An instruction on new digital world coming?

Pope Benedict in his Letter to bishops about the lifting of the SSPX excommunications, stressed how they dropped the ball on the internet and how the Holy See had to make better use of this important tool.

I was alerted that kathweb has a story, in German, that perhaps His Holiness is planning some sort of instruction for October.

It is pretty clear the the Holy See, indeed pretty much every diocese, is functioning from a desperately outmoded way of thinking about the media and tools of communication.   Many of the people in positions of power aren’t familiar with what is going on, because they weren’t formed in a time when the internet existed.

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  1. Stephanie says:

    For what it’s worth, one of the Pope’s January 2010 prayer intentions is for young people and social communications media – “That young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society.”

    Very cool.

  2. LCB says:

    Let us pray that it includes a formal condemnation of .pdf files.

  3. Marcin says:

    I would rather tolerate PDFs in a way the Neocatechumenal Way is tolerated – in general OK unless passworded and (horribile scriptu) encoded.

  4. Pseudomodo says:

    Didn’t Pius XII write an encyclical touching on media and communications?

  5. EDG says:

    I think improving communications is a great idea, but the message is the most important thing of all. The medium is not always the message; people are looking to the Pope for that special message, and that is why many do it the old-fashioned way, trekking to Rome and going to an audience.

    I agree that the Pope’s words need more accessible diffusion and that Vatican technology and communications skills should be top of the line (just the way Catholic art was once top of the line). But there will never be any way of stopping off-the-wall attacks or even preparing for them, and if the Pope holds fast to the truth, it will always out.

    What we do need, however, are more dramatic, visual presentations of Catholicism, which is the ultimate incarnational and hence visual religion. That, after all, is what popes of old paid for at the Vatican, and what churches had before the stripping of the altars. We could use new media to do this better.

  6. Eric says:

    I think the Church needs a special order of priests/religious dedicated to emerging media!

  7. pinoycatholic says:

    I once worked in a diocesan social communications office and in a social communications office overseeing other diocesan work on social comm. Unfortunately, all instructions and documents end up in the book shelf gathering dust. The bishops run their diocese as if they are bishop-princes of the Medieval Age. No one is allowed to question his decision. As if they are ex cathedra. I should know. I worked closely with a bishop of Social Comm. After months of planning and meeting, the bishop does not want the diocesan website because… it costs money. He does not even have his own email. Is it the money or just plain arrogant ignorance?

  8. Joe says:

    When one of my students doesn’t pass in his homework I will ask him what happened. Often he will say “our printer at home wasn’t working.” I raise my eyebrow (as my teachers used to at “the dog ate it”) and tell him it had better be in my mailbox by 8 a.m. the next day.
    I don’t think the Vatican needs to get more media savvy. What happened with regards to the SSPX had nothing to do with not being savvy. In fact, improved communications will just lead to more problems like the Holy Father’s reported comments on the airplane to Africa being changed on the Vatican website. There was something nice about the fact that it took 3 days (or weeks, or months, depending on your fave century) for communications to go back and forth.
    Of course that was when local bishops strove to outdo one another in honor of the faith.

  9. Edward P. Walton says:

    I do not belive the Vatican, from the papal secretary on down or up, as the case may be,does not navigate the internet.

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