Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth described the uncharitable use of blogs, Facebook and Twitter as a “grave matter.”
Using social media for abuse or to attack the reputations of other people was a direct sin against the Eighth Commandment, forbidding people from “bearing false witness” against their neighbors, he said in a pastoral letter released March 19.
“We must exercise discretion, respect others and their privacy and not engage in slander, gossip and rash judgment,” the bishop wrote in the document that was to be distributed in parishes the weekend of March 22-23.
“We must avoid calumny, that is, slurring and damaging people, and not spread abroad their sins and failings,” he said.
The bishop encouraged the faithful to ask themselves “How do I use Facebook or Twitter? Am I charitable when blogging? Do I revel in other people’s failings?
“All this is grave matter,” he said. - Lifted from Deacon's Bench
We who blog cannot avoid sin.
I told you. Although I suppose people will say it doesn't apply to us, or anyone outside Bishop Egan's diocese. Just like some people say you can wave off the Holy Father in his off the cuff daily homilies or Wednesday audience talks. Speaking of ignoring Catholic teaching, I just happened upon a post suggesting Catholics may not be bound to give canonisations the absolute assent de fide we were taught was required.
I really think Bishop Egan knows what he is talking about.
O God, put a guard on my mouth,
and upon my lips an effective seal,
that I may not sin by them.
Where words are many, sin is not wanting;
but those who restrain their lips do well. - Proverbs 10:19