Examiner.com: Pope2You: More of an invitation

27 05 2009

[@ Examiner]

In recent weeks, I have been searching for sources which provide updates about the Pope and the Vatican, but have been pretty unsuccessful. The closest which I have come to finding such updates may be found at the Vatican’s web site, but these require a little bit of mining through foreign languages in order to wiggle my way to an English translation. (Thanks be to God for the similarities of the Romance languages, otherwise I would be completely lost.) While browsing my selection of RSS feeds last week, I came across some articles which stated that through a new website, Pope2You, the Pope and the happenings of the Church were going to be made more easily accessible via Internet technologies such as YouTube, Wiki, Facebook and an iPhone app. I was enamoured by the idea: no more sifting through the (sometimes good) interpretations of various news agencies, but hearing things straight from the horse’s mouth.

But, unfortunately for me, the majority of the articles which I came across were premature in their conclusions (or, just inaccurate). The website was launched in conjunction with the 43rd World Communications Day, mainly in order to propagate the Pope’s message to all Catholics on this occasion, but also to open up some new avenues by which Catholics may remain in touch with the larger Church. The website is essentially a hub to four different locations: 

WikiCath. At this point, it doesn’t appear to be a Wiki. It is an exposition of the Pope’s message, as the page from Pope2You states, but, currently, it is just that. (I’m unsure if this is eventually going to become a “Catholic Wikipedia” or not. One can hope.)
Facebook App. A simple application which, as of now, provides about 20 different postcards (with a picture and a brief quote from the Pope) which one may send to his friends.
iPhone App. Since I don’t have an iPhone, I cannot directly comment. However, I had one of my iPhone-enabled friends check it out, and he tells me that it provides a video feed from H2Onews. 
YouTube: Vatican. A link to the Vatican’s YouTube channel, which now hosts just over 200 videos of the Pope’s messages and meetings, etc.
  1. WikiCath. At this point, it doesn’t appear to be a Wiki. It is an exposition of the Pope’s message, as the page from Pope2You states, but, currently, it is just that. (I’m unsure if this is eventually going to become a “Catholic Wikipedia” or not. One can hope.)
  2. Facebook App. A simple application which, as of now, provides about 20 different postcards (with a picture and a brief quote from the Pope) which one may send to his friends.
  3. iPhone App. Since I don’t have an iPhone, I cannot directly comment. However, I had one of my iPhone-enabled friends check it out, and he tells me that it provides a video feed from H2Onews
  4. YouTube: Vatican. A link to the Vatican’s YouTube channel, which now hosts just over 200 videos of the Pope’s messages and meetings, etc.
While these offerings are not quite what I was looking for and my little bubble of hope for straight- and easy-access to the statements of the Pope and happenings at the Vatican may have been burst, I am more inspired by the invitation which the Pope has extended to all Catholics: to use technology in order to pursue (and promote the pursuit of) truth, goodness, and beauty; to be engage in sincere and honest dialogue; to enable the marginalized to participate in these new forms of communication; to expand one’s friends and acquaintances, but not at the expense of those we know and meet in daily life; to bring the life and light of the Gospel to the “digital continent” through the means of communication which are surrounding us. Here’s a snippet to whet your appetite:
While the speed with which the new technologies have evolved in terms of their efficiency and reliability is rightly a source of wonder, their popularity with users should not surprise us, as they respond to a fundamental desire of people to communicate and to relate to each other. This desire for communication and friendship is rooted in our very nature as human beings and cannot be adequately understood as a response to technical innovations. In the light of the biblical message, it should be seen primarily as a reflection of our participation in the communicative and unifying Love of God, who desires to make of all humanity one family. When we find ourselves drawn towards other people, when we want to know more about them and make ourselves known to them, we are responding to God’s call – a call that is imprinted in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of God, the God of communication and communion.
 
The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others. In reality, when we open ourselves to others, we are fulfilling our deepest need and becoming more fully human. Loving is, in fact, what we are designed for by our Creator. Naturally, I am not talking about fleeting, shallow relationships, I am talking about the real love that is at the very heart of Jesus’ moral teaching: “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” and “You must love your neighbour as yourself” (cf. Mk 12:30-31). In this light, reflecting on the significance of the new technologies, it is important to focus not just on their undoubted capacity to foster contact between people, but on the quality of the content that is put into circulation using these means. I would encourage all people of good will who are active in the emerging environment of digital communication to commit themselves to promoting a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship.
I couldn’t have hoped for a better message to come across in my pursuit. (But I’m still searching. Anyone have a clue?)
Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: