The Pope Wants You to ‘Be Yourself’ on The Internet


In probably the most random message to come out of the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI has seen fit to tackle the pressing, if not life-threatening issue of people pretending to be millionaire gymnasts on the Internet. Shit, he’s on to me:

In the digital age too, everyone is confronted by the need for authenticity and reflection. Besides, the dynamic inherent in the social networks demonstrates that a person is always involved in what he or she communicates. When people exchange information, they are already sharing themselves, their view of the world, their hopes, their ideals. It follows that there exists a Christian way of being present in the digital world: this takes the form of a communication which is honest and open, responsible and respectful of others. To proclaim the Gospel through the new media means not only to insert expressly religious content into different media platforms, but also to witness consistently, in one’s own digital profile and in the way one communicates choices, preferences and judgements that are fully consistent with the Gospel, even when it is not spoken of specifically. Furthermore, it is also true in the digital world that a message cannot be proclaimed without a consistent witness on the part of the one who proclaims it. In these new circumstances and with these new forms of expression, Christian are once again called to offer a response to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is within them (cf. 1 Pet 3:15).

Let me make sure I’ve got this straight: Do implicitly condone the institutionalized molestation of children by agreeing to never report instances of abuse. But don’t tell people online you’re athletically built when you’re really more of a husky.

Glad that’s cleared up. Thanks, Catholicism!

Photo: Getty