VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – If he were alive today, even São Paulo would be sending text messages, tweeting and sending e-mails to spread the news, Pope Francis said on Saturday in his message for World Social Media Day Roman Catholic Church.
St. Paul, who lived in the first century of the Christian era, spread the new faith in Europe and Asia Minor and is believed to have written much of the New Testament.
“Each tool has its value, and that great communicator who was Paulo de Tarso certainly would have used e-mail and social messages”, said the pope in the message entitled “Come and see”.
Still, Francisco said that Paulo was at his best when preaching in person, saying that journalists and other communicators today should do more “go to the streets … meet people face to face to research stories or check certain situations first hand” .
He said that investigative journalism was often being replaced by a “standard, often biased narrative”, unable to understand problems and aspirations at the grassroots level.
“In communications, nothing can completely replace seeing things in person,” he said.
The world owes a debt of gratitude to journalists, camera operators, photographers and others who often risk their lives to seek the truth, he added.
“Thanks to your efforts, we now know, for example, about the difficulties faced by persecuted minorities in various parts of the world, numerous cases of oppression and injustice inflicted on the poor and the environment, and many wars that would otherwise be forgotten,” he said.
Reporting by Philip Pullella; Helen Popper edition