Pope Francis has said that the internet is “a gift from God” in his first World Communications Day message.

Easy for him to say, he doesn’t have to monitor a combox.

To mark the 48th World Communications Day, Pope Francis said: “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.”

In his address, Pope Francis urged Catholics to be like the Good Samaritan, by reaching out to their neighbour through social media. He said: “How can we be ‘neighbourly’ in our use of the communications media and in the new environment created by digital technology? I find an answer in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is also a parable about communication. Those who communicate, in effect, become neighbours. The Good Samaritan not only draws nearer to the man he finds half dead on the side of the road; he takes responsibility for him.

*subhead*Easy for him to say.*subhead*