DAGUPAN City, June 19, 2013—In a blitzkrieg move, Archbishop Socrates Villegas is both on Facebook and Twitter posting daily updates in an attempt to reach out to the Catholic faithful.
*I want to reach out. I cannot keep the message of Christ to myself or to those I meet in the Church. This is ‘plunging into the deep’ for our times,” he said in an interview.
Willing to dare and learn
Despite being one of only a few high-profile personalities in the Church who has actively embraced social media platforms, Abp. Villegas points to Christ as his sole motivation for doing so.
*I am not venturing to make myself visible. It is not me. I want Christ to be more visible online. Not me. It is Christ. I beg Christ to use me,” the Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan explained further.
Admitting he is not much of a “techie”, Fr. Soc, as he prefers to be called, said joining two of the biggest social networks is “really venturing into an uncertain sphere”, but that he is “willing to dare and to learn.”
There seems to be a sustained and widespread clamor for him to be more visible online even during the time of Friendster, another networking site popular in its heyday.
Abp. Villegas recounted how several well-meaning and not so well-meaning admirers would set up online accounts of “Bishop Socrates Villegas” through the years.
‘Follow Jesus, not me’
Even as his FB followers have shot up to 1,094 in just two days, Abp. Villegas, who is also the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) vice president, begs people to keep their eyes on Jesus – even online.
“Do not follow me on Twitter, follow Christ. Do not just make me a Facebook friend, make Christ your best friend,” he said.
He even goes on to beg online followers not to give him too much attention as it only succeeds in “embarrassing” him.
In a most recent FB post, Abp. Villegas said, “Don’t follow me. I am only another follower like you. Let’s follow Jesus together.”
Follow Abp. Villegas, who is also the CBCP Commission on Catechesis and Catholic Education chairman, on Twitter @frsocvillegas and like his official Facebook page on https://www.facebook.com/frsocratesvillegas. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]