Make social media a space for communion – Vatican official

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(Photo by Genielyn Rosario M. Soriano/The Varsitarian)

SOCIAL MEDIA should be used to build “spaces of communion,” a Vatican official on pastoral communication said in a talk at the Ecclesiastical Faculties Martyrs’ Hall last April 8.

Nataša Govekar, director of the theological-pastoral communication department of the Holy See, said the Church wants social media to be a place for an authentic encounter with Jesus Christ.

“The principal question of the communication for the Church is not to learn new techniques or communicative strategies… but to form transparent hearts, hearts which can surprise the world with something new that springs forth,” she said.

Govekar said the Pope’s social media accounts have been received positively by netizens worldwide. Pope Francis’s Twitter and Instagram accounts are effective tools for evangelization, she said.

“It seems that even the digital world is able to capture and transmit something of this life transfigured by God’s presence… With his own gestures, Pope Francis is telling us what it means to evangelize,” Govekar said in her talk titled “Insights to Ministry: Pastoral Communication in the Church.”

Launched during the papacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 2012, the Pope’s Twitter handle is @Pontifex. It was re-opened by Pope Francis on March 2013.

Three years in his papacy, Francis opened his official Instagram account, @franciscus, with the caption: “I want to walk with you along the way of God’s mercy and tenderness.”

At present, the Pope’s Twitter account has 18 million followers, while his Instagram account has 6 million followers and draws an additional 10,000 followers weekly according to Govekar.

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