Text messages are “a gift from God”, says Pope Francis

We all know how good text messages are, but Pope Francis has taken it to a new level, describing text messages, social networks and the internet as “a gift from God”.

His message, entitled ‘Communication and Mercy: A Fruitful Encounter’, came as Pope Francis welcomed the CEO of Apple, Tim Cook, to the Vatican. The visit was part of the build-up to the 50th World Day of Social Communications, catholicherald.co.uk reports.

“Text messages, emails, social networks and chats” can be “fully human forms of communication”, according to the Pope.
The message reads: “It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal.

“Communication, wherever and however it takes place, has opened up broader horizons for many people. This is a gift from God which involves a great responsibility. I like to refer to this power of communication as ‘closeness’.”

The Pontiff has been no stranger to technology since assuming the papacy in 2013. He has used Google Hangouts to talk to children around the world, as well as being active on Twitter.

But despite describing communication technology like text messages and the internet as a gift from God, Pope Francis has admitted to not being the most tech-savvy person.

“Can I be honest? I am really not so good at it…I don’t know how to work with a computer. It’s a bit of a shame,” he said, after a child asked if he liked to take pictures and put them on his computer.

Talking about the internet, the Pope said it can “help us to be better citizens”, but that “access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbour whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected.”

Text messages are a great way for churches and Catholic organisations to directly reach their communities. When arranging fund-raisers or other events, Catholic organisations are able to send texts en mass (pun intended) and deliver their message straight to the pockets of their contingents.

The World Day of Social Communications 2016 is to take place on May 8.