Vatican Archbishop seeks healing of digital divide

The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications told a UN summit at the weekend that urgent action is required to close the divide between rich and poor that is caused by unequal access to the Internet.

CLICK HEREZenit reports that in his address delivered on Saturday at the UN World Summit on the Information Society, Archbishop John Foley described the summit as a unique opportunity to "direct the 'information society' toward a constructive development," and "to avoid taking the wrong steps."

"What we are considering are not only 'digital opportunities,' but also 'digital dilemmas,'" he stated.

"This process gives us the opportunity to connect and assist those living in the poorest and most isolated regions of the world, and to offer a voice to those who in the past have often been unheard and forgotten," he added.

"On the contrary, if this process creates only new opportunities for those who already enjoy a good living standard and excellent communications possibilities, then our work will have been a failure," he said.

According Archbishop Foley, the "challenge of narrowing or even closing the so called 'digital divide,' the current disparity in the access to digital communications between developed and developing countries, requires the joint effort of the entire international community."

"More developed countries should assume the responsibility of helping less developed nations to speed the process of computerisation and access to new communications media through financial support, transfer of information technologies, commercial measures and cultural cooperation," he said.

Vatican Official Weighs In on "Digital Divide" (Zenit 19/11/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Council for Social Communications

Use technology to help the voiceless, prelate says (Catholic World News 18/11/05)
Archbishop Foley: Technology can help us serve poor, isolated peoples of world (Catholic News Agency 18/11/05)
Holy See at UN Summit on the Information Society (Zenit 19/11/05)

21 Nov 2005