"The Church's interest in the Internet is a particular expression of her longstanding interest in the media of social communication.
Seeing the media as an outcome of the historical scientific process by which humankind “advances further and further in the discovery of the resources and values contained in the whole of creation”, the Church often has declared her conviction that they are, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, “marvellous technical inventions” that already do much to meet human needs and may yet do even more. Thus the Church has taken a fundamentally positive approach to the media. Even when condemning serious abuses, documents of this Pontifical Council for Social Communications have been at pains to make it clear that “a merely censorious attitude on the part of the Church...is neither sufficient nor appropriate”.
Quoting Pope Pius XII's 1957 encyclical letter (...): “The Church sees these media as ‘gifts of God' which, in accordance with his providential design, unite men in brotherhood and so help them to cooperate with his plan for their salvation”.
This remains our view, and it is the view we take of the Internet.
Det Påvliga Rådet uppmanar den katolska kyrkans medlemmar att snarast lära sig använda detta nya "direkta, omedelbara och interaktiva" medium. Det motsatta förhållningssättet är inte ens acceptabelt: "Hanging back timidly from fear of technology or for some other reason is not acceptable, in view of the very many positive possibilities of the Internet."
Man visar även att man förstått Nätets speciella förutsättningar:
"Already, the two-way interactivity of the Internet is blurring the old distinction between those who communicate and those who receive what is communicated, and creating a situation in which, potentially at least, everyone can do both. This is not the one-way, top-down communication of the past. As more and more people become familiar with this characteristic of the Internet in other areas of their lives, they can be expected also to look for it in regard to religion and the Church."
"The Internet has a number of striking features. It is instantaneous, immediate, worldwide, decentralized, interactive, endlessly expandable in contents and outreach, flexible and adaptable to a remarkable degree. It is egalitarian, in the sense that anyone with the necessary equipment and modest technical skill can be an active presence in cyberspace, declare his or her message to the world, and demand a hearing. It allows individuals to indulge in anonymity, role-playing, and fantasizing and also to enter into community with others and engage in sharing."
Vatikanen tar otvetydig ställning för yttrandefriheten på Nätet:
"We strongly support freedom of expression and the free exchange of ideas. Freedom to seek and know the truth is a fundamental human right, and freedom of expression is a cornerstone of democracy. (...) we deplore attempts by public authorities to block access to information—on the Internet or in other media of social communication—because they find it threatening or embarrassing to them, to manipulate the public by propaganda and disinformation, or to impede legitimate freedom of expression and opinion."
Telekompaketet kan inte garantera dessa rättigheter i Europa. Kanske ett påvligt påbud skulle vara mer framgångsrikt.
The Church's approach to the means of social communication is fundamentally positive, encouraging. She does not simply stand in judgment and condemn; rather, she considers these instruments to be not only products of human genius but also great gifts of God and true signs of the times.
(The Church and Internet, Pontifical council of social communication)
An individual can ascend to heights of human genius and virtue, or plunge to the depths of human degradation, while sitting alone at a keyboard and screen.
(Ethics of communications, Pontifical council of social communication.)