The bishops’ committees on communication in Spain and Portugal ended a meeting in Malaga this week agreeing that the internet is part of today’s culture and that the Church must use it for evangelization.
Speaking to Spain's EFE news agency, Bishop Joan Piris, president of the Spanish bishops’ committee, said the new technologies are an opportunity to carry out pastoral work and that the Church “must not remain on the sidelines.”
He also said that for this reason priests must prepare themselves adequately to carry out their mission as “good communicators.”
“They must awaken interest and at the same time be understood,” Bishop Piris explained.
Regarding social networking sites, Bishop Piris said, “They need to be used properly in order to avoid becoming a salve” of the internet.
The presence of bishops in these new settings must not lead them to neglect the personal care of the faithful, he added, warning that virtual settings must not become a substitute for direct personal communication or for the experience of community in a religious sense, although they can compliment them and help some persons “to overcome loneliness.”
The president of the Portuguese bishops’ committee, Bishop Manuel Clemente, agreed that the communications media are not only an instrument but part of today’s culture.