Changes in technology have fundamentally altered the human quest for spirituality and require Catholics to re-evaluate how they approach society, according to a Jesuit known for interviewing Pope Francis.
- NCR Online
Speaking at an international communications conference last week, Jesuit Fr Antonio Spadaro said the traditional Catholic vision of spirituality 'does not stand up today'. Saying the Internet has brought on a 'radical change in perception of the religious question itself.'
Where humans would once ask, 'God, where are you?', we now think of the spiritual almost in terms of a cellular network — waiting for answers to arrive on our multitudes of devices, said Fr Spadaro. In such a system, it is no longer important for the spiritual teacher to give answers because 'answers are everywhere.'
'It is not the answers, but the questions which are important' today, he said. 'We must learn to distinguish the true questions from the replies that are continually given.'
Fr Spadaro, the editor-in-chief of the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, was speaking at a global conference hosted by SIGNIS, an international association of Catholic media professionals.
Fr Spadaro wrote a book on cyber technology, released in 2012 titled Cyberteologia in Italian. He is best known for a wide-ranging interview with the Pope that was released last September in multiple languages in 16 publications run by the Jesuit order around the world.
Because of his apparent access to the Pontiff, Fr Spadaro has also been mentioned by some as a possible next director of the Vatican press office, should current director Fr Federico Lombardi retire. He compared his vision of the new spiritual quest to thoughts Francis shared last November with a gathering of the leaders of male religious orders around the world.
Fr Spadaro, who was present for that closed-door meeting, said Francis was asked why most vocations to religious life come from areas of the world that are not traditionally considered Catholic, or even Christian.
The Pope responded: 'I don't know,' Fr Spadaro said,
'A pope who answers "I don’t know" is something,' said the priest. 'It’s more than an answer. Maybe this is a great answer because this answer makes you think about the answer.'
FULL STORY Human quest for spirituality needs to be re-evaluated (NCR Online)