Thursday marks the 48th World Day for Social Communications, and as a prominent world leader Pope Francis has a message: the Internet is a “gift from God,” and that the church needs to “boldly become citizens of the digital world.”
“Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent,” the Pope said in a statement remarking on the message of the day. “The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.”
Pope Francis expressed the need to use the tools of the web to tackle the “scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor,” and that “media can help us to feel closer to one another, creating a sense of the unity of the human family, which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all.”
The pope used the message of the day to continue shedding light on what has undoubtedly become the core focus of his papacy: extreme poverty, and the key role he believes the church should play in ending it.
The leader of the Catholic Church went on to include a warning with his embrace of the technological age.
“The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests,” the pope said.”The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings.”
Even still, Pope Francis encouraged people not to be “left behind” by not embracing the digital world, which is full of people looking for “salvation and hope.”
“The church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication,” Pope Francis explained, “in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ.”