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Jo Siedlecka

Jo Siedlecka

We set up on a voluntary basis in May 2000 in response to Tertio Millennio Adveniente, which called for lay people to play a more active role in the work of the Church. As journalists, we felt this project was one way we could make a contribution.

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*Recent contributors include: Judex Acking in Mauritius, Estefania Aguirre, Ross Ahlfeld, George Aitken, Lord Alton, Beki Bateson, Clare Bergin, Dan Bergin, Giovanna Bianchi in Italy, Naomi Billingsley, Canon Pat Browne, Anita Boniface, Fleur Brennan, Deb Buchan, Philip Burke, Paul Burnell, Mary Carson, William Carson, Tom Cornell, Philip Crispin, Sarah Cutforth, William Dalrymple, Fintan Deere, Rima Devereaux, Santosh Digal in the Philippines, Damian Dillon, Frances Dodd, Paul Donovan, Mark Dowd, Ann Dunhill, Victor Edwin SJ in India, Robert Ewan, Ann Farr, Eileen French, Paul Forsythe, Jenny Foster, Lawrence Fullick, Violet Ganda in South Africa, Fr Robin Gibbons, Eddie Gilmore, Michael Glackin, Elizabeth Glancy, Julia Gregory, Frank Jomo, Jyoti Lama Khanal, Elaine Koerner in Washington DC, Fr James Leachman OSB, Fr Clive Lee, Jane Lowe, Sr Mary, Fr Wilfrid McGreal O. Carm, RIP, Sr Mary, Joe McNally, Tony Magliano, Judy Masters, Pearl Mina, Morrisey, Francis Njuguna in Kenya, Fr John O'Brien, Terry Philpott, Sister Gillian Price, Jack Regan, Jo-Anne Rowney, Peter Scally SJ, Fr Giovanni Scudiero,RIP, Fionn Shiner, Citra Sidhu, Michal Siewniak, Sr Gemma Simmonds IBVM, Linda Simpson, Christopher Sleight, Fr Terry Tastard, Ellen Teague, Rebecca Tinsley, Kathryn Turner, Estefania Aguirre Wachter, Mike Walsh, Jim Webster, Ann Widdecombe.

Additional information:

1. During the Second Vatican Council, the document Inter Mirifica stressed the need for good and accurate reporting. It said: "There exists within human society a right to information about affairs which affect men individually and collectively and according to the circumstances of each. The proper exercise of this right, demands that the matter communicated always be true, and as complete as charity and justice allow.''

2. In 2003 Pope John Paul II issued two documents, encouraging Catholics to use the Internet, but warning of its dangers. "Ethics in Internet" and "The Church and Internet" In a statement entitled: "The Internet: A New Forum for Proclaiming the Gospel" written for World Communication Day 2002, the Pope said: "The Internet causes billions of images to appear on millions of computer monitors around the planet... From this galaxy of sight and sound will the face of Christ emerge and the voice of Christ be heard? ....For it is only when his face is seen and his voice heard that the world will know the glad tidings of our redemption....This is the purpose of evangelization. And this is what will make the Internet a genuinely human space, for if there is no room for Christ, there is no room for man." He says: "I dare to summon the whole Church bravely to cross this new threshold, to put out into the deep of the Net, so that now as in the past the great engagement of the Gospel and culture may show to the world "the glory of God on the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:6). "In these troubled times, how can we ensure that this wondrous instrument first conceived in the context of military operations can now serve the cause of peace? Can it favour that culture of dialogue, participation, solidarity and reconciliation without which peace cannot flourish?" "The Church believes it can; and to ensure that this is what will happen, she is determined to enter this new forum, armed with the Gospel of Christ, the Prince of Peace." Archbishop John Foley, head of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said the Internet was "an opportunity and a challenge not a threat." The Archbishop said that the Vatican's message about the Internet aims to "emphasise that the Catholic church, along with other religious bodies, should have a visible, active presence on the Internet and be a partner in the public dialogue about its development." Pope urges Christian media workers to use the net

18 December 2008

Pope Benedict yesterday urged media workers to unite in their efforts to proclaim the Gospel to modern internet users.

"Today the internet calls for a growing integration of written, audio and visual communications and therefore challenges the media at the service of the Holy See to enlarge and intensify their collaboration," the Pope told workers at the Vatican Television Centre.

The meeting marked the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the centre, which is responsible for filming papal events, making documentaries and providing them to television outlets around the world.

Pope Benedict said the Church "cannot allow its message to be outside the spaces in which numerous young people navigate in search of answers and of meaning for their lives, you must seek ways to spread voices and images of hope in new formats."

Although the Vatican Television Centre has a small staff and limited resources, Pope Benedict said: "Many people, thanks to your work, can feel closer to the heart of the Church."

For centuries pilgrims having been coming to Rome each year to see the Pope, he said, and "today this desire can be satisfied, at least in part, thanks to radio and television."

Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, who directs the television centre, the Vatican press office and Vatican Radio, said almost every television image of the Pope seen around the world was filmed by the Vatican Television Centre.

"Even if they are watching RAI (in Italy), Bayerische Rundfunk (in Germany) or CNN, we are the origin in almost every case," Fr Lombardi said.

Fr Lombardi thanked Pope Benedict for allowing the Vatican camera operators to shadow his every public move, but he said that being there with the camera rolling "is our job. It is our obligation. We do it with passion and joy."

Vatican press chief encourages use of new media
Posted: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 11:29 pm

Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, Director of the Holy See's media operations, encouraged communicators to meet the challenge of using the internet to engage positively to further the Gospel message, in his address to journalists at Allen Hall in London on Monday.

In a lecture to mark World Communications Day (falling this year on Sunday, 24 May), Fr Lombardi echoed Pope Benedict XVI's call for the Church to speak to 'the digital generation':

"One of the biggest challenges facing us at present is that of interactivity, and, I would say, of 'positive interactivity'. How ought we to tackle this challenge at all levels of the Church's life? For me specifically, the challenge presents itself to the communications efforts of the Holy See, and our experience at Vatican Radio comes to mind. In recent years the internet has been for us an important tool that has made it possible for us to deliver content to countless users of all kinds. Now, however, the reality of the situation that is emerging is one in which the great thing is not simply content distribution, but greater and greater interactivity."

The full text of Fr Federico Lombardi's address, "Blessed be the Net?" A Roman perspective on the problems of new communications, can be found at: www.thinkingfaith.org/articles/20090520_1.htm

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