Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England, evidently felt that the people in the pews (not to mention a few priests) needed to remember that malicious gossip, calumny and slander are mortal sins.
They are mortal sins, even when you commit them anonymously on the internet.
Do we really need a bishop to tell us that?
Stop for a moment and think about the dark pleasure that comes into your heart when you verbally destroy another person out of spite or malice. Consider the hard, sadistic satisfaction you take in thinking about the pain you are inflicting.
Do you really think that comes from heaven above?
No matter how self-righteously you proclaim that you are speaking Truth, you know, if you will just be honest with yourself, that what you are doing is practicing cruelty for the evil pleasure of practicing cruelty.
Just like a little kid, pulling the legs off a bug.
That’s you and your grandiose claims of a higher morality that allows you to inflict damage on other people for no other reason but that you get a dark satisfaction out of doing it.
These are, as the bishop tells us, grave sins. They are go-to-hell-for-eternity sins.
They come from the pit.
Don’t commit them.
From Catholic News Service:
MANCHESTER, England (CNS) — An English bishop asked Catholics to use Lent as a time to repent of sins committed on social media.
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.
Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England, asked Catholics to use Lent as a time to repent of sins committed on social media. (CNS/Reuters)
“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.