24 January 2011



“In the digital world, transmitting information increasingly means making it known within a social network where knowledge is shared in the context of personal exchanges. The clear distinction between the producer and consumer of information is relativized and communication appears not only as an exchange of data, but also as a form of sharing. This dynamic has contributed to a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange, solidarity and the creation of positive relations. On the other hand, this is contrasted with the limits typical of digital communication: the one-sidedness of the interaction, the tendency to communicate only some parts of one’s interior world, the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence.”

So….what is it then….a sharing of information or a one-sided interaction? Bless me internet….it is 50 seconds since my last digitisation. I have had lewd thorts, cussed in tongues and dissed religion something chronic and created 25 false idols of meself.

“Entering cyberspace can be a sign of an authentic search for personal encounters with others, provided that attention is paid to avoiding dangers such as enclosing oneself in a sort of parallel existence, or excessive exposure to the virtual world. In the search for sharing, for "friends", there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself.”

Er…..parallel existence? Give into illusion? Artificial public profile? You looked in a mirror recently?

"Is there is a risk of being more distracted because our attention is fragmented and absorbed in a world "other" than the one in which we live?"

You tell me.

"In the digital age too, everyone is confronted by the need for authenticity and reflection. Besides, the dynamic inherent in the social networks demonstrates that a person is always involved in what he or she communicates."

Rubbish…who’s typing this….get off my keyboard!

“….It follows that there exists a Christian way of being present in the digital world”

So, there must be a Hindu, a Buddhist, an Islamic, a Zoroastrian way, right?

“The task of witnessing to the Gospel in the digital era calls for everyone to be particularly attentive to the aspects of that message which can challenge some of the ways of thinking typical of the web”

The web thinks?

“First of all, we must be aware that the truth which we long to share does not derive its worth from its "popularity" or from the amount of attention it receives.”

MEMO: Benedict to Vatican IT. How come we only got 5 hits last month?

“I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible.”

Gee, thanks, thought you’d never ask.

“The web is contributing to the development of new and more complex intellectual and spiritual horizons, new forms of shared awareness”

Yup, no hiding place now.

“Believers who bear witness to their most profound convictions greatly help prevent the web from becoming an instrument which depersonalizes people, attempts to manipulate them emotionally or allows those who are powerful to monopolize the opinions of others.”

Wouldn’t dream of it, would you?

“On the contrary, believers encourage everyone to keep alive the eternal human questions which testify to our desire for transcendence and our longing for authentic forms of life, truly worthy of being lived.”

As opposed to inauthentic forms of life not worthy of being lived…?

“I invite young people above all to make good use of their presence in the digital world.”

By learning what a thoroughly corrupt, despicable and evil cult of misery you lead? Good idea.

From the Vatican, 24 January 2011, Feast of Saint Francis de Sales (patron saint of communication workers everywhere).

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