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Roman Catholics given fresh set of commandments for the digital age

They may not have been inscribed by God and the tablets they are printed on are more likely to be silicon than clay but that hasn’t stopped the Roman Catholic Church from trumpeting the latest instruction manual for their flock.

The historic set of Biblical principles have been given a 21st Century makeover under the direction of the Pope, responding to a

/news/2014/01/22/church-england-issues-9-new-commandments-social-media-age

">similar set of nine commands published by the Church of England earlier in the year.

Devised by Archbishop Eamon Martin it is hoped that this will help propagate the Christian message in an increasingly secular world.

He said: “I see the internet as being like the ‘new Athens’, new marketplace or Areopagus, a ‘global village’ to be won for Christ. Our challenge is to become witnesses for Christ in this strange new world, to enter into dialogue with the digital culture.”

“If only to be able to reach our young people and an increasing percentage of people of all ages, we need to be present in this new Areopagus.

“Our young people are spending huge proportions of their time in this virtual world, so much that for many it is becoming increasingly the place where they live their lives, and what we call the real world of face to face seems often dull uneventful to them, and their secondary existence.”

The Catholic Church’s 10 digital Commandments:

1: Be positive and joyful. Offer ‘digital smiles’ and have a sense of humour.

2. Strictly avoid aggression and ‘preachiness’ online; try not to be judgmental or polemical.

3. Never bear false witness on the internet.

4. Fill the internet with charity and love, always giving rather than taking.

5. Have a broad back when criticisms and insults are made – when possible, gently correct.

6. Pray in the digital world. Establish sacred spaces, opportunities for stillness, reflection and meditation.

7. Establish connections, relationships and build communion.

8. Educate our young to keep themselves safe and to use the internet responsibly.

9. Witness to human dignity at all times online. We are well aware of the pervasive prevalence of pornography on the internet which can ‘pollute the spirit’.

10. Be missionary, be aware that with the help of the internet, a message has the potential to reach the ends of the earth in seconds.

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