Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Importance of Communication Within the Church

The general meeting of all the archdiocesan priests clearly showed that communication was an important issue, that increasing understanding between the diocese and priests will be an ongoing concern. The archbishop, Yeom Soo-jung, is quoted as saying he thought he should always be solemn but communicating is wonderful.  He has made this an important value in  the way the work of the archdiocese will be conducted, with more use of the digital media.

Both the Social network services (SNS) and the participation of the archbishop were warmly praised by the priests and Christians. There will be a Korean and an English version of the Facebook page. 

Korean: www.facebook.com/seoul.archdiocese.kr. 
English: www.facebook.com/seoul.archdiocese.eng.

The intention is to inform the archdiocese of what has been planned, including the archbishop's informal daily plans. It is an attempt to realize the desire for more communication within the diocese: between the archbishop and priests, among the priests, and between the diocese and laity. In the past, the means of communication were few; now with the digital possibilities available, this will change.

With the English Facebook page, information will be available to all who are interested in the Korean Church, wherever they may be. It will also enable news to come more easily to the Korean Church. The efforts that have been made to communicate have been taken seriously. This should affect how the dioceses will function in the future.

The Peace Weekly interviewed the archbishop concerning the views expressed at the general meeting.  He thanked all the priests for their comments during the meeting. The interviewer asked him to say more about how he would improve the lines of communication between pastors and their assistants, and between pastors and the laity. Jesus was an expert communicator, the archbishop said. Jesus told his disciples that what they wanted from others, they were first to do to others. To be a good communicator, he said, is to understand what the other person wants to say, to be concerned, and to strive to understand the position of the other person. More important than expressing your opinion, or to convince the other of your thinking, is to listen with sympathy to what the other has to say.

The Archbishop has not only expressed himself very clearly on his efforts to be open to everybody, but has also taken steps that show he is earnest about doing what he preaches. At a meeting  of 100 or so diocesan society members, he listened patiently and encouraged them as they made their reports. He later said Mass for the group.


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