Pope Benedict tentatively praised social networking, steering Catholic doctrine toward support for online communication but also toward clucking at sensationalists and hating on fameballers.

Said the Pope:

In the digital world, transmitting information increasingly means making it known within a social network.... This dynamic has contributed to a new appreciation of communication itself, which is seen first of all as dialogue, exchange, solidarity and the creation of positive relations. On the other hand, this is contrasted with the limits typical of digital communication: the one-sidedness of the interaction, the tendency to communicate only some parts of one's interior world, the risk of constructing a false image of oneself, which can become a form of self-indulgence...

In the search for sharing, for "friends", there is the challenge to be authentic and faithful, and not give in to the illusion of constructing an artificial public profile for oneself... We must be aware that the truth which we long to share does not derive its worth from its "popularity" or from the amount of attention it receives.

Also, no "poking" the altar boys, clergy!

[via Boing Boing]