"God can be found even on the Internet. And many of the millions of people who use the Internet every day, may come across words of hope, encounter different cultural and spiritual experiences, overcoming ideological barriers and even discovering new horizons" said Archbishop John Patrick Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications yesterday when he addressed webmasters of the European Bishops' Conferences at a meeting organised by the Council of the Conferences CCEE taking place in Rome on the theme 'The Internet and the Catholic Church in Europe'. Archbishop Foley said: "The Internet can be a new path to God and a call to the Church to consider the opportunities offered by news means for information, education, prayer and evangelisation, for carrying everywhere the Word of God, to reach even people living in solitude who might never open their front door." Referring to the Message for the 36th World Communications Day in 2002 issued by Pope John Paul II on 'The Internet: new Forum per proclaiming the Gospel' - in which the Pope urged the whole Church to cross this new threshold with courage and "put out into the deep on the Web", Archbishop Foley said that the Pope's call was already bearing fruit. "The universal Church and its mission consists in proclaiming the Gospel to all peoples therefore the Internet can serve as a useful tool for this purpose thanks to the potential of its principle character virtual globalisation. It is therefore natural for the Church to look at this new possibility offered by the means of social communications which crosses geographical borders, shortens distances between nations and cultures and offers the whole of humanity great opportunities for knowledge." Archbishop Foley underscored that the Church "the bearer of the Revelation of God has the task of communicating the Word and should therefore encourage the use of the Internet for the common good, for the promotion of peace and justice with respect for personal dignity and a spirit of solidarity. This tool has capacity to connect millions of networks, to create a vast data bank demonstrating that it is not only a means of entertainment but also a vehicle of commitment and cultural and spiritual study. The Internet is therefore a forum of our day, a tool for spreading the Christian message, but it is necessary to educate its users because as with every reality around us its positive and negative elements come into conflict creating confusion and false values." Source: Fides
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