OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - To humanize the digital world: the theme of the Bishops' Justice and Peace Commission report

Tuesday, 2 July 2019 justice   civil society   society   mass media   peace   bishops   human dignity  

Sydney (Agenzia Fides) - "This year's report on social justice will be titled ‘Making it Real - Genuine human encounter in our digital world’. The text states the positive opportunities of encounter and solidarity offered by the new media and, at the same time, warns against elements of the digital world that can be harmful. Among the main challenges we find information overload, social isolation, objectification and marginalization of the vulnerable, consumerism and the spread of fake news. The Report reminds us that new digital media cannot be deemed neutral or untouched by moral considerations. Many users do not realize, but the core business of social media platforms is to sell publicity and maximize profits. Individuals' personal lives can be reduced to data exchanged for profit or power, and are used to influence the public in ways which previously was unthinkable". This is what we read in a note sent to Agenzia Fides by the Australian Catholic Social Justic Council (ACSJC), which is the "Justice and Peace" Commission of the Australian Bishops, with regards to the Social Justice Statement 2019-2020, the Annual Report on social justice drafted and disseminated by the Bishops' Conference.
The document, the note reads, responds to Pope Francis' call to "boldly become citizens of the digital world", drawing inspiration from the image of the Good Samaritan: "We are called not only to love our neighbor, but to bring the love of God in the new global neighborhood. The Report underlines that we are called not only to be inhabitants of this new digital world, but active citizens ready to shape it".
"All of us - users, communities, industrial or political leaders - have a role to play in rejecting hatred, divisions and falsehoods. We have the duty to build an environment that promotes those human attributes and those social values that lend themselves to an authentic human encounter: love, understanding, beauty, goodness, truth and reliability, joy and hope", the Bishops conclude.
The Report will be published, as usual, during the "Sunday of Social Justice", which this year will be celebrated on September 29th. (LF) (Agenzia Fides, 2/7/2019)