“If the Church does not become aware of the cultural changes that are occurring due to the system of communications currently in use, we will have much difficulty evangelizing in the near future.”
by . | Source: L’Osservatore Romano
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, President of the
Pontifical Council for Social Communications, does not mince words when he describes the challenges
presented by new technology to the evangelizing mission of pastors in the digital era. His warning
was heard recently in Rio de Janeiro, where he spoke at the first seminar on communications for the
bishops of Brazil. Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Archbishop of Aparecida and President of the
National Bishops Conference presided. The meeting was the result of a similar seminar held in Rome
in 2008, and testified to the sympathy felt between the Brazilian Bishops Conference and the
dicastery of the Holy See.
Amongst the important challenges there is above all that of
language. “We can dialogue with the world,” said Archbishop Celli, “only if we find spaces of common
understanding which will allow us to understand and listen to men and women of today, who often feel
profoundly alone. As pastors, we must continue to promote spaces for respectful dialogue,
eliminating aggressive communication, even within the Church, because it does not reflect the search
for Truth.” Archbishop Celli cited the example of how a vision of reality for a child or adolescent
is changed when Internet, videogames, virtual reality, social networks and mobile phones become a
normal part of his existence. “There is no doubt,” commented Celli, “that it is not just the
language of new generations which has changed, but also the cultural and anthropological context.”
Still, for the bishops, the mission remains the same: to enact the new evangelization; new in ardor,
in methods and expression, making present in this new social and cultural context, the work which
the Lord entrusted to the apostles and through them, to all pastors of the Church.
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