Pope Francis today described the internet as a gift from God, hailing its ability to foster dialogue among disparate groups, though he acknowledged that the speed of social media can make it difficult for users to engage in self-reflection. Francis made the comments in a statement released Thursday, for the Catholic Churchs World Communications Day. In the statement, the Argentine-born pope said that unprecedented advances in technology and digital media have made it easier to engage with people of different religions, thereby creating a sense of the unity of the human family. Using the web to communicate with various groups, he added, could help resolve religious, economic, or political differences. communication is ultimately a human rather than technological achievement.