Scottish Daily Mail
Thou shalt not troll... priests warned on social media abuse
ROMAN Catholic priests have been warned by their leaders not to become trolls who make ‘disparaging remarks’ about others on social media.
New church rules say they should communicate ‘respectfully, responsibly and transparently’ online.
The guidance has been made public weeks after Cardinal Vincent Nichols, leader of the church in England and Wales, was criticised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse.
A report said he had failed as a leader by allowing the protection of paedophiles in the church. Backed by Cardinal Nichols, the guidance says: ‘Priests must never invite children or adults at risk, or accept invitations from them, to be “friends” or contacts on any personal social media sites they use, or otherwise interact with them on those sites.’
The rules add: ‘Never make disparaging remarks about children or adults at risk, neither in private conversation, public discourse nor on social media.’
Priests are told that in online communications they should never ‘make jests or pranks that could be reasonably perceived as suggestive by others’.