Vatican City (
AsiaNews) - For the Church, the internet, even with its "dangerous
illusions and traps to be avoided", "is essential " , but at the
same time " not enough." The
proclamation of the Gospel, in fact, " requires authentic and direct human
relationships to result in a personal encounter with the Lord."
This was Pope Francis' message today to participants at the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity held in recent days on the theme: "Proclaiming Christ in the digital age ."
"This is - the Pope said - a privileged field for youth work, for whom the 'network' is , so to speak , a natural part of life. The internet is a widespread, complex and constantly evolving reality, and its development raises anew the ever present question in the relationship between faith and culture. Already during the first centuries of the Christian era, the Church wanted to compete with the extraordinary legacy of Greek culture. Faced with the philosophies of great depth and a method of education of exceptional value, however steeped in pagan elements, the Fathers did not close in on themselves, nor on the other hand did they give way to compromise with some ideas contrary to the faith . Instead they were able to recognize and assimilate the higher concepts and transform them by the light of the Word of God. "
" Even amid the opportunities and dangers of the network, we must " examine everything " , knowing that surely we will find false riches, illusions and dangerous traps to be avoided. But , guided by the Holy Spirit , we will discover valuable opportunities to lead people to the bright face of the Lord. "
"Among the possibilities offered by digital communication, the most important is the proclamation of the Gospel. Certainly, it is not technological skills, though important, are not enough. Instead we must primarily encounter real women and men, often injured or lost, offer them real reasons for hope. Proclamation requires direct and authentic human relationships to result in a personal encounter with the Lord. Therefore internet is not enough, technology is not enough. This however does not mean that the Church's presence in the network is useless, on the contrary, it is essential to be present, always with evangelical style, in what for many , especially young people, has become a kind of living environment, to awaken in the heart the irrepressible questions about the meaning of our existence, and show the way that leads to He who is the answer, Divine Mercy made flesh , the Lord Jesus. "