Aide Notes Danger of Wasting Time with Technology

Discusses Pope’s Message for World Day of Social Communication

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2009 ( The Church’s challenge in the era of Facebook and Twitter consists in presenting the profound message of Jesus without being sidetracked by technology’s superficial aspects, says the Vatican spokesperson.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, affirmed this today on the most recent episode of his weekly television program “Octava Dies.”

In his remarks the priest referred to the “very beautiful message of the Pope for the World Day of Social Communications this year” that “touches a strategic and crucial point in the reality of the world of communication in rapid development: ‘New technologies, new relations; Promoting a culture of respect, of dialogue, of friendship.'”

“Benedict XVI — or better, BXVI, as he is often called in this particular world — is first of all addressing young people, the so-called ‘digital generation,'” Father Lombardi explained, “challenging them to live their human and spiritual growth and commitment also in the communicative dimension of the new technologies, which has such a big place in the course of their days.”

He added, “Here too, in fact, the Christian faith must be ‘inculturated,’ present as a proclamation and lifestyle and style of relationships.”

“But it is not easy,” the spokesperson added. “The dangers of limiting oneself to play, of wasting time, of flight from reality and remaining on the surface of things, are there.”

He continued: “For his part BXVI, when he speaks to young people, for example at the World Youth Days, insists on wanting to communicate solid, consistent and articulated content to them, which demands a commitment to be assimilated before it can be translated into life.

“So transmitting the substantial through the virtual is a wonderful challenge. Will we succeed with our young people? Will we succeed in accompanying them in this adventure?”

“Let us hope so,” the priest affirmed.

He added, “But we must not be victims of the fascination with the extraordinary technological successes, we must continue to distinguish possibilities and limits, and at the same time continue to seek in profundity that solid soil of the vital relationship with God and others, [a place] to really build a culture of respect, of dialogue and of friendship.”

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