When Vatican communication leaders met virtually with US and Canadian Catholic journalists and communication leaders, they urged the group to keep up their work, think of new ways to have a broader reach and not get weighed down by society’s current polarisation.
“We have something to bring” to the modern world “and a huge amount to learn” from it, said Bishop Paul Tighe, secretary general of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The bishop, who has addressed this group in person at previous events, is a past secretary of the former Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
He was joined in the virtual panel by Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication, and Natasa Govekar, director of the dicastery’s theological-pastoral section, which co-ordinates Pope Francis’ Instagram page.
The Vatican officials had a simple message, urging the group above all to really engage with readers, viewers and social media followers.
Ruffini stressed that communication is about relationships, which the other panelists also echoed. Govekar emphasised that a key part of communication is not just getting the word out but listening.
The panel addressed the opening session of the Catholic Media Conference via a Zoom call, replacing the session that would have kicked off the gathering this year in Portland, Oregon, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Some workshops and other parts of the annual conference were available to participants in an online format.
Picture: Pictured in this composite photo are Bishop Paul Tighe, adjunct secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Paolo Ruffini, head of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication; and Natasa Govekar, director of the theological-pastoral department of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communication. The three were speakers for the opening panel of the Catholic Media Virtual Conference on 30th June 2020. (CNS photo/images by Robert Duncan, Paul Haring).