2012-07-21 Vatican Radio(Vatican Radio) ‘Theology and Communications in Dialogue’ was the title of a symposium held at the Jesuit Santa Clara University in California recently, with the aim of deepening theological reflection on the digital communications culture.
Sponsored by the United States Catholic Bishops Conference and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the meeting explored how online communications have radically altered our ways of forging friendships, finding out information and forming opinions on every topic – including religion.
So just how well is the Catholic Church responding to the challenge of being present in the digital world and engaging people in a deeper, more meaningful dialogue?
Mgr Paul Tighe is secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and took part in the Santa Clara symposium……
Listen to Philippa Hitchen's interview with Mgr Paul Tighe:
"As a church we believe in community, that as a church we are the people gathered by Christ as an assembly, yet how we gather and how we assemble has been changed...."
"If you want to look at new media..... despite its capacity to create dialogue and debate, it actually often serves to isolate and make people conscious of their individuality... As people will always seek relationships, then where is the positive dimension of that, where do these individuals form community and how do we do that with them?"
"This new culture has its emphasis on digital relationships- yet the idea of embodiment is so important for our Christian tradition... we are called to serve, rather than just to relate online. And we believe strongly in the sacraments to be celebrated together....."
"In our day to day work at the Council we’re discovering various initiatives taken by different churches and communities throughout the world to negotiate an effective presence of new media and to engage people and draw them into stronger forms of community..."