Let There be Smiley Faces

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The Catholic Church is getting more and more bizarre.

According to The Telegraph,

the Roman Catholic Church has issued advice to its followers on how to use the internet – and given an unlikely stamp of ecclesiastical approval to the use of the humble smiley face.

Archbishop Eamon Martin, the incoming Archbishop of Armagh and future Primate of All Ireland sees

“the internet as being like the ‘new Athens’, new marketplace or Areopagus, a ‘global village’ to be won for Christ,”

Archbishop Eamon Martin’s digital 10 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.

We can add appropriation of the smiley face and the Internet to the list of How Religion Poisons Everything.

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