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Archbishop Lori on Social Media and Overcoming Division Online


Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore sits down with Father Dave at the 137th Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus in Minneapolis, Minnesota to discuss the work of the Knights and the importance of treating others with charity.

Father Dave asks Archbishop Lori what it is like working with the Knights of Columbus as their Supreme Chaplain, “The order is alive and well.” He responds. “I think what I see going on is a greater emphasis on the spirituality of its members, helping them to be good husbands and fathers. To put their faith in action … and really making the Knights a force for unity, charity, and fraternity in the Church and in the world.”

Archbishop Lori also talks about the current divide in our country. “Social media is sometimes antisocial,” he says. “Whether in traditional media or social media, there is the tendency to impute motives, to call people terrible names, to engage in identity politics. And what that does certainly tears down individuals, but it also tears apart the culture. It polarizes ‘us.’ It makes us violent in speech, violent in thought, and fills us with hatred. And unfortunately, it has spilled into the Church.” 

WATCH: Interview With Archbishop Lori on Facebook Live 

Archbishop Lori mentions that a great deal of Catholic commentary, though not all of it, is unreasonable, judgemental, and reduces to name-calling. He points out that this can fall under the sins of calumny and detraction. Calumny is when you say things that just aren’t true, and detraction is raking up a person’s fault for no good reason. 

“That shouldn’t be, he says. “We should be having reasonable and faithful conversations in the Church. Certainly, we have our disagreements but we should be aiming for truth in charity and charity in truth.”

So how do we accomplish that? Archbishop Lori suggests that we look at the great reformers in the life of the Church and follow their example in calling people to conversion. 

“What have we been taught in our faith from the very beginning?” He asks. “We don’t overcome evil with evil. We overcome evil with love. Either we believe that or we don’t. Either we believe that Jesus Christ overcame sin and death by giving his life and love for us, and that we are to go and do likewise. Or we don’t. Either we’re going to let the spirit of the world into the Church, this angry self-serving spirit, or we are going to behave like disciples of the Lord where it should be said of us, ‘See how they love one another.” Original Air 8-6-19