Monday, 1 February 2010

Pope Encourages Priest to go Digital

The Vatican's Council for Social Communications recently announced the Holy Father's Message for the forty-fourth World Day of Social Communications, which will be celebrated on 24 May and has as its theme: "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word".
Excerpts from the English-language version are given below:
"Church communities have always used the modern media for fostering communication, engagement with society and, increasingly, for encouraging dialogue at a wider level. Yet the recent, explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry.

"Priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different 'voices' provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources".

"Our pastoral presence in that world must thus serve to show our contemporaries, especially the many people in our day who experience uncertainty and confusion, 'that God is near; that in Christ we all belong to one another'. Who better than a priest, as a man of God, can develop and put into practice, by his competence in current digital technology, a pastoral outreach capable of making God concretely present in today's world?"

"At the same time, priests must always bear in mind that the ultimate fruitfulness of their ministry comes from Christ Himself, encountered and listened to in prayer; proclaimed in preaching and lived witness; and known, loved and celebrated in the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. ... May the Lord make all of you enthusiastic heralds of the Gospel in the new 'agora' which the current media are opening up".

Mgr Paul Tighe, the Secretary of the Council said "The Pope invites priests, and by implication all believers, to use the web to create a space of dialogue where Christians, believers of other religions and non-believers can encounter each other in a respectful search for truth and wisdom." Referring then to specific initiatives in the digital field - such as the website of the Congregation for the Clergy dedicated to the Year for Priests: http://www.annussacerdotalis.org/ - the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications noted how "around the world the new technologies are being used to promote the ongoing theological and spiritual formation of priests. ... In addition, there have been many worthwhile personal efforts by individual priests, often supported by lay people with developed technical proficiencies and media competencies, to use the new technologies to give a new dimension to their pastoral mission".

No comments:

Post a Comment