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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


If someone asks you why you blog, or Twitter, or whatever your chosen method of social networking...just explain that you're acting in obedience to the Holy Father's directive!  

Vatican City, May 20, 2009 / 11:21 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI is calling upon young people to evangelize using the Internet as the Church prepares to celebrate the World Day for Social Communications.

At the end of his Wednesday general audience, the Holy Father launched an appeal asking that cyberspace be a place that promotes a "culture of respect, dialogue and authentic friendship where the values of truth, harmony and understanding can flourish."

Speaking English, the Holy Father recalled how in his message for this year's celebrations, "I am inviting all those who make use of the new technologies of communication, especially the young, to utilize them in a positive way and to realize the great potential of these means to build up bonds of friendship and solidarity that can contribute to a better world.

"Young people in particular, I appeal to you: bear witness to your faith through the digital world!" the Pope urged.

"Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God’s infinite love for all people, will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world!"

The World Day for Social Communications will be held on Sunday, May 24 this year.


Ah, I KNEW I loved our Holy Father from the moment I laid eyes on him!

I do want to call attention to his primary message, though: he is not just asking us to use the internet and social communications in a general sort of way, but very specifically he calls us to two very important principles:

1. Charity  - "respect, dialogue and authentic friendship"    That means the snarkiness doesn't have a place in social communications.  He's right.  How easily we forget we're talking to real people with real feelings.  How easily we let our emotions get the better of us because we can't see the expressions in others who come across our words.  How easily we are offended where no offense is intended, and how easily we snipe back in anger at someone whose only offense was not being able to reveal the fullness of their humanity through words that are one-dimensional.  

Pope Benedict XVI was right to bring the virtue of Charity to the forefront of his speech.  

2.  Bear Witness to your faith!    Not only is our dear Papa directing us to practice virtue, but to recall our baptismal OBLIGATION to spread the good news!  If we're online, even if our primary purpose is not Catholicism, even if we're in a secular venue, by every word, every "demeanor", we become a representative of the Church.  We bear witness not just through direct evangelization and preaching, but through how we behave when we are online.  We can get into disagreements, certainly, but if we remember charity and react with patience, we'll win far more souls than we would in beating someone over the head with some doctrinal issue (about which it's entirely conceivable we might be explaining incorrectly).   Humility is key. 

And in case you're wondering....yeah.  I feel pretty well condemned right now.  

I'm thinking that the ONLY reason the Holy Father issued this statement is because my blog must have been reported to him and he felt he'd better crack down IMMEDIATELY.  

I'm sorry, dear Papa.  I'll try hard to do better, and hit "save" instead of "publish".  


Banshee said...

If it makes you feel any better, I just happened to wake up in time to turn on the TV, see the audience, and hear the short version of this that the Pope gave to the English-speaking section of the audience.

So I figured I'd better get my podcast done, since I'd wimped out on it the previous night. Yes, I can take a hint from the Holy Spirit. :)

Unfortunately, I was too tired to register most of what the Pope said, so it's a good thing I found your blog.

Joe of St. Thérèse said...

Silly Adoro, the Holy Father issued the statement after reading mine, lol

Ad Multos Annos Papa Benny :)

Hidden One said...

Check out! IT just came online. The Facebook application is cool, too.