I have a sense that if GMD were being written today, a whole raft of new media possibilities would be included under goal number three. As it is, the bishops urge Catholic involvement “on every level.” Let’s reflect on that a bit.
The bishops first want “media plans for evangelization” in parishes, dioceses, and across the country. My sense of the dioceses is that they’ve rated fair to very poor on this front. Parishes have had little direction in the past two decades. Word of mouth when a good situation pops up in a parish.
Regarding the “use of audio, video, and videotapes to communicate the Catholic faith to others,” I’d say that except for Robert Barron and EWTN there’s been very little. And those outlets, I’d say it’s more about preaching to the choir, so to speak.
Two strategies of note:
- involvement of bishops and other religious leaders as public spokespersons of the Church through local print and broadcast media; and
- cultivation of cable television, optical storage, computer, and other technology for communicating the Gospel and Christian values.
Bishops of the past two decades, by and large, have not been good communicators. “other technology” has included the internet, mostly. Individual lay people have jumped all over this, of course. But here too, preaching to the choir and evangelization, not so much.