VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Having a Catholic presence online isn’t enough for effective evangelization, the Vatican said. The church must develop “a new way of thinking” in order to find ways that engage and help people meet Christ, it said.
The Pontifical Council for Social Communications announced Sept. 29 that Pope Benedict XVI had chosen “Social Networks: Portals of Truth and Faith; New Spaces for Evangelization” as the theme for World Communications Day 2013. (Read the full announcement here.)
The pope chose the theme in the context of the Year of Faith and amid fresh calls for launching a new evangelization.
The digital environment represents new missionary terrain, given that “technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences,” including how people build relationships and seek knowledge, the social communications council said.
Therefore the church needs to ask: Can technology and digital environments “help men and women meet Christ in faith?” the announcement said.
“It is not enough to find an adequate language, but rather, it is necessary to learn how to present the Gospel as the answer to that basic human yearning for meaning and faith, which has already found expression online,” it said.
The new approach will require a new way of thinking because “it is not simply a question of how to use the Internet as a means of evangelization, but instead, (one) of how to evangelize in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena,” the council said.
The church needs to pay special attention to social networks not only because of their enormous popularity, but because they are places “which privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and relationships,” it said.
Most dioceses will celebrate World Communications Day 2013 on May 12, the Sunday before Pentecost. The Vatican will release the pope’s message for the observance Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists.
The day’s theme is announced every year on Sept. 29, the feast of the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
– – –
Editors: The council’s complete announcement is available online at: http://press.catholica.va/news_services/bulletin/news/29757.php?index=29757&po_date=29.09.2012&lang=en#TESTO%20IN%20LINGUA%20INGLESE
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: