Pope Francis Describes Internet as "A Gift From God"

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT
 

Pope Francis Describes Internet as "A Gift From God"

In a recent communication, Pope Francis encouraged his followers to embrace electronic media while warning of the hazards of obsessive use.

There's a strong perception that technology and religion don't get along, but in truth, that's usually far from the reality. Both the secular and spiritually-minded use all kinds of electronic media these days, from PCs to mobile phones, with support extending well into religious institutions. The Catholic Church is one such example, especially now that Pope Francis himself has proclaimed the benefits of online communications. Francis even went so far as to call the internet "a gift from God" that allows peoples from different backgrounds and faiths to better understand one another.

"In a world like this, media can help us to feel closer to one another," Pope Francis writes. "Good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately, to grow in unity. The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another. We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect ... The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God."

The sentiment is certainly positive, although it could be met with skepticism by anyone who's spent time browsing comment threads. Even Francis acknowledges that the internet has its hazards: "The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement," Francis continues. "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 desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us."

Rather than suggesting that followers should avoid online media, Pope Francis instead encourages Catholics take a "neighborly" approach to communications to better learn from each other. "The world of media also has to be concerned with humanity, it too is called to show tenderness," Francis explained. "The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people. The impartiality of media is merely an appearance; only those who go out of themselves in their communication can become a true point of reference for others."

Source: News.va, via USA Today

Permalink

I wholeheartedly agree with the Pope here. And I do hope that his followers and even those not of the Catholic faith follow this as well.

Who the hell is this pope? what happened to Benedict Cucumbatch XXX?
I agree with him tough...

While I disagree with him completely at his core idea. He seems like a really cool dude who I would high five with the upmost respect. I really, really dig this pope

"The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement,"

Pretty solid point right there. Pope Francis really is the best thing to happen to the church in my lifetime, imo.

It just took several decades of human toil and engineering before god could take all that credit hu?

If god exist he has to be a tenured professor who always gets his name on his students research papers just because.

I don't think the Lord would approve much of the things I've been looking at online....

reiniat:
Who the hell is this pope? what happened to Benedict Cucumbatch XXX?
I agree with him tough...

Benedict was one of, if not the only pope to ever step down from the position. I don't remember the reasons tho, but now we have Francis. He's slowly but surely taking baby steps to move the Catholic church to a more modern view, which is awesome. I hope we see some real reform while he's the pope.

Wise words indeed, Pope Francis is a pretty cool guy.

It is sometimes easy to forget that the Internet is supposed to unite people, not to divide them.

Best. Pope. Ever. He went to my school's church once, ages ago. I was really surprised when he got elected.

Seriously though, this pope is awesome.
Going from the guy that looks like Emperor Palpatine to a guy that says gays are good people, the internet is a nice thing, etc...

the doom cannon:

Benedict was one of, if not the only pope to ever step down from the position.

Not the only, but certainly the first in about 600 years.

OT: Man, this guy's pretty great. Definitely the sort of "real" person the church needed for a long time.

I like Pope Francis a lot.

That said, the first thing that came to mind with the headline was "...And, like most gifts from God, you've all been using it in ways which are kind of embarrassing and shameful."

In my lifetime, this pope has been the good one.

While I agree with the papal sentiment here in general terms, I chafe at the implication that God created the Internet just for us to sort ourselves out. It comes across as a touch dismissive of the lowly humans who actively sweat and toil over the digital mess, and in the face of the Popes own cutting insight about our reflection and judgement? Rather ignorant of the attendant evils.

It's almost like Pope Hitleryouth McCoverup was a deliberate hate lightning rod so when this guy comes around everyone loves him.

Yeah, thank god, not all those people that put work into it. Still, Pope Francis is a hell of a lot better than the previous two popes have been- it's refreshing to see a Pope that seems like he's not stuck in the past.

While I have pretty strong feelings against organized religion, I must say I rather like this pope. I don't always agree with what he says, but I will commend him for generally having a lot more positive attitude towards things. More 'this is good' and not so much 'this is bad', unlike his predecessors.

I guess WWII played a bigger role in this case than God did.

Also, he has clearly never been on 4chan or Reddit...

I see it more like a gift from technological and scientific progress rather than a gift from a sky fairy. I also laughed at this:

We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect

Because we all know that the Vatican doesn't count homosexuals or people who want abortions/contraception in their list of people they want to understand!

Still, he's a damn sight better than pope's of old. Especially the one who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

He does keep getting better and better. Let's just hope that he's the start of a new trend and not just an anomalous blip on the old, stagnant rhetoric.

CriticalMiss:
I see it more like a gift from technological and scientific progress rather than a gift from a sky fairy. I also laughed at this:

We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect

Because we all know that the Vatican doesn't count homosexuals or people who want abortions/contraception in their list of people they want to understand!

Still, he's a damn sight better than pope's of old. Especially the one who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

Its the nature of the religious to devalue the accomplishments of mankind towards that of the immaterial and divine. I'd just be happy that this guy is showing progress within his own faith.

One can hope he'll lift the sanction on gay marriage and there will be a whole section of world population that can't hide behind their religion for not wanting equal rights. One can hope. Though, I do suppose being skeptical of the catholic church is totally warranted given a past history of having its head firmly planted up it's own ass.

I'm not really sure Al Gore needs that level of delusions of grandeur. :P

I was entirely with Pope Franny here; literally nodding my head and saying aloud, "Damn right. Well said.", as I read his statement; until he had to utter one of the most insulting, dismissive, and ultimately ignorant sentences any human can utter.

I get that he's the head, the guiding light, the primary focal point of the Catholic and Christian faiths, but does he have to undermine his own inspirational speech about humanity's will and accomplishments with that detestable four word phrase?

Gift from God? Bah. God supposedly scattered us and mushed up our languages. Humans had to bring the world closer together again.

Still, the article has a point: When compared to radical Protestants for instance (who more often take to Biblical Literalism), the Catholic Church is surprisingly progressive on issues of science and technology (not a high bar by any stretch, but still). From what I understand, that comes with the territory of being an authority on interpreting the Bible, whereas many Protestants focus on the Bible in its most literal forms instead.

You know, he's still scum on things like homosexuals' marrying or adopting children and the like. It's difficult to evaluate him when people keep fawning over him. Really, he's better than a lot of Popes, but he's still a Pope.

I've been Catholic my whole life, and this guy makes me proud to be one. I pretty much drifted away as my worldview got broader, but he's brought me back.

We had John Paul agree with evolution to start, and Francis saying to chill out with all the homophobia. Things are looking up.

This is exactly the kind of pope the Catholic church needs.

If the church wants to remain relevant in today's world, it needs to embrace that new world, and not just be dragged towards it kicking and screaming.

If the church transitions itself to focus more on the ideas of feeding the poor, helping the needy, and being a source of spirituality (instead of going around proclaiming all gays and non-believers are destined for hell), it will get a lot more respect from me.

This pope is a great start. Let's keep it going that way.

And this is all coming from an atheist.

CriticalMiss:
snip

To be fair http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23489702. Ok, he isn't fully behind gay people but baby steps!

On topic. It's kind of his thing to say "anything good obviously comes from god" but it's nice that we have a guy in charge who seems to be more in line with what I think religion should be, which is a thing that is all about being inclusive and general good.

Instead of what it usually gets used for, a weapon. Gay marriage is the prime example "you two can't get married 'cos I believe this" ... in the olden times it was "you believe the wrong thing. We will fore you to believe in our thing, the right thing!".

I like this pope, seems to be a real positive person and influence, which is what I think the world needs!

From the words of the pope himself, "science is god."

This guy is starting to get close to the cool Pope that shouts "Who da Pope, Im da Pope, Yeh!"

I like this guy. He's trying to bring Catholicism back into the modern day, as an actual force for good rather than a bunch of old white guys acting high and mighty.

It's a shame there are so many "ALL RELIGION IS STUPID WAKE UP SHEEP" fools out there pushing against his olive branch.

Ftaghn To You Too:
It's a shame there are so many "ALL RELIGION IS STUPID WAKE UP SHEEP" fools out there pushing against his olive branch.

I'd like to express that all religions are stupid and people should wake up :P
I would have done it in the way you proposed but I figured I'd likely get a warning for that. Maybe I will still get one...

Vigormortis:
snip

Firstly he's not the head of the Christian Faith; Catholics are Christian, the other major half is Protestant. The Pope is the head of Catholics.

Secondly, saying something is a gift from God doesn't detract the human element. If you believe in the Abrahamic God he's literally in everything and everyone, you could see him as the spark behind the genius of Tim Berners-Lee. Pope Francis isn't saying God descended from on-high and created the internet; his view is that something so wonderful has a spark of the divine, which is actually quite a beautiful image.

Radoh:
Seriously though, this pope is awesome.
...

All he does/did is saying out loud what any other common man has said... already.
I see no wisdom here, just plain common sense. Which is, indeed, quite rare in the higher-ups of any religion.

Don't forget that, as long as something is in the interest of his chapel, a pope will approve and support it. No matter how evil (south american dictatures), immoral (hiding pedobear priests) or shaddy (no condom for the poor) it might appear to normal people. The good of the church is more important than the values it should/pretend to promote.

Jesus might have died for our sins (and got resurrected right away so it doesn't count), but he would never have died for the sake of one single person. Which happens to be exactly what all firefighters in the world do on a daily basis, risking their life and the future of their family, to save one perfectly unknown person with no particular destiny, and without any resurrection carrot at the end. Or even assurance about a comfy spot in heaven.
If any firefighter is greater than the son of divine, what to say about an ordinary individual who just prays and speaks all day long?..

something so wonderful has a spark of the divine, which is actually quite a beautiful image

Interesting to note that all "good" things are always the work of god, while all the bad things are automatically the plague of the devil...

And I find it strange that god would be so thrilled about the internet, undermining his own work when he created different languages so humankind couldn't understand itself anymore. What's the point of turning all languages into one, after turning it into many, when they were one to begin with? Isn't he omniscient?

This just in; religious leader clams X/Y/Z is a gift from god. In other news, a study shows that religious leaders fear that religions are becoming obsolete.

It's been said better without the religious dogma.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here