The Message of His Beatitude Patriarch DANIEL of Romania at the First International Conference on Digital Media and Orthodox Pastoral Care, Athens, 07 – 09 May 2015:
Christ is risen!
During these days enlightened by the feast of the Resurrection of the Lord, the triumphant troparion “Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death” proclaims to everybody, in every language of the world and through all the communication means, the joy of eternal life, offered to humans. Even though many things have changed in the world during the past two thousand years, the confessing faithfulness of the Church in the light of the crucified and risen Christ keeps us always close to the Spring of Life. For “Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).
The economic globalization, the population mobility and the fast development of the communication means have caused, especially during the last decades, some major mutations in people’s life, leading to consequences upon the social context in which the Church carries out her salvific mission. The acceleration of the persons’ rhythm of life, the relativization of time and space in the relations among state, cultural and religious communities directly influence the traditional mentalities and social behaviours. Therefore, the globalization of communication realized by spreading mass media and digital networks worldwide represents a common theme of research, reflection and action for every local Orthodox Church.
The word of our Lord Jesus Christ: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15) spreads today also over the cultural and informational universe. Being firm in the missionary zeal of the Holy Apostles and the Church Fathers, our Church has the duty to understand the functioning of the informational society of nowadays, in order to wisely use the means of communication so as to communicate the Orthodox values and enter into the social networks in pursuance of meeting the human being of today, who has become a user of new communicational technologies in the Areopagus of modernity.
The use of digital media in the pastoral and missionary work requires ecclesial responsibility and pastoral wisdom, because, even though a new technology offers new development opportunities to people, it can also bring new challenges or dangers as regards preserving the traditional spiritual, cultural and social values of persons and peoples. In this respect, the socialization networks can contribute to a better mutual knowledge of different traditions and to the consolidation of the faith communities, while the multitude of ideas and opinions expressed freely in the virtual space must always undergo a critical and selective analysis, in accordance with the permanent values of the Christian faith and morals.
We appreciate the initiative of St Maximos the Greek Institute to organize an international conference on digital media and Orthodox pastoral care in Athens, from 7-9 May 2015, we congratulate the organizers and wish a successful outcome of the conference works.
We piously remember St John the Apostle and Evangelist and pray to God to grant to every participant the light and joy of the risen Christ, in order to labour for the intensification of the mission of the Church in today’s society.
Patriarch of Romania