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Pope Francis’ message on cyberbullying

pope cyberbullyingArchbishop Eamon Martin warmly welcomed the content of Pope Francis’ message, published today on the Feast of Saint Francis de Sales, for World Communications Day 2019.  This annual celebration will be marked on Ascension Sunday, 2 June.  This year’s theme: ‘We are members one of another (Eph 4:25) From social network communities to the human community’ highlights the importance of the internet and social media as a resource, but also emphasises the risks that accompany it, in terms of the sharing of authentic information and the increase of cyberbullying among young people.

In his message today, Pope Francis tells us that, “the metaphor of the net recalls another meaningful image: the community”, but that at present, “social network communities are not automatically synonymous with community”.  A community is one that thrives on mutual listening and dialogue.  Pope Francis notes in particular that “young people are the ones most exposed to the illusion that the social web can completely satisfy them on a relational level.  There is the dangerous phenomenon of young people becoming ‘social hermits’ who risk alienating themselves completely from society.  This dramatic situation reveals a serious rupture in the relational fabric of society, one we cannot ignore.”  He goes on to say that, “while governments seek legal ways to regulate the web and to protect the original vision of a free, open and secure network, we all have the possibility and the responsibility to promote its positive use.”  Pope Francis suggests that a possible answer can be drawn from the words of Saint Paul, “Therefore, putting away falsehood, speak the truth, each to his neighbour, for we are members one of another” (Eph 4:25).

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Saint Of The Day

17 February 2019