In his “World Day of Communications” address released over the weekend, Pope Benedict encouraged priests to take advantage of the new media on behalf of the new evangelization:
The pope, whose own presence on the Web has heavily grown in recent years, urged priests on Saturday to use all multimedia tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel and engage in dialogue with people of other religions and cultures.
And just using e-mail or surfing the Web is often not enough: Priests should use cutting-edge technologies to express themselves and lead their communities, Benedict said in a message released by the Vatican.
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“The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web,” but priests are “challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources,” he said.
The message, prepared for the World Day of Communications, suggests such possibilities as images, videos, animated features, blogs, and Web sites.
The Vatican has been working hard to overcome the perception that they are always a step or two behind the times, adding a YouTube channel and a “a portal dedicated to the pope” at Pope2You.net. It’s all a step in the right direction — but even if the Vatican never quite catches the wave, there are plenty of excellent blogging bishops, priests, deacons, and religious already taking the pope’s words to heart.
You can read Benedict’s complete address here.