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Catholic media practitioners have been called been called upon to ensure the presence of the Church in the social media for positive impact and promotion of the Gospel of truth. The call was made by the Catholic Bishop of Jebu-Ode Diocese, Most Rev. Albert Fasina in his address at the opening ceremony of  the second plenary of Diocesan/Religious Directors of Communications of the Church in the country. The ceremony which took place at the Louis Bautain Retreat, Conference and Catechetical Centre, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State; was attended by about 45 directors from most of the Archdioceses and diocese in the country.


According to the Bishop: “The Church has stressed its positive outlook  towards the media. At the same time, she continually calls for discernment, since ‘the world of mass media also has need of Christ Redemption (The Rapid Development 4).” Noting that the social media has become the reference point of life, the local ordinary pointed out that it is, among other things, it is the modern public place for interaction and crossing of ideas; and “The Church must be a force there to present the Gospel of truth in all areas of human life”. He added: “The social web is developing the language that future generations will speak. The Church must shapen that language with authority of Christ for its fluency. Social media is changing some attitudes in the world. The Church must be fully present there to help guide and change for eternal destiny of people in the world.”


The bishop continued: “owing to this enormous impact on the human person and his environment which cannot be denied, pastoral agents and all true Christians to whom the task of evangelization has been entrusted cannot be indifferent to this new phenomenon. In fact, if indeed the word of god  will be heard to the ends of the earth and by future generations, the social media becomes a veritable tool which Christians must engage in. Christian witness, thanks to the internet, can thereby reach the peripheries of human existence.”


Bishop Fasina however urged the diocesan/Religious communications directors and other Catholic media practitioners to brace up for the social media. His words: “among other things, as media professionals, you are expected to work out modalities to help the Church and society as a whole to facilitate more media education in order to enhance media literacy.” Stressing the importance of proper formation on the dynamics of the use of the media, especially by the youths, Bishop Fasina noted that media users must have discern and be selective adding: “Parents, families and the Church have precise responsibilities they cannot renounce”.


While calling on Catholic communications professionals to remain focused in the apostolate, Bishop Fasina wished the directors fruitful deliberations concluding that:  “…the Church and society look to you for information, for formation, for inspiration”.


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