Communication is a divine gift to humanity to facilitate the fostering of relationships and the realization of communion, the Prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication has said.
In his November 19 message on the Golden Jubilee celebrations of the Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS), an entity of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM), Dr. Paolo Ruffini underscored the need to understand communication as “much more” than the sharing of information.
Communication, Dr. Ruffini said, “is the gift that God gave us, human beings created in His image, to be in relationships with one another, to build a community, and to weave communion among us.”
Communication, he further said on the second day of the event taking place in Nigeria’s Archdiocese of Lagos, “is not just a matter of ‘media practitioners.’ Communication is not only information. It is much more.”
The Vatican official added that “communication is truly God’s gift that enables us to put in common what we bear in our hearts” and that it bears the emblem of the lifestyle of the followers of Christ.
He described the four-day CEPACS Golden Jubilee celebrations scheduled to conclude on Tuesday, November 21, as an opportunity to Catholic communicators in Africa to collectively explore “the optimal path” toward a more Christian approach to communication.
In celebrating the Holy Eucharist, the most profound value of communication is discovered, the head of the Dicastery for Communication further said.
He went on to emphasize the close connection between communication and communion, and that the two share “the same root”.
“Communication mirrors the Church’s communion and can contribute to it,” Dr. Ruffini said, adding that CEPACS Golden Jubilee celebrations is a reminder of “this profound commitment” to connect communication and communion.
He went to urge Catholic communicators in the eight regional conferences of SECAM involved in the celebrations organized under the theme, “CEPACS at 50: Towards promoting a Synodal Church in Africa through Social Communications”, to foster collaboration and networking.
“Our communications need to be cultivated in order to be really at the service of the Church, Family of God. I encourage you to support each other and expand awareness for the care of this gift that God gave to us to build relationships,” Dr. Ruffini emphasized during the November 19 session.
In seeking to collaborate through digital platforms, Dr. Ruffini continued, “we can build a system with the mission of feeding the word of truth, based on the experience of Pentecost interwoven with the spirit of sharing instead of the (tower) of Babel”
He advocated for the inclusion of the youth in the communication networks on the continent and added, “Let us invent new ways of peer-to-peer communication that are based on communion instead of division: communion among us, communion of the People of God, communion of the Family of God in Africa!”
In a statement released three days before the celebrations that started on November 18, the President of CEPACS, Bishop Emmanuel Badejo highlighted the mandate of the SECAM entity founded in 1973 to brings together Catholic Bishops at the helm of communications in the world’s second-largest and second most populous continent.
“CEPACS helps bring to the grassroots teachings of the Church on communications, the teachings of the Church on the modern media, the teachings of the Church on what the lives of the professionals of media ought to be, what their role, contribution ought to be,” the Local Ordinary of Nigeria’s Oyo Diocese said.
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