In his message for the 45th World Communications Day, released today, Pope Benedict XVI stresses the importance of a Christian presence on the digital world. He explains what that constitutes: it is more than a religious content being communicated, but an attitude, a way of behaving towards others on the web. He also stresses the importance of responsibility and truth; especially the latter should not be subject to popularity, but deserves nothing less than an integral and honest communication.
I am pleasantly surprised to see such a positive message from the Holy Father; in some circles it was feared that this message would be predominantly negative about social media and the use of it by Catholics, especially young people. But it is not. Like so many things, the pope presents this too as a challenge that we are called to rise up to.
World Communication Day is on 5 June, but papal messages tend to be released on significant dates well before that. In this case, on the feast day of Saint Francis de Sales, patron of the Catholic press, educators, writers and journalists.
Photo credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile