Pope Benedict XVI cast his net out into the deep and high-speed seas of the Internet today, when he launched the Vatican's YouTube site, which you can see by clicking HERE. He also touted the potential benefits of the Internet in fostering respect, dialogue and friendship among people of all cultures.
"So that the Church and its message continue to be present in the great aeropagus of social communications as defined by John Paul II and so that it is not a stranger to those spaces where numerous young people search for answers and meaning in their lives, you must find new ways to spread voices and images of hope through the ever-evolving communications system that surrounds our planet," the Pope said in a clip now posted on YouTube.
But he threw the full weight of his office behind the Google generation when he issued his Message for the 43rd World Day of Communications, which is celebrated on Jan. 24, the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists.
Speaking to young people in particular, the pope said in his message: "I ask you to introduce into the culture of this new environment of communications and information technology the values on which you have built your lives. In the early life of the Church, the great Apostles and their disciples brought the Good News of Jesus to the Greek and Roman world. Just as, at that time, a fruitful evangelization required that careful attention be given to understanding the culture and customs of those pagan peoples so that the truth of the gospel would touch their hearts and minds, so also today, the proclamation of Christ in the world of new technologies requires a profound knowledge of this world if the technologies are to serve our mission adequately. It falls, in particular, to young people, who have an almost spontaneous affinity for the new means of communication, to take on the responsibility for the evangelization of this "digital continent". Be sure to announce the Gospel to your contemporaries with enthusiasm. You know their fears and their hopes, their aspirations and their disappointments: the greatest gift you can give to them is to share with them the 'Good News' of a God who became man, who suffered, died and rose again to save all people."
You can read Pope Benedict's full message by clicking HERE.