10/19/2012 10:13:00 AM Catholic media urged to help church find best way to use new media
Catholic News Service photo
A photographer takes photos during the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization celebrated by Pope Benedict in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican this month.
Catholic News Service
FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The new culture of communication requires that Catholic media rethink their approach, the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications told a Fort Wayne audience gathered to celebrate the centennial of the magazine Our Sunday Visitor.
Archbishop Claudio Celli this fall spoke about the Catholic Church's focus on new evangelization and addressed new media and the communications revolution that has created a vast cultural transformation in the past 25 years, as well as the place Catholic communications must have in the digital world.
"We must not think of it as a 'virtual' space which is somehow less important than the real world," Archbishop Celli said.
"If the church is not present in this space, if the good news is not proclaimed 'digitally,'" he continued, "then we risk abandoning the many people for whom this is where they 'live': This is the forum in which they get their news and information, form and express their opinions, ask questions and engage in debate."
Another challenge, he said, "is to achieve the types of transformation in our communication style that will make our digital presence effective."
In his remarks at the dinner, Archbishop Celli said he is "convinced that a particular task for Catholic media is that of helping the church to find a language appropriate to the new media environment created by the technologies and the social networks."
He added, "The most effective forms of digital discourse are those that engage people individually, that seek to respond to their specific questions and that attempt to dialogue."
"We need to be more attentive to our vocabulary. Much of our religious and ecclesial language is unintelligible even to believers. Many of our religious icons and symbols need to be explained for our contemporaries," he added.