Brandon Vogt joined the Dream Team of SQPN’s show, Catholic Weekend, for an interview. On this recorded show, you will find the Dream Team’s energetic way of sharing positive news on Brandon’s new publication coming out soon, “The Church and New Media.”
Captain Jeff Nielsen opened up the show, and introduced Vogt with a short musical flashback of Walt Disney’s “When You Wish Upon A Star”, announcing the “drop” of “The Church and New Media.” Captain Jeff shares a little about Brandon Vogt being a Catholic blogger, and that Brandon often writes on spirituality, technology, and social justice in his blog, “The Thin Veil.” Take some time and check it out!
You will have to listen to the podcast to hear why Lisa Hendey, of CatholicMom.com, is pondering if she is Magic Johnson or Larry Bird. Lisa does share a quick story of how it came to be, for her being a part of Brandon’s project for developing the “The Church and New Media” and how she is happy to be a part of it.
Brandon shared some of the Vatican bloggers conference, leading Captain Jeff to question Vogt on issues of quality online relationships in the environments, more often with bloggers. “FIRE HOSE” – Steve Nelson, blogger of “Everything Esteban”, quickly sprouted out, making a comparison to what they were sharing at that time.
Maria Johnson shares an astounding sax solo, nothing was holding her back! Look for more information on booking Maria for your next event @ her blog, “another cup of coffee.”
Overall this is a great show to listen in on, to get a first look at what Brandon Vogt is sharing with “The Church and New Media.”
Bottom Line, Brandon expresses that the message they are trying to convey is; that Catholics who are not using new media to spread the “Good News” and share Christ, should start doing so and the Catholics who are using new media should do so in a manner that reflects them being Christian, Christ Like.
Here is a link to the SQPN.com for this Catholic Weekend show: Click Here
While listening to the show, many thoughts went back to the letters, decrees, and pastoral plans. I guess I will work my way up, from the past to the present, in sharing these notable references that will be helpful in insight and concepts of the topic of new media and the Church.
First, I share
“90. Truth further demands that the various media of social communications made available by modern progress, which enable the nations to know each other better, be used with serene objectivity. That need not, of course, rule out any legitimate emphasis on the positive aspects of their way of life. But methods of information which fall short of the truth, and by the same token impair the reputation of this people or that, must be discarded.” PACEM IN TERRIS John 23 (1963) http://www.papalencyclicals.net/John23/j23pacem.htm
This is 1963. Look at the words: Truth – Demand – Media -Social – Communications – Modern – Progress – Nations – Know – Each – Other.
2nd, I share
“3. The Catholic Church, since it was founded by Christ our Lord to bear salvation to all men and thus is obliged to preach the Gospel, considers it one of its duties to announce the Good News of salvation also with the help of the media of social communication and to instruct men in their proper use.” DECREE ON THE MEDIA OF SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS :: INTER MIRIFICA Paul VI (1963) http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decree_19631204_inter-mirifica_en.html
This is also 1963, but from Paul VI, and again you see words that reinforce what we are doing today. ( Catholic – Church – Christ – Lord – Salvation – All – Men – Obliged – Preach – Gospel – Duties – GOOD NEWS – Media – Social – Communication – Instruct – Men – Proper Use ) Yes, Proper Use, just as Captain Jeff, in the Weekend Catholic show, was expressing concern about.
“22. On this occasion, we wish to draw the attention of educators, and of all who perform duties of responsibility in regard to the common good of human society, to the need of creating an atmosphere favorable to education in chastity, that is, to the triumph of healthy liberty over license by means of respect for the moral order.
Everything in the modern media of social communications which leads to sense excitation and unbridled customs, as well as every form of pornography and licentious performances, must arouse the frank and unanimous reaction of all those who are solicitous for the progress of civilization and the defense of the common good of the human spirit. Vainly would one seek to justify such depravation with the pretext of artistic or scientific exigencies, or to deduce an argument from the freedom allowed in this sector by the public authorities.” Humanae Vitae Paul VI (1967) http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6humana.htm
Now I guess you get the picture of what I am trying to draw for you. Paul VI once again, in this widely known document, shouts to the World the necessity of what the Church should be focusing on. ”attention of educators”, “all who perform duties of responsiblity”, “in regard to the common good of human society”,… These words lead us to the topic of pornography.
In my eyes (head), I see an ocean of digital waves. These waves are chaotic, with wide variations of good and evil. Think of these waves, as a place where your brothers and sisters bathe, in search of answers. If the number of evil waves out-count and or out-perform, (entertain) the good waves, then our brothers and sisters are more than likely swim the wrong direction, away from Christ.
Simple, we must continually place good content, in a manner of good context, so the “Good News” of our Lord is heard (seen) in Christ Like manner. The more “we”, the good, out number and out play, “them” the evil, the better the chance of winning, any good chess player, military leader, sporting coach, ect… knows.
“20. Among the major changes of our times, we do not wish to forget to emphasize the growing role being assumed by the media of social communication and their influence on the transformation of mentalities of knowledge, of organizations and of society itself. Certainly they have many positive aspects. Thanks to them news from the entire world reaches us practically in an instant, establishing contacts which supersede distances and creating elements of unity among all men. A greater spread of education and culture is becoming possible. Nevertheless, by their very action the media of social communication are reaching the point of representing as it were a new power. One cannot but ask about those who really hold this power, the aims that they pursue and the means they use, and finally, about the effect of their activity on the exercise of individual liberty, both in the political and ideological spheres and in social, economic and cultural life. The men who hold this power have a grave moral responsibility with respect to the truth of the information that they spread, the needs and the reactions that they generate and the values which they put forward. In the case of television, moreover, what is coming into being is an original mode of knowledge and a new civilization: that of the image.” OCTAGESIMA ADVENIENS Paul VI (1971) http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6oct.htm
This is a warning! A cause for concern. Paul VI shares that the media of social communication can be positive, can reach the entire world in an instant (1971!), but NEVERTHELESS,…
Number 5, share
“45. Our century is characterized by the mass media or means of social communication, and the first proclamation, catechesis or the further deepening of faith cannot do without these means, as we have already emphasized.
When they are put at the service of the Gospel, they are capable of increasing almost indefinitely the area in which the Word of God is heard; they enable the Good News to reach millions of people. The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means that human skill is daily rendering more perfect. It is through them that she proclaims “from the housetops” the message of which she is the depositary. In them she finds a modern and effective version of the pulpit. Thanks to them she succeeds in speaking to the multitudes.
Nevertheless the use of the means of social communication for evangelization presents a challenge: through them the evangelical message should reach vast numbers of people, but with the capacity of piercing the conscience of each individual, of implanting itself in his heart as though he were the only person being addressed, with all his most individual and personal qualities, and evoke an entirely personal adherence and commitment.” EVANGELII NUNTIANDI Paul VI (1975) http://www.papalencyclicals.net/Paul06/p6evan.htm
The two sentences I have highlighted, in dark tone,should do well in showing you what I hope “WE” the Church of our Lord, Jesus Christ, understands. The sentence highlighted in red, is something everyone and anyone should “take ear to” (read for sure), because all content that goes out into the Internet is there forever! Yes even if you take your version of the content down, there are other sources that automatically copy all or some of your content. Also there are individuals that you might not know, that used part or all of your content as a reference (for good or bad).
What you place as content online could effect one individual in one-way, and another individual in another-way. Be Cautious of Content.
Number 6, point to share,
“1. At the dawn of a new era, a vast expansion of human communications is profoundly influencing culture everywhere. Revolutionary technological changes are only part of what is happening. Nowhere today are people untouched by the impact of media upon religious and moral attitudes, political and social systems, and education.” … “AETATIS NOVAE” PONTIFICIUM CONSILIUM DE COMMUNICATIONIBUS SOCIALIBUS JOHN P. FOLEY, President (1992) http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical… …aetatis_en.html
Now we are getting momentum! Moving toward a common ground, that all can adhere to morally, and easily understand what our Church elders are positioning us for, in our future as true disciples of Christ, in our modern times.
“Although it is up to diocesan pastoral communication plans to spell out local goals, this national pastoral communication plan recognizes that it is in our parishes that the Church most directly communicates with her people, especially through God’s word proclaimed in the liturgy and through a variety of educational programs. In this context of pastoral planning, church communication supports the mission of the Church universal and in the United States of America. More specifically, the bishops have directed that church communication in the United States present Christ’s message through participation in media locally and nationally.
This overarching goal leads to seven more specific actions: (1) evangelizing; (2) influencing the values, judgments, and actions of U.S. society; (3) telling the Church’s story; (4) protecting the communication environment; (5) teaching communication; (6) reflecting systematically on the quality of church communication; and (7) supporting one another in a ministry of communication.” Pastoral Plan For Church Communication – USCCB (1997) .. download – >> Pastoral Plan – 1997 – USCCB
This is just the overall goals, that I share with you. Please take time to read this document in full, it is not that long. You will see that many parts of this plan are being implemented, all round you. Is your parish or diocese actively trying to place these venues and events into place? I am pointing no finger, (LOL) but in Holy Mass do we not utter the words “what I have done and what I have failed to do”,… ???
8th point to share,
I give a long quote on this, because now we move closer to our modern times with JPII.
Evangelization through the media
“72. For the new evangelization to be effective, it is essential to have a deep understanding of the culture of our time in which the social communications media are most influential. Therefore, knowledge and use of the media, whether the more traditional forms or those which technology has produced in recent times, is indispensable. Contemporary reality demands a capacity to learn the language, nature and characteristics of mass media. Using the media correctly and competently can lead to a genuine inculturation of the Gospel. At the same time, the media also help to shape the culture and mentality of people today, which is why there must be special pastoral activity aimed at those working in the media. (277)
On this point, the Synod Fathers suggested a range of concrete initiatives to make the Gospel effectively present in the world of social communications: the training of pastoral workers for this task; the support of high-quality production centers; the careful and effective use of satellite and other new technologies; teaching the faithful to be “critical” in their use of the media; joining forces in order to acquire and manage new transmitters and TV and radio networks, as well as coordinating those already in operation. Catholic publications also deserve support and need to develop the excellence sought by all.
Business people should be encouraged to provide economic support for quality products promoting human and Christian values. (278) But a program as vast as this is far beyond the resources of the individual particular Churches of the American continent. Therefore, the Synod Fathers proposed an inter-American coordination of current activities in the field of social communications, aimed at fostering mutual awareness and coordination of current projects in the field. (279)” ECCLESIA IN AMERICA John Paul II (1999) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_22011999_ecclesia-in-america_en.html
I highlighted in bold, three sentences. The first statement in bold,… I am curious? What does it mean, contemporary reality? … Demands! … What does (or did) it mean to my father? What does (or will) it mean to my son? Who is it really directed to? I would think all of us, and all generations. We must continually strive to “see this plan through”, and as we do so,… we are continually striving to know, serve, and love Christ. (Look at Hosea 6:3 )
The second statement in bold, refers to Catholic publications. Well look at today’s modern way of publication! Digital downloads. Deserving support and need to develop take on a greater meaning, to all of us, as we see our “brick and mortar” bookstores crumble to dust.
((( Thinking on this, a reference to the Catholic Weekend show, and I believe Lisa Hendey, shared a point that we all should be concerned about. IMAGINE, if our Catholic “brick and mortar stores all close. Yes, doors locked, no way in…. Simply because “We” the Church community did not have regular thoughts of purchasing goods that feed the need of our spirituality. Some people pay hundreds of dollars for “entertainment.” What is a few bucks a week for a little holy nourishment?… Wait! Did I say the doors are locked? Yes, shut down. Now what do you do when you need a baptismal gift? Or a confirmation gift? Or how about this, most Catholics never think of,… An anniversary card for their religious. [I guess I am punching below the belt, to folks who probably will never read this....] I just had to let some pressure off.)))
Third statement in bold, from the Letter to the Americas. Business people. (what?) (who, is that?) What is the meaning of “business people” in the document?
Years I stumbled by myself, in my own little world. Recently I have met a few good friends, who have actively produced what the pastoral plan from the USCCB described. There are plenty of individuals who can make major contributions, not only financial but hard physical labor, to see that their environment is being cultivated, spiritually.
I have learned that if you don’t ask for help, more than likely you will never get help. Hey,… just ask. You might be surprised who is willing to walk with you.
Number 9, and still counting…
“The world of digital communication, with its almost limitless expressive capacity, makes us appreciate all the more Saint Paul’s exclamation: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Cor 9:16).—Pope Benedict XVI, 44th World Communications Day message (2010)” Social Media Guidelines USCCB (2010) http://www.usccb.org/about/communications/social-media-guidelines.cfm
While yes, this is a quote from PBXVI’s World Communications Day message, I am quoting it from the Social Media Guidelines the USCCB published. These guidelines and definitions will help anyone struggling to know some basic concepts of what and how the Church, in America is watching and maintaining, in relation to the World Wide Web. This reference from the Bible is another thought, to think, during Holy Mass as you utter the words “what I have done and what I have failed to do.”
I encourage everyone to look (read) before the verse (1Cor 9:16) and after the verse. Something to ponder. Something to pray.
Round 10,… (does it ever end?)
Christianity was not only “good news” – the communication of a hitherto unknown content. In our language we would say: the Christian message was not only “informative” but “performative”. That means: the Gospel is not merely a communication of things that can be known—it is one that makes things happen and is life-changing. SPE SALVI – BENEDICT XVI (2007) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi_en.html
This statement just spoke for itself.
10 just the right number to end with,… (thanks for reading all this, so far!)
Article 3 – 4º. to study and to encourage the use of modern forms of communication as instruments for the new evangelization; UBICUMQUE ET SEMPER – BENEDICT XVI (2010) http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/apost_letters/documents/hf_ben-xvi_apl_20100921_ubicumque-et-semper_en.html
Yes, I encourage everyone to use modern forms of communication. I encourage the use of new technologies and instruments, to reach out into the world. Reach out and share.
(I can’t wait to get my copy of “The Church and New Media”, to see what others are sharing.)
PS :: Decree Inter Mirifica on the Media of Social Communications, Paul VI (1963) :: Click Here …. “Pastors should hasten, therefore, to fulfill their duty in this respect”, Chapter 2, verse 13 … Praise and Thanks to all the pastors who have heard the cry, and answered.