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Nuns Should Spend Less Time on Twitter, Vatican Says

Nuns Should Spend Less Time on Twitter, Vatican Says

Nuns take a selfie picture with a selfie stick and a mobile phone, during the weekly general audience of Pope Francis on April 18, 2018, on St. Peter's square in the Vatican. (Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 16 May 2018 11:37 AM

Nuns should spend less time on Twitter and other social media platforms to avoid ruining their "contemplative world" with "noise, news, and words," according to a new advisory by the Vatican, The Guardian reported.

Nuns were told in a new document produced by the Vatican's office of religious life, that while they are allowed to visit social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and read news on the internet, they are instructed to do so with "discretion and sobriety," The Guardian wrote.

"Recollection and silence are of great importance for the contemplative life as 'the necessary space for listening and pondering His Word and the prerequisite for that gaze of faith that enables us to welcome God's presence in our own life and in that of the sisters [...] and in the events of today's world," Chapter 3 of the document said, provided in English by Vatican News.

"These means must therefore be used with sobriety and discretion, not only with regard to the contents but also to the quantity of information and the type of communication, 'that they 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, nor should they prove harmful for your vocation, or become an obstacle to your life wholly dedicated to contemplation,'" the document continued.

The document, called "Cor Orans" or "Praying Heart," was presented by Archbishop Jose Rodriguez Carballo, secretary of the Congressional for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, and by the undersecretary of the same Congregation, Father Sebastiano Paciolla, noted the Vatican News.

The publication noted that the document should be of interest to the church's nearly 38,000 cloistered nuns and also for society at large.

The Guardian wrote that the guidelines were presented three weeks after a group of cloistered nuns in Spain published protests on Facebook after a court acquitted five men accused of the gang-rape of a teenager during the Pamplona bull-running festival in 2016, finding them guilty of the lesser offense of sexual abuse instead.

"We live in cloister, we wear a habit that goes almost to our ankles, we don't go out at night [unless it's for a (medical) emergency], we don't go to parties, we don’t consume alcohol, and we've made a vow of chastity," the nuns said on Facebook April 26.

"[Ours] is an option that doesn't make us better or worse than anyone, even if, paradoxically, it makes us freer and happier than most. And because it's a free choice, we defend with all the means available to us [this is one of them] the right of all women to freely say no without being judged, raped, intimidated, murdered or humiliated for it. Sister, I do believe you," the post continued, per The Guardian.

The post went viral, attracting 14,000 likes and was shared more than 15,000 times, The Guardian reported.

Sister Cristina Scuccia is possibly the most famous nun on social media after winning Italy's version of "The Voice" in 2014 with some 26,900 followers on Twitter, The Guardian reported.

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The Vatican is advising nuns to spend less time on Twitter and other social media sites to allow more focus on prayer and contemplation.
nuns, twitter, vatican, social media
Wednesday, 16 May 2018 11:37 AM
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