The Pope praised the efficiency of digital communications, while at the same time pointing out potential pitfalls, illustrating the conflict between contemplation and communication.
In a subtle nod to Twitter, Pope Benedict XVI said in his World Communication Day address, “In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated, as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives.”
The pontiff acknowledged that today’s communication process is “largely fueled by seeking advice, ideas, information and answers,” which, in moderation, can help connect people. But, the Catholic Church’s leader maintained this also poses the danger of being “bombarded with answers to questions they have never asked and to needs of which they were unaware.”
The trend can lead to a lack of reflection, which the Pope fears threatens spiritual growth. To address the concern, the religious leader is calling for more silence to balance the relentless chatter, and greater selectivity when choosing websites, apps and social networks.
The Pope’s ideas make strike a chord with many who feel the relentless volume and pace of digital communication is physically and even spiritually draining, but they also underscore the often bumpy intersection between tradition-rich institutions and cutting-edge technologies.
In the past, the Vatican integrated social media tools like Facebook and Twitter into its official news.va website, providing the faithful more ways to navigate its news archives. The official website serves as a one-stop shop for news and information republished from various Vatican and religious news agencies, and features the ability to live stream papal events, as well as link homilies, statements, and speeches from the site to Twitter accounts and Facebook.
In addition, the Holy See also acquired a Twitter account, debuted a Facebook page dedicated to the late Pope John Paul II’s beautification, launched a YouTube channel, and created a “Pope2You” mobile app.
These digital initiatives support the church’s mission and recognize the value of the Internet and power of the social media as significant tools to keep its specific message in the forefront of people’s minds, in addition to modernizing the perceived outdated Vatican.
But, at the same time the Vatican embraces mobile technologies, it also voices concern over some of its uses. Recently, Pope Benedict warned Christians to favor real-life relationships over online temptations.
The 84-year-old pontiff is reportedly quiet by nature. The theologian speaks softly and is said to be an excellent listener, which may a personal reason for his call to reconsider the over-sharing of everything. And, he points out, there may be more powerful ways to authentically communicate meaningful things.
The Pope reminds his flock, “Between people who are in love: gestures, facial expressions and body language are signs by which they reveal themselves to each other.”
leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
You can |
Leave a Reply