On Thursday Pope Francis touted the usefulness of the Internet during a press conference for the 48th World Communication Day according to Vatican News. The Pontiff declared, “the Internet is a gift from God”, which is not dissimilar to the message from Pope Benedict in 2013.
The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.
Pope Francis’ Internet message was revealed in the document entitled, "Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter" for World Communication Day 2014, the first for the newly appointed Pontiff. The idea expounded upon Pope Benedict’s announcement for the World Communications Day 2013 press conference that focused on the “importance of social networking sites as portals of truth and faith and new spaces for evangelization.” The date of January 24 is chosen because it lands on the feast day of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of writers and journalists, which is the optimal moment for the Catholic Church to spread the Gospel’s message through the Internet.
According to Vatican News, “it’s no good trying to communicate the Gospel if we are not open to encounter the lives and the truth of others,” which is the theme behind World Communication Day 2014. Archbishop Claudio Celli, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications explained that Pope Francis’ first message for World Communications Day takes into consideration how “modern media technology must help us, not just to connect virtually, but to promote a real encounter with people and ideas that are often very different from own.”
This is not to say Pope Francis is unaware of the challenges the Internet poses as well, however the Holy Father details ways the Catholic Church, Catholics, Christians and all people can make the “digital world an environment rich in humanity,” through Gospel recitations and the Good Samaritan parable.
May the image of the Good Samaritan who tended to the wounds of the injured man by pouring oil and wine over them be our inspiration. Let our communication be a balm, which relieves pain and a fine wine, which gladdens hearts.
World Communications Day 2014 is January 24.
© Deirdre Haggerty, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA Examiner.com.For more Catholic information and news from the author, click subscribe or follow Deirdre on Twitter, like her on Facebook, read her blog or email her any comments or questions.