SYDNEY - Benedict to text thousands of young Catholics during World Youth Day. Pope Benedict will text message thousands of young Catholics on their mobile phones during World Youth Day in Sydney in July, hoping going digital will help him connect better with a younger audience. The Pope will text daily messages of inspiration and hope during the six-day Sydney event while digital prayer walls will be erected at event sites and the church will set up a Catholic social networking Web site akin to a Catholic Facebook.Especially after doing the big mea culpa, a couple of times in the US last month, you would think that announcing that you were going to start text messaging children might not be the best PR announcement to make this week, even if you are in Australia. First it will be the Pope sending out messages or more likely his assistants (he doesn't look like a high tech guy to me), then it will be the Cardinals and then every priest around the world and unfortunately we all know where that can lead.
With all the warnings about real predators using the real Facebook, I don't think setting up a new "Catholic social networking Web site akin to a Catholic Facebook." is doing more than increasing the risk to more children. And even if this is meant to be a one time event, the idea will spread. This is not a good idea and not certainly not good PR.
This is a Red Letter site, but we understand that there are believers out there and that's okay. But if I was a believer I would limit the exposure to my children, to adult supervised events only, in a safe environment. Say a Church, once a week. Possibly on Sunday.