Pope Benedict XVI plans to focus his message for the next World Day of Social Communications on the new media and how they can serve the spread of the Gospel. The papal message encourages priests especially to make use of the new means of communicating.
The full title of the Pope's theme for the January 24, 2010 celebration is, "The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word." The Day is observed every year on the Feast of St. Francis of Sales, patron saint of journalists.
A statement published on Tuesday by the Vatican said that the goal of the Pope's message is "to invite priests in particular, during this Year for Priests and in the wake of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to consider the new communications media as a possible resource for their ministry at the service of the Word. Likewise, it aims to encourage them to face the challenges arising from the new digital culture."
The Holy Father will also use his message to touch on how the “new communications media, if adequately understood and exploited, can offer priests and all pastoral care workers a wealth of data which was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and increased communion that were previously unthinkable," the Vatican says.
The Vatican statment goes on to point out that if the new media are wisely used, enlisting the help of experts in technology and the communications culture, they “can become - for priests and for all pastoral care workers - a valid and effective instrument for authentic and profound evangelization and communion."