CATHOLICS should not be afraid of the media and new technologies because communication lies at the heart of every Catholic’s mission.
That’s the message from Australia’s Catholic bishops in a new pastoral letter on the Church and the media, titled “Go Tell Everyone”, which was released in Sydney on February 16.
Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Ambrose De Paoli launched the pastoral letter at Notre Dame University’s Sydney campus and a panel discussion on “The Place of the Church in the Public Discourse” followed.
The pastoral letter draws on the Church’s rich teachings in the area of social communications and relates them directly to circumstances in Australia at the beginning of the 21st century.
At the same time, the bishops advise Catholics to be discriminating, critical and vigilant users of the media, not simply passive consumers of other people’s thoughts and words.
In their opening statement the bishops note that in modern Australian life the media dominates almost every aspect of society “from the moment our radio alarm delivers the first news bulletin of the day into our emerging consciousness until we switch off the late night TV or the home computer … News, information and entertainment are at our fingertips 24 hours a day”.
The document deals specifically with television, the Internet, radio, print, cinema, and advertising.
The bishops conclude by reminding Catholics that “the call to evangelise, to spread the Good News to the whole world is the great commission given by Jesus Christ, in which we all share”.
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