Pope Benedict XVI encouraged Christian bloggers to "give a soul to the internet's incessant flow of communications," during an April 24 address to a conference on the latest developments in information technology.
"Without fear we must set sail on the digital sea," the Holy Father told participants in the conference on "Digital Witness," which had been organized by the Italian bishops' conference. He observed that the Church has always boldly used the latest available technological means to broaden the reach of the Gospel message.
The Pope mentioned several problems associated with the internet, such as the "digital divide" that "separates those included from those excluded." The internet itself is by nature egalitarian, he observed, but it achieves that result only if everyone has access.
The Pope also mentioned "the dangers of conformity and control, of intellectual and moral relativism, which are already evident in the diminution of the spirit of criticism, in the truth reduced to an interplay of opinions, in the many forms of degradation and humiliation of individual intimacy." These problems, he said, lead to a "pollution of the spirit."
The solution, the Pope continued, is the active presence of Christians on the internet, promoting the cause of truth and human dignity, fighting against the tendency for people to "become bodies without a soul, objects to be exchanged and consumed." Active faith, he said, can be a "humanizing factor," encouraging others to use the modern communications media for the common good.