The Pope: The Internet has Numbed Young People

Pope Benedict XVI prays in front of the image ...

Image by Catholic Church (England and Wales) via Flickr

Maybe.  Maybe not.

The Vatican has had a mixed relationship with the Web.  Last year, executives from Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook coached Catholic bishops about Internet culture. Pope Benedict XVI also launched a YouTube channel, has encouraged priests to blog, and has told young Catholics to use the Internet to share their faith.  But Benedict issued a warning to Internet users late last week, cautioning that the Web has “numbed” young people and created an “educational emergency — a challenge that we can and must respond to with creative intelligence.”  “A large number of young people… establish forms of communication that to do not increase humaneness but instead risk increasing a sense of solitude and disorientation,” Benedict also said, according to the AFP.

You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t, on the one hand, urge use of the internet as a grand tool of communication, and on the other, tell them it’s making them dumber.  The internet is neutral morally.  It can be used for good or ill.  It is a tool.  It’s up to people of faith to use that faith, and reason, and employ the tool responsibly.  Nothing more and nothing less.

For instance, Priests can use the web to communicate faith, or surf for smut.  The one is good, the other is evil.  The priest has to decide how the internet will be utilized.  That’s all.

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One thought on “The Pope: The Internet has Numbed Young People

  1. Paul D. 15 Nov 2010 at 10:55 pm

    At least the Vatican church isn’t blindly calling for stuff they don’t understand to be banned like politicians do.

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