News / Science & Technology

Pope Calls Internet a 'Gift from God'

FILE - Pope Francis greets the faithful as he arrives to visit the Church of St Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in the outskirts of Rome, Jan. 6, 2014.
FILE - Pope Francis greets the faithful as he arrives to visit the Church of St Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in the outskirts of Rome, Jan. 6, 2014.

Related Articles

Obama, Pope Francis to Meet in March

White House says President Obama 'looks forward to discussing with Pope Francis their shared commitment to fighting poverty and growing inequality'

Pope Urges Business Elite to Use Wealth to Serve Humanity

Papal plea comes as Oxfam releases study showing wealth of world's 85 richest individuals equals that of 3.5 billion people
VOA News
Pope Francis today declared the Internet “a gift from God,” in a statement released by the Vatican to mark the Catholic Church’s World Communications Day.

The pope said the Internet “offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity” and that “is something truly good.”

Citing increased levels of inequality around the world, the pontiff said the media could play a role by “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.”

There are downsides to greater interconnectedness, the pope said, adding that the speed of communication “exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement.”

He added that by offering a wide variety of ideas, electronic forms of communication
“also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests.”

Digital connectivity, the pontiff added, “can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbors, from those closest to us.” 

And while there are drawbacks, the pope said “they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement.”

He added that we need to “to recover a certain sense of deliberateness and calm” and that   “this calls for time and the ability to be silent and to listen.” 

The 77-year-old Argentine has proved a somewhat controversial figure, saying, for example, that homosexuals should not be marginalized and that Catholics should reach out to atheists.

In today’s statement, he told his followers that “engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and tradition.”

Francis said the Internet and social media offered a chance for such a dialogue.

“The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people,” he said.

You May Like

Video Protests Continue in Ferguson, Spread to Other US Cities

Missouri officials say deployment of more than 2,000 National Guard soldiers helps curb second night of rampant arson and looting in Midwestern town More

Video Ebola, Crackdown on Illegals Hit Business in Guangzhou

Chinese city has largest community of Africans in Asia More

Video Legendary Lebanese Actress, Singer Sabah Dies at 87

Music and film diva, affectionately called 'Sabbouha' by millions of her fans, performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, Royal Albert Hall in London, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House in Sydney More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
    Next 
by: jerry from: nice
January 25, 2014 9:22 AM
this is a gift of the only one God.


by: ian from: uk
January 25, 2014 6:20 AM
Tim Berners-Lee, atheist


by: RDP from: UK
January 24, 2014 12:16 PM
Look what the God has given to us Dr. Dawkins. What has Science or Technology ever given?

In Response

by: Chris
January 25, 2014 12:08 PM
It all depends on which God is being referred to. If it's the Pantheist's God, then he is very correct, since everything is part of God. Whether is it done by a human individual or thrown down from the sky, it is still God doing it. Isaiah 45:6 "I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; 6That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun That there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, 7The One forming light and creating darkness, Causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these"


by: Ori Idan from: Israel
January 24, 2014 3:18 AM
First time I hear a church representative saying something good on the Internet. That is great, however this is not a gift from god, many people worked hard to develop it.

In Response

by: bob
January 24, 2014 6:06 AM
@Kerr
No - you attained the your talent by learning it from knowledge created by other human beings. I agree with Ori Idan.

In Response

by: Joe from: Kerr
January 24, 2014 4:33 AM
One might say it is my God given talents that enabled me to be a part of building the Internet.


by: Cranksy from: USA
January 24, 2014 2:18 AM
I wondered why they spell Internet with a capital "I."


by: Fergus Binnie from: Auckland
January 24, 2014 1:32 AM
In my lifetime I can't recall the Church ever suggesting homosexuals should be marginalized, so why is the Pope now being considered controversial simply by highlighting this? The Church still does not approve of homosexuality as an authentic expression of God's love, but is loathe to deny a homosexual person access to God's love and mercy. The internet is good, evidenced by the fact that I can contribute to this column. And it is being called, 'gift from God' from the point of view that all creation is 'created' by God. How we use it, eg porn etc is our choice, not God's, but He hase given us the freeedom to choose how to use it.


by: IA from: India
January 24, 2014 1:20 AM
Yes, it's a Gift of God, but some thieves try to steal data using Internet.


by: Snehal Shekatkar from: Pune
January 24, 2014 1:17 AM
:D
God had to wait too long to give this gift to mankind. I feel very sorry for all those people who kept doing hardwork and kept using their intellect for coming up with the internet..


by: Anonymous
January 23, 2014 10:35 PM
I haven't read all the comments, but it looks like you are missing the point. It was God that created all of the people involved with the creation of the internet. Hence Gods gift is the creation of all of us.
Albe at Jungotsa Zen Buddhist Temple

In Response

by: Gallileo from: Mt Olympus
January 24, 2014 12:46 PM
Yes, we should thank Zeus for this gift.


by: Michael Coletti from: United States
January 23, 2014 10:31 PM
Your kidding right? Didn't the church and other Christians start some pretty good universities? Even Harvard? is the Catholic Church the biggest private school oorganization in the country?

Comments page of 3
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid