Cardinal Seán O’Malley announced today that he will use his @CardinalSean Twitter account every day until the Nov. 6 election to discuss various topics, including Question 2 on the ballot, which proposes legalizing assisted suicide in Massachusetts.
“The next four weeks are very important here in the Archdiocese of Boston and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” O’Malley said in a statement. “This week we begin the Year of Faith across the universal church. I will be tweeting about some of the foundational principles and hopes of this Year of Faith in the archdiocese.”
O’Malley said he wanted to use the 140-character microblog entries to educate people about Question 2.
“On November 6, voters will be asked to support so-called ‘death with dignity.’ 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 six months or less to end his own life. It’s important that we – all of us — help people to understand what Question 2 is all about,” O’Malley said.
O’Malley hopes that Catholics take to Twitter to join the conversations, help spread his messages, and encourage their followers to vote against the ballot question.
The cardinal has a history of adapting to new media, according to the statement.
“Cardinal Seán has always embraced new media as a way to connect and communicate with the Catholic community,” said Scot Landry, archdiocesan secretary for Catholic media.
According to the statement, in 2006 O’Malley became the first cardinal in the world to launch a blog and in 2010, he created the Catholic Media Secretariat to “embrace all forms of media to share the Good News of our faith and to connect Catholics with the Church in new ways,” Landry said in the statement.
O’Malley’s Twitter initiative may continue after Election Day, according to the statement.
It is “the latest initiative to leverage social media for the mission of the Church,” Landry said.
The Boston Archdiocese recently launched YearofFaithBoston.org and SuicideIsAlwaysATragedy.org, a site that compiles the Catholic Church’s teachings on end of life issues, according to the statement.
The archdiocese is also involved with www.StopAssistedSuicide.org, a site organized by a coalition of members of other faiths, the medical community, and disabilities advocacy groups, according to the statement.Melissa Werthmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.