Twitter, Facebook Should Be Embraced by Catholic Church, Says Bishop

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The Catholic Church should be using social media services to spread the good word to the rest of the world, so a bishop speaking at the Australian Catholic Congress in Sydney, Australia today. Bishop David Walker explained how the Church can take advantage of this communication medium to stay in touch with other followers.

Walker was quoted as saying, "The new media is not an optional extra, it is a central element in what we need to do in the proclamation of the gospel today." He went on to acknowledge the Church's tendency to not always be up on the times. "So often we've found the church in the given age using the symbols and the language of a past age and that gets in the way of communicating the word," Bishop Walker said.

While he has a point with those statements, he seems to be forgetting that the most Catholic of the Catholics, Pope Benedict XVI, has already been active in the world of social media. The Vatican has had its own YouTube channel for a few years now and the Pople has also encouraged priests to take to the blogosphere to share the Church's message.

More recently, the Pople live-tweeted lent, sharing excerpts from his Lenten Message as well as other papal deliveries. Given the Vatican's attempts already to become a presence in the social media world, it looks like the Pope's way ahead of Bishop Walker on this issue.