Saturday, February 12, 2011
Challenges to the Catholic Church in the World of Cyberspace
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.