THE REAL AND THE VIRTUAL
Below is an excerpt from a June 2, 2000, talk given at a conference for media professionals in Castel Gandolfo (Rome), Italy. For the entire talk, see: C. Lubich, Essential Writings, New City Press, New York (2009), pg. 293, https://www.newcitypress.com
A rapid overview of modern means of communication, cannot fail to reveal that along with the swift development that day by day renders them more useful and fascinating, they also seem to present a series of major new problems for societies, families and individuals.
It is a panorama of lights and shadows.
To cite just some of them: globalization which risks homogenizing cultures and suffocating the wealth of their diversity; ethical relativism which mixes messages of substance with what is biased, partisan or superficial; turning life into a spectacle which exploits suffering and private life; an atmosphere of excessive competitionamong the providers of the means of communication; the exaggerated invasion of public space.… How to use the media without being used?
. . . We know they are simply tools, but let us appreciate all their “enormous untapped potential,” to use an apt expression of Pope John Paul II.1 We would like and would encourage everyone to use them well, faithful to the prophetic message they contain.
Their message is “unity.” Here I would like to offer great thanks to God for the way in which he is not absent even from modern discoveries and new technologies, for the way in which he guides history.
And so it is that at this precise moment when humanity seems to wander in darkness after the collapse of powerful ideologies and the obscuring of so many values, and on the other hand at this precise moment when there is a yearning for a world that is more united, for universal brotherhood, at this precise moment we find in our hands these powerful means of communication, a sign of the times that says “unity.” Do we not see the finger of God in this?
1 From a message to a group of Polish bishops, 14 February 1998. Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XXI (1998) 1, Vatican City 2000, 269-81.