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Young people have special affinity for internet apostolate, Pope says

Catholic World News - December 09, 2013

“To proclaim Christ in the digital era is a special field for the work of the young,” Pope Francis said in a December 7 audience with members of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

The Pontifical Council had devoted its plenary session to a discussion of the spreading the Gospel in the digital age, and the Pope applauded that choice of topic, saying that apostolic work on the internet can play a key role in evangelization.

The internet alone does not offer a full strategy for spreading the faith, the Pope cautioned, because direct personal contacts are essential. However, the digital age expands opportunities for initial contacts, he remarked. Moreover, he said, young people have a natural affinity for the social media, having been born into an age that has become fully familiar with the uses of the internet.

Pope Francis acknowledged the many problems of life in the digital realm, but said that enterprising young Christians should not shy away from the challenges. He observed that the Church fathers answered a similar challenge when they recognized the strengths of Greek philosophy and incorporated the best of that school of thought into Christian teaching. “Faced with philosophies of great depth and an educational method of exceptional value, but infused with pagan elements, the Fathers did not shy away from comparison, nor did they compromise with any ideas contrary to their faith,” the Pontiff said. “Instead, they were able to recognize and assimilate the most elevated concepts, transforming them from within in the light of the Word of mankind towards the luminous face of the Lord.”

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