(Source: Mashable The Social Media Guide)
Pope Benedict XVI has a message for priests of the Catholic Church: They must proclaim the gospel by not only having a website, but by blogging and utilizing new web communication tools.
The 265th Pope of the Catholic Church has been an unexpectedly strong proponent of social media. Last year, he launched a YouTube channel, and six months ago, he released Facebook and iPhone apps to spread the Church’s message. It looks like that he hopes Catholic priests will follow his digital example.
In his message, the Pope acknowledges that priests face new challenges due to cultural shifts that have brought the conversation online. Thus, priests must do more than just take the Word of the gospel to the web.
Here’s a small excerpt from the entire message from the Pope:
“The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different ‘voices’ provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.”
We have to give the Pope high marks for his push to make the Church more effective in the digital realm. While the Pope is not on Twitter (), his Pope2you initiative is definitely a step in the right direction. He clearly knows that reaching young believers requires going to the places where they spend their time and converse. More and more, that is social media.