Pope Francis — he of the selfie and “just calling to say hi” phone call — was already building up a reputation as one of the hippest men to occupy St. Peter’s throne (check him out here as TIME’s Person of the Year). But now we’re certain about his supreme hipness after he deemed the Internet “a gift from God.”
The pontiff offered this observation in a statement released Thursday for something the Church is calling World Communications Day.
Anyway, here’s the key part of his message, in which the pope effectively ends the whole “who invented the Internet?” debate once and for all. It was God. God invented the Internet. And then offered it to us as a gift.
We need to resolve our differences through forms of dialogue which help us grow in understanding and mutual respect. A culture of encounter demands that we be ready not only to give, but also to receive. Media can help us greatly in this, especially nowadays, when the networks of human communication have made unprecedented advances. The internet, in particular, offers immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. This is something truly good, a gift from God.
Pope Francis also warned, however, that the web can “can have the effect of isolating us from our neighbours, from those closest to us” and also reminded us not to “overlook the fact that those who for whatever reason lack access to social media run the risk of being left behind.”
True that, but like, now we can totally justify our Internet addictions. This is how God intended us to be.