Church urges bishops to take to Facebook, Twitter
MANILA, Philippines—Will the Catholic bishops soon be tweeting and posting messages on Facebook?
Banking on the wider reach of the social media, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) will hold a seminar-workshop on media management and social media for its bishops before its annual plenary assembly this week.
Seàn-Patrick Lovett, vice president of Centre for Research and Education in Communication and Director of Vatican Radio’s English Programme, is in Manila to conduct the seminar-workshop from Jan. 21 to 23 upon the invitation of Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Lovett, who has traveled to different countries giving the same seminar to bishops, said “every bishops’ conference is different because every cultural context is different.”
“I would love for the bishops to have a positive experience of media, to be empowered, to understand, to see something that they can do, to see something they want to do, to see something they need to do,” Lovett was quoted as saying in an article on the CBCP website.
A multi-awarded communicator, Lovett has taught Communication courses at the Pontifical Gregorian University for 25 years.
Pope Benedict made him a Papal Knight in 2011 in recognition of his 35 years of service to four Popes, beginning with Pope Paul VI.
He was named Catholic Communicator of the Year by the University of Dayton in 2012 and awarded the St. Thomas More Medal for Defence of the Faith by the Christendom College.
Lovett admitted that it is sometimes difficult to convince bishops to engage in social media, judging from his experience and knowing how the new media can be intimidating to some people.
“One of the ways, perhaps they can be convinced, is to remind them that we do need to connect, and that the new media, social media allow us to connect to the people,” he said.
Lovett said he hopes the seminar-workshop will be an encouragement and inspiration to the bishops to use the new media.
Joining Lovett in the three-day seminar workshop is Fr. Jerry Martinson, SJ, an experienced trainer in the field of communications and media and former vice president of the International Catholic Association of Film and Audio Visuals.
Members of the Pauline Family—Society of St. Paul, Daughters of St. Paul and Pious Disciples of the Divine Master—will also participate as facilitators of the workshop.