Pope Benedict Advises Priests
to blog, engage in DIALOGUE


by Ariel David, Associated Press/ Union Tribune dtd: 1/24/2010

Vatican City - Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priest struggling to get their message across: GO FORTH AND BLOG.

The Pope, whose presence on the WEB has heavily increased
in recent years, urged priests yesterday to use all multimedia tools
at their disposal to preach the Gospel and engage in dialogue with people of other religions and cultures.

And using e-mail or surfing the Web isn't often enough:
PRIEST should use cutting-edge technologies to express themselves
and lead their communities, Pope Benedict said in a message
released by the Vatican.

"The spread of multimedia communications and its rich 'menu of options' might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the WEB," the Pope stated. However, priest are "challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources," he said.

The message, prepared for the World Day of Communications,
suggests such possibilities as images, videos, animated features, blogs and Web sites.

Pope Benedict said young priests should become familiar with new media while in seminary, though he stressed the use of new technologies must reflect theological and spiritual principles.

"Priests present in the world of digital communications
should be less notable for their media savvy than for
their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ."
he said.

The 82-year old pope has often been wary of new media,
warning about what he has called the tendency of entertainment media,
in particular, to trivialize society and promote violence,
while lamenting that the endless stream of news
can make people insensitive to tragedies.

But Pope Benedict has also praised new ways of communicating
as a "gift to humanity" when used to foster friendship and understanding.

The Vatican has tried hard to keep up to speed
with the rapidly changing field.

Last year, it opened a YouTube channel,
as well as a portal dedicated to the pope.

by: Associated Press - Ariel David

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