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Monday, October 1, 2012
Pope Benedict: Social Networks • Portals of Truth and Faith • New Spaces for Evangelization
(Vatican Radio) – The theme for the next World Communications Day has been announced. Below the text of the statement released Saturday by the Pontifical Council of Social Communications.
One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelization today is that which is emerging from the digital environment. Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to this particular topic, in the context of the Year of Faith, in his choice of the theme for the 47th World Communications Day, “Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization”.
The theme suggests a series of important points for reflection. During a time in which technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences, such as relationships and knowledge, we need to ask: can it help men and women meet Christ in faith? It is not enough to find an adequate language, but rather, it is necessary to learn how to present the Gospel as the answer to that basic human yearning for meaning and faith, which has already found expression online.
Such an approach, which will serve to create a more dynamic and humane digital world, requires a new way of thinking. It is not simply a question of how to use the internet as a means of evangelization, but instead of how to evangelize in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena.
In particular, we need to be attentive to the emergence and enormous popularity of the social networks, which privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and relationships.
World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (Inter Mirifica, 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (May 12th in 2013). The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24).