A ‘Catholic’ diocese that values online hierarchy in excess of spiritual know-how

(RNS) — The Catholic Diocese of Discord might be the only 1 of the United States’ Catholic communities that has captivated the vast majority of its 2,300 members as a result of online memes.

One meme in particular sums up what the diocese’s members assemble to do: “Discuss theology, troll Protestants, perform Minecraft, and pray the rosary.”

What’s most significant to know about the Catholic Diocese of Discord is that it’s not an official diocese, but a group of world wide web-savvy Catholics applying new messaging platforms, this kind of as Reddit and Discord, to link with other devoted and find out much more about their shared faith.

“We wished our Reddit group to get pleasure from much more means,” suggests their founder, who goes by Anselm_oC (shorter for Anselm of Canterbury, the 12th-century saint who designed a now-famed argument for God’s existence).

Anselm declined to give his name to Religion Information, citing worries for his protection. There has not been an incident of violence or risk against him that he understands of, but the online can be a fickle place.

Anselm_oC, also regarded as “Pope Discorditus,” is a person of the “bishops” of this digital diocese. He grew up Baptist but transformed to Catholicism in his 30s — there are a variety of recent or adult converts on the server — and has embedded himself in several on line Catholic communities given that.

He’s the founder of the Diocese of Discord “server,” as affinity teams are recognized on the system, and the moderator of 20 Catholic-oriented communities on Reddit (r/RealCatholicMen, r/Tradwave, and r/CatholicMemes, to name a few). With practically 40,000 users, r/CatholicMemes has been a single of the major feeders of the Diocese of Discord community.

Released in 2015 as a chat system for videogamers, Discord rebranded itself in the spring of 2020 as an application for people and mates to converse with a person another all through COVID-19 lockdowns. With text, voice and online video chat solutions, the application feels like the dizzy appreciate boy or girl of Slack and AOL instant messenger.

A first-time Diocese of Discord user is offered with a cornucopia of hash-tagged dialogue channels full of Pepe the Frog gifs and Vatican flag emojis. There is a whole lot of jabber about reduced Mass and high Mass, albs and surplices (robes for altar servers), and a apparent amount of suspicion of liberalism, modernity and other Christian denominations. Discussions on thinking about becoming a priest or nun goes in the “discernment” channel. Introduction conversations materialize in the “Advent and Christmas” channel.

In the live chat “chapel,” three rosaries are mentioned everyday in Latin, English and Portuguese.

The Discord server hosts users from all in excess of the world: from Portugal to Australia, from Belgium to Canada, so political discussions transcend U.S. politics. There is, regardless, no lack of memes creating entertaining of Dr. Anthony Fauci, celebrating guns and protesting lockdowns or quarantine camps.

A welcome post from Anselm_oC for The Catholic Diocese of Discord page on Discord. Screengrab

A welcome submit from Anselm_oC for The Catholic Diocese of

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