GeE 115: Online Verbal Violence

See the source imagePope Francis levels criticism at online behaviors:

115. Christians too can be caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet and the various forums of digital communication. Even in Catholic media, limits can be overstepped, defamation and slander can become commonplace, and all ethical standards and respect for the good name of others can be abandoned. The result is a dangerous dichotomy, since things can be said there that would be unacceptable in public discourse, and people look to compensate for their own discontent by lashing out at others. It is striking that at times, in claiming to uphold the other commandments, they completely ignore the eighth, which forbids bearing false witness or lying, and ruthlessly vilify others. Here we see how the unguarded tongue, set on fire by hell, sets all things ablaze (cf. James 3:6).

I suspect his predecessors were unaware of the bile directed at others in their names. Regarding respect for the good name of others, it is a Christian ethical imperative to want the other person, even the adversary, to have dignity, virtue, and respect. I suppose if some of us feel as strongly as we do about our opinions on things, we can rely on the ultimate persuasion of our positivity. Right?

You can check the full document Gaudete et Exsultate on the Vatican website.

 

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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