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Bishop Robert Reed: Be conscious in social interactions - computer, iPhone or in person

While in Rome for New England bishops' meeting with Pope Francis, Auxilary Bishop of Boston, Robert Reed spoke about media. He is the president of Catholic TV. In its 65th year, it's the oldest and first Catholic television station in existence.

While media has changed drastically in that time, he says new evangelization on social media is a real area where Catholics can engage.  

Auxilary Bishop, Diocese of Boston
“More and more people, even older people are engrossed in their screens. If we're not present on those screens, then we're missing a great opportunity. A lot of the conversation is going on via social media, and what if we're not part of the conversation? Then we're not doing our job.”

But that “job” has many Catholics or Christians engaging in wars on social media. Instead of spreading God's message, many try to beat it into the person on the other side of the screen. 

Bishop Reed, an active Twitter user, insists silence is a great way to respond in these moments.

Auxilary Bishop, Diocese of Boston
“Sometimes it means ending a conversation I believe sometimes. Silence. Sometimes it means shifting the conversation back to one's faith, one's relationship to Jesus, and how that is incorporated in into your daily life in your conversation. We need to be conscious of the way that we act toward one another, be it on a computer or on an iPhone, or here in person.”

That's why, to him, there is a real power in face-to-face contact or the “culture of encounter,” as Pope Francis often says.

Auxilary Bishop, Diocese of Boston
“We need to encounter one another. We need to look each other in the eye. We You need to listen to one another. We need to be respectful. Even when the feelings or the conversation takes a turn toward the and respectful. That goes for face-to-face encounters as well as encounters on social media, respect, civility, understanding forgiveness, and the ability to witness to one's faith, in action and in words.”

Bishop Reed admitted his motto for social media is “don't use it to much.” As a pastor of two parishes in Boston and the president of Catholic TV, he says in this way, he can share experiences with the people who are present right in front of him daily.

Melissa Butz