In an address to the Pontifical Council for the Laity whose members were concluding their plenary assembly on the theme of “Proclaiming Christ in the Digital Era”, the Holy Father began by saying that the theme chosen by the dicastery recalls the Church in the first centuries, who “wished to measure up to the extraordinary legacy of Greek culture.”
“Faced with philosophies of great depth and an educational method of exceptional value, but infused with pagan elements, the Fathers did not shy away from comparison, nor did they compromise with any ideas contrary to their faith,” the Holy Father said.
“Instead, they were able to recognize and assimilate the most elevated concepts, transforming them from within in the light of the Word of God. They implemented St. Paul's call to 'test everything, hold on to the good'.”
While warning of “dangerous illusions and traps to be avoided from the internet”, the Pope said that if guided by the Holy Spirit, they can discover opportunities to lead mankind towards God.”
The most important possibility that digital communication offers, he continued, is the proclamation of the Gospel that requires authentic and direct human relations. Technological skills, although important is insufficient.
“This, however, does not mean that the presence of the Church on the web is useless; on the contrary, it is indispensable to be present, always in an evangelical style, in what has become for many people, especially the young, a sort of life environment, to reawaken the insuppressible questions the heart asks about the meaning of existence, and to indicate the way to He Who is the answer, the divine Mercy made flesh, the Lord Jesus,” the Pope said.
Concluding his address to the Pontifical Council of the Laity, Pope Francis told the members that the Church will continue in searching new ways to evangelize. In this mission, he concluded, “the contribution and the witness of lay faithful is shown every day to be indispensable.”