Pope Francis is one of the most popular and talked about persons on the web. The Pope has a Twitter accounts in several languages, and his English-language account has over 4.3 million followers. On his @Pontifex account, Pope Francis always provides advice and asks for prayers from his million of followers. Pope Francis has a special place for young people, and often issues tweets directed to them. He asks them to trust in God, to use their talents, and to live life to the full.  On September 20, he said ‘Dear young people, listen within: Christ is knocking at the door of your heart.’ They respond with thousands of retweets.   Pope Francis has described the internet as a ‘gift from God’, but reminds us that the digital social media needs to be reflective and taken care of it is to be ‘a network not of wires but of people.’ He has offered a set of instructions on how to behave on the internet. For example it is always good practice to stop and think before we put anything on-line. Once it is there, it is there for life. He says, ‘The variety of opinions being aired can be seen as helpful, but it also enables people to barricade themselves behind sources of information which only confirm their own wishes and ideas, or political and economic interests. The world of communications can help us either to expand our knowledge or to lose our bearings.’ The internet should be used to offer ‘real reasons for hope’.   This Week:  
  • Read the guidelines on internet usage from the USCCB: http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/social-media-guidelines.cfm
  • Follow Pope Francis on twitter @Pontifex or download the Pope App on your phone or computer for messages from the Pope
  • Send Pope Francis a tweet offering him your prayers and support as a class or individually.
  • Help people in your local community who may not be familiar with using different forms of social media
  • Stand up to online bullying. Do not become part of it.
    ‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you.’ Matthew 7:12