The archbishop of Boston announced Oct. 11 that he plans to tweet daily until the Nov. 6 national election on important topics, specifically assisted suicide.
???The next four weeks are very important here in the Archdiocese of Boston and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,??? said Cardinal Sean P. O???Malley, who was the first cardinal to blog at www.cardinalseansblog.org and whose Twitter handle is @CardinalSean.
???This week we begin the Year of Faith across the universal church. It is an opportunity to grow in our faith and trust in the person of Jesus Christ and increase our knowledge of the content of our Catholic faith,??? he said. ???I will be tweeting about some of the foundational principles and hopes of this Year of Faith in the archdiocese.???
In addition to tweeting important articles and links, Cardinal Sean said he will be posting topics on the Year of Faith or on Question 2, the assisted-suicide referendum, in which he will be asking his Twitter followers to tweet comments or questions back that he will answer.
Scot Landry, archdiocesan secretary for Catholic media said, ???Cardinal Seán has always embraced new media as a way to connect and communicate with the Catholic community.???
Landry said the cardinal created the Catholic Media Secretariat in 2010 to embrace all forms of media to share the Good News of our faith and to connect Catholics with the Church in new ways.
???This effort to expand his use of Twitter over the next four weeks, and possibly longer, is the latest initiative to leverage social media for the mission of the Church,??? he said.
Cardinal Seán said he will be tweeting about Question 2 on the November ballot, which proposes to legalize assisted suicide in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
???We have less than four weeks until the election and many people still have not heard about this ballot question,??? he said.
???It???s critical that we all do what we can to inform everyone we can reach about three categories of concerns about Question 2,??? he said.
???First is the opposition of the medical profession, disability advocacy groups and people of faith about assisted suicide,??? he said.
???Next there are the specific flaws in the ballot initiative that lead even those who favor assisted suicide to oppose Question 2, such as no requirement to consult a psychiatrist, palliative care profession or family member before receiving a lethal prescription,??? he said. ???Third, there is the concern that a complex issue like this should be decided in the state legislature who can study and debate it and not by a ballot initiative process.???
The archbishop said he is counting he can leverage the power of Twitter to make the case against assisted suicide, especially if his followers re-tweet his posts.
???Twitter has been used to advocate for many important issues as one user???s message can be re-tweeted several times to reach millions,??? he said.
The archbishop, who took over the Boston See in 2003, said he is troubled by the ???death with dignity??? slogan that is a deception by the pro-assisted suicide campaign.
???On Nov. 6, voters will be asked to support so-called ???death with dignity,?????? he said.
???Who wouldn???t want a dignified death? Unfortunately, this is a euphemism meant to mask the reality??? doctors providing a lethal prescription for someone with a terminal diagnosis of 6 months or less to end his own life,??? he said.
???It???s important that we ??? all of us – help people to understand what Question 2 is all about,??? he said. ???Please join me, through Twitter and other means, to stop assisted suicide by informing others about Question 2 and encouraging your own Twitter followers to vote no.???