Grace and Technology: The USCCB’s Uber-Tweeter

There were many reporters tweeting from the scene of the U.S.Bishops’ Fall General Assembly:

  • Bishop Alexander Sample (Marquette) offering updates from the floor;
  • journalists from the Associated Press and the Catholic media, posting quick notes that would later expand into national press articles;
  • staff at the USCCB Media Desk, tweeting clear and well-designed updates as the action items were settled through the day.
  • I posted, too—sometimes struggling to keep up with the many questions raised by bishops about implementation of the complex Anglican Ordinariate.

But Bishop Christopher Coyne, auxiliary bishop of Indianapolis, was the Uber-Tweeter.  I stopped counting his tweets when he reached 100 from the floor of the Assembly.

Bishop Coyne is no stranger to the world of social media.  On Facebook, he meditates on the daily scriptures of the day.  On Twitter, he offers gentle encouragement and posts an occasional joke.  At his blog, Let Us Walk Together: thoughts of a Catholic Bishop, Bishop Coyne’s longer essays are homilies for the modern age, easily accessible to the people in the pews and to the unchurched.  His recent blog posts have focused on the Throne of Grace, and the challenge and gift of priestly celibacy.

Bishop Coyne—who was named apostolic administrator of the Indianapolis Diocese in September 2011, when Archbishop Buechlein retired due to health reasons—is one of the growing number of prelates who reach an ever-widening community via the Internet.  Cardinal Sean’s Blog, by Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O’Malley, is a popular example; but the Catholic Blog Directory lists 2,581 Catholic blogs, many penned by bishops, priests and deacons.

It is a New World.  I have to believe that with so many souls out there, souls who may not find their way to church on Sunday morning, this is a very good thing.  As Bishop Coyne himself tweeted:

Had a lot of good conversations with other bishops about using the new social medias.  If I can do it….


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