Brazil's Roman Catholic bishops are at loggerheads with the Pope over plans to use the internet to reach out to a younger generation.
As Benedict XVI addressed 40,000 youths in Sao Paolo yesterday on the first day of his tour of Brazil, the country's Catholic leaders said that the Church had to embrace new technology to win back worshippers from the burgeoning evangelical movement.
They want remote communities and younger worshippers to be able celebrate Mass live over the internet. Celebrants would take communion by placing unleavened bread in front of their computer monitors to be consecrated. [...Ayyyy yaaaiiiiiii yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!] Whether it be "celebrants" or "communicants", in this uneducated blogger's opinion, it wouldn't be even remotely licit. Of course it might work in the Anglican "church", the birthplace of most 20th century modernist heresies.
However, the Pope has already dismissed the idea. In Sacrementum [sic] Caritatis, a document on the Eucharist which he issued in February, Benedict insisted that communion over the internet, or any other media, had "no spiritual value".
The Vatican said yesterday that internet Mass was "no substitute" for going to church, but seemed prepared to turn a blind eye to the practice.
"I am sure internet Mass already exists," said Father Federico Lombardi, the papal spokesman. "I believe it is a way of involving more people, but it is obviously important to keep going to church and to personally participate. This is part of church life and the internet cannot replace it."
The Vatican is aware of the need for the Church to embrace new ways of engaging worshippers and the Pontifical Council for Social Communication has instructed priests not to "shy away" from using the internet as a means of communication. Vatican Radio now offers podcasts and gave Benedict an iPod to listen to them.
[....Snip] UK Telegraph