February 3, 2014

Like the good Samaritan, who stopped on the road to help a person in need, travelers along today’s communication highways should offer support to those they encounter there, Pope Francis said.

“The digital world can be an environment rich in humanity; a network not of wires but of people,” he said in his message for World Communications Day.

Modern means of communication, especially the Internet, offer “immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity,” he said.

Because of that, he said, the Internet is “a gift from God.”

“Communication at the service of an authentic culture of encounter” is the theme of this year’s World Communications Day, which most dioceses will mark June 1, the Sunday before Pentecost.

The message was dated Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of journalists.

“Good communication helps us grow closer, to know one another better, and ultimately to grow in unity,” the pope said.