Pope Benedict issued a letter in honor of today’s status as World Communication’s Day. In it he’s suggested one way forward for Catholicism is for Catholics to use social networking as a way to win converts to the religion. Twitter, Facebook and their ilk are, il Papa says, potential “portals of truth and faith” and just another way of spreading the Christian message alongside more traditional communication. The Vatican simultaneously released a mobile app that gives access to the Pope’s speeches and other Vatican news.
While this seems another highly forward-thinking digital move by the top of the Catholic church, it contains ironies that cannot escape our attention. Including the existence of studies that say Net use can be as bad for the brain as drug use, and the fact that the quantum physics at the heart of silicon chip design isn’t exactly aligned with the existence of god. The Pope’s friendly Net missive also suggests he’s never encountered a persistent web troll.
Is the Pope’s thinking on target? Or, given the current scurrilous, sinful, wasteful…er… social media trends, do you think he’d be better off tweeting “Una Via canta in Urbe Vaticano hodie – sin pecunia!”?*
[Image: Flickr user kismihok]
*”One Direction singing in Vatican City today–Free!”