No one can accuse Pope Benedict XVI of being old-fashioned, even if his beliefs on doctrine are strictly traditionalist. The Pontiff proved he holds his traditional views in a very modern social landscape by praising the usefulness of social media communication.

As the Catholic Church prepares for World Communications Day, the Pope made an address in which he lauded the usefulness of social media networks, like Twitter, for people finding answers to questions and therefore discovering greater truths that add meaning to their lives.

In concise phrases, often no longer than a verse from the Bible, profound thoughts can be communicated, as long as those taking part in the conversation do not neglect to cultivate their own inner lives,” he said.

He then warned that the relentless and permeating chatter of the internet must be balanced by silence and contemplation for it to truly have meaning and alluded to the possibility that some sites might be better for more fulfilling communication than others. (Like, say, TheFW?)

The Catholic church has kept up with the digital times with a regularly updated website, an official Twitter account for the Vatican and by blessing an iPhone app that helps Catholics keep track of their sins. Pope Benedict himself even has a Twitter account where he tweets such concise, inspirational phrases as:

See through the superficial glitter of this season and discover behind it the child in the stable in Bethlehem.

Let us abandon once and for all the path of violence and avoid principles of evil.

The universe is not the result of chance. We are invited to read something profound into it: the inexhaustible creativity of God.

That brings up an interesting question -- who does the Pope retweet?

[via The Guardian]