Go forth and Tweet! Pope Benedict sees social networks as portals of truth

By Reuters Staff
January 24, 2013

(Pope Benedict XVI posts his first tweet using an iPad tablet after his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI’s Hall at the Vatican December 12, 2012. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano)

Pope Benedict urged Catholics on Thursday to use social networks like Twitter and Facebook to win converts, as he launched his own smartphone app streaming live footage of his speeches.

The websites – often associated with endless postings of idle gossip and baby photos – could be used as “portals of truth and faith” in an increasingly secular age, the pontiff said in his 2013 World Communications Day message.

“Unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people,” the 85-year old Pope said in the a letter published on the Vatican’s website.

The Holy See has become an increasingly prolific user of social media since it launched its ‘new evangelization’ of the developed world, where some congregations have fallen in the wake of growing secularization and damage to the Church’s reputation from a series of sex abuse scandals.

The Pope himself reaches around 2.5 million followers through eight Twitter accounts, including one in Latin.

Belying his traditionalist reputation, the Pope praised connections made online which he said could blossom into true friendships. Online life was not a purely virtual world but “increasingly becoming part of the very fabric of society,” he said.

Read the full story by Naomi O’Leary here.
.
Follow RTRFaithWorld via Twitter Follow all posts on Twitter @ RTRFaithWorld

rss button Follow all posts via RSS

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/