By ARCHBISHOP WILTON D. GREGORY, Commentary | Published January 12, 2018 | En Español
The Vatican has launched an updated website—and it is quite attractive! Pope Benedict XVI originally initiated the papal Twitter account, and Pope Francis has greatly increased the number of people worldwide who now connect with him through this medium. Recently his media collaborators gave the Vatican a brand-new image in cyberspace at www.vatican.va.
It’s important for us to make increasingly effective and frequent use of online vehicles for communication since Christ’s Church offers many significant contributions to the conversations that take place in the world today.
The new Vatican graphics are striking, the photographs eye-catching, and the stories and articles up-to-date and quite informative. This new website is designed to engage people with the ageless message of the Gospel and to invite everyone to become involved with the Church, which must always announce the truth of salvation.
The redesigned website will be particularly attractive to younger Catholics, most of whom have practically been fashioned in cyberspace. However, even those of us less skilled in the use of these modern vehicles of communication will find this new website intriguing and helpful.
There are far too many valid reasons for people occasionally to criticize social media. Often online conversation is overflowing with negative, polarizing and disgusting material. Some people regularly use social media to promote hostile, aggressive and offensive information. Nevertheless, we would all be more ineffective and inefficient without these new sources of human interactive communications.
Last Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Epiphany—God’s proclamation and introduction of his Son as the Word of Life, announced for the world’s salvation. This revelation was accomplished through the faith journey of three Gentile wise men from the east, who had only a persuasive star to guide their search. They didn’t “Google” the Infant to find out where he was born. They did not use the Waze app to find him. They simply listened to their hearts, which told them that something wonderful was to be discovered by following that star.
We have so many intriguing ways of finding the Infant, who promises life for all those who seek him. And once we discover Christ, we must announce his presence to the entire world in the way that we live and love one another.
We now have these exceptional technology tools to communicate, but the most effective ways that we proclaim the Christ is through our witness of faith—in the way that we care for the poor, defend children waiting to be born, lobby for the neglected and stand with our immigrant neighbors, “the least of his sisters and brothers.”
Social media is so often filled with “bad news,” that I am happy that the Vatican has launched this new platform of such hope and promise. I also trust that our archdiocesan website helps you to discover the good things that are going on in this local Church.
Our communications director, Paula Gwynn Grant, is an enthusiastic source of joy for the Archdiocese of Atlanta as she strives to connect all of you with the important faith lessons and acts of hope and generosity that take place in central and north Georgia.
The Internet is so often dominated by sad, distasteful and gloomy events that may make us all a bit disheartened at times. But there is an equal—if not an even greater—number of moments of faith, hope, charity, goodness, justice, peace and promise to share. We just have to get the word out—and do so more effectively and more often.