Go forth and blog, says Pope -

The Pope has urged Catholics to take up the internet - though he's rather generously suggested that the rest of us heathens shouldn't actually be booted out.

While it might not seem a particularly good idea to tell priests to use internet chatrooms, Pope Benedict XVI apparently believes that an online army of the faithful will make the internet a more spiritual place.

"Without fear, we want to set out upon the digital sea, embracing the unrestricted navigation with the same passion that for 2,000 years has steered the barque of the Church," he said at the Digital Witnesses: Faces and Languages in the Cross-Media Age conference.

"I exhort you to walk the roads of the digital continent, animated by the courage of the Holy Spirit."

He calls on Catholics to launch spiritual blogs, and become "animators of the community" on the internet - but suggests showing particular sensitivity to the 'disheartened'.

"The Internet could in this way become a kind of Court of the Gentiles," he says, "where there is also a space for those who have not yet come to know God."

Thanks for that.

The Pope has been getting increasingly interested in technology, last year meeting with executives from Facebook, Wikipedia and Google to discuss digital youth culture.

In January, on World Communications Day, he said: "Priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel... Using new communication technologies, priests can introduce people to the life of the Church."

See Also
The Spiritual Bazaar (Time) magazine