Christ online

“Never get tired of making mistakes preaching Christ online”

Pope Francis sends a video message to attendees at a conference in Mexico and urges “digital evangelizers” to reach people in digital spaces who have yet to encounter Christ.

August 09, 2022

A woman records a video of Pope Francis in Quebec (AFP or licensors)

By Devin Watkins
“The Lord knocks at the door to enter us, but how often He also knocks at the door inside so that we let him out!”

Pope Francis offered this consideration in a video message sent on Saturday to young people participating in the “Echoes 29or “Acts 29” event.

The international conference took place August 5-6 in Monterrey, Mexico, and brought together “digital evangelizers” – Christians seeking to evangelize online and on social media – to encourage them to be active members of the Church in digital space.

Online community of missionaries
In his brief video message, the pope sent his sincere greetings to participants in what he called an “important initiative.”

“May this meeting help you to feel like a community, part of the missionary life of the Church, which has never been afraid to go to new horizons and frontiers and, with creativity and courage, to announce the mercy and tenderness of God.”

Pope Francis also recalled the encouragement he offered to Catholics during his recent apostolic trip to Canada.

“We must find new ways to announce the heart of the Gospel to those who have not yet encountered Christ,” he repeated. “This requires pastoral creativity capable of reaching people where they live – without waiting for them to come – to find opportunities for listening, dialogue and encounter.”

Hurt but outgoing church
Pope Francis has encouraged young Catholics not to be afraid of making mistakes as they seek to evangelize online.

“I never tire of repeating that I prefer a wounded Church because it ventures to the existential peripheries of the world, to a sick Church because it remains locked up in its small securities.

The Pope expressed his hope that digital missionaries can make the internet and social media places “full of humanity” as they act as good Samaritans to others.

By treating others well online, he said, contemporary culture can come to “know God by feeling him within you.

“Go and bring the hope of Jesus, especially to those who are furthest away, giving them the reasons for the hope that is in them,” he said.

Words and Charity
The pope concluded his video message with a word of encouragement for all digital evangelizers.

“May words be accompanied by charity,” Pope Francis said, “and may virtuality strengthen presence, so that the web can generate a communion that makes Jesus present in his own culture.”–Vatican News