The Communications Department of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) have launched www.faithandsafety.org, a resource for adults to help children safely navigate online. The website and complementary social media channels (http://twitter.com/faithandsafety and http://facebook.com/faithandsafety) address safe use of the Internet, mobile devices and other technology, emphasizing the positive use of technology to support children’s faith. June is Internet Safety Month.
The initiative is funded by a grant from the Catholic Communication Campaign, which receives donations from U.S. Catholics.
“Our children look to their parents for wisdom and guidance. However, many parents feel somewhat ill-equipped to help their children traverse the unfamiliar terrain of the digital social world,” said Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. “This joint initiative between our two Churches is a positive step in helping parents equip their children in the digital world. We have a responsibility to the Lord Himself Who said, ‘Let the children come unto Me’ (Matt 19.14).”
“Faithandsafety.org is intended to be not only a set of practical tools and guides for adults, but also a place where they can find a faith framework for conversations with their children about the need to be ethically and morally equipped when they go online,” said Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Communication. “We believe that this site, presented from the perspective of the Greek Orthodox and Catholic Church, provides a unique perspective on being missionaries of faith on the Digital Continent.”
Content on the site includes mobile app reviews, how to address issues faced by children online, such as bullying, and resources to educate parents on protecting their home networks. Content will be expanded over the next several months and feature regular columns by leading Catholic and Orthodox figures on connecting faith and technology, as well as news updates, how-to guides and video content.
Faithandsafety.org will feature content by Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org. . . ), an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids and families thrive in a world of media and technology.