Pope encourages Church to use Internet for young people

 Pope John Paul praised the Internet as a particularly appropriate medium for evangelising young people. Speaking to a group of French bishops from Bordeaux and Poitiers the Holy Father said there was a need for "a solid human and spiritual formation at all age levels" but this was needed particularly by young people, because of the complex and difficult framework in which they live today. The Pope said: "Their cultural universe is marked by new communications technologies which often create difficulties for their relations with the world, the times and with others, and which shape their behaviour. That creates a culture of the immediate and the ephemeral, which is not always favourable to careful study nor to an inner growth or moral discernment. However, use of the new media also offers interesting possibilities that one cannot deny." The Holy Father said: "many ruptures in society today make young people fragile: family separations, breaks in social bonds, the disintegration of the family unit, and other precarious situations." He emphasized the evolution of "disquieting mentalities," including "exacerbated subjectivity, excessive freedom from habits that let young people think that all behaviour, just because it can be done, is good, a serious lessening of a moral sense." Young people at times "give the impression of having entered adulthood too soon, because of their acquaintances and their behaviour, and of not having had the time to mature physically, intellectually, emotionally and morally." "As pastors you are attentive to these realities, knowing the generosity of the young who are ready to work for just causes and are anxious to find happiness." John Paul II stressed that "young people aspire to live in groups where they are known and loved," first and foremost the family, then friends and, not least, the diocesan community, remarking that "the presence of adults other than relatives is often beneficial." "The pastoral ministry for the young," the Pope went on, "calls for those who accompany them to be perseverant, attentive and inventive."

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