.- Members of the European Bishops’ Committee on the Media began their plenary assembly on Thursday at the Vatican, during which they will meet with representatives of Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia and a young Swiss expert in order to learn more about the internet and how to use the new technologies.
Some 20 bishops together with the president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, and other experts from the bishops’ conferences of Europe, are attending the sessions.
According to L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Josip Bozanic, vice president of the European Bishops’ Committee on the Media, said the theme of the gathering denotes two key aspects: “The internet is not only a recipient that brings together diverse cultures. The internet is culture. The internet produces culture. And so it seems obvious to ask questions about the relationship that exists between this ‘new culture’ and the so-called ‘traditional’ cultures.”
The cardinal said the Church has had her own communication for two thousand years and that therefore the question about the implications the Church’s presence on the internet has for her mission is a legitimate one. “How has the internet become a part of the ordinary ministry of our dioceses?” he asked.
The Church needs to have an online presence because she must communicate the Good News, the cardinal continued, saying that the internet provides a window into how the “anthropological model of tomorrow” is being constructed.
Among those addressing the bishops will be a Swiss expert who will give them a crash-course on the secrets of the internet and of online piracy, in order to give them a better perspective on what experts call Web 2.0, the interactive dimension of the online world.