“Influencer” among hosts

A. M. ROBEY I Á. GÁRATE

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Translated by Álvaro Rodríguez Huguet

Pater Pablo wants to claim on Instagram the normalization of the reverends’ figure.

Since he was little he wanted to be police officer, football player and plane pilot, professions typically dreamed by the children. Father Pablo Roger, known as Pater Pablo in the social media, was born in the count city of Barcelona, in Sarrià neighbourhood, in 1984. Even though Christianity has always been with him his whole life, no one would have been capable of forecasting that he would end up being a priest, and far less an “influencer”. “All my experience had been spiritual: religious school, practising family, mass on Sundays, pilgrimages and solidarity work… Faith was a normal thing around me.”

However, he, as most of the youth, rather play with their friends and have some fun: “I was told “if we had to bet for someone to enter the seminary, you would be the last of us,” he recalls. “I was hopeless, I had a good time in my teenage life” (he laughs). “I had three official girlfriends… and one extra official. It’s really beautiful the love in the youth: sharing the heart, yearnings, affection. And it was so important in my life.”

Beginnings on Instagram
He opened an account on Instagram while he was in Mexico, because of the insistence of his students. But never he thought he would end up being “influencer”, nor it was his intention: he simply uploaded pictures of his daily life. The boom was months ago, a little after he arrived at Sagrada Familia as vice rector.

He gathers now 11 thousand followers, a hashtag on his own –#vidadeuncuranormal (life of a normal priest)– and uploads videos regularly. “It’s rewarding to arrive at so many countries and be able to help to many people,” he says. His purpose is to “seed good”: “my videos aren’t a religion class. It transmits reflections about perennial values.”

UnCuraNormal (a normal priest)

Besides, as it is of no surprise in the social media’s world, he finds himself his first haters, that judged him for possessing things as a watch or a designer belt. To these negative comments, Pater Pablo answers from a constructive side and trying to normalize the figure of the priest. “My hashtag is because sometimes people think a priest is an alien. To a priest things cost him the same as you, cries the same as you, fights the same as you and laughs the same as you.”

The Church institution doesn’t put him any obstacles to his side in the social media since the message he shares is positive. There are many that joined in this new way of preaching online. “Draws the attention an instagramer priest because there is the image of a priest as a man of 80 years old that bores you in the church, but there is many young reverends. It’s needed a change of attitude.”

Without an established path
Currently, since September of the last year, he’s vice rector of the Sagrada Família, something that he never imagined. But he plays down his charge: “In the Church all is about service. There are no privileges nor someone is more than the other, any priest could arrive at where I am. This place is beautiful, but the work with people is the same as other basilica.”

For this reason, according to their goals for the future, states being tired of making plans. “If you want to make God laugh, share your plans with Him. I’ve made many in my life, but they are always different: searching happiness and feeling fulfilled.” That’s why he will go where he is needed.

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