OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
It’s that time again for the faithful, each year, Ash Wednesday marks the official beginning of Lent when Catholics focus on fasting, praying, and performing charitable acts.
Catholics traditionally are called on to give up something for Lent. And on Wednesday morning, it was all over the Internet how Pope Francis modernized a list of things to quit during Lent — urging people to stop trolling on social media.
— Reuters (@Reuters) February 26, 2020
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Pope made his appeal to tone things down while speaking to tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square for his general audience on Ash Wednesday, the start of the 40-day season that leads up to Easter.
Lent, he said in partially improvised remarks, “is a time to give up useless words, gossip, rumors, tittle-tattle and speak to God on a first-name basis,” he said.
“We live in an atmosphere polluted by too much verbal violence, too many offensive and harmful words, which are amplified by the internet,” he said. “Today, people insult each other as if they were saying ‘Good Day.’”
Catholics worldwide heard the Pope’s message on Ash Wednesday, and many likely reflected on it as a great idea and personal choice to turn off social media trending for the next 40 days. If that’s your choice, I fully respect that. I choose to question the narrative.
I’m Catholic and a traditionally-minded convert, no less. Please allow me to dive right in with my opinion; I’m not a fan of Francis, so if you happen to be one of his supporters, I don’t mean to offend. I feel the need to put my questions out there about Pope Francis’s leadership because asking questions about his leadership is not trolling.
First, don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of unplugging from the Internet — detoxing from social media for a few days can be especially good for the soul. But I also understand how timing is everything, and how the media and Hollywood and anti-Trump infanticide supporting Democrats, aka Socialists adore Francis.
Secondly, trolling is not new. We’ve now been through four years of every anti-Trump RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA deplorable troll-fest fifty times over, including much of the Vatican’s anti-Trump messaging. It would have been extremely “modern” for Francis to urge the downplaying of trolling, back in 2016, but who am I to judge. Maybe it’s just one big HUGE coincidence that he felt the need to address all of that just now.
Never mind how the American media news cycle for the past few weeks has entirely focused on how “Trump should stop tweeting.” Call me a cynic, but it almost felt like perfect timing for the Socialist, Pope Francis to come to the rescue and urge the faithful to stop the “Trump-Twitter-Troll-Fest” for Lent.
Then again, maybe it’s because Francis needs to get as many eyes as possible off social media questions surrounding the Vatican? Maybe he doesn’t want people to demand the release of the big report on the sex abuse scandal that he refuses to address? Perhaps he doesn’t want people focusing on why he released the sanctions on Theodore McCarrick, or God forbid they ask, “where is McCarrick now, anyway?” Francis certainly might want to take the spotlight off the question about why he thinks so highly of Pachamama dolls? And on the topic of Socialism, aka Communism, what exactly was Pope Francis’s role in that big 2014 Obama-Castro meeting in Cuba?
Lastly, where has Pope Francis been over the past five+ years on the top priority of abortion? Ash Wednesday might have been an ideal time for him to add in a modern twist on how the Democrats and all of us should condemn full-term abortion and infanticide? I mean heck, that is super relevant given how Senate Democrats essentially voted for infanticide on Tuesday. But just don’t be a Twitter troll like Trump. Amiright?
Anyhow, when returning home after attending Ash Wednesday mass on Wednesday morning, I checked my Twitter, where I found a peaceful and welcoming non-political message on Ash Wednesday and Lent from Team Trump. For that contrast in leadership, I’m grateful.
— Catholic Herald (@CatholicHerald) February 26, 2020
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump issued a presidential message on Wednesday, Feb. 26, acknowledging Ash Wednesday and offering prayers for everyone observing Lent.
If you observe Lent, I wish you a pleasant and peaceful Lenten season, and I hope that you never stop asking questions, I know I won’t — especially in times like these when questions must be asked.