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Thursday, February 23, 2017
Church media officers meet in Poland
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┬áThe Plenary Assembly of the European Bishops' Media Commission (CEEM) and the annual meeting of the press officers and spokespersons of Europe's bishops' conferences took place earlier this month in Warsaw. From 14-18 September, the Polish capital played host to 34 participants representing 26 European bishops' conferences. The theme of the 2005 meeting was "Who paints the picture for young people? Media, young people's language(s) and handing on the faith". It took place at the Barnabite Fathers' cultural centre in Warsaw at the invitation of Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glˇdz of Warsaw-Praga, the Polish Bishop responsible for issues related to the communications media. Scotland was represented by a delegation comprising: Bishop Joseph Devine, President of the Bishops' Conference Communications Commission, Ronnie Convery, Director of Communications for the Archdiocese of Glasgow and Peter Kearney, Director of the Catholic Media Office. Topics addressed by the assembled press officers, included; the first meeting of webmasters of the European bishops' conferences', the World Youth Day in Cologne and the media coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II and the subsequent conclave and election of Pope Benedict XVI. The meeting included a contribution from Archbishop John P. Foley, President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications who spoke of the final initiatives of Pope John Paul II in the area of media, particularly his Apostolic Letter "The Rapid Development", and the first steps taken in this area by Pope Benedict XVI. Professor Arturo Merayo, dean of the Faculty for Social Communications at the Catholic University of St. Anthony in Murcia (Spain), gave the keynote talk on young people and media. He concluded that the Church should be neither na´ve nor cynical about the media, and there has to be a middle way between an attitude of "protecting" children from the media, as if they were totally passive "victims", and the other extreme, a "utopian" presumtion that young people are totally in command of the way they use media. The assembly closed with a statement on the media, titled; "Do not be afraid of the media!", which challenged the Church to "enter the arena" and "to take part in society's debates". The statement declared; "A Church that is absent or complacent will be respected neither by the media nor by young people. She must just be herself". Commenting on the assembly, Bishop Devine said; "Despite the array of languages and cultures represented at the conference, it was clear that all present were united by two key facts; we face the same media challenges throughout Europe and we are united in a shared faith that compels us to meet these challenges." Bishop Devine added: "The Scottish delegation left Poland heartened by the knowledge that our own communications efforts are acknowledged and admired elsewhere and inspired by the work of our colleagues across the continent." The gathering also included some particularly significant cultural moments. The participants visited the exhibition of photographs to mark the 25th anniversary of the foundation of Solidarnosc in the National Museum, the grave of Father Jerzy Popieluszko, the militant priest murdered for his commitment to the freedom of his people (and the museum dedicated to his life and death), and the European Centre. for Communication and Culture (ECCC), run by the Jesuit community at Falenica on the outskirts of Warsaw. Source: SCMO
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