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Rome Reports

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Will social media influence the canonization process?

Tweets, Facebook messages, and photos posted on the Internet—social media has made sharing one's personal life easy. This is something that will have consequences in the Vatican, especially when it comes to studying whether a person should be declcared a saint.

This was one of the points discussed at the conference, "Holiness Today," which took place at the Augustinianum in Rome. 

Among those present was the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He said he does not see social media as something negative that can cripple the canonization process, but rather as a help to improve the Dicastery's task.

Prefect, Congregation for the Causes of Saints
On the part of the media today, we get a lot of help in knowing this multifaceted reality. Sometimes scholars focus on one aspect instead of the entire modern world. With these panoramic views, we are able to see so many aspects.

He also pointed out that social media posts must be read in context.

Prefect, Congregation for the Causes of Saints
Certainly, they are testimonies that show different interests and the attention people give to these things. But, I like to say that holiness is not measured by likes.

The former Director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, also spoke at the conference. 

Experts at the conference also discussed the importance of learning how to use social media. If they are such an important part of people's lives, it is necessary that future saints learn how to use these platforms.

President, Ratzinger Foundation
Everyone has to live in his own era. Those who live now in the world of social media must find a way to also express a dialogue and search for the values of holiness. And this, they have to do themselves. There is no one who can teach them because this is a new situation.

University Roma Tre
Because all external factors condition us but do not define us because each of us has the capacity, creativity, and motivation to overcome external influences.

The challenge of holiness and social media is not a matter for the future but for the present. The young Carlo Acutis, who died in 2006 at the age of 15, is considered an example for today's youth. In fact, many believe he should become the patron saint of the Internet.