Sunday, December 19, 2010

I know a bad idea when I see it

Part of the burden that comes with writing about clergy sexual abuse is that I recognize patterns. Pastors arrested for molesting children, well - they do the same things over and over again. One common pattern is Facebook stalking. Whenever a youth pastor talks about being relevant because he connect to his kids via Facebook, I think back over the dozen or so cases where the initial grooming started via a seemingly innocent Facebook conversation's. I willing to state this categorically – youth pastors have no business communicating children or teens via Facebook. It’s a Pandora's box of temptation waiting to snare the weak willed (Yes, some youth pastors are just idiots), but it’s an open invitation to the kiddy smorgasbord for those youth pastors who prey on children. Why take the chance? Why allow the chance?

Youth pastor Della O’Malley is using Facebook to reach kids. She does not see the risk.

The new youth minister at Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Churwch is using Facebook as a medium to reach the youth of the church and is enjoying every minute of her new position in Meadow Lake.

"I love what I do," said former Torontoian Della O'Malley, of her new position in Meadow Lake.

In the article there is no mention of oversight and no mention of a church policy regarding the appropriate use of Facebook or other social media by church staff. Add to this the fact that we are talking about Catholics and the alarm bells should be ringing in the minds of everyone involved. I sure hope somebody at Our Lady of Peace Roman Catholic Church in Meadow Lakes keeps an eye on things.

On Facebook – check out their fan page.