Our culture's explosion of technology is sometimes seen as a dehumanizing digital wall. But that perspective was counterbalanced by Pope Francis' affirmation of the benefits of electronic connection for humanity in general and Christianity in particular. The bottom line? Technology can bring "scandalously distant" people together in "authentic encounter."

CNN quotes Francis:

"The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity," Francis said. "This is something truly good, a gift from God."
At the same time, though, all those tweets and texts and comment streams can cause people to "lose our bearings," said the 77-year-old pontiff.
"The speed with which information is communicated exceeds our capacity for reflection and judgement, and this does not make for more balanced and proper forms of self-expression," Francis said.
"The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful," he continued, "but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests."

The Vatican's full published statement is worth pastoral pondering. How do these global issues of communication and humanity impact your congregation or community?

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