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back to article Pope: Catholics, go forth and multiply... your Twitter followers

The Pope has urged Catholics to use Twitter as a "portal of truth" and a way of converting non-believers to Catholicism. In a letter published today, "Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization" the Pope, a new Twitter convert, warmly endorses the Web 2.0. "Unless the Good News is made known also …

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TRT
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They'd be better off...

trying to convert believers to Catholicism rather than non-believers. I mean, it's easier to get someone to switch from Gold Blend to Douwe Egberts that to recruit someone that never drinks coffee, right?

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Re: They'd be better off...

I started to wonder about the brand of cigarettes called 'Douwe Egberts', then I realised that I'd confused 'Gold Blend' with 'Gold Flake'. I need a coffee and a cigarette.

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Re: They'd be better off...

That depends on the type of non-believer you're talking about. Are they non-believers because they only think the existence of a supernatural God is simple unknowable, or is it because they fully understand the extremely low and ever shrinking probability of having a supernatural force governing our lives?

It's the defining difference between Agnostic Atheists and Atheists. An Agnostic Atheist could be conceivably flipped to an Agnostic Theist with a simple change of perspective, where an outright Atheist will generally not be converted without proof of the supernatural claim using scientific method.

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Devil

Re: They'd be better off...

Who is that sexy half naked guy, doing the pole dance every easter and christmas in the big shed?

Maybe I should go talk to him.

After I get down on my knees and eat him.

Satan Rocks - while the christian armies roll.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: They'd be better off...

I mean, it's easier to get someone to switch from Gold Blend to Douwe Egberts that to recruit someone that never drinks coffee, right?

The narrower the religious dogma schism disagreements - the more the hatred of each other.

Religions will always have a recruiting chance in the population that was NOT indoctrinated in childhood. When real life gets tough - there is a human trait of wanting to believe anyone who says they have all the answers. If it then doesn't appear to be working - their response is that it is your faith that is weak and you must cast aside doubts. It works for all dictators of any hue.

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Coat

Re: They'd be better off...

Quote: easier to get someone to switch from Gold Blend to Douwe Egberts that to recruit someone that never drinks coffee, right?

Is it just me that read that as "God Bland"..?

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Re: They'd be better off...

I'd expect the richest hunting ground to be the lapsed Christians - perhaps the majority of the UK, people who profess Christianity but more out of tradition then real belief. They just need a good kick to realise they are not practicing their claimed religion.

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jai
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Ricky Gervais...

...will have a field day with this on Twitter. He seems to really enjoy trolling the pope's account.

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Re: Ricky Gervais...

That's because Ricky Gervais is Satan

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Re: Ricky Gervais...

That's because Ricky Gervais is a prick

FTFY.

(I have no love for the Pope but seriously, Ricky Gervais is a massive prick).

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DJO
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Trollface

Gentle voice of reason! Do me a favour.

"At times the gentle voice of reason can be overwhelmed by the din of excessive information"

Or to put it another way, too much information is counter-productive to the aims of religion.

Or to extrapolate, education is the enemy of religion.

Ratzo would definitely prefer a population of poorly educated Catholics over well educated atheists any day which must put him counter to the best aims of humanity.

Before the trolls get agitated, the causal link is that a larger proportion of well educated people are atheists than the proportion of poorly educated folk.

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JDX
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Re: Gentle voice of reason! Do me a favour.

Or, you have it completely (and presumably deliberately) backwards. Are you denying 99% of the web's content is pointless nonsense (regardless of whether you put the Pope inside or outside)?

And it's not a causal link, but a statistical correlation... the difference is not massive whereas your statement suggest no very educated people are religious which is patently untrue.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Gentle voice of reason! Do me a favour.

"Or to put it another way, too much information is counter-productive to the aims of religion.

Or to extrapolate, education is the enemy of religion."

Yup! The muslim exteremists are an excellent example of this.

They fear that once the individual has the knowledge, they start to disbelieve.

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"... I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal"

"Good point."

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Re: "... I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal"

"Tinkling cymbal" according to the KJV. Well, bladder control can be a problem with age.

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Devil

I like that he admits that excessive information makes one less likely to go anywhere near Catholicism :D

Not sure how he thinks that "the gentle voice of reason" is the one that has less information available, but then again, this is the man in charge of an institution that has repeatedly protected serial child molesters, so being capable of doublethink is hardly surprising..

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Always seek the truth

The Catholic Church very much believes in free will and seeking the truth. All the pope is trying to say here is that watching a DVD marathon of "The Wire" or reading the entire history of Sears, Roebuck, & Co. catalogs won't help someone perform open heart surgery.

There is much out there that is useful for living in our world but not for finding the meaning of life.

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"I like that he admits that excessive information makes one less likely to go anywhere near Catholicism :D"

Yup, heres a few bits of info he would just love people to ignore....

Paedo priests, and the deliberate cover ups to protect them at the expense of their victims,

Being responsible for aids being spread amongst the poor in Africa, not to mention overpopulation of environments not able to support it by the lack of condom wearing,

The inquisition, and countless other atrocities

The suppression of science, holding back the advance of human knowledge.

Ordering scientists like coppernicus and galileo to shut the fuck up about the earth going round the sun, even though the pope knew full well they were right.

The extermination of South American peoples and cultures,

The fact that the vatican is one of the richest organisations in the world, but their followers are some of the poorest,

Punishing rape victims by forcing them to give birth rather than abort.

I could go on all day......

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Devil

"Being responsible for aids being spread [...]"

I'm reasonably anti-Ratzinger, but I'm not sure I'd word it *quite* like that... I mean, he's not going out there and actively spreading it. Although, he (and his administration) are responsible for not helping prevent the spread.

Still, semantics, since he actively did cover up the paedophile stuff.

That aside, I wonder what the conversion rate really is... My experience tends to be that the religious people I know are vehemently religious and won't discuss the alternative, the atheist/humanists are vehemently areligious (unreligious?), and the agnostics would rather everyone just shut up about it so that they can get on with their lives.

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>Being responsible for aids being spread

Apart from banning condoms, and refusing to cooperate with health and medical aid programs that supply condoms in areas with high levels of AIDS.

The Vatican's Council for the Family made an official announcement that condoms do not prevent AIDS and that AIDS virus can pass through condoms.

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Devil

I'd be more inclined to listen to whatever the Pope has to say, once they listen to Jesus and return all the gold and silver stolen from South America. As a penance, they could rebuild the temples that were overthrown by zeolot priests and also return all of the religious artifacts they stole. Then, I MIGHT be inclined to listen to anything they would have to say about the teachings of Jesus.

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Gentle voice of reason?

There is no reason in religion.

(it's missing an a and an s)

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Joke

Re: Gentle voice of reason?

Not if you're dyslexic

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To paraphrase:

Go forth and multiply >> Go away and procreate >> Fuck off.

thus demonstrating the danger of the meaning of a message getting confused if it is translated and rewritten- or passed down the ages.

Some OT scholars believe the original text, as far as they can tell, is "go forth and procreate responsibly".

It amuses me that the first person to research the role of fertilisation in vertebrates made little trousers for male frogs, and found the frog-spawn didn't develop into tadpoles. Not only that, but he was a Roman Catholic priest!

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Anonymous Coward

"It amuses me that the first person to research the role of fertilisation in vertebrates made little trousers for male frogs"

Was that a controlled experiment - or yet another example of the fig leaf mentality?

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Anonymous Coward

To Dave126

In the Latin it says 'et replete terram' - and fill up the Earth. Are you suggesting creative translation may have taken place?

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Re: To Dave126

@ribsome: I'm sure you know this, but the book of Genesis wasn't written originally in Latin... (Not that that stopped the Catholic church from treating the Vulgate as the only proper translation for centuries.) I don't have the Hebrew to comment on the original, but it's worth observing that the context is immediately after the story of the Flood, when Noah & his sons are being told to repopulate the earth. In the context of such a flood (for which there's little archaeological evidence), a few centuries of condom-free re-population might have been in order. But times change.

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<<"It amuses me that the first person to research the role of fertilisation in vertebrates made little trousers for male frogs"

Was that a controlled experiment - or yet another example of the fig leaf mentality?

>>

No - he was Costume Manager for the remake of Wind in the Willows.

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Happy

It was a controlled experiment, just as our understanding of genetics came from the pea-breeding experiments of a monk, Gregor Mendal.

However, I would love to see a major religion going around and putting trousers on all animals just to preserve modesty- that would be just the most fantastic spectator sport... especially in Africa.

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Coat

Do children even use Twitter?

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WTF?

Seriously

Convert the twits?

More chance of the second coming - and I'm not talking about...............................complete your own alter boy joke!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

"..complete your own alter boy joke!"

Unless a pun is intended here - then it should be "altar". :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seriously

Wrong bigot, it's Julie Burchill who has a thing about transgender people.

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Mushroom

Voice of reason?

I might consider it more likely that the catholic church has some vague link with "gentle voices of reason" if the request to do so came directly from the pope herself.

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Devil

I know I am a bad person

But I really, REALLY want to hack the Popes twitter account.

Recovering Catholic here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I know I am a bad person

I have similar mixed feelings about stopping all my donations for the preservation of Church buildings and music. In the face of the dripping vitriol in many of their public utterances - it is the least I can do to convey to them the error of their ways. They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I know I am a bad person

I hope you recover, but my experience of your fellows is that it's like being an alcoholic - you'll always be a Catholic but with care you will avoid any ill effects.

Zen Buddhism can help.

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Re: I know I am a bad person

Zen Buddhism can help.

Vajryana even more so!

You still get the comfort of ritual, which you can gently dispense with as you progress.

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Re: I know I am a bad person

>you'll always be a Catholic but with care you will avoid any ill effects.

If you joined the Taliban, you'd merely be regarded as a bad Catholic. (Dara O'Briain)

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Anonymous Coward

Romans 16:17-18

Nuff said.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Romans 16:17-18

"Romans 16:17-18

Nuff said."

For those who have never, and never will, read the bible, WTF?

Quoting fiction now?

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Re: Romans 16:17-18

@Obviously! - Here on the Internet, we have this thing called a search engine, and there are innumerable online Bibles. Whatever you think of the Bible, the meaning of those verses, and the point the OP was trying to make with them, is pretty clear.

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Re: Romans 16:17-18

Not always. Sometimes the language used appears to be an idiom specific to the time, and thus meaningless to an outsider, and there are a few words which are simply lost because they survive in no other texts and their meaning has been long forgotten by speakers of the language.

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Portal of truth ?

Good idea, I like the truth. Truth is supported by evidence, until then it is just stories - mythology.

Let him provide us with testable, objective evidence - it he cannot then he should bear in mind the 8th commandment which is something about false witness.

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In other news,

Woods: Bear, go forth and defecate.

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Happy

140? I can reply to the Pope in eight characters

Four letters, a space, and three letters more.

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Thumb Up

Re: 140? I can reply to the Pope in eight characters

Of course, whether the 'three letters more' are O, F and F, or Y, O and U is left up to the individual offering this enlightened and erudite response... both work equally well! ;)

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Unhappy

The pope should be ashamed to show his face in public

The pope should be ashamed to show his face in public, the church has billions in cash, property and art, yet it still tells poor people who can't afford to feed their families not to use birth control. When he gives his wealth to the poor and shops all the pervert priests to the police I may start to listen to him. (but I will probably still think he's talking crap)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The pope should be ashamed to show his face in public

As the CEO of as far as I can tell one of the oldest Global Corporations that extort money from the deluded masses for what is little more than entertainment and a social club, I suppose you have to have some supreme self confidence and brass neck to pull it off. So I doubt he's going to be bothered about showing his face in public, but yes I agree he SHOULD be too ashamed to show it.

Also don't forget the banning of condoms is also helping to spread HIV.

I'd have ALL organised religions classified as psychological abuse.

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The internet is where religions come to die!

His holiness can't have seen this then:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Rqw4krMOug

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