The AP, via the Washington Post On Faith blog, reports that Pope Benedict XVI — who’s not known as a fan of the Internet or most technology — wants Catholic priests to make themselves heard on the Internet (WebCite cached article):

Pope Benedict XVI has a new commandment for priests struggling to get their message across: Go forth and blog.

The pope, whose own presence on the Web has heavily grown in recent years, urged priests on Saturday to use all multimedia tools at their disposal to preach the Gospel and engage in dialogue with people of other religions and cultures.

And just using e-mail or surfing the Web is often not enough: Priests should use cutting-edge technologies to express themselves and lead their communities, Benedict said in a message released by the Vatican.

“The spread of multimedia communications and its rich ‘menu of options’ might make us think it sufficient simply to be present on the Web,” but priests are “challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources,” he said.

It’s not coincidental that he came out with this directive just now:

The message, prepared for the World Day of Communications, suggests such possibilities as images, videos, animated features, blogs, and Web sites.

One might assume that, as an Agnostic who’s criticized the Roman Catholic Church heavily over the nearly-2 years this blog has been running, I would be opposed to this.

But I’m not. I’m always in favor of freedom. That means letting Catholic priests having a voice.

The only thing I ask is that priests be held accountable for their words, if they post something inappropriate or inaccurate to their blogs, vlogs, podcasts, whatever. But then, I expect that of anyone. Propriety, candidness, accuracy and veracity are ethically required of everyone who says something publicly … and posting something on the Internet is as public as someone can get.

Hat tip: Slashdot.

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