Pope Encourages Bishops to Use Social Media
This morning, Pope Benedict XVI met with bishops from Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina's, including my own bishop, John Noonan of Orlando. And the message was clear:
The Church needs to engage social media.
Yet while most dioceses are leery of the new technology, especially my own, the Pope has been a huge proponent. Here's a recap of this morning's meeting from EWTN News, where the Pope once again affirmed the 'digital continent':
Pope Benedict XVI has given his personal approval to bishops in the southeastern United States who are using social media to evangelize.
"He understood and supported us in our use of this vehicle because it does allow the Church to enter the lives of our people in a very effective, immediate and global way," Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta told EWTN News on May 7, just after meeting with Pope Benedict.
"He himself, of course, has been introducing and supporting more and more social media for the Holy See," Archbishop Gregory noted.
In fact, the Atlanta archbishop believes that "without a proper and prudent use of this vehicle, the new evangelization will never get off the road, it will never start."
(Archbishop Gregory) described this type of communication to the Pope as "the new Areopagus," referring to the forum in ancient Athens where St. Paul debated with the 1st century Greeks.
"We need to use (new media) more effectively, we told the Holy Father, because that is how many of our young people get their information—they get it online, on Facebook and Twitter and blogs...And the Church belongs there, the Church needs to be there," he said.
That belief is something the Pope "agreed with us, I felt, enthusiastically."
Of course the Pope's support should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his reading habits:
(HT: Rocco Palmo on Twitter)