Prelate Says Church Steeped in Communication Age

Recalls Objective Is Allowing All to Share in Culture

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By Miriam Díez i Bosch

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 21, 2008 ( The Church is not distant from the communication age, but has participated in it from the start with «decision and courage,» says a Vatican official.

Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, spoke about the Church and the media world at an Oct. 14 event in Rome to celebrate the signing of an agreement between the company Telefónica and the Latin American bishops’ council.

Noting various such agreements that have made Church communication more effective, the archbishop said that the «objective of all this effort is not just reducing the costs of communication, which is in itself important. But we don’t forget that, in the midst of the information era, there are still an infinite number of communities and people who have difficulties in accessing and participating in the daily social dialogue established by the new technologies.

«To facilitate this access is to multiply the beneficiaries of the banquet of culture.»

In this regard, he recalled the words of Benedict XVI at a world congress for Catholic communication faculties last May: «It would be a tragedy for the future of humanity if the new instruments of communication, which permit the sharing of knowledge and information in a more rapid and effective manner, were not made accessible to those who are already economically and socially marginalized, or if it would contribute only to increasing the gap that separates those people from the new network that is developing at the service of human socialization, of information and of understanding.»

Archbishop Celli affirmed that the agreement with Telefónica would be most successful when it achieves the «inclusion of underprivileged communities, which also have a lot to communicate.»

«The objective of all communication in the heart of the Church is to generate a greater environment of communion and mutual service, in accord with the Gospel spirit,» he added. «An authentic living of communion becomes leaven in the dough, and increases the Church’s credibility when it proclaims the good news of the Lord in the pluralistic society of today.»

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