“Today’s realities call for a new media approach, which can help people listen to one another and resolve differences and conflicts. The willingness to listen to others is foundational to the readiness to accept and welcome those who are different from us,” CBCN members say.
Making reference to Pope Francis' Encyclical Letter on human fraternity and social friendships, Fratelli Tutti, the Catholic Church leaders encourage media practitioners and pastoral agents to foster “authentic encounters”.
“Together, therefore we must seek the truth in dialogue, for the process of building fraternity, be it local or universal, can only be undertaken by spirits that are free and open to authentic encounters,” Catholic Bishops in Nigeria say.
They add citing the Encyclical Letter of Pope Francis, "The media needs to be used in a manner that not only connects people but also develops authentic interpersonal relationships, builds bridges, and builds community."
"We, the Catholic Bishops, have instituted Communications Week (COMWEEK) to facilitate the attainment of the above objective of the media," CBCN members say.
They call on media practitioners and pastoral agents to work closely with the National Directorate of Social Communications at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN) to ensure the weeklong media literacy program scheduled to run from May 22 in all Catholic Parishes in Nigeria is successful.
In January, the leadership of the Dicastery for Communications of the Holy See lauded Catholic Bishops in Nigeria for spearheading COMWEEK.
The Prefect of the Dicastery for Communications, Dr. Paolo Ruffini, said the initiative of the Catholic Bishops, is an advancement in “media formation for missionary discipleship and for responsible citizenship in a democratic dispensation.”
“Media literacy will definitely help in developing kind hearted and critical listening, a deepening of reasoning with the heart, as well as empowering the faithful in giving a more profound participation in the ongoing Synodality process taking place in the Church, while responding to the call to be missionary disciples,” Dr. Ruffini was quoted as saying in the January 28 report.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.
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