Feeds

Archbishop condemns Facebook, email, footballers

The devil is in the contact details you know

The essential guide to IT transformation

The leader of England and Wales' Roman Catholics took aim at social networking, rampant individualism and overpaid footballers this weekend.

Vincent Nichols, the recently installed Archbishop of Westminster, told the Sunday Telegraph that social networks, along with mobile phones and texting, were in danger of "dehumanising" community life in this country.

He said the growth of texting, emailing and other forms of electronic communication, "means that as a society we're losing some of the ability to build interpersonal communication that's necessary for living together and building a community.

"We're losing social skills, the human interaction skills, how to read a person's mood, to read their body language, how to be patient until the moment is right to make or press a point."

Nichols warned that young people could mistake legions of Facebook friends for real friendships, with potentially devastating consequences: "Among young people often a key factor in them committing suicide is the trauma of transient relationships... They throw themselves into a friendship or network of friendships, then it collapses and they're desolate."

Nichols also took a sweep at that other example of rampant individuality-cum-substitute for community/religion, the Premier League. He expressed concern over the way inflated salaries for mercenary players undermine the bonds of loyalty, that used to hold clubs and communities together.

"What football spectators appreciate is a bit of loyalty and we're seeing that less and less," said the Liverpool-supporting Archbishop.

"There are echelons of football, as in society, where some players are clearly mercenaries."

"I regret in a way that somehow the local identification, the local bonding between the community and its football team has been commercialised to such an extent."

Like so many things about Catholicism, Nichols' comments are both echoed and contradicted by other wings of the Church of Rome.

Back in May, Father Fredrico Lombardi, SJ, the Vatican's head of communications, marked the Church's upcoming Communications Day with a speech extolling the internet as a force for unity, and for reaching out to the poor and marginalised as well as the wealthy world. The Vatican has its own YouTube channel.

But, at the same time, The Vatican has quashed the idea of confession by web or by phone. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?