Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

1/25/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Pope Benedict has called his pastors to actively use the new communications media to preach the gospel.

'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'

'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'

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/25/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in Europe


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) - In preparation for the 44th World Communication Day in May, Pope Benedict XVI officially released his message entitled, "The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word," on Sunday, January 24, the Feast of St. Francis de Sales.

Using the Feast of the Patron Saint for writers and journalists, the Holy Father has called his pastors to become "leaders of communities" online in the new digital marketplace.

"Who better than a priest, as a man of God," the Pope said, "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 and presenting the religious wisdom of the past as a treasure which can inspire our efforts to live in the present with dignity while building a better future?"

Pope Benedict has long recognized the importance of technology. For World Communication Day in 2008, he wrote, "We must ask, therefore, whether it is wise to allow the instruments of social communication to be exploited for indiscriminate "self-promotion" or to end up in the hands of those who use them to manipulate consciences.

"Should it not be a priority to ensure that they remain at the service of the person and of the common good, and that they foster 'man's ethical formation ... man's inner growth'?

"Their extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and on society is widely acknowledged, yet today it is necessary to stress the radical shift, one might even say the complete change of role, that they are currently undergoing."

This year's message underscored the understanding that today's marketplace in found on the World Wide Web. Just as his pastors have been called to walk the streets of God's cities, they are now being deployed to the virtual communities of the Internet.

The Pope stated, "Thanks to the new communications media, the Lord can walk the streets of our cities and, stopping before the threshold of our homes and our hearts, say once more: 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me.' (Rev 3:20).

This call may be received by some pastors with a sense of horror. Many have seen avoidance of social media and technology as a badge of honor. "I believe moderation is still the key for people - especially our youth - when it comes to involvement with technology," one pastor stated. "I believe God has called us to use this medium, however, as a tool for evangelism."

The Pontiff's message underscored this perspective. "Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources (images, videos, animated features, blogs, websites) which, alongside traditional means, can open up broad new vistas for dialogue, evangelization and catechesis."

In the 1960's communications theorist Marshall McLuhan wrote a book entitled "The Medium is Massage." While the title was originally a typo for the word "Message," McLuhan kept it, proclaiming that this captured the essence of communication.

McLuhan saw all media as an extension of the human person. 'The medium is the message," McLuhan wrote, because it is the "medium that shapes and controls the scale and form of human association and action."

The Holy Father's call for a pastoral presence in the digital world captures this same conviction. "To my dear brother priests, then, I renew the invitation to make astute use of the unique possibilities offered by modern communications.

"May the Lord make all of you enthusiastic heralds of the Gospel in the new 'agorŕ' (Ed: "place of assembly) which the current media are opening up."

-----

Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in 2006.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Europe

MARRIAGE EQUALITY: Marriage is God's creation - Church cannot change that Watch

Image of A push for

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

Dissenting Catholic groups have called for gay marriage to be recognized as a sacrament, but Catholic theology has a clear priority: marriage is God's creation - and not even the Church can change that. Washington D.C.  (CNA/EWTN News) - Dr. John Grabowski, ... continue reading


NO MORE SISTERS: Lack of new, younger nuns forces sisters to leave elder care home Watch

Image of Sister Joseph, the Mother Provincial for the order said the decision to leave had been a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Little Sisters of the Poor have attended to needs of the elderly at the Wellburn Care Home in Dundee for more than 150 years. A lack of younger nuns has now forced the remaining seven sisters, all in their seventies, to continue their work elsewhere. The ... continue reading


Vatican withdraws support of 'questionable' anti-human trafficking initiative Watch

Image of It has been noticed in recent days that the Global Freedom Network's representative from the Holy See, Archbishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, had left the group's executive board.

By CNA/EWTN News

Faithful to its commitment against human trafficking, the Holy See has left the board of an initiative it helped to found, as questions have been raised around both its effectiveness and its chair's possible use of the Pope to raise funds. Vatican City ... continue reading


Romans not enthusiastic over Pope Francis' declaration of a Jubilee Year in Rome Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Jubilee Year was officially declared by Pope Francis in Rome, as it expected for millions of pilgrims to gather around the city to observe the celebration. However, Romans are less enthusiastic and more worried, as Rome is in crisis following the discovery of ... continue reading


French locals not happy about King Salman of Saudi Arabia's three-week Riviera vacation Watch

Image of King Salman visits the Riviera Beach in France together with 1,000 of his entourage.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The King of Saudi Arabia, King Salman was scheduled to arrive in France Friday for a holiday trip at the Riviera Beach. The King was expected to arrive together with 1,000 of his entourage. MUNTINLUPA CITY, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - King Salman's visit was ... continue reading


Islamic State may use store-bought drones to launch terror attacks at British sporting events Watch

Image of ISIS could easily get its hands on cheap drones, with more than 127,000 being bought and sold on online auction site eBay in the last year alone.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drones, unmanned aerial devices that can now be commercially purchased by civilians, may be used by Islamist State for terrorist attacks at British sporting events. The sick terror group would use the devices to drop explosives on to playing fields, and use the ... continue reading


New financial rules reveal Vatican had a billion euros off the books Watch

Image of The statements were prepared by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, the Vatican's budget management office.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Holy See reports €1 billion in net assets never before reported, and in a consolidated form. This was part of the revelations that came under new reporting procedures more in line with international accounting standards. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Romans lose hope for city, fear mayor is too weak to conquer political scandals Watch

Image of

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Arrests of powerful political figures in Rome continuously add up. After discoveries of corruption and mafia linkages, Romans feel more burdened over their falling apart home. Although the current mayor proved to be free from any criminal accusations linked to ... continue reading


Horrific female genital mutilation becomes shocking factor in many areas of England Watch

Image of Despite there being a lot of cases against FGM in England, there have been no prosecutions.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Due to mass immigration, female genital mutilation (FGM) has made its way to the United Kingdom. Female genital mutilation is the practice of cutting off a girl's clitoris and labia before stitching up the vulva. According to recent reports, this damaging practice is ... continue reading


Quran manuscript, at 1,500 years old, may be the oldest one discovered to date Watch

Image of The leaves of parchment date back to A.D. 568 and A.D. 645.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

After initiating radiocarbon dating, measuring the age of the parchments organic materials, researchers are confident they have found the oldest surviving copies of the Quran. University of Birmingham scholars in the United Kingdom say the parchment was produced within ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Numbers 12:1-13
1 Miriam, and Aaron too, criticised Moses over the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 6-7, 12-13
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:22-36
22 And at once he made the disciples get into the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 4th, 2015 Image

St. John Vianney
August 4: St. John Vianney, Priest (Patron of priests) Feast day - August ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter