1) The Church has always valued communications in all of its forms as important in the work of evangelization. While the means of communication have evolved significantly in recent years, the Church’s commitment to use all means available to make Christ known and loved has not changed.
2) The role of the Church in these new areas of communications is to be present to all who are there. His words:
It is therefore important to know how to dialogue and, with discernment, to use modern technologies and social networks in such a way as to reveal a presence that listens, converses and encourages. Allow yourselves, without fear, to be this presence, expressing your Christian identity as you become citizens of this environment. A Church that follows this path learns how to walk with everybody.
3) Pope Francis reminded us that the biggest challenge is not technological–it is our own readiness to bring Christ into the digital world.
The great digital continent not only involves technology but is made up of real men and women who bring with them their hopes, their suffering, their concerns and their pursuit of what is true, beautiful and good. We need to bring Christ to others, through these joys and hopes, like Mary, who brought Christ to the hearts of men and women; we need to pass through the clouds of indifference without losing our way; we need to descend into the darkest night without being overcome and disorientated; we need to listen to the dreams, without being seduced; to share their disappointments, without becoming despondent; to sympathize with those whose lives are falling apart, without losing our own strength and identity (cf. Pope Francis, Address to the Bishops of Brazil, 27 July 2013, n. 4).
In summarizing his message, Pope Francis concluded:
Dear friends, it is important to bring the solicitude and the presence of the Church into the world of communications so as to dialogue with the men and women of today and bring them to meet Christ. This must be done, however, in complete awareness that we ourselves are means of communication and that the real problem does not concern the acquisition of the latest technologies, even if these make a valid presence possible. It is necessary to be absolutely clear that the God in whom we believe, who loves all men and women intensely, wants to reveal himself through the means at our disposal, however poor they are, because it is he who is at work, he who transforms and saves us.
You can read the full address here.
What do you take from these thoughts of Pope Francis?
Editor’s Note: The photo is from the Catholic Church of England and Wales via Flickr. Some rights reserved.