New Delhi (CBCI News): Some 175 communication delegates from across the country participated in a two-day seminar on “Envisioning Media 2025”. The Society of St. Paul (SSP) and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India- Office for Social Communications (CBCI-OSC) organized two days National Seminar on Envisioning Media - 2025 at Don Bosco Centre, Okhla, New Delhi, 21-22 February. The event was to mark the first centenary of the founding of St Pau;s Society by Blessed James Alberione. The CBCI OSC is commemorating the golden jubilee of ‘Inter Mirifica’, the Vatican II document on social communication.
Archbishop Anil Couto, of Delhi inaugurating the seminar said media has become part and parcel of our everyday life and existence. He lauded the services rendered by the St Paul Society in disseminating good literature. Fr. Michael Raj SSP, Provincial Superior, welcomed the gathering.
In his keynote address Mons. Paul Tighe, the Secretary, Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Rome, said “we need today not lot of technologies and technicians rather people who can create ideas and show how to put them across and make it more relevant to the people’. He spoke on ‘Inter Mirfica ‘a call to the changes of the signs of the times. Social communication, he said, has tremendous impacts on our apostolate.
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Mickler SSP, New York, USA, shared the charism of Pauline Family. He said Blessed James Alberione, the founder of the Society of St. Paul (SSP) enthusiastically spread the love of God through press releases during World War II Fr. George Plathottam sdb, Secretary, CBCI-OSC, dealt with the theme, ‘Social Communication and the Mission of the Church in India. He said communication is at the heart of the mission of the Church. Every means of communication must be properly engaged in the evangelization of the world. Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal SVD, Chairman of CBCI-OSC moderated the session.
During a session moderated by Fr. Raymond Ambroise, Secretary, Federation of Asian of Bishops’ Conference (FABC), Dr. John Dayal, veteran journalist, Esther Kar, Secretary, National Commission for Minorities, and Anna MM, Vetticad, journalist, shared their views on the church and mainstream media: challenges and possibilities. Supreme Court Judge, Kurien Joseph called for the need to positioning media.
Apostolic Nuncio to India Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio presided over a Eucharist celebration to mark the centenary of the founding of St Pauls Society, and the golden jubilee of the congregation’s foundation in New Delhi. Several bishops and priests concelebrated in the Eucharist which was attended by participants of the seminar and delegates from various communities.
Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, speaking on the role of communication for community building and challenges for evangelization, called for reconciliation, peace and non-confrontational attitude in our communication strategy. Fr Dominic Emmanuel, SVD spoke on the need to step up the public relation efforts of the church. Fr. Joe Eruppakatt ssp highlighted the relevance of media in faith formation. He cited the examples of Mother Angelica, Benny Punnethara and others.
The afternoon sessions were conducted at Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi, on the theme ‘India 2025 - Democracy & Media’. Mr. Naveen Chawla, Former Election Commissioner of India, chaired the sessions. He spoke of the challenges India’s democracy faces. Clean and fair elections alone do not ensure a healthy democracy, but the conduct of public servants must be guided by values and principles, he said. Archbishop Albert D’Souza, Secretary General CBCI, called for a healthy media which can foster a healthy human relationship to make a global village.
Professor T.K. Oommen, Educationist & Sociologist, Anna MM Vetticad, and Mr.Josy Joseph of Times of India, were the main speakers. Prof. T. K. Oommen said that Media is highly commercialized in favour of the upper class. There is need for major shift in the profile of media practioners if certain issues need to get adequate and balanced coverage in media. Anna MM Vetticad pointed out the need of social media to influence the mainstream media. Mr, Josy Joseph called for values like compassion, honesty and social commitment in media. Church which is a major player in imparting education must do all in its power to instill these values in the young, he said.