Use social media discreetly, Vatican tells nuns


London, May 17: Thou shalt not disturb your life in contemplation of God with “noises, news, and words” on social media, the Vatican has advised nuns in a set of guidelines issued after nuns in Spain protested on Facebook about the acquittal of five men accused of gang rape.
The guidelines, included in a document titled Cor Orans (Praying Heart) issued on Tuesday, advise nuns to use social media with “sobriety and discretion”, not only with regard to its contents but to the quantity of information.
The document provides instructions on how to apply Pope Francis’ 2016 Apostolic Constitution – Vultum Dei Quaerere (Seek the Face of God) – addressed to Catholic women in contemplative communities.
Social media, it says, should be “at the service of formation for the contemplative life and necessary communication, and (should) not become occasions for wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community, nor should they prove harmful for your vocation, or become an obstacle to your life wholly dedicated to contemplation”.
It adds that the use of means of communication for information or work can be allowed in a monastery “with prudent discernment, for common utility, according to the provisions of the Conventual Chapter contained in the community plan of life”.
The document was presented during a news conference at the Holy See Press Office led byArchbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.
“The nuns procure necessary information on the church and the world, not with a multiplicity of news, but knowing how to grasp the essential in the light of God, to bring it to prayer in harmony with the heart of Christ,” the document states.
Pope Francishas had a Twitter account, @Pontifex, since January 2012, followed by 17.8 million people. (Agencies)