Saturday, January 25, 2014

Quote(s) du Jour (Pope Francis Department): "Communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement."

As you might imagine, this week's periodontal surgery fog rendered me...foggy, but that didn't stop me from seeing all the tweets and articles about Pope Francis calling the Internet, "a gift from God."

This statement, crafted for the 48th World Communications Day titled, "Communication at the Service of an Authentic Culture of Encounter," was issued from the Vatican on January 24, 2014 (Memorial of St. Francis de Sales).

Trust me, the "gift from God" pull quote is the least of the many extraordinary observations you'll find in this document. 

Here are a couple that made me sigh deeply with relief, hoping that having the pope comes down on the side of church communications that embrace rather then vilifies digital technology will hasten its acceptance. Acceptance has been slow-going so far; painfully so for those of us in the ministry of church communications. 

And now, without further whinging about the wild world of church, more quotes worth pondering:

The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings. The desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbours, from those closest to us. We should not overlook the fact that those who for whatever reason lack access to social media run the risk of being left behind. 

While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media; rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement.

Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world. The Church needs to be concerned for, and present in, the world of communication, in order to dialogue with people today and to help them encounter Christ. She needs to be a Church at the side of others, capable of accompanying everyone along the way. The revolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represents a great and thrilling challenge; may we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God.

─  Pope Francis


  1. I also really enjoyed "Keeping the doors of our churches open also means keeping them open in the digital environment so that people, whatever their situation in life, can enter, and so that the Gospel can go out to reach everyone. We are called to show that the Church is the home of all."

    It really is a great message that manages to hit lots of nuances but still say things.

  2. Allan: Yes! Church beyond the building. Kinda what Jesus the Christ was up to, eh?

  3. This is a great message. Another line that is very powerful is: "Engaging in dialogue does not mean renouncing our own ideas and traditions, but the claim that they alone are valid or absolute."

    Thanks for this post.


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