The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, said last week that the new digital online technologies must have as their priority, the promotion and defense of the human person as well as the development of real communication, true friendship and honest dialogue.
In an article published by L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop underscored how the digital world is constantly changing and affecting how human relationships are formed. Amidst this reality it must be recognized that "these technologies are a gift for humanity, but their advantages must be at the service of all human beings and the entire community."
After noting that digital technologies offer "great possibilities and great limits," Archbishop Celli remarked that when Pope Benedict XVI "expresses his positive appreciation of the new technologies, he is not being naïve, as he does not overlook the difficulties and problems these technologies can create."
The archbishop went on to highlight three essential aspects that must be considered with regard to the "culture of communication" and keeping kids safe in the online world. The first aspect is "the value of the human person. The Pope is not naïve about this concept and he knows perfectly well what things circulate in the social networking media," he said.
"The second aspect is dialogue, dialogue between people of different countries, cultures and religions. A dialogue is that is certainly not hiding who we are because that would not be something respectful towards the person with whom we are dialoguing. But it is an attentive and respectful dialogue that sincerely seeks out the truth. I think man can find the fullness of his life knowing that life is not a straight line down which we walk, but rather a continuous journey of seeking what is true, good and beautiful," the archbishop continued.
The third aspect is friendship. Archbishop Celli explained that "in the new vocabulary of the digital networks, this term is easily misused." He added, "Our friendships grow in our daily walk as human beings"
"We cannot trivialize the concept of friendship because it is one of the greatest riches that human beings have."