Church Has No Fear of Media, Says Vatican Official

Urges Use of Technology to Spread Message of Word

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 12, 2008 ( The Church does not succumb to fascination with new technologies, but neither does it fear using them to promote peace, love and the encounter with God, says a Vatican official.

Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, affirmed this in a message to Church communicators on the occasion of today’s feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The prelate noted that the Church experienced an important event this year in the synod of bishops on the Word of God.

“This synod has reminded us vividly that God has revealed himself to us fully as Love in Christ, and that every evangelizing mission is communication, as is the Church herself,” he said. “Hence, it is up to all — as disciples and missionaries — to be expert communicators of that Word that we have received in our hearts.”

But communicating this Word today means doing so in the context of an unprecedented “process of acceleration” in the world of communications, the archbishop affirmed.

“The mass media no longer acts in isolation; it is intertwined and boosts, in the virtual world created by the Internet, even the small screens that receive and send contents from every home and even from the palm of the hand. Including in social sectors with considerable needs, the use is multiplied of the mobile telephone as a new window to social dialogue,” he noted.

These changes urge Church communicators to include those who are left behind in this acceleration, and to “act as bridges between generations,” Archbishop Celli contended.

He added: “The Church does not succumb to the fascination of technology itself, no matter how attractive it is, but neither does she fear that fruit of human creativity, so worthy of appreciation. As followers of the Lord we focus our attention on persons, families, communities and on all that which can favor them on the path of peace, justice, love and the encounter with God.

“Thus, following the example of St. Paul of Tarsus, the great communicator who used the media of his time, we assume in each case the appropriate technology without being enslaved, with liberty and courage, acting as agents of meaning and servants of our brothers in this new culture.”

The Vatican official urged communicators to collaborate among themselves, forming links with those who “are at the service of the same high objective: to put the Lord Jesus Christ in the heart of the information society.”

“In this time of Advent and in the forthcoming Lord’s Christmas,” he concluded, “may Our Lady of Guadalupe, lofty communicator, continue to protect our personal and professional life.”

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