Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 17, 2010
Blogs, websites can help evangelize
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
VATICAN CITY - In a message embracing the evangelizing potential of digital media, Pope Benedict asked priests around the world to use websites, videos and blogs as tools of pastoral ministry.
"The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more St. Paul's exclamation: 'Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel,'" the pope said in his message for World Communications Day.
"Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word."
The pope's message focused on the theme: The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word. World Communications Day is celebrated May 16.
The pope said that while priests should not abandon traditional methods of pastoral interaction, they cannot afford to pass up the opportunities offered by digital media.
"The recent, explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry," he said.
For priests to exercise their proper role as leaders in communities, they must learn to express themselves in the "digital marketplace," the pope said.
Online media, "alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis," he said.
Because digital media cross over religious and cultural boundaries, the Church's presence requires sensitivity "to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute," he said.
Priests who use digital communications "should be less notable for their media savvy than for their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ," he said.
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