Pope Asks the Church to Navigate the Internet

On World Communications Day

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 12, 2002 (ZENIT.org).- John Paul II invited the Church to «put out to sea» in evangelizing the world with the help of Internet.

As the faithful in Italy and other countries today celebrated the solemnity of the Ascension, the Pope noted that the Church was also observing World Communications Day. He invited Catholics to use the Internet for spreading the message about Christ.

«The Redeemer constitutes for the faithful the anchor of salvation and comfort in the daily commitment to the service of truth and peace, of justice and freedom,» the Holy Father explained from the window of his study as he addressed pilgrims gathered in St. Peter´s Square to pray the midday Regina Caeli.

«In fact, we have to confront the realities of this world every day,» he said. Among these realities, he declared, the media play a key role.

That is why, he said, he selected Internet as the theme for this year´s Communications Day. «The most recent advancements in communications and information have put the Church in front of previously unheard-of possibilities for evangelization,» the Pope exclaimed.

The theme for the Holy Father´s message for World Communications Day was «Internet: A New Forum for Proclaiming the Gospel.».

«We must enter into this modern and every more replete communications network with realism and confidence,» the Holy Father said, «convinced that, if it is used with competence and conscientious responsibility, it can offer useful opportunities for spreading the Gospel message.»

«There is no need, therefore, to worry about putting out to sea in the vast informational ocean,» he added. «One can also reach the heart of men and women of the new millennium through the Good News itself.»

The Pope cautioned, however, «we must never forget that the secret of every apostolic action is, first of all, prayer.»

He insisted, «While we prepare to celebrate next Sunday the solemn feast of Pentecost, we, with Mary, invoke the Holy Spirit to instill in Christians a renewed missionary push and to guide the steps of humanity along the path of solidarity and peace.»

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