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.

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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.

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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?
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