Cardinal Pushes Formation of Social Communications Amidst Challenging Times

The Catholic Media In Challenging Times Forum held in San Carlos Seminary last January 1, 2018. (Photo credit: Dianne Tam)

Training and implementation of Church Teachings are the two main points pushed by His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle for Catholics Communicators to address the challenges faced by the Media under the Duterte Administration during the “Catholic Media in Challenging Times” forum held in San Carlos Seminary, Makati City last January 19, 2018.

“Be formed in the use of social communications,” Cardinal Tagle asserted before a gathering of both Catholic and Secular Media gathered in the Seminary’s Lay Force Auditorium.

In his talk, he cited Vatican II teachings to point out to listeners the need to discern what is true, what is good, and to reject what is false and harmful especially in Social Media during this challenging times. He stressed that although there have been harsh responses to Vatican II, the principles are nonetheless valid and needs to be practiced given the new challenges and the new technologies.

“The concern is that everyone must be given training and information and for everyone to realize one’s responsibility in Social Communications,” he said as one of the members of the Forum’s Panel.

According to the Cardinal, many groups of people were called by Vatican II to help out in learning moderation and self-control in the use of Social Communications especially to the Youth. Parents were asked to guard their children with the shows they watch and the publications they read so that these might not jeopardize the morality of young people.

He detailed that the news men, the news persons, the writers, the producers, the designers, the exhibitors, the actors, the critics and opinion writers should help out to regulate commercials so that these do not compromise the common good. Civil authorities are called upon to defend the truth and the just availability of information.
Moreover, he stressed the call on Public authorities to make sure that morals–and not perversion of values and morality–are promoted by the Media. They were called upon to legislate the proper and moral use of the Media. They were asked to respect and safeguard the freedom of Media and its sensible caution for the common good.

In this world of digital revolution, the Cardinal also identified opportunities to be sensible for the common good like evangelization through Twitter and Facebook; solidarity or growing in unity through the use of a Social Media; advancing the mission of the Church; deepening of the Faith through prayer and through the cultivation of knowledge, and providing help in addressing existential needs by means of communication.

He also stressed out the threats of being hooked by Social Media, the lack of time to reflect, the manipulation of the mind, evasiveness, Narcissism, isolation, emptiness, quest for external stimulation, and virtual exploitation–all of which point out to Digital Detoxification.

Besides the Cardinal, other members of the Panel were Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (CBCP-ECSC) Head Most Rev. Mylo Hubert Vergara, Inquirer Columnist John Nery, and GMA Network News Anchor Howie Severino.

The Catholic Media in Challenging Times is a forum spearhead by SIGNIS, a conglomerate of Roman Catholic professionals engaged in Communication and Media, whose members include the Archdiocese of Manila’s TVMaria and the Jesuit Communications (JesCom). It was attended by the Social Communications and Media Ministry members of various dioceses aside from members of the Press.  (~Dianne Tam)