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Seven Tips For Discussing Catholic Issues On Social Media

Last edited 1st March 2016

Seven Tips For Discussing Catholic Issues On Social Media

1. No need to defend the indefensible
2. Make sure you do your research, be informed
3. Be charitable in your dialogue:
4. Don’t be discouraged if your ‘opponent’ turns nasty
5. Even if you’re informed, you may not have all of the answers
6. Choose the comments you respond to carefully
7. Consider if responding to a comment will impact negatively on people you know

As issues which involve the Catholic Church arise in a range of media outlets, you can be sure that these stories will be discussed up and down on social media. Reacting to news media headlines which are obviously designed to prompt a reaction, many people will let their thoughts spill out into the online space.

This piece is not about blaming the media, to their credit there are outlets who have been fairer and even sympathetic in their reporting on Church related issues. While it is unfortunate that there are people on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms who suddenly become ‘experts’ about all things Catholic and leave their comments, usually with unverifiable or even outright included, these comments however can be seen as opportunities to evangelise.

I’ve found in many instances that reasonable people can be quite appreciative of clarifications if they are posted with the intent of gently correcting an error. In Episode 32 of my podcast, What the Faith, I shared the following tips from my own experiences when dialoguing online with those who take issue with the Church:

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Gary Cachia
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Gary Cachia wrote at 10:16pm on March 11th 2016
Useful not only for catholic issues but always,. I would add don't get discouraged by the the ad hominin attacks- its what happens in number 4 above