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Preachers Of The Word Listen!

Preachers Of The Word Listen!

The latest news is Francis Pappa is the top Twiplomat today with 36.2 million followers on his Twitter. Donald Trump has only 35.3 million, nearly one million less. So, who are the preachers of this world spreading good or bad news, sowing good or bad seeds?

In a secularized, non-religious, anti-religious, mundane, worldly world, what can a solitary preachy Pope do as the head of the smallest state in the world? So do people think of him or of the endless list of God-men, Gurus, Swamijis, Salesmen of various religions and fake divines.

Goebbelism rules roost

No doubt we are living in a crazy world where Goebbelsian lies rules roost. Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda in Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. His philosophy was: "Repeat a lie a thousand times and it becomes the truth." Hitler used Goebbels as his propaganda man to convince the Germans believe that only Hitler could save them from worst condition of their life.

To a great extent, is not this what a great president Trump in US, a Modi in India,  an Erdogan in Turkey and  many other  world leaders are doing,  not only to mislead the unthinking but, more important,  to make the all too credulous common folks believe in half-truths, alt-truth,  post-truth, fake truth and downright lies?

If the Pope is writing on twitter, it is not because he wants to shine as a pop-star but because he wants to be where the people are to spread the good word – on the twitter, facebook, the internet of instant communication and not in the sacristies of the churches or in the air-conditioned comfort halls of great cathedrals which are all deserted these days especially in Europe and Americas. Hence the Pope’s repeated clarion call: “Get out of the church of the sacristy. Go to the peripheries to preach” from the very start of his pontificate.

He can only speak and exhort his bishops and priestly class around the world; he can’t enforce his orders by a military force which he does not have. The only duty, or mission, Jesus entrusted his follower is this: “Go and spread this good news to the whole world: love one another; do to others what you would like to be done by.” Now he has shown by his own example, that this can be done. He has done it ( ab esse ad posse valet illatio) that is, from the fact it is done, it is proof that it can be repeated any number of times by any number of people. And what are the lessons for Church men, especially bishops and priests? They are two.

If Saint Paul were alive today, he would never have undertaken all those dangerous journeys by sea but would have simply sat tight in his room in front of a computer to talk to the Twitterati – the whole world of those above 20 who are constantly on their mobiles, constantly checking their e-mails, twitter, whatsapp etc. And the lesson? 1. No youngster should be ordained priests, unless he is an internet expert, at least in writing 140 meaningful words in a twitter. 2. Spreading the good word through internet must be made compulsory in seminaries.

So this is a call to the so-called professional preachers of the Good news, good word, to imitate Pope Francis by becoming Twiplomats. Twitter addicts in the world today are 356 million; that is no small number. Religious leaders on Twitter in contrast, appear to be further behind. With 14.1 million followers, the Dalai Lama is the only figure to come anywhere near the Pope’s enormous following.

Internet, twitter and all associated popular forms of communication are the practical working modes of spreading the good word on spiritual life, social life, family life, political life, economic life or anything connected with a good human life which should necessarily include land, labour and lodging for everyone, according to Pope Francis.

(Published on 21st August 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 34)