Social media need to promote more logic, kindness and Christian witness than bluster, star status and division, Pope Benedict XVI said.
Given that the online world exposes people to a wider range of opinions and beliefs, people need to accept the existence of these other cultures, “be enriched by it” and offer others what “they possess that is good, true and beautiful”, the Pope said.
Christians are called to bring truth and values to the whole world – online and off – remembering that it’s ultimately the power of God’s word that touches hearts, not sheer human effort, he said in his message for World Communications Day.
The theme of the 2013 celebration – marked in most dioceses the Sunday before Pentecost, this year May 12 – is Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelisation. The papal message was released on the feast of St Francis de Sales, patron of journalists, January 24.
Social media “need the commitment of all who are conscious of the value of dialogue, reasoned debate and logical argumentation”, the Pope said. Social forums need to be used wisely and well, which means fostering balanced and respectful dialogue and debate, he said, and paying special attention to “privacy, responsibility and truthfulness”. – CNS