.- The bishopsâ committees on communication in Spain and Portugal ended a meeting in Malaga this week agreeing that the internet is part of todayâs culture and that the Church must use it for evangelization.
Speaking to Spain's EFE news agency, Bishop Joan Piris, president of the Spanish bishopsâ committee, said the new technologies are an opportunity to carry out pastoral work and that the Church âmust not remain on the sidelines.â
He also said that for this reason priests must prepare themselves adequately to carry out their mission as âgood communicators.â
âThey must awaken interest and at the same time be understood,â Bishop Piris explained.
Regarding social networking sites, Bishop Piris said, âThey need to be used properly in order to avoid becoming a salveâ 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 âto overcome loneliness.â
The president of the Portuguese bishopsâ committee, Bishop Manuel Clemente, agreed that the communications media are not only an instrument but part of todayâs culture.