I think it’s safe to add this declaration to the long list of outrageously unexpected (in papal terms, anyway) things the pope has said lately. Of course, outside of the context of the Catholic church, referring to the internet as a wonderful tool that has changed the way the world at large is able to communicate is no revolutionary statement.
But when the pope says it, context is important. As one of the most prominent world figures with international influence and as the leader of an organization steeped in strict tradition, his positive reception of the technological/cyber-centric world we live in (or of LGBTQ people and reproductive health) is a big deal. Because he is a respected public figure, he has the unique ability to influence the mindsets of others, even from a spiritual perspective–a perspective from which few other people in the world are able to reason with others, especially within extreme religious communities.
And how telling that so many of those receiving news of his statements are receiving it on the Internet.