Vatican encourages priests to use the Internet

The Popes message for the 44th World Communications Day will be published on the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists. This message, which falls within the Year for Priests, has as its theme: The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word. Jean-Fran├žois Mayer, director of the Religioscope Institute, based in Frieburg, Switzerland, explained that the message is in part dedicated to the Internet and the Churchs reflection on its use.The Catholic Church, for some time now, has demonstrated a great interest in the Social Communications Media, to which the Internet has been included. In this regard, the Church has published important documents that reflect on the use of the Internet and the Churchs presence on the Internet.However, the Church does not simply survey the Internet and reflect on the possible uses of these new networks — from the Vatican to the laity, and including priests, she is equally involved. On the one hand, there are official initiatives: there is the very important Vatican website, which was developed on the initiative and encouragement of John Paul II, as well as diocesan websites. Likewise, there are many personal initiatives from different groups from within the Catholic Church, and from individuals — for example, the expansion of blogs that are run by priests.According to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, this years message invites priests to consider the new media as a powerful resource for their ministry in the service of the Word and encourages them to address the challenges that arise from the new digital culture.

Pope Benedict XVIs message on the 44th annual World Day for Social Communications

The internet has revolutionized the world of communications. Thats why the pope says he wants Catholics to stay ahead of the times and learn how to spread their message efficiently and effectively though digital media.

Mons. Paul Tighe
Secretary, Pontifical Council for Social Communications
The pope very clearly last year had said that the digital continent the probably there are people in the best position to be evangelized.

For the last 44 years, the pope has sent a special message to journalist on World Day for Social Communications.

Mons. Paul Tighe
Secretary, Pontifical Council for Social Communications
The world communication day was born as a decision taken in the Second Vatican Council to put a new emphasis in the importance of communications in the life of the Church.

This years theme is “The priest and the pastoral ministry in the digital world: new media at the service of the Word”. It specifically makes reference to the Year for Priests, but its for all Christians to celebrate.

Mons. Paul Tighe
Secretary, Pontifical Council for Social Communications
This message always address to the completely whole Christian community, maybe focus the attention to a particular group but its a message that intended an universal relevance.

But the message is already being implemented by means of web sites such as Vatican.Va, or Clerus.org. The Vatican regularly uploads the latest news and activities surrounding the Pope.

For those who want to get to know Pope Benedict XVI a little better, over the past couple of years other initiatives have also come to life, such as independent websites like Romereports.com or whats considered the Catholic version of Facebook, XT3.

For these websites and the rest, the pope is urging to practice professionalism and to remember religious information is just as important in the headlines as the rest.

Headlines on religious information turned into specialized journalism using the latest technological tools, a way to take the Christian message to cyberspace.

BR/MC