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Vatican prepares to address ‘digital culture’

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Members of the Vatican’s “media council” are in Rome this week to discuss a new document addressing “the digital culture”.

Zenit reports:

Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Vatican council, spoke of the need for a new instruction on the means of communication when he addressed the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, under way through Thursday.

The last document of pastoral guidance for the Church’s communicative commitment – Aetatis Novae – was issued in 1992.

Since then, Archbishop Celli told the assembly, communication ‘has not only changed its rhythm, but in some cases also its nature’.

The draft presented by the council was written with the help of ‘academic experts in the art of communication’, explained the Italian prelate.

The draft ‘addresses only some aspects’, he added. ‘We have not wished to enunciate the pastoral prospects for the future as the latter should arise from the work of this plenary assembly.

‘It is for us to single out and specify the prospects at the pastoral level that might be of help for the local Churches in this field.’

As a guideline, Archbishop Celli noted that the pastoral programme should offer ‘a clear willingness for a frank and open dialogue with the digital culture’.

Zenit caught up with Daniela Frank, of the Catholic Media Council (CAMECO) in Germany, who is in Rome attending the plenary session.

She said:

The great challenges of today are the new interactive media, especially the internet, and the prospect of interconnecting several channels such as radio, TV and internet platforms. We must keep in mind that those who are responsible for the Church’s communications are not ‘digital natives’, but perhaps ‘native migrants’, discovering step by step the dynamics of the new technologies. There is always a certain risk that above all we are ‘against’ the new, the unknown, but there is also a growing number of bishops who move easily in this world and in this way open the doors of the Church to take advantage of all the channels of communication to fulfill our mission in today’s world.

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 28, 2009 at 3:26 pm

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