Pope Notes Paradox of Communication Age

Cites Incresased Isolation and Marginalization

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2008 (Zenit.org).- It is a «paradox and a tragedy» that despite the numerous developments in the means of communication available today, more and more people feel isolated and cutoff from society, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope said this today upon receiving the letters of credence from Vytautas Alisauskas, the new ambassador from Lithuania to the Holy See.

In his English-language address, the Pontiff praised the new envoy for expressing «the need for modern Europe to draw upon the tradition that flows from the teaching of the Gospel.»

He acknowledged the role of faith in the history of the nation, and how faith has sustained the Lithuanian people «through periods of foreign domination and oppression, and has helped them to preserve and consolidate their identity.»

«Shared faith is a wonderful source of strength and unity in the midst of adversity,» he added. «Communities that have lived under such circumstances acquire a deep conviction that true happiness is to be found in God alone.

«They know that any society which denies the Creator inevitably begins to lose its sense of the beauty, truth and goodness of human life.»

The Pope noted, however, that «a new generation» has grown up in the country: one that did not «share in that experience of totalitarian government, and tends therefore to take its political freedom for granted.»

As a consequence, he said, «there is a risk that some of the fruits which matured in testing times may begin to be lost.»

The Pope sited «fragmentation and moral confusion» as two dangers facing the nation: «In this context, it is vitally important that Lithuania, and indeed the whole of Europe, cultivates the memory of the history that shaped it, in order to preserve its true identity and thus to survive and flourish in the world of the 21st century.

«It is both a paradox and a tragedy that in this era of globalization, when the possibilities of communication and interaction with others have increased to a degree that earlier generations could scarcely have imagined, so many people feel isolated and cutoff from one another.»


Benedict XVI underlined that isolation «gives rise to many social problems which cannot be resolved on the political plane alone.»

«Even the best structures,» he noted, quoting his encyclical «Spe Salvi,» «function only when the community is animated by convictions capable of motivating people to assent freely to the social order.»

«The Church has a vital part to play here,» the Pope affirmed, «through the message of hope that she proclaims.»

«Our society needs to rise above the allure of material goods, and to focus instead upon values that truly promote the good of the human person,» he added.

The Holy Father said that by working together, Christians «can help to forge a Europe in which priority is given to the defense of marriage and family life, to the protection of human life from conception to natural death, and to the promotion of sound ethical practices in medical and scientific research: practices which are truly respectful of the dignity of the human person.»

«We can promote effective solidarity with the poor, the sick, the vulnerable, and all those on the margins of society,» he added.

«These values will strike a chord with all those, especially the young, who are seeking answers to their profound questioning about the meaning and purpose of life,» said Benedict XVI. «They will resonate with all who are anxious to discover the truth that is so often obscured by the superficial messages propagated by post-modern society.

«They will appeal to all who are discriminating enough to reject the world-view built upon relativism and secularism, and who aspire instead to live in a manner befitting the true nobility of the human spirit.»

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