(Vatican Radio) Almost a month on from the election of the first Latin American pontiff,
the head of the Vatican’s Council for Social Communications says Pope Francis is pioneering
new ways of sharing the faith with people in and outside the Christian Church.
Archbishop Claudio Celli travelled to Santiago del Chile at the weekend for a conference on the challenges and opportunities facing the Church in Latin America in our era of rapidly developing digital technologies. The conference, which opens on Monday at the Catholic University of Chile, brings together some 400 communications specialists from across the continent.
At the heart of the discussion, Archbishop Celli says, lies not just the question of how to use the new technologies, but rather of how to bring the Word of Christ to men and women living in an increasingly digitalized world. The new Pope, he says, is already showing us an innovative approach to communicating that Gospel message…
Listen to Philippa Hitchen’s interview with Archbishop Claudio Celli:
“The Church in Latin America is facing new challenges created by the new technologies……the problem is not just to use, or not to use the technologies, but how to announce the Gospel to people living in the social networks….
Asked about how the new Latin American Pope can influence the way the Church responds to these challenges, Archbishop Celli says:
“I will give you an example: do you remember how the Pope was embracing a young handicapped boy, placing his cheek near to the cheek of the boy? No words, but that was the only way to communicate something to that boy…
I think this pope, Pope Francis, from Latin America, is helping us to rediscover that communication is not only an intellectual problem…..As you realize, he’s using images – last Holy Thursday he was addressing priests working here in Rome, telling them that a good priest must have the smell of the sheep to whom he is belonging – a quite clear image! With that image the Holy Father was communicating a lot of concepts that people can perceive immediately from that image..
It means that Pope Francis is not only touching the intellectual aspect, but is touching the heart and the imagination – that is why I’m talking about a new approach to communication…”