Addressing participants at the end of a communications seminar held at Lumko retreat and conference centre in Benoni, South Africa, Bishop José Luis Gerardo Ponce de León said “Communications is at the heart” of the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA).
Catholic communicators from IMBISA’s nine-member countries – Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Africa, and Zimbabwe attended the IMBISA seminar on social communications under the theme “Communicating the Faith with Joy”
In a conversation with the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) Communications officer the IMBISA Liaison Bishop for Communications said he was happy with the meeting as it saw the participation of “experienced” people in the field of Catholic communications.
Bishop ponce de León went on to say that he was happy with the outcomes of the seminar as it helped draft a way “forward” for the IMBISA communications office with the planned establishment of a committee made up of communications officers/directors of the episcopal conferences under IMBISA.
Reach out to those in the peripheries
Catholic communicators in Southern Africa must also reach out to the people of God in the peripheries, said the Auxiliary Bishop of Beira, Mozambique during his presentation at the recently concluded communications seminar held in Benoni, South Africa.
“Amid attacks on the Catholic church, the church remains firm, the church continues to be a critical voice. The church continues to be credible, especially the African Catholic church, which is the hope for the church, continues to be credible,” said Bishop António Manuel Bogaio Constantino during the IMBISA seminar on social communications.
In sharing stories about the works of the Catholic church, Bishop Constantino urged Catholic communicators to reach out in a special way to those “in areas where people don’t have access to social media means, nor to radio and TV, and rely on the Church for credible” sources.
Speaking to the SACBC communications officer, delegates from the SACBC dioceses of Manzini, Kimberly, and Kokstad said the IMBISA seminar on social communications was an opportunity to share experiences, and to strengthen relations in spreading the Gospel through Catholic media.