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Bishop Denis Isizoh (centre) Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha in Nigeria Bishop Denis Isizoh (centre) Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha in Nigeria 

Bishop Isizoh: The Internet should not replace social encounter

Giving prominence to issues that tend to promote division and hatred is not in the interest of the common good of humankind, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), Episcopal Chairperson for Social Communications, Bishop Denis Isizoh has declared.

Catholic News Service – Abuja, Nigeria

Bishop Denis Isizoh who is the Auxiliary Bishop of Onitsha Archdiocese, made his remarks, recently, in a homily at the celebration Mass for the 2019 World Communications Day held at the St Gabriel Chaplaincy, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), Durumi, Abuja.

Bishop Isizoh warmly welcomed the contents of Pope Francis’ message for World Communications Day 2019. This year’s theme is: “We are members one of another (Eph 4:25) From social network communities to the human community.”

Bishop Isizoh invites Christians to the responsible use of social media

Premising his homily on Pope Francis’ message, Bishop Isizoh outlined the reasons for the theme of the Holy Father’s message and spoke extensively on the importance of relationships among humans.

“Here in Nigeria, the challenge and the negative impact of the Internet are well known to us … When we go through these social media (platforms), what we see and read sometimes frighten us. In a large country like ours, issues that separate us are often highlighted in the social media, especially concerning religious beliefs, ethnic identity, political affiliation, educational inequality, lifestyles and so on,” he observed.

Social media that promotes peace, love and the common good

“As the cyberspace has no boundaries, it provides an easy platform for highlighting issues that divide us. This becomes an easy means to spread hatred, injustice, suppression and oppression, false alarm, misinformation, calumny, etc. When such issues that separate us are highlighted, there is always tension and mistrust. People are afraid. They are threatened. No wonder, some feel that they must carry guns and nurse the desire to kill opponents even without clear provocation. Indeed, many have been killed because they were (merely) perceived as enemies,” Bishop Isizoh said.

The Onitsha Auxiliary advocated for social media that promotes human personal networking and connectedness; promotes peace and love for the common good of all.

The importance of personal human connectedness.

“This year, the Holy Father Pope Francis wants to provide a guide to help women and men of this age to navigate through this complicated web of connections. We have, on the one hand, the virtual community (networked community) and on the other hand, the real, physical human community.” The message of the Holy Father seeks to bridge the importance of personal human communication connectivity. Digital means of communication must not replace social interaction." He added, “We are invited to use the Internet freely, justly, judiciously and responsibly to build the human community. Virtual meetings over the net are complimentary: They do not replace the supreme value of physical human encounter and engagement,” Bishop Isizoh emphasised.

11 June 2019, 13:23