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01/29/2012

Pope OKs social media, in moderation

If you were staying off Facebook or Twitter because it may have been sacrilegious, you’ve lost your excuse.

Pope Benedict XVI has given social networking his blessing, saying some services and search engines are “the starting point of communication for many people who are seeking advice, ideas, information and answers.”

Speaking out in advance of the 46th word day of “social communications,” the Pope said the web and social media can help bring people together and connect those looking for “truths.”

“Attention should be paid to the various types of websites, applications and social networks which can help people today to find time for reflection and authentic questioning, as well as making space for silence and occasions for prayer, meditation or sharing of the word of God.”

He went on to compare Twitter, which limits status updates to 140 characters, to the Bible. The pope said: “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.”

If you didn’t pick it up in that last line, the Pope isn’t giving us the complete green light. He says social networking is good in moderation – as long as followers spend some time using what they learned online to make the world a better place.

They also need time to reflect in peace and in silence, which he says can help communication have a bigger impact.

Religion isn't entirely new to the social media sphere - heck, there are even Facebook pages designed around daily prayers.

Do you think there is a place for religion and social media?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets

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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.

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