Priests Online in the New Evangelization

It’s “official”:

The spread of multimedia communications and its rich “menu of options” might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web, or to see it only as a space to be filled. Yet priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different “voices” provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis.

Using new communication technologies, priests can introduce people to the life of the Church and help our contemporaries to discover the face of Christ. They will best achieve this aim if they learn, from the time of their formation, how to use these technologies in a competent and appropriate way, shaped by sound theological insights and reflecting a strong priestly spirituality grounded in constant dialogue with the Lord. Yet priests present in the world of digital communications should be less notable for their media savvy than for their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ. This will not only enliven their pastoral outreach, but also will give a “soul” to the fabric of communications that makes up the “Web”.

I appreciate the way that Benedict, himself a bit of a technophobe (he famously wrote Jesus of Nazareth by hand), grasps the importance of having a priestly presence on what you might call the “Web,” to use the hip slang. Fittingly, this message was delivered on the Feast of St. Francis De Sales, who was pretty cutting-edge himself, grasping both the unique challenges facing laypeople, and the latest theological challenges to the Faith.


  1. Between this and your last comment, I wouldn’t be surprised if your penances start getting really extreme. If you see a sudden jump from “Two Hail Marys for the pope’s intentions” to “live the remainder of your life in the desert,” you’ll know which confessor you got.

  2. How much more motivation do I need to post? The BBC actually contacted me to do an interview about the Holy Father’s challenge to priests to use new media. However, the timing didn’t work out. I have a couple posts brewing at least…

  3. Fr. Andrew, with a family as large as that which you have to help care for at Prince of Peace, I’m surprised you have any time at all to devote to blogging. My own family is much, much smaller, and I barely have enough time (or energy) to type out a coherent thought. On the contrary, it’s pretty obvious that our host, Joe, is a single guy with plenty of time on his hands!

    Still, I hope you don’t mind the good-natured fun-poking. Your time and effort is always greatly appreciated.

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