Evangelii Nuntiandi 45: Social Communication

The meaning of “social communication” has totally changed in the last four decades. But adapting to new modes of communication is an issue even more critical today.

45. Our century is characterized by the mass media or means of social communication, and the first proclamation, catechesis or the further deepening of faith cannot do without these means, as we have already emphasized.

In 1975, it was television and radio. Today, it is the explosion of online formats.

When they are put at the service of the Gospel, they are capable of increasing almost indefinitely the area in which the Word of God is heard; they enable the Good News to reach millions of people. The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means that human skill is daily rendering more perfect. It is through them that she proclaims “from the housetops”[Cf. Mt 10:27; Lk 12:3] the message of which she is the depositary. In them she finds a modern and effective version of the pulpit. Thanks to them she succeeds in speaking to the multitudes.

Nevertheless the use of the means of social communication for evangelization presents a challenge: through them the evangelical message should reach vast numbers of people, but with the capacity of piercing the conscience of each individual, of implanting itself in his heart as though he were the only person being addressed, with all his most individual and personal qualities, and evoke an entirely personal adherence and commitment.

I think the personal adherence and commitment only comes with the personal relationship between the seeker and the believer. It is impossible to expect impersonal (though far-reaching) methods to pierce every heart. Modern social communication does not absolve every (!) individual believer of the responsibility to witness to the Gospel at least through the minimum of personal example.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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