This may come as a surprise to even some Catholics (I grew up painfully Catholic and I can’t recall hearing of this), but each year the Vatican celebrates what it calls “World Communications Day” — a day in which the pope issues an official statement on the state of, well, communication in the world. This year, at long last, the pope appears to have discovered the internet — Twitter specifically. (He even composed a tweet all by himself recently!)
Here’s how Pope Benedict XVI essentially describes the power of a tweet to his flock in his World Communications Day 2012 address: “In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated.”
However, while the pope appears to be in awe of all the tools for communicating we have available to us in the modern world, he believes strongly that we all need to spend some time away from the web, in quiet reflection. I warn you — this is SO deep, man.
The process of communication nowadays is largely fuelled by questions in search of answers. Search engines and social networks have become the starting point of communication for many people who are seeking advice, ideas, information and answers. In our time, the internet is becoming ever more a forum for questions and answers – indeed, people today are frequently bombarded with answers to questions they have never asked and to needs of which they were unaware. If we are to recognize and focus upon the truly important questions, then silence is a precious commodity that enables us to exercise proper discernment in the face of the surcharge of stimuli and data that we receive. Amid the complexity and diversity of the world of communications, however, many people find themselves confronted with the ultimate questions of human existence: Who am I? What can I know? What ought I to do? What may I hope? It is important to affirm those who ask these questions, and to open up the possibility of a profound dialogue, by means of words and interchange, but also through the call to silent reflection, something that is often more eloquent than a hasty answer and permits seekers to reach into the depths of their being and open themselves to the path towards knowledge that God has inscribed in human hearts.
Ultimately, this constant flow of questions demonstrates the restlessness of human beings, ceaselessly searching for truths, of greater or lesser import, that can offer meaning and hope to their lives…Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning, as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation or sharing of the word of God.
Granted, while I think what the pope is saying here has some merit, I can’t get past the whole kid-f*cking thing to take anything about the Catholic Church serious anymore. Sorry, Pope — your continued, blatant hypocrisy has made you dead to me.
(Pic via Atlantic Wire)