The Pope also speaks of the fact that "the new technologies allow people to meet each other beyond the confines of space and of their own culture, creating in this way an entirely new world of potential friendships." Of course, he recognises that this exciting development can led to murkier dangers - possibly when the vulnerable young people and children form friendships with adults masquerading as other youngsters, usually for criminal or immoral purposes. The internet also poses new challenges to those of us who ask "who is my neighbour?" First of all, are the people we are communicating with "real" in the first place or are they "false images" created by a damaged person? Secondly, now that it is easier to communicate with unknown people on the other side of the world than one's next-door neighbour, how to we care for and love our online or virtual neighbours?
One of the most important ways that Catholics can witness to their faith on the internet, according to Benedict XVI, is as upholders of the truth. This commitment to stick by the truth, which sets all men free, "does not derive its worth from its 'popularity' or from the amount of attention it receives." The Holy Father fears that in an attempt to be popular young people might try and make the truth "acceptable", usually by "diluting it." Of course, as useful as the internet might be in helping Christians to spread the Word and hand on the Faith, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that "the Gospel demands to be incarnated in the real world and linked to the real faces of our brothers and sisters, those with whom we share our daily lives. Direct human relations always remain fundamental for the transmission of the faith!"