24 August 2018
World Meeting of Families

Msgr. Barron (Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles), “Not tyrannical control but responsible autonomy in the use of the social media”

“Not tyrannical control over the domestic space is needed, but rather a process to gradually but firmly attract children towards responsible autonomy” in the use of the new means of social communication. This was stated by Msgr. Robert Barron, Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, in his intervention during this morning’s panel session on what families are called to be, in the context of the World Meeting of Families being held in Dublin. According to the Bishop, the basis indicated by Pope Francis in Amoris Laetitia is “patient formation to discerning between good and evil in the digital world,” which is considered “preferable to aggressive censorship.” He added: “Pope Francis is worried by the fact that all our gadgets and communication technology promote a culture of immediate gratification. All that young people want is achieved by pushing a button. But—recalled the Bishop—the best things in life: friendship, love, aesthetic beauty, and the relationship with God must be waited for. They come in their own way and at their chosen time.” Another aspect recalled by Msgr. Barron is socialization. “Francis is concerned that the new media encourages young people to cultivate an introspective attitude and a tendency to live obstinately in a virtual space, several steps away from concrete reality.” The family, therefore, assumes a special role, by becoming “the privileged place where young people learn that their lives are not just focused on themselves.”