The continuous evolution of the mass media and communication landscape requires a proactive approach on behalf of the Church so that it can remain close to people. This is what Agatha Ferei Furivai, secular Catholic, President of “Signis” in the Pacific region and director of Caritas Fiji, explains in a message sent to Fides News Agency on the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month: “Communication among individuals has changed significantly in the last 20 years. The new generations are composed of digital natives and have technological know-how, but more and more people are moving away from face-to-face communication in families and communities. For this reason, parents, grandparents, community leaders and all those involved in the care and growth of a child must walk hand in hand with them”. The words of Agatha Ferei Furivai come on the sidelines of the Missiology Symposium focused on the theme “Mission in the age of media and instant communication”, organized in recent days on the occasion of the Extraordinary Missionary Month, at the Catholic theological institute of Bomana, in Papua New Guinea.
The need for a return to “real relationships” had been addressed by Pope Francis in the message for World Communications Day.
“In the new culture marked by the presence of the computer person, the Church can tell the world her message, listen more clearly to the voice of public opinion and enter into debates and into the common search for a solution to the many urgent problems of humanity. We must embrace the new technologies to proclaim the Word of Christ, just as we would do if we preached from the roofs”, says the director of Caritas Fiji.
She then remarked that “the mission of the lay faithful is a journey into interpersonal relationships, to recognize Christ in others. In this journey, we can use the media in the media to amplify our voices”. Furivai noted that even in the Pacific, social media platforms have become established as a means of communication, inviting them to “use the media to extend the divine plan of our Creator and spread the Word of God”.
“We are all users and producers of messages that go into the circle of communication. This is a good reason for a collaborative effort between the Church and the media”, she concluded.