October 11, 2012 - Cardinal Seán O’Malley to Tweet Each Day Until November 6*

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                   
CONTACT: Terry Donilon
October 11, 2012     
[email protected]

Cardinal Seán O’Malley to Tweet Each Day Until November 6
Asks Catholics to follow his Twitter account @CardinalSean


Braintree, MA (October 10, 2012) – Cardinal Seán O’Malley announced today that he will be tweeting daily on his Twitter account between now and November 6 and engaging with Twitter followers on the important topics of the day.  He is asking Catholics in the Archdiocese who are on Twitter to follow @CardinalSean and to respond to and retweet his messages in order that they may be more widely seen and heard.

“The next four weeks are very important here in the Archdiocese of Boston and in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” stated Cardinal Seán.  “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.  I will be tweeting about some of the foundational principles and hopes of this Year of Faith in the archdiocese.”

Cardinal Seán will also 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.  It’s critical that we all do what we can to inform everyone we can reach about three categories of concerns about Question 2.  First is the opposition of the medical profession, disability advocacy groups and people of faith about assisted suicide.  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.  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.” 

Cardinal Seán spoke to the promise of Twitter as a tool to help stop assisted suicide.  “Twitter has been used to advocate for many important issues as one user’s message can be re-tweeted several times to reach millions.  My hope is that Catholics will respond to the need to share information on this issue by first following @CardinalSean on Twitter and then retweeting some or all of my messages.  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 6 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.  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.”

In addition to tweeting important articles and links, Cardinal Seán will be posting topics on the Year of Faith or on Question 2 in which he will be asking his Twitter followers to tweet comments or questions back that he will answer.  “Cardinal Seán has always embraced new media as a way to connect and communicate with the Catholic community,” stated Scot Landry, archdiocesan secretary for Catholic media.  “He was the first Cardinal in the world to launch a blog in September 2006 (CardinalSeansBlog.org).  He 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 4 weeks, and possibly longer, is the latest initiative to leverage social media for the mission of the Church.”

The Archdiocese of Boston has developed websites for the Year of Faith (YearofFaithBoston.org) and for the educational campaign on the Church’s teachings on end of life issues (SuicideIsAlwaysATragedy.org).  The archdiocese is also part of a large coalition of groups from other faiths, from the medical community, and from disabilities advocacy groups that are urging a no vote on Question 2.  The coalition’s website is www.StopAssistedSuicide.org

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Diocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of 1.8 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 288 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 42,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit  www.BostonCatholic.org.