Commandments for believers who blog

Popes rarely produce viral sound bites, but legions of Catholic bloggers continue to pass around a quote from Pope Benedict XVI in which he openly blessed the passion that drives them to their keyboards."Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea facing into the deep with the same passion that has governed the ship of the Church for 2000 years," he said, in a 2010 Vatican address easily found at YouTube. The goal is to live in the "digital world with a believer's heart, helping to give a … [Read more...]

Getting iConfession wrong

For generations, Catholics carried these simple leaflets inside their handbags or wallets, short texts topped with titles such as "A Guide For Confession" or "A Personal Examination of the Conscience."The believer would be reminded: "Be truly sorry for your sins. The essential act of penance, on the part of the penitent, is contrition, a clear and decisive rejection of the sin committed, together with a resolution not to commit it again, out of the love one has for God and which is reborn with … [Read more...]

Rome ponders iMissal app

When it comes to liturgical details, the Vatican has clear guidelines about sacred objects that are blessed for use during a Mass."The Church has always sought," notes the Book of Blessings, "to ensure that all those things that are involved in any way in divine worship should be worthy, becoming and beautiful. ... Those objects that through a blessing are set aside for divine worship are to be treated with reverence by all and to be put only to their proper use, never profaned."This … [Read more...]

Islamic urband legends

The rumor spread across Pakistan in a blitz of text messages on cellphones.There was a killer virus on the loose and all you had to do to catch it was answer a call from an infected number. The virus didn't hurt cellphones, but would -- eyewitnesses confirmed this -- cause users to drop dead. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was forced to issue a denial telling users that it was safe to turn their phones back on.Then there were messages claiming that Israeli trucks were carrying a … [Read more...]

Looking for the Net Big Thing

CHICAGO -- When it comes to the digital world, David Merwin is a native.He knows the laws and lingo. Along with his colleagues, Merwin believes the World Wide Web can bring people together and spread new ideas. But when it comes to analyzing the impact of the new "information technology" (natives say "IT") on many churches, he has some doubts."Lots of people are jumping into online ministry because they see that everybody else is doing it," he said, during the 2005 convention of … [Read more...]