Pope Gives Online Friendships a Cautious Blessing

Tue, 01/25/2011 - 09:04

The Pope has given online social networks a guarded blessing in a message celebrating the World Day of Communication.

Pope Benedict XVI praised new media sites like facebook and Myspace as “a great opportunity,” but stressed that virtual relationships cannot come at the expense of real-world interaction.

In a message from the Vatican, he stated: "It is important to always remember that virtual contact cannot and should not be a substitute for direct human contact with people at all levels of our society.”

He encouraged Church followers to use the online spaces to spread information about Christianity without trivializing their messages.

The 83-year-old head of the Catholic Church doesn’t have his own facebook profile, but supporters can follow his speeches and trip updates on the aptly named Pope2You.net.