Pope Francis Notes The Internet Is ‘A Gift From God'

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The papacy can seem anachronistic with the rapidly-evolving world of the Internet, but Pope Francis seems to be rather in tune with the digital age. He offered some keen wisdom about the Internet and our lifestyle of digital communication in a statement today. But among the many quote-worthy bits, the best one is that he called the Internet “a gift from God”.

He noted that the Internet “offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity”, and he underscored the importance of being connected by cautioning that people who aren’t connected to social media are at risk of being left behind. He’s not talking necessarily about luddites or hermits-by-choice, but more about those who don’t have access to the Internet and its treasures. (He would get along well with Julius Genachowski.)


Pope Francis
Image credit: Edgar Jimenez/Wikipedia

Pope Francis also had some sage words for how we should view and handle communications online. “The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression,” he said. “The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests.”

Nailed it.

In further saying that communication is about humanity interacting and not about technological advances, the Pope asserted that anyone who communicates becomes neighbors, and our digital interactions should grow into “true encounters”. “We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves,” he said.

Who knew the Pope had so much wisdom to drop on us about the Internet?
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sweet! so when they try and regulate, limit. or shut down the internet we can tell them its our religious freedom, and we will have the church on our side when we fight for it

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so its nerdy to be able to communicate with as many people as you like across the globe all at the same time?

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The internet is an ALL human affair; a product of innovative minds, NOT a gift from his primitive god. It took an incredible amount of effort in terms of acquiring the technological know-how and pulling together of financial and material resources for the internet to become what it is now. And the goal? This is what the devious old old fart will never admit because he extols sacrifice and humility as virtues: The goal is both 1) sense of self achievement and 2) personal profit. Don't undercut all of what it took to make what we have today with an effortless wave of his god's magic wand. The rest of what Francis says is a common critique about information overload and social interaction, and I do agree with him to some extent. However, digital encounters are so numerous and most often circumstances don't allow for "true encounters". People just swoon over this guy when he comes out with the most inane garbage.

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charlyfox replied on Sat, Jan 25 2014 5:48 AM

What about Alah and Jehova (oh! same guy), well The Budah, advisor credit at least!

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charlyfox replied on Sat, Jan 25 2014 5:58 AM

I must apologise for my comment 'same guy'. Sexist. Should have said 'omnipotent entity'.

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scolaner replied on Sat, Jan 25 2014 11:12 AM

So wait, I can't tell--you DO like the pope or DON'T like the pope? You're being too subtle. ;)

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HanyangXu replied on Sat, Jan 25 2014 1:24 PM

So will the Pope join our fight for Net Neutrality...?

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