During a statement released on Thursday, Pope Francis described the Internet as a "gift from God” and lauded the web for "creating a sense of the unity of the human family."
His Holiness released the statement as part of the Catholic Church's World Communications Day.
"A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive," Francis wrote in the statement.
"Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances. The Internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good. A gift from God."
The Argentine-born pope cited "unprecedented advances" in technology and even mentioned the drawbacks that come with the constant presence of social media.
"While these drawbacks are real, they do not justify rejecting social media," Francis said. "Rather, they remind us that communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement…The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity. A network not of wires but of people."
“Let our communication be a balm which relieves pain and a fine wine which gladdens hearts. May the light we bring to others not be the result of cosmetics or special effects, but rather of our being loving and merciful ‘neighbors’ to those wounded and left on the side of the road. Let us boldly become citizens of the digital world…The revolution taking place in communications media and in information technologies represents a great and thrilling challenge; may we respond to that challenge with fresh energy and imagination as we seek to share with others the beauty of God.”
Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, was the first pope to use Twitter.
[The Verge] [Vatican News]