Pope Francis is the first pope to wade the waters of social media and see its sometimes destructive impact on society.
With a very active Twitter and various accounts in different languages he has been able to reach the most people possible in the quickest amount of time. This is something no other pope had the resources to do.
Previously, clergy wouldn’t hear statements the pope had made for months because it would have to be published in magazines or newspapers and social media wasn’t yet large enough to spread the message. However, when we would hear papal statements, they would often come with in-depth explanations and dogma that often matched with what he had said.
Now that is all thrown out the window.
Mainstream media will often take bits and pieces of what they want to hear and blast it to the public with people doing little to no background research. Readers often don’t know Catholic doctrine and believe what is reported is actual fact and verbatim from the pope.
It is easy to do, we see a big article and read the first couple of sentences of each paragraph. We grab the information we need and often miss the bigger parts of articles turning a pretty common idea into a new statement as if no one has ever said it before.
An example of this was the Papal Encyclical on the environment. The pope stated that not addressing issues of climate and environment is a sin and doing so is a moral obligation.
This is nothing new. We are called to protect what the Lord has created and by not doing so is not seeing what he gave us as a blessing.
We are not the only ones that will come to see this planet and by being selfish and not caring about future generations to come is just reckless. The world is not ours to destroy. The Bible even states this is Psalms 24:1.
Just like any thing anyone says we need to slow down and see what is actually being said and not jumping to conclusion about what we think someone has said.
If we slow down and get to the root of what is being said these radical ideas will not seem so radical as they were first believed to be.