Internet, A Gift From God, Says Pope Francis; Urges Media Practitioners To Preach Love, Unity

By Timothy Agbor, Osogbo

Pope Francis, the leader of the Catholic Church, has said that the internet was a gift from God and a good means of reaching to people with a view to creating a sense of unity and love in the world and to “reach the peripheries of human existence.”

The Pope, who is known for his humility and simplicity, also urged media practitioners and other people who have encounter with various medium of communications to use all means and medium of communication to enhance love and ensure unity.

The Archbishop of Ibadan Archdiocese and the Apostolic Administrator of the Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, Dr. Gabriel Leke Abegunrin read the message of the Pope in marking the 48th World Communications Day Celebration held on Sunday, 1st June, 2014 in Osogbo, capital of Osun State, southwest Nigeria.

Archbishop Abegunrin who was represented by the Vicar of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Michael Okodua, at the thanksgiving mass of the annual event at St. Benedict Catholic Cathedral, Osogbo, revealed that Pope’s message, titled “Communication At the Service Of An Authentic Culture Of Ecounter” formed the basis of his homily.

The message, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent reads: “In a world like this, media can help us to feel closer to one another, creating a sense of the unity of the human family which can in turn inspire solidarity and serious efforts to ensure a more dignified life for all. Good communication helps us to grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately, to grow in unity.

“The walls which divide us can be broken down only if we are prepared to listen and learn from one another. We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect.

“Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances. The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.”

According to Pope Francis, “it is not enough to be passersby on the digital highways, simpy “connected”, connections need to grow into true encounters. We cannot live apart, closed in on ourselves. We need to love and to be loved. We need tenderness. Media strategies do not ensure beauty, goodness and truth in communication.

“The world of media also has to be concerned with humanity, it too is called to show tenderness. The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity, it too is called to show tenderness”.

Also, speaking during the homily, the Director of Social Communications Commission of the Diocese, Rev. Fr. Francis Adetunji, who organised the event, urged media practitioners and other communicators to ensure that all the means and media they use in disseminating information reflect whom they are as children of God.

The cleric noted that social media should not be misused, rather, it should be seen as a tool to change the world for better and enhance togetherness among diverse ethnic difference.

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