VATICAN CITY (CNS) — As the Catholic Church prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the world Synod of Bishops in 2015, the Vatican and Canada’s Salt and Light Television thought it was time to let more people into the synod hall.
The result is the documentary, “Go and Teach,” which was screened June 26 in the Vatican’s small movie theater in the Palazzo San Carlo.
Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, told those gathered for the screening that in the first 40 years of the synod “only partial information was released” officially. Journalists spent hours trying to pry out more information, and the Vatican knew it was time for a change, he said.
Basilian Father Thomas Rosica, CEO of Salt and Light, said he asked the archbishop, “Would you allow us to be inside to help tell the story?” So, during the October synod on new evangelization, the Canadian Catholic television station’s correspondents and crew were inside the synod hall.
In addition to the documentary, Salt and Light produced 11 half-hour programs in English and 11 in French during the synod “to let people see what happened inside,” Father Rosica said. Viewers in 80 countries saw the half-hour programs.
Father Rosica added, however, that the short programs and the documentary keep secret the afternoon synod sessions when members have “free discussions.”
Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, told the audience at the screening, “We are used to paper archives … moldy books covered with dust” to review important church events.
The documentary, he said, is an “opportunity to make a more lively archive, one of images,” which is particularly fitting given the synod’s theme of finding new ways to present the Gospel message and to encourage those who have left the church to come back.
“New evangelization is a new way of communicating,” the archbishop said. “The message remains the same, but we must communicate in a new way.”