Catholic communicators need spiritual accompaniment: CEPACS President

Catholic communicators in Africa mandated to evangelize the Gospel message through the use of media tools to inform, inspire, and enlighten the society with truth, should be accompanied Spiritually to remain strong in their Catholic faith, the President of Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) has said.

“Catholic communicators need spiritual accompaniment and support in their work because the work is generally tough, hard, and also challenging in their faith,” Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo of Oyo Diocese, Nigeria shared with AMECEA Online ahead of CEPACS celebration of Golden Jubilee, emphasizing that, “This accompaniment should be through the provision of chaplaincies, having retreats and workshops to enhance the capacity of communicators.

Cognizant of the Church’s teachings on the significance of spiritual accompaniment of Catholic communicators (Communio et Progressio), the Nigerian Prelate explained the necessity of communicating to the bishops the spiritual need for communicators so the entire continent can be involved through the level of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), the regional level which then trickles down to conferences and dioceses.

According to the Prelate who has been a member of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication since December 2021, the role of chaplains in the spiritual accompaniment of communicators is “to organize retreats, prayer sessions, offer counseling services on family and personal issues and also organize Bible study in reference to the kind of work done by Catholic Communicators.”

Besides spiritual accompaniment, Catholic communicators should be offered “opportunities for training to enhance productivity as well as opportunities to access information that concerns the Church to inform the people with the right information.

The Prelate emphasized that for effective communication, the Church has the right to use any kind of media. He echoed the message from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications on the Church and Internet saying, “If the Church does not engage a certain kind of media, others will, and when they do, they will not be projecting the ideas and teachings of the church. It is therefore critical that the Church does everything possible to promote and engage all kinds of available media.”

During the interview on Thursday, October 12, Bishop Badejo underscored that for Catholic communicators to journey together and foster effective communication in the African continent, “there is a need for them to understand the teachings of the Church, the programs and initiatives of the Church in Africa since it is not appropriate for the communicators to work in parallel lines with the Church hierarchy or the Church programs in Africa.”

CEPACS golden jubilee slated for November 18-21, in Lagos, Nigeria will be held under the theme, CEPACS at 50: Towards promoting a synodal Church in Africa through social communications with the key speaker being the Vatican’s prefect of the Dicastery for Communications Dr. Paolo Ruffini.



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