May 21, 2012

EDMONTON – Archbishop Richard Smith is concerned about the effects of "the tyranny of the tweet."

"There is this constant barrage of information that takes our attention and scatters it all over the place," Smith said May 14 in his annual breakfast session with local media.

Pope Benedict's message for World Communications Day, May 20, said "the Church needs to help people find safe havens of silence" in today's noisy world.

Smith picked up on that message and said he is concerned that the deluge of byte-sized communications today is making more difficult for people to relate meaningfully and discuss issues in a substantial way.

"I am wondering what it does to our ability to reflect and think deeply. That kind of reflection needs silence."

In his Communications Day message titled Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization, the pope said silence is essential to the New Evangelization.

The pope noted that profound thoughts can be expressed in concise phrases.

However, words, images and sounds need "a kind of eco-system . . . if authentic dialogue and deep closeness between people are to be achieved," he said.