Christus Vivit 90: Inhumanity

Chapter Three of Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation continues its commentary on the digital environment.  “Inhuman” is the adjective used by young people. Let’s read.

90. A document prepared on the eve of the Synod by three hundred young people worldwide pointed out that “online relationships can become inhuman. Digital spaces blind us to the vulnerability of another human being and prevent us from our own self-reflection. Problems like pornography distort a young person’s perception of human sexuality. Technology used in this way creates a delusional parallel reality that ignores human dignity”.[Document of the Pre-Synodal Meeting in Preparation for the XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Rome (24 March 2018), I, 4]

An interesting term, digital migration.

For many people, immersion in the virtual world has brought about a kind of “digital migration”, involving withdrawal from their families and their cultural and religious values, and entrance into a world of loneliness and of self-invention, with the result that they feel rootless even while remaining physically in one place. The fresh and exuberant lives of young people who want to affirm their personality today confront a new challenge: that of interacting with a real and virtual world that they enter alone, as if setting foot on an undiscovered global continent. Young people today are the first to have to effect this synthesis between what is personal, what is distinctive to their respective cultures, and what is global. This means that they must find ways to pass from virtual contact to good and healthy communication.

There’s a certain excitement in exploration, in starting anew. In previous generations, books served. Today, cyberspace gives a more full immersion in the novelties of new worlds. Possibilities abound, and yet dangers remain. Any thoughts? Remember, you can access the full document on this link at the Vatican site.

The text in color is © Copyright – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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1 Response to Christus Vivit 90: Inhumanity

  1. Liam says:

    “In previous generations, books served.”

    Though we should remember that the era in which this was true was perhaps 100-200 years at most, given with the expense of books (and their distribution) and the limitation of literacy until the advent of widespread public education and industrial printing methods. (It would be particularly hard for religious and academic/professional cleric/clerks to be aware of this, given the virtual monopoly they had on books and reading for so long before this era.)

    Compared to spoken and sung oral engagement, books are still new technology for most of humankind. It might be said that digital technology at least partly just amplifies what was incipient in books.

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