In a statement released today, Pope Benedict XVI has given his blessing for the use of social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, but he also warned against the risks.  He warned followers not to forget to make contact with people in the real world.

In his statement of Truth, Proclamation and Authenticity of Life in the Digital Age he invited his community twice to actively participate in digital communication. "I would like then to invite Christians, confidently and with an informed and responsible creativity, to join the network of relationships which the digital era has made possible." If these words are not compelling enough, he noted that the Vatican is using the new tools as well: "I invite young people above all to make good use of their presence in the digital world. I repeat my invitation to them for the next World Youth Day in Madrid, where the new technologies are contributing greatly to the preparations."

The endorsements actually seems a bit outdated, since many churches and religious organizations have already embraced the use of social networking with their congregations.