After a weekend review of “The Social Network” Pope Benedictus PP. XVI issued proclamation 00106-02.01 that touches the internets (translated from the original Italian):
“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 and irl hookups. … this dynamic has contributed to a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange of junk shots, 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 and self abuse – I’m talking to you -you one handed typing deviates. The new technologies allow people to meet each other beyond the confines of space a with wicked shoops and of their own culture, and provide entertainment for closeted freaks, creating in this way an entirely new world of potential friendships with deviates like themselves that hookup for a gay time or to play Farmville.”
For evangelical Christians, the Pope addressing the internets poses serious issues.
First, addressing the internets makes the Pope look cooler than Evangelicals. While faithful protestant Christians have a varied menu of spiritual leaders to issue a broad swath of proclamations, Catholics have a singular head that carries a greater impact than a swarm of press releases.
Second, addressing the internets reminds the world’s population that he is capital T, capital P – The Pope. Evangelical Christians need a singular voice to respond to the Pope’s message that recognizes the short lived impact of social networking. After all, sites like Chat Roulette are practically dead for spreading the word and a friendly poke is becoming harder to draw favorable responses on certain sites.
Third, Pope-blogging creates hope that The Church recognizes secular activities and dangers to spiritual health. This is contrary to the common belief that the Vatican has no understanding of the layman’s burden.
The Pope, since he is the Pope, should be addressing Christians from the balcony not touching the internets with his divinity. Doing so would make things a lot easier for Evangelicals. There are enough souls for all religions, he doesn’t need to be greedy.