Benedict XVI to Reflect on Social Networks for Communications Day Message

Theme of Celebration Looks at 'New Spaces for Evangelization'

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 1, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican's communications council announced Saturday that Benedict XVI's annual message for World Communications Day will consider the phenomenon of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, reflecting on them as "new spaces for evangelization."

"One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelisation today is that which is emerging from the digital environment," a communique from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications noted.

The 47th World Day will have the theme: "Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelisation'"

"The theme suggests a series of important points for reflection. During a time in which technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences, such as relationships and knowledge, we need to ask: can it help men and women meet Christ in faith? It is not enough to find an adequate language, but rather, it is necessary to learn how to present the Gospel as the answer to that basic human yearning for meaning and faith, which has already found expression online," the English-language communique stated.

"Such an approach, which will serve to create a more dynamic and humane digital world, requires a new way of thinking. It is not simply a question of how to use the internet as a means of evangelisation, but instead of how to evangelise in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena.

"In particular, we need to be attentive to the emergence and enormous popularity of social networks, which privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and relationships."

World Communications Da is celebrated in most countries on the Sunday before Pentecost (May 12 in 2013).

The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24).