July 01, 2012

Social Communication

In the next-to-last section of Verbum Domini, titled "The Word of God and Culture", the Holy Father discusses social communication:

"Linked to the relationship between the word of God and culture is the need for a careful and intelligent use of the communications media, both old and new. The Synod Fathers called for a proper knowledge of these media..." There is a need for expertise "particularly in the new media, such as the internet."

He tells us that "(d)iscovering new methods of transmitting the Gospel message is part of the continuing evangelizing outreach of those who believe." This is something we're all called to do. The apostles used the technology of the time - they wrote letters. St. Maximilian Kolbe used the printing press. Frs. Rumble and Carty used radio. Archbishop Fulton Sheen used television. Now priests like Fr. Robert Barron and "Fr. Pontifex" use YouTube and other modern technologies.

In particular, the Holy Father gives us both some warnings and hopeful possibilities for the Internet:
"(T)he internet.. represents a new forum for making the Gospel heard." On the other hand, "the virtual world will never be able to replace the real world, and that evangelization will be able to make use of the virtual world offered by the new media in order to create meaningful relationships only if it is able to offer the personal contact which remains indispensable." (Confession must be "live".)  "(T)he face of Christ needs to be seen and his voice heard..." In our online interactions, we need to be aware of this.

Want to learn more? Among those exploring social communication tools are Brandon Vogt and the New Evangelizers.

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