This was the image that the Pontifical Council on Social Communication used for their article. Kind of ugly, huh?The day after Pope John Paul II's beatification the Vatican is sponsoring a day conference on/for Catholic bloggers. On May 2 150 bloggers are invited to the Palazzo San Pio X for this all-day conference.
In order to get invited all one has to do is email the event host - firstname.lastname@example.org - and pray you get picked. Oh, and you need to figure out a way to fly to Rome and be put up somewhere. All costs are covered by you.
So I just sent in my own request for the conference. Maybe I can fundraise for the flight out there- if they pick me, that is.
I think this is going to be a sweet conference. The importance of Vatican II document Inter Mirifica (On the Media of Social Communications) cannot be understated. One of my favorite professors in Grad School, Dr. Alan Schreck, once told our Vatican II studies class that a woman returned to Catholicism after encountering this document. She was a rising television journalist and found having a living faith and working in the media were incompatible, that was, until she read this document.
Inter Mirifica is important for us to reflect upon 70 years later. With the rise of the internet, social networking, mobile connectivity, and always-on broadband speeds in the home, understanding and building upon the media of social communications is ever-more important.
Some quotes from Inter Mirifica (emphasis mine):
13. All the children of the Church should join, without delay and with the greatest effort in a common work to make effective use of the media of social communication in various apostolic endeavors, as circumstances and conditions demand. They should anticipate harmful developments, especially in regions where more urgent efforts to advance morality and religion are needed.
Pastors should hasten, therefore, to fulfill their duty in this respect, one which is intimately linked with their ordinary preaching responsibility. The laity, too, who have something to do with the use of these media, should endeavor to bear witness to Christ, first of all by carrying out their individual duties or office expertly and with an apostolic spirit, and, further, by being of direct help in the pastoral activity of the Church- to the best of their ability- through their technical, economic, cultural and artistic talents.
16. Since the proper use of the media of social communications which are available to audiences of different cultural backgrounds and ages, calls for instruction proper to their needs, programs which are suitable for the purpose- especially where they are designed for young people- should be encouraged, increased in numbers and organized according to Christian moral principles.
17. It is quite unbecoming for the Church's children idly to permit the message of salvation to be thwarted or impeded by the technical delays or expenses, however vast, which are encountered by the very nature of these media. Therefore, this sacred Synod advises them of the obligation they have to maintain and assist Catholic newspapers, periodicals and film projects, radio and television programs and stations, whose principal objective is to spread and defend the truth and foster Christian influence in human society. At the same time, the Synod earnestly invites those organizations and individuals who possess financial and technical ability to support these media freely and generously with their resources and their skills, inasmuch as they contribute to genuine culture and the apostolate.
18. Moreover, that the varied apostolates of the Church with respect to the media of social communication may be strengthened effectively, each year in every diocese of the world, by the determination of the Bishops, there should be celebrated a day on which the faithful are instructed in their responsibilities in this regard.