Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill has urged the clergy to use Internet blogs for missionary work. The head of the Russian Orthodox Church warned against idle talk or passing one’s own thoughts for the postulates of the church. The Patriarch was speaking ahead of his second pastoral visit to Ukraine.
This recent appeal by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, aimed at enhancing the church’s influence through blogging and networking, made the headlines throughout the Runet. IT-analyst Alexander Mitrofanov believes that the Internet is a good vehicle to carry the live language of the church to the people.
“Many priests and church hierarchs have their own blogs in the global network,” he says. “It helps people seeking their paths in life. Jesus Christ taught His apostles to attract people by the word. High technology and the Internet should serve the same purpose.”
Patriarch Kirill sees social networking as an opportunity for dialogue and revival of the epistolary genre. IT expert Alexander Kuzin says the patriarch wants to establish a dialogue with the Internet community in a user-friendly language.
“The Church wants to make itself understood to most readers,” he says. “This does not mean that church bloggers should use a primitive or false language. Unlike former Internet resources, social networks and blogs make it possible to talk and listen. Communication is crucial. A contemporary user wants two-way communication, so that they could ask questions and receive the answers, and could enter discussions with the others.”
The Vatican has been making an effective use of the Internet for years. According to expert Alexander Kuzin, expanding influence is common in church activity.
“In January 2009 Pope Benedict XVI opened a blog at YouTube with short videos about what’s new in the Vatican. In winter the same year the pontiff struck a deal with the Google search engine. As a result, Google got access to the Holy See’s photos and texts. Vatican press secretary, Father Federico Lombardi, has described the deal as a new chapter in the history of the Vatican.”
In the opinion of Alexander Kuzin, the Russian Orthodox Church will benefit a lot from borrowing this good practice from the Vatican. Entering the global communication network is a must for any religion if it aspires to provide spiritual guidance to those who seek God.