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Use internet to bring people to Christ, Pope urges Catholic communicators

Catholic World News - September 23, 2013

In a September 22 address, Pope Francis said that the goal of Catholics in the field of communications should be to convey “the beauty that is at the heart of our existence and our journey, the beauty of faith and of the encounter with Christ.”

Speaking to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the Pope said that Catholic communicators should “enter into dialogue with the men and women of today in order to appreciate their desires, their doubts and their hopes.” He remarked that many people today are reluctant to embrace “a Christianity that to them appears sterile and in difficulty,” and many suffer from ‘a growing sense of disorientation and isolation.” The Church must reach out to answer their needs, he said.

Referring to the internet—which was the main topic for the plenary meeting of the Pontifical Council-- Pope Francis spoke on the enormous opportunities created by modern communications technology: “The great digital continent not only involves technology but is made up of real men and women who bring with them their hopes, their suffering, their concerns and their pursuit of what is true, beautiful and good.” The fundamental challenge is not a technological one, the Pope said, although technology makes the work possible; the real challenge is bringing people to Christ.

A genuine encounter with Christ must be personal, the Pope said. “It cannot be manipulated.” He cautioned against “spiritual harassment: the manipulation of conscience, a theological brainwashing which in the end leads to an encounter with Christ which is purely nominal.”

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