Year of Youth 2018

Communicating the Word - And the Word was Digital

Last edited 7th May 2012

The Catholic Church has always been in the business of communication. However digital communication, social media platforms and the latest technology has changed - allowing for all kinds of interconnectivity between people.

More importantly the culture of digital communication along with the dynamics and pattern of communication has changed.

This is what the Catholic Church needs to understand, adapt and be a part of to be effective in its evangelisation role.

Secretary to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications Monsignor Paul Tighe has been discussing the issue of communications within the church all this week in Sydney where he also gave the keynote address at the Australian Catholic Media Congress .

Mgr Tighe spoke to the Congress on ways of harnessing the potential of social media to present the word of God.

"The Church needs to be appropriately present in this digital environment to talk about the Gospel and the word of God as a means of evangelisation - to reach out to young people where they are gathering," he said.

There are many positives with the digital media and also many challenges Mgr Tighe said however even on a social platform friendships can be forged while maintaining integrity and recognising the dignity of the other person.

He also emphasised the importance of "silent communication" of which Pope Benedict XV1 spoke in this year's World Communications Day Message. He said silence does not mean cutting yourself off from all technology but taking the time to reflect and see how best the technology can be used.

Mgr Tighe admitted some Vatican insiders were somewhat dubious about the Pope being filmed Tweeting earlier this year. It wasn't that the Holy Father has been a computer geek but he does recognise the new media as a means to reaching young people, spreading the word of the gospel. In fact the Pope will soon launch his own Twitter channel with shortened messages including ones from his weekly audience.

And although Australia may seem a world away from the latest technology and using social media to get our message across, Mgr Tighe says we are definitely up to speed.

Mgr Tighe speaks with Catholic Communications in this video.

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