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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More