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Vatican Tells Nuns To Spend Less Time on Twitter

Newsweek logo Newsweek 5/16/2018 Brendan Cole
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Nuns should communicate more with God and less with social media, the Vatican has said.

The Holy See has told the Catholic Church’s 38,000 cloistered nuns that too much tweeting and downloading news intrudes on a life of prayer and contemplation.

The document titled 'Cor Orans, Latin for ‘Praying Heart,’ gives instructions to nuns on how to apply Pope Francis’s Apostolic Constitution, which was issued in 2016. 

It offers guidelines on all aspects of life in monasteries including legal, administrative and spiritual matters. It did not forbid social media but said that it should be used in moderation.

In a chapter titled ‘Separation from the World,’ it describes how the Church’s rules on the use of “social communication” aimed to preserve “recollection and silence.”

The document warns that “it is possible to empty contemplative silence when the cloister is filled with noises, news, and words.”

It also advises that social media must be used “with sobriety and discretion...that they may be at the service of formation for the contemplative life and necessary communication, and do not become occasions for wasting time or escaping from the demands of fraternal life in community.

“Nor should they prove harmful for your vocation, or become an obstacle to your life wholly dedicated to contemplation”, it added.

The 34-page document was presented during a press conference on Tuesday by Catholic Archbishop José Rodriguez Carballo, the Vatican News reported.

He said it aims to “clarify the provisions of the law, developing and determining the procedures for its execution.”

It follows consultation with nuns in monasteries who were asked what they needed to better live out their vocation and is intended to replace a document released in 1999.

Carballo said: “We copied what arrived from the nuns,” adding that the document’s aim was to bring together “a desire for renovation with the protection and safeguarding of the pillars of contemplative life."

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