“It’s time for me to stop”: Father Matthieu announces that he is leaving social networks

“It’s time for me to stop”: Father Matthieu announces that he is leaving social networks

“I just want to say goodbye.” It is with these few words, spoken at the start of a video published this Wednesday evening on his social networks, that Father Matthieu ended an adventure of almost three years. An earthquake for some, a relief for others.

Having become very popular and in the media, the “star priest of TikTok” was followed by more than 1.2 million subscribers on this network and more than 60,000 on YouTube. Through short and powerful videos, Father Matthieu, who felt invested with the mission of “faith coach”, tried to answer Internet users’ questions with today’s words and codes.

“I do Catholicism for non-Catholics,” he confided to Pilgrim, in August 2022. If he made it possible to reach an audience far from the Church and to reconcile some with the faith, he also made himself known through several controversial speeches, notably on homosexuality, the devil, or even suicide.

For several months already, Father Matthieu, also parish priest in Joigny (Yonne), had been wondering about his presence on social networks and had shared his questions with those close to him. The fact remains that, a few weeks after the publication of his second book, the announcement surprised the public and destabilized his subscribers. “I believe that this media position sometimes flatters a pride in me which is not always very adjusted,” he explains in his video. And to add “it perhaps even reveals in me a “guru” dimension which, it seems to me, we should be wary of.”

On the networks, reactions are multiplying. In less than twenty-four hours, his video has already exceeded more than a million views. “Even if some things were clumsy or sometimes even a little tendentious, I think the outcome is more than positive. Your mission on the networks was for many a first contact with the Church,” writes an Internet user on Youtube.

On the side of the Church precisely, the case of Father Matthew – which had sometimes become “uncontrollable” – and the various controversies that it aroused made it a sensitive subject, but had the merit of questioning an urgent problem: that of Christian presence on social networks and its organization. While proving that the demand is there.

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