Paradox of Communication Age
Cites Incresased Isolation and Marginalization
VATICAN CITY, NOV. 7, 2008 (Zenit.org).- It is a "paradox and a
tragedy" that despite the numerous developments in the means of
communication available today, more and more people feel isolated
and cutoff from society, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today upon receiving the letters of credence from
Vytautas Alisauskas, the new ambassador from Lithuania to the Holy
In his English-language address, the Pontiff praised the new envoy
for expressing "the need for modern Europe to draw upon the
tradition that flows from the teaching of the Gospel."
He acknowledged the role of faith in the history of the nation, and
how faith has sustained the Lithuanian people "through periods of
foreign domination and oppression, and has helped them to preserve
and consolidate their identity."
"Shared faith is a wonderful source of strength and unity in the
midst of adversity," he added. "Communities that have lived under
such circumstances acquire a deep conviction that true happiness is
to be found in God alone.
"They know that any society which denies the Creator inevitably
begins to lose its sense of the beauty, truth and goodness of human
The Pope noted, however, that "a new generation" has grown up in the
country: one that did not "share in that experience of totalitarian
government, and tends therefore to take its political freedom for
As a consequence, he said, "there is a risk that some of the fruits
which matured in testing times may begin to be lost."
The Pope sited "fragmentation and moral confusion" as two dangers
facing the nation: "In this context, it is vitally important that
Lithuania, and indeed the whole of Europe, cultivates the memory of
the history that shaped it, in order to preserve its true identity
and thus to survive and flourish in the world of the 21st century.
"It is both a paradox and a tragedy that in this era of
globalization, when the possibilities of communication and
interaction with others have increased to a degree that earlier
generations could scarcely have imagined, so many people feel
isolated and cutoff from one another."
Benedict XVI underlined that isolation "gives rise to many social
problems which cannot be resolved on the political plane alone."
"Even the best structures," he noted, quoting his encyclical "Spe
Salvi," "function only when the community is animated by convictions
capable of motivating people to assent freely to the social order."
"The Church has a vital part to play here," the Pope affirmed,
"through the message of hope that she proclaims."
"Our society needs to rise above the allure of material goods, and
to focus instead upon values that truly promote the good of the
human person," he added.
The Holy Father said that by working together, Christians "can help
to forge a Europe in which priority is given to the defense of
marriage and family life, to the protection of human life from
conception to natural death, and to the promotion of sound ethical
practices in medical and scientific research: practices which are
truly respectful of the dignity of the human person."
"We can promote effective solidarity with the poor, the sick, the
vulnerable, and all those on the margins of society," he added.
"These values will strike a chord with all those, especially the
young, who are seeking answers to their profound questioning about
the meaning and purpose of life," said Benedict XVI. "They will
resonate with all who are anxious to discover the truth that is so
often obscured by the superficial messages propagated by post-modern
"They will appeal to all who are discriminating enough to reject the
world-view built upon relativism and secularism, and who aspire
instead to live in a manner befitting the true nobility of the human