It looks like excessive social media usage is officially becoming a problem among Catholic nuns. In a recent statement, Vatican has recently ordered nuns to reduce time spent on social media and instead to focus more on contemplation.
A document entitled ‘Cor Orans’ (which is Latin for ‘Praying Heart’), the Vatican reminded 38,000 cloistered nuns in the Catholic Church that too much tweeting and reading the news can interfere with staying prayerful.
Excessive social media use can be a major distraction for nuns, Vatican warned.
The said document taught nuns about how they can more fully apply Pope Francis’s Apostolic Constitution. Issued back in 2016, the constitution gives guidelines regarding life in monasteries – which includes matters pertaining to legal, administrative and spiritual subjects.
Vatican said that although social media isn’t totally forbidden, nuns should use it with moderation.
The document explained that “it is possible to empty contemplative silence when the cloister is filled with noise, news and words.”
Furthermore, it specified that nuns should use social media with “sobriety and discretion” so that technology “may be at the service of formation for the contemplative life and necessary communication, and do not become occasions for wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community.”
Social media should “not become an obstacle” to a life wholly dedicated to contemplation.
Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo presented the document at a recent press conference where he also said that he hopes to “clarify the provisions of the law, developing and determining the procedures for its execution.”
Nuns should likewise pay attention to “online content and the type and quantity of information.”
Meanwhile, Sr Catherine Wybourne, who has gained quite a following on Twitter as ‘Digital Nun’, commented about the subject, writing on her blog:
“Of course I agree with the need for discretion, but having been using social media for about ten years – probably longer than many of the clergy and others who felt it necessary to give nuns guidance on the matter – my main reaction is a mixture of despair and irritation.”
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