Preach the Gospel at all times, when necessary use Twitter
Diocese of Harrisburg17 September 2012Rev. Joshua R. Brommer, STL
The Year of Faith• Reading once again the teachings of the Second Vatican Council – www.vatican.va (they’re free!)• Inter Mirifica, the Decree on the means of Social Communication: 4 December 1963 • “Man’s genius has with God’s help produced marvelous technical inventions from creation, especially in our times. The Church, our mother, is particularly interested in those which directly touch upon man’s spirit and which have opened up new avenues of easy communication of all kinds of news, of ideas and orientations.” (IM 1)• Taking up the mission of Evangelization
What do we mean by “Media”?The meaning of the word The expression of the meaning• “Media” is the plural form of • In 1963, what did this mean? the Latin word • Press “medium”, which has relatively • Cinema the same meaning in English. • Radio• Other ways of translating the • Television word “medium” can be • In 2012, this takes on a whole new “instrument”, “means”. meaning• “for the public,” “before the • Press, Cinema, Radio, Television public,” “for the public good,” • Facebook “for the care of the public • Twitter good,” “for the good of all” • Etc.
What is the “Power” of SocialCommunication?“[The media] contributegreatly to the “…man can use them inenlargement of men’s ways that are contrary to the Creator’s design andminds and to the damaging to himself. …propagation and [The Church] grieves withconsolidation of the a mother’s sorrow at thekingdom of God.” (IM 2) harm all too often inflicted on society by their misuse.” (IM 2)
The obligation to use Social Media“All authority in heaven and “The Catholic Church was founded by Christ our Lord to bring salvation toon earth has been given to all men. It feels, obliged, therefore, tome. Go, therefore, and make preach the gospel. In the same way, itdisciples of all believes that its task involves employing the means of socialnations, baptizing them in communication to announce thethe name of the Father and good news of salvation and to teachof the Son and of the Holy men how to use them properly.Spirit, teaching them to It is the Church’s birthright to use andobserve all that I have own any of these media which are necessary and useful for thecommanded you; and formulation of Christians and forbehold, I am with you pastoral activity.”always, to the close of the - IM, 3age.” – Matthew 28:18-20
Principles for the Laity & Social Media• “… it is principally for laymen to animate these media with a Christian and human spirit and to ensure that they live up to humanity’s hopes for them, in accordance with God’s design.” (IM 3) • “Laymen who work professionally in these media should endeavor to bear witness to Christ: first of all, by doing their work competently and in an apostolic spirit, secondly by collaborating directly, each one according to his ability, in the pastoral activity of the Church, making a technical, economic, cultural, or artistic contribution.” (IM 14) • “Lay people must be given the necessary technical, doctrinal and moral formation.” (IM 15)• “If the media are to be correctly employed, it is essential that all who use them know the principles of the moral order and apply them faithfully in this domain.” (IM 3)
Principles for the Laity & Social Media• Information, news, facts, happenings should be “communicated publically and without delay” to give people sufficient information so as to contribute to the common good and progress of society. (IM 4) • The ‘right to information’: communication should be “true and complete” within the limits of justice and charity • All art and media are subjected to “the absolute primacy of the objective moral order.” (IM 6) • Limits placed on the “description and representation of moral evil” need to be in place. (IM 7) • The responsibility to safeguard against poor influence on public opinion and the formation of society. (IM 8)• Responsibility toward the young – both by producers of media and those who teach the young how to use media. (throughout IM)
Forming the Young to responsibly usemedia both as Producers & Consumers• Formation of a “correct conscience on the use of the media” (IM 5)• Social Communication must be used with a “properly motivated selectivity” looking specially toward “whatever excels in virtue, culture and art” (IM 9)• “Those who are at the receiving end of the media, and especially the young, should learn moderation and discipline in their use of them. They should aim to understand fully what they see, hear and read. They should discuss them with their teachers and with experts in such matters and should learn to reach correct judgments. Parents on their part should remember that it is their duty to see that entertainments and publications which might endanger faith and morals do not enter their houses and that their children are not exposed to them elsewhere.” (IM 10)• Civil authorities: “Special measures should be taken to protect adolescents from publications and entertainments harmful to them.” (IM 12)
Using Social Communications for theFaith in our schools• “All the members of the Church should make a concerted effort to ensure that the means of communications are put at the service of the multiple forms of the apostolate without delay and as energetically as possible, where and when they are needed.” (IM 13)• “[Members of the Church] need the instruction and practical experience if they are to use the media properly. Projects designed to effect this, especially among the young, should be encouraged and multiplied in Catholic schools at all levels … and should be directed in accordance with the principles of Christian morality.” (IM 16)
What do these “projects” look like? @elizabethf tweeted: ”#yearoffaith Faith makes me have confidence in myself and THIS IS my friends.” @nathanc tweeted: ”#yearoffaith Faith makes me think of God and gets me YOUR through hard times.” @ryleeh tweeted: ”#yearoffaith Faith means to let Jesus catch you and make you calm.” WORK! @omarih tweeted: ”#yearoffaith Faith to me is to learn about God and share the Good News.”
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