Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Yes! Yes! Bishop condemns cell phones and Internet as tools of...

Paraguayan Catholic bishop Claudio Silvero said 40% of Catholic families suffer because of the bad use of mobile devices and the internet, “accursed tools of sin”. 
Bishop Claudio Silvero denounced the use of cell-phones and the internet in a homily last week at the shrine of Caacupe, 32 miles east of Asuncion.

According to the bishop, “phones ease access to pornography and aid in “inappropriate relations.” 
The Paraguayan bishop considers it is the Church’s responsibility to “warn and educate” parishioners about the dangers of these devices, a position not necessarily shared by the Vatican, with a handful of apps to their name, and always trying to up their presence in social networks. - Source

I'll bet the Bishop would love my "Blognic in an Egg".   It might even get an Imprimatur now!

Remember!  The road to hell is paved with donate buttons and credit cards.


  1. A bit of an overreaction, don't you think? You can't use the phone or the Internet for sinful things if you don't intend to use them that way ...

    Yes, the temptation is there, and some people may really need to remove all kinds of devices from their lives - but really, why condemn the medium itself?

  2. Reality Check12:22 AM

    Yet another example of how Christianity is antithetical to the modern world, and increasingly I think its virulent Roman Catholic strain is especially so.

    People all over are increasingly rejecting the whole cloth of this superstitious nonsense.

  3. Oh Sheesh! Reality Check sounds like my troll (except lacking the really, really bad language.)

    I agree that the improper use of technology is definitely harmful - but isn't that true for everything?

  4. "...Christianity is antithetical to the modern world...Roman Catholic strain is especially so."

    um....Amen? :-)

  5. Some theologians would argue that technology isn't necessarily neutral in itself. Adrian Walker (the guy who translated the first volume of Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth) published a good article on the non-neutrality of technology. I also briefly cover the subject myself here: http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.com/2011/08/technology-good-or-evil.html, where you can find links to other Catholic theologians who uphold the non-neutrality of technology. Not that I'm a Luddite mind you, but there does seem to be sort of moral entropy connected with the progress of modern social communications. This is probably (though not entirely) connected to the loosening of inhibitions due to the lack of face-to-face social interaction.
    It doesn’t sit easy with me that kids can share all sorts of sickening images in school playgrounds through their cellphones. A lot of parents don’t know how to block unsuitable content on these devices, some aren’t even bothered. I fear for this upcoming generation and the wider social effects of this kind of desensitization.

  6. +JMJ+

    Is this one of those "The medium is the message" things?

  7. Indeed. I think Marshall McLuhman was a visionary in this respect. The wikipedia article sums McLuhman's work on this subject rather nicely:

    "Hence in Understanding Media, McLuhan describes the "content" of a medium as a juicy piece of meat carried by the burglar to distract the watchdog of the mind. This means that people tend to focus on the obvious, which is the content, to provide us valuable information, but in the process, we largely miss the structural changes in our affairs that are introduced subtly, or over long periods of time. As society's values, norms and ways of doing things change because of the technology, it is then we realize the social implications of the medium. These range from cultural or religious issues and historical precedents, through interplay with existing conditions, to the secondary or tertiary effects in a cascade of interactions that we are not aware of."

  8. Terry — we don't know what Bishop Claudio Silvero is hearing from his brother priest or what he himself is witnessing with his flock. There might be a very frightening level of evil that he is witnessing.

  9. A Random Friar8:13 AM

    As one who puts his hours in a confessional, I can tell you with certainty that the internet and cell phones do make access to pornography and opportunity for adultery much, much easier.

    And, let's not forget, that, ahem, comboxes are often a very easy way for people to say uncharitable things that they normally would not do in person.

    That said, I view technology as neutral. But I'm not oblivious to the advantages and dangers of any particular technology either. Whether this is outweighed by the benefits of LOLcats is debatable.

  10. Emmett - what you say is certainly true, but I would argue that the technology itself is still neutral, though its improper use can have negative effects. Believe me, I know the addictive and frivolous nature of it all.

    But can't the same arguments be made for books, magazines, radio, television, etc.?

  11. I think alot of people get drawn in by the addictiveness of Internet and cell phones...I saw that at work yesterday when we were giving the "New Hire" orientation to three new folks..one guy kept checking his phone with a very puzzled look on his face..finally said "Is there a problem with the signal here?" Well yes I said--the contruction of the building block most cell phone signals. If you need to make a call you can use the desk phone over there.. He mumbled "No, that's ok..." We get further along in the orientation where we discuss desk computers and that personal email accounts fromthe Web are blocked and not accessable, FaceBook Etc is not accessible, and all Internet usage is monitered....same with phone on your desk, phone usage is monitered...the expressions onthe faces of the new hires was astounding...

    We broke for lunch....after lunch two of the three did not return to finish the orientation...found out that they had gone up to HR and said they no longer wanted the jobs...

    Geez.. in this ecomony must be nice to be able to turn down a job due to restrioction on cell phones and Internet usage during work hours, where my company is paying you to WORK and not fiddle with personal phones or surf the Internet all day long...

    Back to the resume pile..


  12. I was really just pomoting my painting here. LOL! no - seriously - I 'get' what the bishop is saying - Random Friar makes the same point - and I have to agree with him that the technology is neutral. Just by the grace of God mind you, I have no interest in porn or sexting - never have - my big sin seems to be the danger of detraction and gossip as well wasting time and indulging in 'curiosity' - what is being written by others - finding stuff out... getting the scoop. All are absorptions exacerbated by new media, which can lead to envy, jealousy, anger, vindictiveness, remembrance of wrongs, and so on.

    I appreciate Emmet's comments as well.

    Thanks to all of you for making what I thought was a drive by post into a good discussion!

  13. I called my Bishop on his cell phone to discuss this with him, but was told he would get back to me after he Tweets something about a message on his Face Book account.

    In the mean time, I could go to his web site to get his latest sermon on Modernism.



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