Internet Touted by Pope as a Great Means of Evangelization

Pontifical Mission Societies in U.S. Inaugurate Web Site

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 23, 2003 ( John Paul II touted the Internet as an extraordinary means for evangelization, when he met with the diocesan directors of the pontifical mission societies in the United States.

Welcoming his 150 guests in the Vatican — priests, religious and lay people involved in missionary work who were in Rome for a congress — the Holy Father congratulated them for their new Web site.

«The growth of the Internet in recent years provides an unprecedented opportunity for expanding the Church’s missionary outreach, since it has become a primary source of information and communication for so many of our contemporaries, especially the young,» the Pope said Friday.

«It is my hope that the new pontifical mission societies’ Web site will awaken in the Catholics of the United States a deeper appreciation of the Church’s universal missionary mandate, and a greater awareness of the rich variety of cultures and peoples in which the Gospel of Jesus Christ continues to take root in our time,» he continued.

«I trust,» he added, «that the new site will draw many people to a deeper faith in Christ, lead to an increase of missionary vocations, and call forth a greater commitment to the proclamation of the Gospel ‘ad gentes’ and the new evangelization of traditionally Christian countries.»

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