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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 3
 Previous   Next 
by: harnam khaira from: canberra
January 23, 2014 8:55 PM
Church, centuries old religious books and popes have nothing to do with the innovation - they killed innovators and they are still against scientific developments. Shame on pope for being hypocrite - declaring Internet to be God's Gift while opposing innovation in a number of areas like research in genealogy. Shame on the Pope and other religious leaders. Shame Shame.

In Response

by: Mike from: Portland
January 23, 2014 9:55 PM
On the contrary, the church and the popes have sponsored scientific innovation since before the Renaissance. You do realize that Universities are a direct result of the church's embrace of science and the search for truth? Shame on you for not know the reality of the situation and trying to portray the church as anti-science and anti-technology.


by: Constantine
January 23, 2014 8:45 PM
Well, the Department of Defense definitely thinks they're God at times; I guess the pope just confirmed it.


by: William from: Singapore
January 23, 2014 8:15 PM
Wow, Tim Berners-Lee skipped being a Catholic saint to THE God now.

In Response

by: Mike from: Portland
January 23, 2014 9:52 PM
You do realize that Tim Berners-Lee invented HTTP, not the internet, right?


by: MikeA from: San Diego
January 23, 2014 7:56 PM
Sure, a gift from God. All the work of the internet pioneers (_not_ Al Gore!), their ideas and the implementations, the back-breaking work to build the infrastructure, the ingenuity and the troubleshooting--that is just details. But these were mere mortals, they don't count!

In Response

by: bhattathiri from: india
January 23, 2014 9:20 PM
Valuable opinion
Everything is a gift from God.


by: Aletheya from: USA
January 23, 2014 7:19 PM
I'm confused, I thought the internet was a gift from Al Gore?

Seriously, though, what is he saying, that God inspired the engineers who designed the internet? This pope seems fairly impressive, but saying the internet is a gift from God is just silly. It's OK to give human beings credit for their achievements, without saying it was all really the work of a deity. And if God gets credit for all the good things in the world, doesn't He have to take the blame for all the bad things? Fair is fair.


by: Absolute Ist from: us
January 23, 2014 6:51 PM
Typical of a religious icon! The internet is not "a" "gods" doing but The Devil.


by: Rod from: Geelong, Australia
January 23, 2014 6:28 PM
If God gave us the Internet, then he obviously wants us to watch Porn.
I'm happy to accept his blessing>


by: John Dagne
January 23, 2014 6:13 PM
It is ironic that the USA has just ruled against "net neutrality".


by: David Amstutz from: Poway CA
January 23, 2014 6:09 PM
Now I find out God invented the internet, when all along I thought it was Al Gore.
688367


by: AlanBenner from: New York
January 23, 2014 5:58 PM
"Gift from God?" -- funny, I thought it was from the 1,000s of engineers and scientists who built the hardware and wrote the software to make the Internet work. -- I guess they should have just relaxed, and waited for God to make it happen.

Comments page of 3
 Previous   Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid