return to religion-onlineCommunication in the Local Church
A communication era ended in the U.S. Catholic Church when American bishops voted to close down the church's satellite system and to begin a strategic planning effort to discern current telecommunications needs. How can the church utilize these dazzling new technologies to respond to human need? The author suggests guidelines.
as a Model for Communication in the Church, by Hermann J. Pottmeyer
The transition from a style of authority that was part patriarchal and part authoritarian to one that is exercised in the form of dialogue creates difficulties for the Church. The new awareness that 'we are all the Church' creates fear in some people. The author looks at the process of communication-reception-in the early Church, and concludes that the bishops must also be listeners and seek guidance in Holy Scripture and in the tradition of the faith of the People of God.
The author examines one specific kind of technological forum -- the teleconference -- reflecting on its history and its future potential as a mode of "assembly" within the Catholic Church. These concepts have new meaning as use of the Internet and the World Wide Web explodes.
The Second Vatican Council we are called to communion and community. The author proposes ideas which relate to aspects of communications and the theology of communio.
Television, not the church, now communicates what is going on outside the parish, telling us how to behave, what to wear, who has power and who is powerless, what to believe about the world and what is of ultimate value. In this sense, general television, far more than religious TV, is the church’s real competitor.
Churches must take care to avoid efforts to use TV, video recorders and cable TV in place of people-to-people relationships.
David L. Glusker outlines the major problem faced by mainline religious radio and television ministries - namely, how to raise enough money to stay on the air while avoiding offense by stressing fund-raising during broadcasts. That such programming uniquely reaches significant audiences - the homebound, the unchurched, as well as some regular churchgoers - seems valid reason to continue to search for solutions to the funding difficulties. Glusker suggests several options.