Catholic Bishops’ Communications Week in Nigeria to Foster “positive social friendship”

Members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). Credit: CBCN

The planned Communications Week (COMWEEK), an initiative of the Catholic Bishops in Nigeria, aims at facilitating the realization of the role of the media, which is to foster fraternity and “positive social friendship”, members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), have said.

CBCN members have established COMWEEK as a program that seeks to promote media literacy in Catholic Parishes all over the West African country. This year, the weeklong program has been scheduled to run from May 22. 

In a Thursday, March 10 statement, Catholic Bishops in Nigeria express their awareness of the “power of the media” as tools of fraternal relationships, which can be manipulated to foster conflicts and “destructive” relationships.

“We firmly acknowledge the role and power of the media for influencing and creating a fraternity of humanity and serving as tools of positive social friendship. The media in themselves are gifts from God for the good of society,” Catholic Bishops in Nigeria say.

They further express concerns about the media that “are sometimes manipulative and destructive” and challenge practitioners to focus on a “a new media approach” that fosters good interpersonal relationships.


“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. 

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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.