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The Pope Embraces Technology

Religion and technology haven’t always been friends. Some religions, like the Amish, actually shun technology. Other religions just minimize its role because they prioritize other aspects of daily life as more important.

The current pope, Pope Francis, has been making headlines for being a more forward-thinking pope, and he has cautiously embraced technology for the benefits it offers.

“A Gift from God”

Pope Francis has called the Internet “a gift from God” when used properly.

He sees the benefits of the Internet in using it to reach followers or educate people about the dangers of climate change. The pope regularly uses his Twitter account for just those purposes.

He also embraces technology in general for finding ways to preserve the earth’s resources and to limit the risk of climate change. In particular, some companies are using technology to find alternative sources of energy, such as biofuels and solar power.

Warnings about Technology

Yet while the pope sees technology as a blessing in some ways, he cautions people about using it.

In particular, the pope cautions against using technology frivolously, such as wasting time on social media or watching funny cat videos (our examples, not his).

The pope also warned against using technology without regard to ethical considerations. The pope wrote in his Laudato Si encyclical that “a technology severed from ethics will not easily be able to limit its own power.” He says that the misuse of technology could lead to the earth’s destruction.

The pope’s thoughts on technology are as nuanced as his positions on many other topics. He calls a talent for technology “god given” and celebrates the benefits that all types of technology can bring us. However, he cautiously  — and wisely — warns against the overuse of technology without regard to its impact on our personal and collective lives. Those are words we should all consider, regardless of our religious faith.

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