Feeds

Vatican declares 'the internet is blessed'

As Scots Bish says online relationships 'Profoundly sad'

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Catholic Church could be headed for a virtual schism as the Vatican embraces Web 2.0 and declares "the internet is blessed", while a Scottish Bishop warns his flock against the "inane chatter" found online.

Father Fredrico Lombardi, SJ, the Vatican's head of communications, marked the Church's upcoming Communications Day with a lengthy speech. In it, he embraced the possibilities of the internet as a force for unity, and for reaching out to the poor and marginalised as well as the wealthy world.

At the same time, Lombardi recognised the "risks and the ambiguities that attend this stage, the enormous potential for manipulation and moral corruption that are nested in the modern social communications." He detailed these in wonderfully Vaticanesque language - see below.

The Vatican has been on the web for some time, and recently jumped onto YouTube.

Lombardi said "The impressive development of social networks, of content and information exchange, of the desire to comment on and intervene in every discussion of every topic, tells us that the internet has given rise to an omni-directional flow of transversal and personal communications, the scope of which was unimaginable until very recently."

He argued that the Church had to have a coherent response if it wanted to interact with the faithful, and presumably not faithful: "We need to develop a structural capacity to respond clearly and competently to the questions that arise – and that takes manpower, time and money."

While some in the Church and other denominations will happily condemn the net - along with radio, TV, printing etc. - as instruments of the Devil, Lombardi concluded his speech by recalling Pope John Paul II's joy at being able to connect with Catholic Youth celebrations by TV, and declaring that "television is blessed".

Now, Lombardi said, "I shall have to work more – all of us shall have to work even harder, so that every day it will be more and more true, to say, and so that we might be able to say with greater and greater conviction: the internet is truly blessed!"

Lombardi might want to work first in Scotland, where the Bishop of Paisley has decided to mark Communications Day by warning against the danger of social networking replacing real relationships.

According to The Daily Telegraph, The Right Reverend Philip Tartaglia is using a very old school form of social networking - a pastoral letter to be read out by priests at Sunday's service - to acknowledge the benefits of the net, but also to put right anyone who thinks virtual relationships can meaningful substitute for real world ones.

"In dialogue with others we need to be wary of the inane chatter that can go on in the digital world which does nothing to promote growth in understanding and tolerance," he thundered.

"We should avoid an obsessive need for virtual connectedness and develop primary relationships," he said. Replacing real world relationships with online ones is "profoundly sad", he concluded. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.