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Facebooking Not A Sin, Says Pope Benedict

By - Source: Vatican | B 42 comments

Catholic Christians lacking proper guidance from Pope Benedict XVI whether they should be using social networks or not can take a deep breath.

Catholic Christians lacking proper guidance from Pope Benedict XVI whether they should be using social networks or not can take a deep breath. The Pope official blessed the used of Internet communication tools, especially social networks, but warned about risks.  

"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," he stated. He reminded Christians not to forget the interaction with others in the real world: "It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives."

In his statement of Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Agehe invited his community twice to actively participate in digital communication. "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." If these words are not compelling enough, he noted that the Vatican is using the new tools as well: "I invite young people above all to make good use of their presence in the digital world. I repeat my invitation to them for the next World Youth Day in Madrid, where the new technologies are contributing greatly to the preparations."

Realistically, the words are a bit behind times as religions around the globe discovered the value of social network tools several years ago and are already engaged in virtual communities on networks such as Facebook. However, there is a certain sense of change, especially if we remember that Pope Benedict XIV comes from the depths of a very conservative and catholic area of Bavaria in Germany. Those who remember Pope Benedict as Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger preaching in Munich's cathedral may not have expected an apostolic approval of social networks from the Vatican.

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  • 8 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , January 24, 2011 7:27 PM
    The Pope official blessed the used of Internet communication tools, especially social networks, but warned about risks.

    Seriously, does anyone proof this stuff?
  • -3 Hide
    dan55 , January 24, 2011 7:34 PM
    Quick, lock up your children! The priests will be all over Facebook now trying to find more kids to prey on.

  • -5 Hide
    silverblue , January 24, 2011 7:35 PM
    If I was a Catholic, I'd be so relieved that I could now look at such websites without fear of going to hell. No, really.

    Like anyone cared anyway? Like he's the authority on what people should and shouldn't do.
  • Display all 42 comments.
  • 4 Hide
    JasonAkkerman , January 24, 2011 7:40 PM
    silverblueIf I was a Catholic, I'd be so relieved that I could now look at such websites without fear of going to hell. No, really.Like anyone cared anyway? Like he's the authority on what people should and shouldn't do.


    You do know what/who the pope is?
  • 5 Hide
    djackson_dba , January 24, 2011 7:46 PM
    "Like he's the authority on what people should and shouldn't do."

    For his people, and there are a lot of 'em, he is the authority on what they should or should not do.
  • -8 Hide
    Camikazi , January 24, 2011 7:56 PM
    djackson_dba"Like he's the authority on what people should and shouldn't do."For his people, and there are a lot of 'em, he is the authority on what they should or should not do.

    When his priests are caught molesting children I think he loses the whole authority to tell people what to do :p 
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , January 24, 2011 7:57 PM
    silverblueIf I was a Catholic, I'd be so relieved that I could now look at such websites without fear of going to hell. No, really.Like anyone cared anyway? Like he's the authority on what people should and shouldn't do.


    well, that the thing about being the king of 17% of the worlds population. What he says goes and the loyal part of that 17% follows. really if he says its okay to sit naked on the couch he will bless everyones coaches and 17% of the world will start walking around naked at home. I still think its funny that they bless internet tools, social networks and toasters, lol
  • 3 Hide
    Anonymous , January 24, 2011 8:01 PM
    Quote:

    "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," ... "It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives."


    I may not understand why people think that they have to specifically follow the pope in matters such as these but this was spoken like a true wise man.
  • -2 Hide
    CoryInJapan , January 24, 2011 8:09 PM
    ok those are no Christians..u dont need a mediator to talk to god...u can talk to him through jesus christ..and as a christian myself...I dont need no one telling me if Facebook is ok or not. Wake up people..organized religion defeats the purpose of Christianity..its to be like christ..love one another..and live the life that god would want you to...everyday..not just on Sundays.

    "Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."
    james 1:27
  • -1 Hide
    CoryInJapan , January 24, 2011 8:11 PM
    and I forgot to ad that u accept the fact the jesus died on the cross....and admit to him were sinners....as everyone is..me included...and to accept jesus into our lives...and do our best to turn from those sins.
  • 1 Hide
    jerreece , January 24, 2011 8:17 PM
    CoryInJapanok those are no Christians..u dont need a mediator to talk to god...u can talk to him through jesus christ..and as a christian myself...I dont need no one telling me if Facebook is ok or not. Wake up people..organized religion defeats the purpose of Christianity..its to be like christ..love one another..and live the life that god would want you to...everyday..not just on Sundays."Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you."james 1:27


    Are you sure you're a Christian? Organized religion defeats the purpose? Keep in mind, Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew (Organized Religion). He was the "King of the Jews". Christians, quite frankly, are followers of Jesus Christ (a Jew). Jesus did not come to get rid of Judaism, but came to turn it into it's proper form.

    Also, have you EVER studied the early Christians? Ever heard of "house churches"? When Christians were being killed by the Romans, they hid in groups and secretly held church in people's homes. And quite frankly, if "organized religion" was not intended, why then do we have the New Testament? Yes! In fact, if you read it you'll realize it's mostly made up of letters the Apostles wrote to *GASP* Churches!! Holy cow, you mean they had organized places of worship while Jesus' disciples were alive?? OH EM GEE!!
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , January 24, 2011 8:19 PM
    CamikaziWhen his priests are caught molesting children I think he loses the whole authority to tell people what to do

    Bingo. Mildly amusing that people think I don't know who the Pope is, though, nor what he represents and what power he wields.

    I don't find him a reprehensible man, and from what I've discovered he's actually been rather proactive in tackling this issue for a good few years, but when you're the head of a religion (and he is), you're going to attract all sorts of criticism when people you trust are abusing said trust.
  • 0 Hide
    jerreece , January 24, 2011 8:23 PM
    silverblueBingo. Mildly amusing that people think I don't know who the Pope is, though, nor what he represents and what power he wields.I don't find him a reprehensible man, and from what I've discovered he's actually been rather proactive in tackling this issue for a good few years, but when you're the head of a religion (and he is), you're going to attract all sorts of criticism when people you trust are abusing said trust.


    Keep in mind, President Obama is not responsible for the actions of every person in Congress. The individual Congressman/women are responsible for their own actions.

    In the same way, Pope Benedict is not responsible for the actions of every Priest. The individual Priest is responsible for his own actions.

    The Pope is responsible for passing down official decrees, and publicly stating the faith beliefs of the Church. It is his job to represent Christ on Earth as head of the Church. Not to babysit every member of the Church throughout the world.
  • 2 Hide
    silverblue , January 24, 2011 8:33 PM
    Perhaps not, but I still believe in getting one's house in order first.

    Regardless, if there's a sleaze scandal in politics, it sours the reputation of the political party in question. It wouldn't have been such a public relations disaster for the Vatican had the sexual abuse been few and far between.

    Anyway... it's good to see the Vatican getting with the times. At least I'm not being told I'm going to hell.
  • -1 Hide
    jerreece , January 24, 2011 8:41 PM
    silverblue - Most of us who are going to hell aren't being told so though. :(  Since we live in such a politically correct world anymore.

    Regardless, the reason the Catholic Church's reputation is at stake isn't because of public relations problems, or sleaze scandals, but because people (human beings) can't disassociate one bad apple from the tree it fell from. Note, I say "fell from." Jesus says that good trees can only produce good fruit. And it's true. However, once that fruit leaves the tree... well.

    That's not to say the Church is entirely perfect. It is after all made up of mankind. And humans often choose what they will, and not what God wills. Errors happen in folks' judgment.
  • 0 Hide
    silverblue , January 24, 2011 8:46 PM
    So they do... mine was to start a religious debate when I'm not even religious. :) 

    If the Vatican believes Facebook isn't evil then it can't really be all bad. ;)  What we need is a little summoned divine retribution for those people who propagate bad links on Facebook...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 24, 2011 8:47 PM
    I wonder how much he was paid to endorse the product.
    Is using MySpace a sin? I need to know!
    Did a pope ever clear cellphone use (specifically Verizon) from being a sin?
    I can't think for myself and I'm so scared of going to hail!
  • -1 Hide
    house70 , January 24, 2011 8:52 PM
    ummm..... define sin.
  • 0 Hide
    aleh1811 , January 24, 2011 8:58 PM
    People greatly overestimate the influence the Pope has on catholics. I live in a 95% catholic country (Argentina) and 90% of the people couldn't care less about what the pope has to say. The 5% rest are simply pious. Even gay marriage was legalized not too long ago
  • 0 Hide
    cmartin011 , January 24, 2011 9:42 PM
    yawwnnn!!! really??
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