Theme for World Communications Day 2014


Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization

(Vatican Radio) – The theme for the next World Communications Day has been announced. Below the text of the statement released Saturday by the Pontifical Council of Social Communications. [Was that a sentence?]
One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelization today is that which is emerging from the digital environment. Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to this particular topic, in the context of the Year of Faith, in his choice of the theme for the 47th World Communications Day, “Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization”.
The theme suggests a series of important points for reflection. [and then… after reflection…. ummm… what comes next?] During a time in which technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences, such as relationships and knowledge, we need to ask: can it help men and women meet Christ in faith? [Did letter writing? Did the printing of books or creation of stained-glass?  When Jesus wanted to me let out from shore in a little boat on a line so that He could talk to more people at once, He used technology.  As a matter of fact, that was the first example of “on-line” ministry] It is not enough to find an adequate language, but rather, it is necessary to learn how to present the Gospel as the answer to that basic human yearning for meaning and faith, which has already found expression online.  [One way is through the promotion of sound liturgy and teaching those who begin grassroots movements in parishes the need for the sacraments to be celebrated properly according to the rites of the Church.]
Such an approach, which will serve to create a more dynamic and humane digital world, requires a new way of thinking. [Good luck.] It is not simply a question of how to use the internet as a means of evangelization, but instead of how to evangelize in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena.  [?]
In particular, we need to be attentive to the emergence and enormous popularity of the social networks, which privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and relationships.
World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council (Inter Mirifica, 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (May 12th in 2013). The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24).

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Matt R says:

    I’m not entirely sure if the original document was the source of errors, or if it was the translation…but the version you posted looks like it got sent through Google Translate.

  2. Father K says:

    ‘is’ after ‘below’ would make it so.

  3. Faith says:

    St. Dominic, who was in the communications business, would advise preachers to keep up with the times.

  4. Joe in Canada says:

    What were Sundays like before we moved to restore Sunday to its essential nature as a celebration of the resurrection of Christ?

  5. Paul Young says:

    Welcome to my world. That’s the kind of business communication I wade through professionally, nearly every day. Very disappointing to see it coming from the Church.

  6. pseudomodo says:

    They’re on the cutting edge of technology… with a butter knife… a plastic butter knife… not sure if they are cutting with the blade or the handle…no matter – as long as you have good intentions or good thoughts.

  7. VexillaRegis says:

    This is the kind of statements organisations make when they have no idea of what to say.

    I just get tired.

  8. Johnno says:

    Increasingly our world is a world run in the following manner:

    1) Problem appears.
    2) Committee group is formed.
    3) Committee meets, discusses, reflects.
    4) Committee has no solution to problem. Determines more meetings and sub committees are needed to study problem and send data back and forth for further reflection and discussion and possibly redefining things to make the situation sound better in its reports.
    5) Problem grows worse.
    6) Repeat steps 2 – 4.

  9. VLL says:

    My 2 cents (please adjust for inflation). Fortunately, they do not guide is in matters of technology and the specifics there of. The intent is to guide us in Faith and Morals.

    Therefore, we should just smile a bit and nod, and accept that we’ve been asked to use this technology, as we should use every relevant technology, to spread the Gospel and the Message of Love from Our Lord, being a Witness to Truth, etc, etc.

    We should also note, that like many human institutions, our Church is a bureaucracy. Most of them are not young, and have a few more things to do than to immerse themselves in every new technology that comes along. Hey, I spent some time teaching my grandfather to use the computer. He was 90 at the time.

    It can be done, but slowly. For busy people fitting that in can be challenging–nay, impossible. I suspect that one of the reasons why they respond so slowly and with inexactitude is that they are looking for the reformers and the innovators from… the priesthood, religious, and laity. That is, US. Remember that many of the Doctors of the Church were not, of themselves, members of the Magisterium until they were heard and sharper heads called them home to Rome.

    We live in a relatively strange time when our Popes continue to innovate from the Chair of Peter. We are truly blessed to have them right now, but we aren’t lead by angels or supercomputers.
    Thanks be to God.

  10. acardnal says:

    Hey, Johnno, that’s one good thing about dictatorships and sometimes the military: decisions are made.

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