Feeds

Vatican declares 'the internet is blessed'

As Scots Bish says online relationships 'Profoundly sad'

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.