The Pope acknowledges the increasing importance social networks plays in people’s lives and the way in which they can create new relationships and communities. He notes that when used in a balanced way social media, “can reinforce the bonds of unity between individuals and effectively promote the harmony of the human family.”
The Holy Father urges people to use social media in an inclusive, thoughtful way and to try to avoid becoming overwhelmed by the loudest or most popular arguments on any given topic. “Dialogue and debate can flourish and grow when we converse with and take seriously people whose ideas are different from our own”, he states in the message.
Pope Benedict sees social networks as portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelisation. He says, “In social networks, believers show their authenticity by sharing the profound source of their hope and joy: faith in the merciful and loving God revealed in Christ Jesus.” He also points out that the digital world often opens the door for people to have “direct encounters, experiences of community and even pilgrimage.”
To read the full text of Pope Benedict’s message please click here. You can also view the Holy Father's Twitter feed at - http://twitter.com/Pontifex