use social media:

    To instruct the ignorant;
    To counsel the doubtful;
    To admonish sinners;
    To bear wrongs patiently;
    To forgive offences willingly;
    To comfort the afflicted;
    To pray for the living and the dead.

  2. Random Friar says:

    Acknowledge the good that your opponents might be seeking, and point out the way to the higher good.

  3. Bea says:

    Make your opening sentence attention getting.
    A little levity will keep people’s interest (ALA Fr. Z)
    Make sure your facts are 100% correct or they’ll come back to bite you.

  4. iPadre says:

    People want the truth. (Or at least those who are honest) My rule is: Tell it as it is!

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  6. Titus says:

    Rules are changing?

    Which rules?

  7. Tradster says:

    I do not recall Jesus establishing any fun parts to Catholicism.

  8. jflare says:

    I’ve begun reading the blog entry itself. So, now we can’t use the word “intrinsic” because..people don’t understand it. I guess.

    Sounds like we need to improve education almost as much as anything!

  9. jrpascucci says:

    11. Don’t eviscerate the truth in an attempt to be popular. It is the hard parts and hard sayings of being a follower of Jesus are what make it compelling to the soul.

    These two go together:
    12a. Avoid respect of persons.
    12b. Ignore people who say “judge not lest ye be judged” as if it covered all criticism. We’ve been instructed to “judge with right judgement”. As with Aquinas, above: look for causes rather than at persons.

    13. All heresy begins in disproportion of related truths. Avoid being disproportionate. Being silent on a topic which ought to be spoken of is a sin of omission against truth, if you are in a position to speak rightly and fully.

    14. Niceness is not a Catholic virtue, indeed it is opposed to such. Kindness is, as is gentleness and longanimity, which are fruits of the Holy Spirit. Know the difference between those and ‘nice’.

    15. Avoid adhering to those who gain approbation from “the world” or are lionized by it: chances are very high they are doing something wrong. If they are hated by “the world”, chances are they’re more reliable. It’s not an infalliable guide, but you’ll go less wrong.

    16. The enemy of your enemy is probably not your friend, as it’s very possible to error on both extremes.

    These two go together:
    17a. Don’t mess with people who cite the Fathers, the Councils, and the Saints as authorities. Chances are, they’re right. Indeed, when dealing with other Catholics, do use this form of “Church speak”.
    17b. Conversely, people who quote a lay or Jesuit theologian from the last century as an authority on any topic are probably wrong. Don’t do that.

    18. There is a licit range of theological opinion on many topics pertaining to the Faith. Sometimes it’s wider, but these days, it’s usually vastly narrower than the range generally presented. (Pro-tip: “Tantamount to heresy” is not within the licit range.)

    19. The roots of the ‘liberal/conservative’ split lie in modern philosophy. They are both wrong, because modern philosophy is profoundly broken. GBTA (Get back to Aristotle).

    20. Don’t be humble because it is becoming and makes a good and attractive outward appearance. Be humble because you’re a sinner and too often a complete doof.

    21. Don’t do theology in a state of serious or mortal sin: your mind is darkened by your illicit acts. Go to confession. They aren’t kidding about this stuff.

    22. Avoid intellectual mollities: don’t overreact to the presentation, make sure you understand the heart of the matter.

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    “Use images as Jesus did.”

    All blog pictures must be scrawled in the dirt with your finger. :)

    (Yes, I know she means rhetorical images, and tying things you point out around you to a teaching.)

  11. kab63 says:

    Seek fellowship and you will be refreshed.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    Tradster, a sign of predestination is a sense of humor.

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