Pope Francis on Saturday met with the participants of the 26th Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, meeting under the theme “Proclaiming Christ in the digital age.”
Pope Francis said the rise and development of the internet raises the question of the relationship between faith and culture.
back to the first centuries of Christianity, the Pope pointed out
Christians encountered the “extraordinary legacy” of Greek culture.
with philosophies of great profundity and educational methods of great
value – although steeped in pagan elements, the Fathers did not shut
them out, nor on the other hand, did they compromise with ideas contrary
to the Faith,” Pope Francis said. “Instead, they learned to recognize
and assimilate these higher concepts and transform them in the light of
God’s Word, actually implementing what Saint Paul asks: Test all things
and hold fast to that which is good.”
He said this also applies to the internet.
must test everything, knowing that you will surely find counterfeits,
illusions and dangerous traps to avoid,” Pope Francis said. “But, guided
by the Holy Spirit, we will discover valuable opportunities to lead
people to the luminous face of the Lord. Among the possibilities offered
by digital communication, the most important is the proclamation of the
He said it is not enough to acquire technological
skills, however important. He said the internet must be used to meet
“often hurting or lost” real people and offer them “real reasons for
“The announcement [of the Gospel] requires authentic human
relationships and leads along the path to a personal encounter with the
Lord,” he said.
“Therefore, the internet is not enough;
technology is not enough,” Pope Francis continued. “This, however, does
not mean that the Church's presence online is useless; on the contrary,
it is essential to be present, always in an evangelical way, in what,
for many, especially young people, has become a sort of living
environment; to awaken the irrepressible questions of the heart about
the meaning of existence; and to show the way that leads to Him who is
the answer, the Divine Mercy made flesh, the Lord Jesus.”