Pope warns nuns to use ‘sobriety’ on social media

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A nun takes a photo with an iPhone Image copyright Getty Images

The Pope has issued instructions telling nuns to use social media apps “with sobriety and discretion”.

The document, titled Cor Orans, clarifies rules governing monastic life that were issued in 2016.

It says that the guidance is intended to safeguard silence and recollection.

The document mentions “social communications” rather than specific apps, but Catholic newspaper the Tablet said that this referred to Facebook and Twitter among other services.

The document says that discretion should apply to “the quantity of the information and the type of communication” in addition to the actual content of the media.

The original constitution on feminine monastic life, Sponsa Christi Ecclesia, was published in 1950 by Pope Pius XII. It was expanded upon in 2016 with new rulings by Pope Francis.

Those recent rulings include a warning that digital culture has a “decisive influence” on society. The Pope urged nuns not to let digital media “become occasions for wasting time”.

The Vatican itself is a prolific tweeter.

It has posted close to 15,000 messages on its news account and more than 1,500 times via the Pope’s English-language official page.

It also runs Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ accounts.

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