Less than two years after the “Summer of Shame”, one of America’s most prominent bishops is calling for the hierarchy to begin policing Catholic laypeople’s social media platforms.
Here are Bishop Robert Barron’s own words, published in the National Catholic Register last week:
Bishop Barron said he believes the bishops should consider exercising their authority in the digital sphere “just as John Paul II, in Ex Corde Ecclesiae, called for the bishops to exercise greater supervision of universities operating under the aegis of the Church.”
“There are, to be blunt, a disconcerting number of such people on social media who are trading in hateful, divisive speech, often deeply at odds with the theology of the Church and who are, sadly, having a powerful impact on the people of God,” he said.
“I do think that the shepherds of the Church, those entrusted with supervising the teaching office, can and should point out when people on social media are harming the Body of Christ.”
Bishop Barron suggested that it may be time for bishops “to introduce something like a mandatum for those who claim to teach the Catholic faith online, whereby a bishop affirms that the person is teaching within the full communion of the Church.”
You read that right. Barron wants the Church to institute a formal mandatum process to label which Catholic social media users are bishop-approved. That way, Catholics can know whom to trust.
Barron’s pathetic suggestion would be just plain comical if not for the dead-serious facts surrounding it. It’s as though Barron wants us to forget the horrors that our leaders inflicted on our most vulnerable brothers and sisters in recent years — terrible crimes against the Body of Christ, and against our own children.
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