Pope: Church Needs Creativity to Reach Digital Age

Says Society Is Often Indifferent to Messages of Faith

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VATICAN CITY, NOV. 14, 2010 (Zenit.org).- If the Church is going to fulfill its mission to proclaim the truth of Christ to all peoples, it must use its "creative intelligence" to overcome certain challenges of the digital age, says Benedict XVI.



The Pope reflected on the Church's constant search for better means to proclaim the Gospel on Saturday upon receiving in audience participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council of Culture, which took place last week in Rome. The theme considered at the plenary was "Culture of Communication and New Languages."

"A profound cultural transformation is under way," the Pontiff affirmed, "with new languages and new forms of communication" being developed.

"In this context," he added, "pastors and the faithful notice with concern certain difficulties in the communication of the evangelical message and the transmission of the faith within the ecclesial community itself."

The Holy Father acknowledged that it can be difficult to address men and women who are "distant from or indifferent to an experience of faith," and to whom the message of the Gospel arrives "in a way that has little effectiveness or attractiveness."

But, he recalled, the Church is the "recipient of the mission to communicate to all the nations the Gospel of salvation," and it "does not remain indifferent."

Creativity

The Church, Benedict XVI continued, tries to avail, "with renewed creative effort, but also with critical sense and attentive discernment -- of the new languages and new modalities of communication."

"The incapacity of language to communicate the profound meaning and beauty of the experience of faith can contribute to the indifference of many, above all young people," he noted.

"The Church wants to dialogue with everyone in the pursuit of truth, but in order for that dialogue and communication to be effective and fruitful, it is necessary to be on the same frequency, in friendly and sincere environments," the Pope affirmed.

He explained: "Today not a few young people, deafened by the infinite possibilities offered by information networks or other technologies, maintain forms of communication that do not contribute to maturation in humanity, but rather threaten to increase the sense of solitude and forlornness.

"In the face of such phenomena, I have spoken many times of the educational crisis, a challenge to which we can and must respond with creative intelligence, committing ourselves to promoting a communication that is humanizing, and that stimulates the critical sense and the capacity to evaluate and discern."

The Holy Father offered the Gospel as the guide to reaching the digital age, and that the Church can also draw on "the extraordinary patrimony of symbols, images, rites and gestures of her tradition."

"In particular," he added, "the rich and dense symbolism of the liturgy must shine forth in all its power as a communicative element, to the point of deeply touching the human conscience, heart and intellect."

"The Christian tradition has always been closely linked to the liturgy and to the language of art," the Pontiff said, "the beauty of which has its special communicative power."

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