Just when the contentious relationship between the Catholic Church and Facebook seems to have settled down, parish leaders at St. John Cantius in Chicago put out a controversial letter in this past Sunday’s bulletin, condemning the social networking site as a tool for vanity.
The Chicago Tribune reports:
“[Facebook] is exactly the opposite of the Christian culture where people go into the secrecy and sacredness of the confessional to blot out their sins forever.”
Some members of the church’s congregation would agree. One parishioner notes that he deactivated his Facebook account because his “Single” status invited a hoard of advertisements for dating ads. “I can appreciate a good-looking woman. But, as a single Catholic man who strives to remain faithful to the Church’s moral teachings, I don’t like blatantly sexualized photos enticing me to join ‘dating’ sites,” he tells the paper.
The bulletin goes on to warn parents about the dangers of letting their kids use Facebook, saying that it distorts a child’s sense of reality by allowing them to create disingenuous projections of themselves.
Pope Benedict XVI (who now has his own Facebook page) reached somewhat more peaceful terms with the 500 million-user Internet powerhouse earlier this year, saying that social networking provided a tremendous opportunity for Christians “to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible.”
The Catholic Church has over 220,000 “likes” on Facebook in addition to countless other groups dedicated to its teachings, and one Catholic bishop even gave the green light for an iPhone confession app back in February.
What do you think, Techland? Is it possible for Facebook and Faith to to coexist — and maybe even compliment one another — in the digital age?
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