In a message entitled “Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age,” Pope gave social networking his blessing, but warned that it cannot replace real human contact. The proclamation, created for the Catholic Church’s World Day of Communications, noted, “I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the which the digital era has made possible.” (More on TIME.com: See pictures of Pope Benedict in the United Kingdom.)
The pontiff encouraged social networkers to be open and honest in their communications, and to not confuse online friendships with deeper, lasting ones. “It is important always to remember that virtual contact cannot and must not take the place of direct human contact with people at every level of our lives,” he wrote.
Though the Pope, 83, does not have his own personal , the Vatican has made social media strides through its site, Pope2you, which links users to YouTube and Facebook pages and even an iPhone application. Who knew the Holy See was so down with the kids? (More on TIME.com: See pictures of Pope Benedict meeting President Obama.)
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