For progressive Catholics and the progressive non-religious, Pope Francis has been a pretty bit hit in his first year in the papacy. Between his "judge ye not" stance on gays, advocacy for the poor, and disparaging remarks about capitalism as a tool of the oppressor, the new Pope has endeared himself to a new generation of believers, who have long hoped the Church would turn its focus on appearing more "Christ-like."
And although he's already won over a lot of people, now he's just pandering.
"The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God," said His Holiness in a message for World Communications Day.
The internet already loves you, man!
"In a world like this, media can help us to feel closer to one another, creating a sense of the unity of the human family which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all. 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. A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive. Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances," said Francis.
But it's not all roses - Pope Francis notes the challenges of an interconnected world where information and ideas are spread at the speed of light.
"This is not to say that certain problems do not exist. The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression. 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," he says.
"While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement."
In closing, Francis urges the Church to help humanity "boldly become citizens of the digital world."
So far, Tim Berners-Lee has yet to comment on that fact that he's pretty much God now.
Image via Wikimedia Commons