Pope Francis - World Communication Day 2014

The Catholic Herald has published a summary of Pope Francis' World Communications Day message for 2014. Like his predecessor, Pope Francis sees the positive in the internet and social media as tools, most strikingly when he says,

“The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.”

Pretty unequivocal. The Herald goes on to say...

Returning to a previous theme Pope Francis said that a “bruised” Church was preferable to self-absorbed one. He said: “As I have frequently observed, if a choice has to be made between a bruised Church which goes out to the streets and a Church suffering from self-absorption, I certainly prefer the first. Those “streets” are the world where people live and where they can be reached, both effectively and affectively. The digital highway is one of them, a street teeming with people who are often hurting, men and women looking for salvation or hope. By means of the internet, the Christian message can reach “to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Keeping the doors of our churches open also means keeping them open in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone. We are called to show that the Church is the home of all.
“Are we capable of communicating the image of such a Church? Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church; today the social networks are one way to experience this call to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ. In the area of communications too, we need a Church capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts.”
It is interesting that someone who quite clearly puts prime importance on the quality of our human relationships face to face and on the love that we are called to share with our fellow human beings, should see social media as such an important way (but not the only way) of reaching out to those in need and of spreading God's Word.
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