THE NEW interactive portal of the Vatican City “Pope2you.net” uniquely features “WikiCath,” a webpage that contains some of the Pope’s inspirational messages on how the youth should view cyberspace. But the page should not be mistaken for Wikipedia.org, an online encyclopedia whose contents are supplied by users.
Here are some of Benedict’s thoughts on cyberspace:

•    In today’s computer world, the word “digital” refers to everything that is represented by numbers or works by manipulating numbers. But the Pope has gone beyond the technicalities of the “digital age,” saying that this concept is not merely an instrument to serve its purpose but rather a means to create deeper relationships among people who use anything digital in their everyday lives.

•    The probability of finding “real friends” online is not anymore impossible, as long as people remain true to themselves and to the people they deal with. Although there are limitations in technology, the Holy Father encourages everyone, especially the youth to maximize the features of online services such as blogs, social networking sites, and even cyber chatting in “building a true and veritable online Christian witness.”

•    Through the internet, interaction is more utilized. Nowadays, it is easier to exchange thoughts, ideas, and opinions using the internet, but this should not serve as a cause of disputes.

•    The quality of online content should always be taken into consideration. Communication goes beyond transmitting messages; one must remember that the content of the message is what’s important.

•    The distance among countries is not anymore a limitation. With the use of online services, it is now easier to promote solidarity and a deeper understanding of different cultural beliefs and customs.

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•    Lastly, the advantage of using the features of digital age should also focus on the sharing of the word of God and not just information-dissemination. Andrewly A. Agaton

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