Thursday, 19 March 2009

Communications in an Electronic Age

Most of this week at the Christian Education Centre in Crawley telephones, e-mail and internet has been patchy as we have been trying to sort out problems apparently caused by a power cut over the weekend. I am pleased to say that by 5.30pm on Wednesday all was sorted and is now all working again, hence this blog entry.

Some would suggest that we rely too much on electronic media to run our lives. There may be some truth in that but we are now part of a society that is thoroughly impregnated with an electronic DNA and as the Church we need to learn to exist and proclaim the Good News in that environment. Pope Benedict and the Vatican are learning about this, sometimes the hard way, but also positively by engaging with this electronic culture. We have seen the launch of Vatican YouTube (see left), daily Vatican News E-Bulletins and so on. Indeed the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications under its new head Archbishop Celli is now working on a new document, the first in nearly 20 years that will set out a vision for Christian communications in digital age. Indeed the latest message for World Communications Day on 31 May begins to address the issue of this new digital age and the communication of the same endless message of salvation through Jesus Christ but adapted to these new electronic media. The Church is waking up to this new age which we can see in the various Catholic information sources from Zenit's e-bulletins to various blogs, social networking sites for Catholics, internet Radio such as Vatican Radio and the new e-newsletter from our own Bishops' Conference. All of this is to be welcomed and we are encouraged to participate ourselves in this work so that it becomes imbued with the spirit of Jesus Christ.

To that end in the diocese we are organising a day for all those in working with the media either on a diocesan level or in their local area on Saturday 4th April at the Diocesan Offices in Crawley. We hope lay people and clergy will be able to attend and share ideas and information; And that we can continue the task of developing skills and abilities to speak the Gospel in our times. To book a place and for more information email ruth.gerun@dabnet.org

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