Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The Holy Father and Social Media

From Terry Mattingly:
Pope Francis has promoted the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy in many symbolic ways, from spectacular liturgical rites to quiet gestures of forgiveness offered to sinners who have sought his help. Now, the social-media star @Pontifex is saying that acts of grace, kindness and mercy should even be attempted by believers whose work and private affairs take them into one of modern life's harshest environments: cyberspace.

"Emails, text messages, social networks and chats can also be fully human forms of communication. It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart," argued Francis in a statement marking the 50th World Communications Day. It was released at the same time as a private meeting between the pope and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

"Social networks," wrote the pope, "can facilitate relationships and promote the good of society, but they can also lead to further polarization and division. ... The digital world is a public square, a meeting place where we can either encourage or demean one another, engage in a meaningful discussion or unfair attacks. ... Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbor whom we do not see, but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected."

Believers can stand firm in defending the faith, he said, but "even in those cases where they must firmly condemn evil," it's essential that they not resort to using words and arguments that "try to rupture relationships." (Read more.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

I do not indulge in any form of social media except emails to a couple of people, but I understand there are transmissions sent that are more than rude, but are actually cruel and vulgar. Just because one is not face to face with someone else does not mean one can behave as if they are incognito. Culture, grace, respect and consideration should be practiced in ALL situations.