World Day of Communication: Pastoral Ministry in a Digital Age

VATICAN - Theme for 44th World Communications Day 2010: “The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word.”

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – On the liturgical feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Rafael, the theme chosen by the Holy Father Benedict XVI for the 44th World Communications Day 2010, was released: “The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word.”

As the statement released by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications explains, the main task of the priest is to preach the Word of God become Flesh, a Man, in history, thus becoming a sign of the communion that God establishes with man. The efficacy of this ministry thus requires the priest to maintain an intimate relationship with God, rooted in a profound love and in a living knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures, “witness” in a written form, of the Divine Word. The Message for the 44th World Communications Day is an invitation to priests, especially in this Year for Priests and in the wake of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to consider the new communications media as a possible resource for their ministry at the service of the Word. Likewise, it aims to encourage them to face the challenges arising from the new digital culture.

The new communications media, if adequately understood and exploited, can offer priests and all pastoral care workers a wealth of data which was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and increased communion that were previously unthinkable. Thanks to the new forms of media, those who preach the Word of life can do so can words, sounds, and images – the unique vocabulary of the digital culture. Individuals and entire communities on every continent can do so, in order to spread awareness and engage in dialogue to propose a path to communion. If wisely used, with the help of experts in technology and the communications culture, the new media can become - for priests and for all pastoral care workers - a valid and effective instrument for authentic and profound evangelization and communion. They will be a new form of evangelization, so that Christ may come into our cities and onto the threshold of our homes, once again declaring: “'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20). (SL) (Agenzia Fides 30/9/2009)

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