Pope: Internet Has 'Numbed' Young People

The Vatican has had a mixed relationship with the Web.

Last year, executives from Google, Wikipedia, and Facebook coached Catholic bishops about Internet culture. Pope Benedict XVI also launched a YouTube channel, has encouraged priests to blog, and has told young Catholics to use the Internet to share their faith.

But Benedict issued a warning to Internet users late last week, cautioning that the Web has "numbed" young people and created an "educational emergency -- a challenge that we can and must respond to with creative intelligence."

"A large number of young people... establish forms of communication that to do not increase humaneness but instead risk increasing a sense of solitude and disorientation," Benedict also said, according to the AFP.

Last month, Benedict remarked that technology should set off an "alarm bell" and was leading to an "indifference towards real life."

"New technologies and the progress they bring can make it impossible to distinguish truth from illusion and can lead to confusion between reality and virtual reality," he said.