Pope Francis: Internet Is 'A Gift From God'

Pope francisREUTERS/Tony GentilePope Francis gives a blessing during the prayer to celebrate the Immaculate Conception in Piazza di Spagna (Spain’s Square) in Rome on December 8, 2013.

Pope Francis says that the Internet is “a gift from God” in a statement today for the Catholic Church’s World Day for Social Communications.

He says that it fosters communication and that it “offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity.”

In the statement, the pontiff discusses the pros and cons of the digital age, and how quickly we can share information and ideas. But, he warns, that it’s just as easy for people to barricade themselves in echo chambers, “which only confirm their own wishes and ideas.”

He goes on to say that although it has the ability to bring people with differing backgrounds and ideals closer together, there is also the implication that “the desire for digital connectivity can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbours, from those closest to us.”

But, don’t deactivate your Facebook account just yet. “While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media,” he says. “Rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement.”

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