Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Guidelines for bloggers and social networking

The Church in Wales has published guidelines in using "social media" for its clergy and office holders [here]
It offers some very sane, sensible and welcome advice for those navigating what can sometimes be, as we know, rather dangerous and murky waters.
Charity, discretion and courtesy, even in the midst of the robust argument and profound disagreement which goes with the territory of the contemporary Anglican predicament, are what we all aim towards, if sometimes we fall short of the ideal.
However, one line did cause me to raise an eyebrow; it is included under the heading of  "additional hazards associated with using social media channels of communication:"
"d) Decisions made by the GB, RB or DBF’s are undermined or disrespected through continued argument online."
Heaven forbid we might seek to undermine or show disrespect for a decision of the Province's Governing Body!
I hope we are not being encouraged to hold the view that once a 'final' vote has been taken (and we know from recent experience that 'final' votes are only those which go the way of the advocates of 'liberal' change) even on the most controversial of doctrinal and ethical matters facing us, all debate, discussion and opposition should be ended. How very un-Anglican and even illiberal a suggestion.
I don't make a habit of quoting the Thirty Nine Articles (although E.J. Bicknell's analysis is orthodox enough, even if personally I incline more and more to the evaluation of them in Tract XC) but this seems dangerously close to undermining the spirit of Article XXI, however one interprets it. Perhaps General Councils "may err," but provincial synods cannot?


  1. Perhaps I am too old for all this but reading the C in W press release "Clergy urged to poke, tweet and blog" left me somewhat confused. I am familiar with tweet and blog and have even partaken of the latter but for my generation, 'poke' has an entirely different connotation - unless I have missed something!

  2. Yes, I did a double-take at that, too. I've had to look it up, but this is one definition of "poke:"
    'a feature on Facebook where a user can try to get another person to notice him or her.'
    Nothing to do with moral theology then!


Anonymous comments will not be published