Pope Francis made headlines last month when he spoke to thousands of altar servers in Rome.
Interestingly, the headline from the Catholic Herald UK read “Young People Shouldn’t Waste Their Time on Cell Phones,” as if the Pope just wanted to scold the young altar servers about talking on cell phones and surfing the internet.
A cursory reading of Francis’ remarks to the teens, however, reveals that the Pope simply made a distinction between the ways one can use one’s time. While acknowledging that time is a gift from God that shouldn’t be wasted, he referred to “products of technology” that “should simplify and improve the quality of life,” but may distract people from what’s truly important.
Catholics live in the world, and as Catholics, we believe that the world is good.
But what do we think about technology?
In a prepared statement before the Catholic Communication Collaboration Technology Conference in August in Los Angeles, Archbishop Jose-Gomez proclaimed that the “digital ‘landscape’ is new mission territory for the church.”
The Pope’s social media expert, Monsignor Paul Tighe, also spoke at the conference, re-affirming the necessity for the Church to be involved in technological developments. He stated that the digital world is “reality,” adding that Catholics “need to be part of the digital world,” or “we’re going to be absent from the experience and from the lives of many people.”