Pope: Church faced with challenge of discovering how speak about God in digital language

Vatican City - "Discovering" significant symbols and metaphors for people, that can be of help in speaking of the Kingdom of God to modern man, immersed in a digital "language" oriented "towards a different logical organization of thought and relationship with reality ", in which has "a more intuitive and emotional than analytical tendency" and where there is a risk that opinion takes precedence over truth.

It is a world which Benedict XVI invites us to approach without preconceptions, positive or negative, to proclaim the Gospel in the same style as Matteo Ricci who "in his work of spreading the message of Christ always considered the person, the cultural and philosophical context, values and language, capturing all the positive things in tradition, offering to animate and elevate it with the wisdom and truth of Christ. "

A model which the Pope proposed to the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, which is convened in Rome from today to Thursday, March 3 on "Language and Communication". Benedict XVI offered the assembly a reflection on language, not to be understood "as a simple, temporary and interchangeable tool devoid of concepts, but the living and pulsating context in which thoughts, concerns and projects are born in the conscience of man and shaped into gestures, symbols and words. "

The new languages that are developed in digital communication, "geared toward a different logical organization of thought and relationship with reality, often prefer the image and hyperlinks. In digital communication, "the traditional distinction between oral and written language, then, seem to fade in favour of a written communication that takes the form and immediacy spoken language. The dynamics of “shared networks, "also require that the person is involved in what he communicates. When people exchange information, they are already sharing themselves and their world view: they become "witnesses" of what gives meaning to their existence. The risks involved, of course, are obvious to all: the loss of interiority, superficiality in relationships, emotional escapism, the prevalence of opinion more persuasive than the desire for truth. And yet they are the consequence of an inability to fully and authentically live the sense of innovation. That is why there is an urgent need to reflect on the languages developed by new technologies".

Because "if the new languages have an impact on thinking and living, this involves, in some ways, the world of faith, its intelligence and expression."

"It is not only a question of expressing the Gospel message in today's language, but of having the courage to think in a deeper way, as happened in other times, of the relationship between faith, the Church's life and the changes that mankind is experiencing. It is the commitment to help those with responsibility in the Church to be able to understand, interpret and talk about the "new language" of the media in pastoral ministry (cf. Aetatis novae, 2), in dialogue with the contemporary world, asking onself: What challenges the so-called 'digital thinking' poses to faith and theology? What questions and demands? ".

"It is this very appeal to spiritual values that will enable us to promote a truly human communication: beyond facile enthusiasm or skepticism, we know that it answers a need engraved in our nature as beings created in the image and likeness of the God of communion."