Sunday, April 15, 2012

Credimus! (In 140-characters or less)

A reader - a brilliant and incisive one at that - who articulates her struggles with the Church reached out to me with, what I consider, a really brilliant idea.

She asks: "People live in 120 character tweets - what can the Church 'tweet' about our core beliefs?" This would be a means, she continues, "to make inroads to Catholics and people who might want to be Catholics."

If you approached an average person on the street, what would she say about Catholicism today? "The Catholic Church is against birth control, prohibits abortion, is against gay marriage, won't ordain women, and covered up the sexual abuse of minors." This may be overly cynical but, I fear, it's probably not far from the truth. The Catholic Church certainly seems more identifiable by what it is against than what it is for.

I don't know how many might be interested in this, but I'm willing to give it a shot. What if we were to complete the following phrases in 140-characters or less?

  1. We believe Catholics break bread in community because...
  2. We believe Catholics work for social justice because...
  3. We believe Catholic traditions appeal to the senses because...
  4. We believe Catholics trust in the life and work of Jesus Christ because...
  5. We believe Catholics find God in all things because...
  6. We believe Catholics understand that God...
  7. We believe within the Catholic Church because...
In the Latin, "We Believe" is Credimus. So I might be crazy and this might not go anywhere at all, but what if we were to "Tweet" these (either in the comment box or on Twitter) and start each one with #Credimus. For instance
#Credimus: we recognize the dignity of every human life 
That accomplishes the task in 56 characters! Short, sweet, and to the point. There's even 84 characters left over to work with.

If this caught on, it would be sort of cool to have some "Affirmative Catholicism" stating what we believe in and what we stand for. Think of this as the early stages of setting down a "Twitter Catechism" that may make the tenets of the Catholic faith accessible, and appealing, to a younger generation. This isn't to say that it can be reduced to Tweets but, if we're clever, it might hook them and invite them to dig deeper into the riches of the tradition.

Note: I know the Nicene Creed is no professed "Credo - I believe" but if you look at #Credo on Twitter, pornography comes up. Hence the communal "Credimus" or "We believe."



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nicely done, Ryan! As Catholics, we should focus on what unites us. People spend quite a lot of time in secular society finding ways to marginalize others: in politics, in academia, in the workplace, in sports, in families...

Catholics should put all of this aside and unite around our core "Catholic-ness." Being Catholic is simple, and complicated. Let us converse with each other, and assume positive intent.

My tweet: "We believe Catholic traditions appeal to the senses because we are human. This is how we can best relate to God."

Hench said...

O God! I believe········