In case you missed, the Vatican has urged Roman Catholics to give up high-tech for Lent. Call it a digital fast.
So if most Catholics follow this lead, and the Roman Catholic is the largest single denomination in the world and in the U.S., what would be the cultural and economic impact? And we can only speculate what kind of church-state tensions may surface among elected officials who happen to be Roman Catholic. If they follow the Vatican’s lead, their constituents may be out of touch in today’s environment.
But seriously, folks, there’s a serious point being made here. As the Associated Press story reports:
The Church is trying to balance an increasing appreciation of modern communication with a wariness of new media.
In January, the Vatican launched its own YouTube channel, with Pope Benedict XVI welcoming viewers to this ”great family that knows no borders.”
Benedict praised social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace for forging friendships and understanding, but cautioned that online networking could isolate people from real social interaction.
The pope has also warned about what he has called the tendency of entertainment media to trivialize sex and promote violence.
It’s comforting to know the Vatican takes seriously the relationships and implications that rise with the varieties of digital media. If a 40-day fast from high-tech gadgets can jumpstart that conversation among believers, then so be it.