Saturday, February 12, 2011

Challenges to the Catholic Church in the World of Cyberspace

Writing in the Incheon  bulletin the priest responsible for public relations in a neighboring diocese discusses the world of the Internet. Anybody riding the subway can see the  changes that have come to society--everyone seems to have a phone, some smarter than others. As convenient as this is, not all is positive; though nobody can deny the change it is bringing to society.

First we had the printed media, then the electric-wave media, and now Internet  telecommunications. In this whirlpool of readily available information the Church's mission, as always, is to spread the gospel message.

The church experienced  acutely the importance of the media when Guttenberg's printing press came on the scene. Before the printing press, knowing the written word of scripture was a rare thing; all this changed and the world of the spiritual was never the same.

The printing press enabled Protestantism to spread quickly, as pamphlets and books spread the new ideas; and for the first time, many Christians could read the Bible for themselves.  The Catholic Church also used the medium to defend itself against the 'heretical ideas' of the Protestants. However, the Church was slow in using the new world of print in the way the culture of that time required. It did not fully appreciate the value of the new medium, and, as a result, the Church was severly wounded.

The advances in this area are not only technological but personal, by changing the way we perceive the world; our consciousness of what is real, therefore, tends to be different from that of the  past.  This has to be recognized, the priest says, in presenting  the word of God to a media-savvy world . The Church has to get involved in this new world  and adapt to the world of cyberspace. Precisely because the mission of the Church is to make known the word of God.

No comments:

Post a Comment