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Give the internet a soul, Pope urges Christians

Catholic World News - April 26, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Christian bloggers to "give a soul to the internet's incessant flow of communications," during an April 24 address to a conference on the latest developments in information technology.

??"Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea," the Holy Father told participants in the conference on "Digital Witness," which had been organized by the Italian bishops' conference. He observed that the Church has always boldly used the latest available technological means to broaden the reach of the Gospel message.

The Pope mentioned several problems associated with the internet, such as the "digital divide" that "separates those included from those excluded." The internet itself is by nature egalitarian, he observed, but it achieves that result only if everyone has access.

The Pope also mentioned "the dangers of conformity and control, of intellectual and moral relativism, which are already evident in the diminution of the spirit of criticism, in the truth reduced to an interplay of opinions, in the many forms of degradation and humiliation of individual intimacy." These problems, he said, lead to a "pollution of the spirit."

The solution, the Pope continued, is the active presence of Christians on the internet, promoting the cause of truth and human dignity, fighting against the tendency for people to "become bodies without a soul, objects to be exchanged and consumed." Active faith, he said, can be a "humanizing factor," encouraging others to use the modern communications media for the common good.

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  • Posted by: wojo425627 - Apr. 27, 2010 8:23 AM ET USA

    One of the worst things about the internet is the anonymity it provides. I have been in several conversations with people about the Catholic faith in which the other party have tired of my replies about Catholicism have cursed me and verbally attacked me in virulent and violent terms. This anonymity allows people to say what they really feel or think and gives them a veneer of legitimacy and an appearance of protection from guilt about what they say.

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