Department of Evangelisation
Diocese of Johannesburg
South Africa

"Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to carry out everything I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, until the end of the world" (Matthew 28:19-20).

Department of Evangelization: Catholic Diocese - Gauteng
   PO Box 157 Rosettenville Gauteng South Africa 2130
   Tel: +27 11 435 0682  Fax: +27 11 435 3946

 
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John Chapter 20 : 1 On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb.


 

Use of Media Urged in Evangelization
Many Diocesan Press Services Poorly Organized, Says Priest

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Using the media to spread the Gospel message isn't an option for believers, a missionary told a Vatican-organized symposium.

"To evangelize through the media is not something merely optional but an imperative," said Father Gerardo Pastor, when addressing a congress on "The Church and the Media: An Unlimited Future."

The former rector of the Pontifical University of Salamanca highlighted the differences that exist between a widely held theory and reality, when responding to the question "Is it possible to evangelize through the media?"

The congress, an initiative of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, brought together communicators, bishops, priests, religious and laity last Thursday and Friday.

Claretian Missionary Father Pastor described John Paul II as "an excellent communicator, who has not limited himself to appear on television, radio and newspapers but has succeeded in conditioning the very agenda setting of those very media."

"On the theoretical plane, the Church admits and proclaims the enormous importance of the modern media to evangelize; however, on the plane of action, things are not so forceful," he lamented.

"The press services of many dioceses are poorly organized, if they exist at all, compared to those of important enterprises," the priest continued.

"Official diocesan spokesmen and those of bishops' conferences do not always have journalistic preparation and communicative reflexes to give agile, transparent, clear and appropriate answers at the opportune moment," he added.

The professor and missionary suggested that one regards the evangelizing act as "persuasive communication," understanding by this not seduction or indoctrination, but the ability to "convince with arguments."

The language of the media is "formally different from that used in sacred or homiletic oratory," he warned.

Such language calls for "much synthesis, slogans and thought-provoking phrases." It is a way of speaking without theoretical distinctions, "more intuitive than analytical, more narrative than discursive, less ordinary and repetitive than the academic," Father Pastor explained.

"In a world which has already assimilated the new media culture, the Church must not be lethargic, acting at the wrong time or with doctrinal arrogance, as if it was speaking only to its own faithful," he said.

Father Pastor, who has a doctorate in educational and psychological sciences from the Pontifical Salesian University, lamented that "the best communications professionals usually lack theological formation, while the best ecclesiastical speakers and writers usually lack sensibility and experience in media communication."
ZE05022801

Be Not Afraid of Media, Urges Editor
Advice From a French Journalist at Vatican Symposium

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2005 (Zenit.org).- The Church has nothing to hide, says a French editor at a recent Vatican symposium on the media.

"Although the sacred must be preserved, in all else the Church has nothing to hide," explained Franz-Oliver Giesbert, editor of the French weekly Le Point.

"It must be very present in the media, but without ingenuousness or lack of professionalism, always choosing its field of intervention well," he advised.

Giesbert was responding to the question "What Do the Media Expect from the Church?" in the symposium on "The Church and the Media: An Unlimited Future," organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The event in Rome ended Friday.

Giesbert, born in the U.S. state of Delaware, arrived in France when he was 3. After an intense literary and journalistic life, he became editor of Le Point.

"Despite the Pope's appeals for evangelization, I seems to me that the clergy too often lives shut in on itself," he said.

"I feel like saying: 'Don't be afraid; don't be afraid of the media which deform everything; don't be afraid to cry out your truths to the world,'" he exhorted.

Giesbert admitted his personal lack of interest in television, but he reminded his audience that "the whole world watches it," so he encouraged the Church to "make noise," in the best sense of the word, namely, to make itself heard.

The Church "must accept being an objective of the press. I would dare to say that it is often a good sign," he added.

Later, Giesbert told ZENIT: "To communicate, it is necessary to choose the moment well and to explain oneself well."
ZE05022824

 

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Department of Evangelization: Catholic Diocese - Gauteng
   PO Box 157 Rosettenville Gauteng South Africa 2130
   Tel: +27 11 435 0682  Fax: +27 11 435 3946
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