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Monday, October 1, 2012
Social Networks: New Evangelization Spaces
Vatican City, 29 September 2012 (VIS)
- 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 theme for the forty-seventh World Communications Day: "Social
Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization,"
reads a communique released today by the Pontifical Council for Social
Communications.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 social networks, which
privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and
relationships.World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called
for by Vatican Council II (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).