Pope’s Message for World Communications Day 2002
Sunday 12th May is World Communications Day 2002. The theme of the Pope’s Message for this year’s World Communications Day is “Internet: A New Forum for Proclaiming the Gospel”.
In his message the Pope says: “The Internet is certainly a new “forum” understood in the ancient Roman sense of that public space where politics and business were transacted, where religious duties were fulfilled where much of the social life of the city took place, and where the best and the worst of human nature was on display. It was a crowded and bustling urban space, which both reflected the surrounding culture and created a culture of its own. This is no less true of cyberspace, which is as it were a new frontier opening up at the beginning of this new millennium …. For the church the new world of cyberspace is a summons to the great adventure of using its potential to proclaim the Gospel message. This challenge is at the heart of what it means at the beginning of the millennium to follow the Lord’s command to “put out into the deep”: Duc in altum! (Lk 5:4).
He continues by saying: “The Church approaches this new medium with realism and confidence…..The Internet can offer magnificent opportunities for evangelisation if used with confidence and a clear awareness of its strengths and weaknesses. Above all by providing information and stirring interest it makes possible an initial encounter with the Christian message, especially among the young who increasingly turn to the world of cyberspace as a window on the world.”.
The Pope concludes his message by saying: “The Internet causes billions of images to appear on millions of computermonitors around the planet. From this galaxy of sight and sound will the face of Christ emerge and the voice of Christ be heard? For it is only when his face is seen and his voice is heard that the world will know the glad tidings of our redemption. This is the purpose of evangelisation. And this is what will make the Internet a genuinely human space, for if there is no room for Christ, there is no room for man. Therefore on this World Communications Day, I dare to summon the whole Church bravely to cross this new threshold, to put out into the deep of the Net, so that now as in the past the great engagement of the Gospel and culture may show to the world “the glory of God on the face of Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). May the Lord bless all those who work for this aim.”
The full text of the Pope’s Message for World Communications Day 2002 is available on the Catholic Communications Office website www.catholiccommunications.ie which was launched for World Communications Day 2001 (27th May 2001) and to date has had over 140,000 hits.
10th May 2002
Catholic Communications Office: 01 505 3000
Fr Martin Clarke: 087 220 8044
Ms Brenda Drumm: 087 233 7797