Scottish Catholics urged to embrace new technology

Bishop learns about texting, networking sites from high school students

Bishop learns about texting, networking sites from high school students

In a pastoral letter sent to all of Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes to be read at all Masses on 23 and 24 May, Bishop Philip Tartaglia, the President of the Bishops' Conference National Communications Commission has urged responsible use of new technology.

The bishops message which echoes the theme of Pope Benedict XVI's message for Communications Sunday (24 May 2009) points out that " the lives of all of us have been changed mostly for the better by 'digital technology' in all its forms" however he adds a note of caution saying; " with opportunities, come dangers. What parent has not wondered what their child is doing on the internet? What material are they accessing? Who are they talking to in social networking sites?"

Bishop Tartaglia also highlights the fact that much communication is often "inane chatter", which does nothing to promote growth in understanding and tolerance. He concludes; "The fact that we can instantly communicate doesn't mean that we must. We should avoid an obsessive need for virtual connectedness and develop primary human relationships, pursuing true friendship with real people."

The message also includes an appeal to Catholics to support the work of the Scottish Catholic Media Office (SCMO) through a special collection.

To mark Communications Sunday the SCMO has produced an online video of the message which includes footage of pupils at St Luke's High School in Barrhead demonstrating how they use social networking sites and text messaging to Bishop Tartaglia. The video will be posted on YouTube and at on 21 May 2009.

Pictured: Bishop with Mrs Patricia Scott Headteacher and first year pupils (L to R) Kirsty Lappin, Heather Gough, Mrs Scott, Bishop Tartaglia, Louisa Kearney, Rhegan Dougal, Kerry McMahon

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