Catholic Twitter Reacts Hotly as USCCB Sets ‘Woke’ Tone in Viral Synod Tweet

The USCCB has asked commenters to ‘let us know’ what Catholics think of these synod buzzwords.

Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gather for their Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, on Nov. 11, 2019
Members of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gather for their Fall Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, on Nov. 11, 2019 (photo: Daniel Ibáñez / CNA/EWTN News)

Nothing stirs the religious passions like talk of “accompaniment” and “inclusivity,” am I right? That’s what you might think if you were reading the USCCB’s Twitter account yesterday. Here’s what they tweeted:

A list of buzzwords? Come on. We’re Catholics. We have some of the coolest words ever to be uttered. Words like aspergillum, which sounds like a dangerous fungus but is actually a vessel used for sprinkling holy water during special blessings.

Transubstantiation? Grace? Forgiveness? Love? Sin? Redemption? Any of these words ringing a bell? These aren’t just awesome words. They are profound truths that stir the soul and elevate us.

If only there were a big book that the bishops had access to that was filled with wisdom and truth in quotable packaging.

But they opted to go a different way. Clearly.

Let’s just say the responses on Twitter weren’t exactly glowing. Actress Patricia Heaton led the way with this:

Others, fearing that snark levels on Twitter were not at an all-time high, soon joined in:

  • “If you need 7 ... The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations” (@leahlibresco)
  • “With all due respect: Being myself neither a kindergartner nor in human resources, none of these free-floating buzzwords, absent context, do I find particularly inspiring. Perhaps words like ‘holiness,’ ‘fidelity,’ ‘perseverance,’ etc., might be worth bringing for the path ahead?” (@discerninganew) 
  • “I’ll take Woke Talking Points for $1000.” (@0raetlabora1)
  • “Y’all need Jesus.” (@MorenoMalulani)
  • “These mostly sound like corporate buzzwords though up in a committee room, not anything that real people use.” (@BackwardsFeet)
  • “This is pure corporate-speak. Instead of vacuous business-like buzzwords why not use the original seven attitudes from the gospel namely the gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord?” (@bearspear) 
  • “Sesame Street wants its aesthetic back, your excellencies.” (@aegswimmer)
  • “If you truly are being held captive in the HR Department, blink twice, we will send in a rescue team.” (@norton_tj)

This is what the internet calls being “ratioed.” This is indicative of a real problem in the Church. Many of us don’t even feel like we’re speaking the same language of our Church leaders. We don’t feel heard. We don’t feel listened to. And what do they offer us instead? Buzzwords.

The USCCB asked for dialogue. They got dialogue. At some point I hope and pray that we all get a little better at it.

How would you respond to this tweet? Please let us know in the comments below.

Duccio’s ‘Pentecost’ (1308)

Pray the Pentecost Novena

The prayer recalls and invites Catholics to participate in the nine days that the Blessed Virgin Mary and the apostles spent in prayer after Christ ascended into heaven.