Friday, December 22, 2006

New Methods of Spreading the Good News ?

Four blogs have posts which touch on this theme.

Curt Jester ( has a piece on Cardinal O`Malley, the Archbishop of Boston. Besides podcasts, it would appear that other means are being used and the "new technology" is to be firmly embraced in the Archdiocese.

"December 21, 2006
Cardinal O'Malley to podcastBOSTON:
Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley is going high-tech. He already has his own blog, now he plans to start podcasting to the masses, beginning with downloadable Christmas messages.

The video messages — in English, Spanish and Portuguese — are part of a broader effort by the Boston Archdiocese to embrace new technology as a way to spread the church's message.

The archdiocese is overhauling its newspaper and television Web sites, including offering the downloadable podcasts. It has assigned e-mail addresses to all priests, a handful of whom have resisted using computers. It also has an intranet site that officials expect will replace the monthly mailings to clergy.

O'Malley, a Capuchin Franciscan friar who has taken a vow of poverty and is a frequent critic of consumer culture, is emerging as an unlikely technology pioneer

Whispers in the Loggia ( has a piece on the Archdiocese of Toronto and its new Archbishop. Toronto is the de facto capital of Canada. All the major newspapers and TV stations are based there. How does one communicate amongst such strong competing messages ?

"Writing in yesterday's National Post, the columnist Fr Raymond De Souza -- a priest of Kingston and onetime student in Rome -- offers his take on the appointment:

While Toronto's archbishop has no formal authority outside his diocese's boundaries, the sheer size of Toronto and its status as the nation's media capital make the archbishop the sine qua non of the Church's presence in Canadian public life. While it might pain those of us outside the metropolis to admit it, it is often the case that if doesn't happen in Toronto, it doesn't happen at all. Cardinal Ambrozic recently reorganized his communications office for this reason, appointing a new communications director who understands that in order to communicate the Gospel, you first have to communicate. In so doing, he prepared the ground for his successor, a formidable intellect with a winsome way of preaching the Gospel

Sandro Magister ( has an interesting report on a recent lecture by Cardinal Ruini in Rome.Again, one of the major themes of the talk is how to teach the Gospel in the present time. Not a new theme. Remember Marshall McLuhan was appointed an adviser to Pope Paul VI. But there seems to be an urgency in the discussions in view of the "new technology".

"ROMA, December 20, 2006 – Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the pope’s vicar for the diocese of Rome, periodically meets with his priests to present and discuss pastoral projects, liturgical questions, catechesis, etc.

But on Thursday, December 14, he made a spectacular break from the program.

He convened the priests behind closed doors in the main hall of the Pontifical Lateran University, to give them a lecture on nothing less than the “heart” of the teaching of Benedict XVI.
In Ruini’s view, the heart of Benedict XVI’s teaching is “the question of the truth of the Christian faith.”

Or, in other words, “how to propose the salvific truth of Jesus Christ to the mindset of our times.”

The point of departure is the radical crisis in which Christianity finds itself today, especially in Europe: a Christianity that has lost its certainty of being the “true religion.”

What has separated the faith from the truth has been both the changes that have taken place in thinking and in science, and those who have weakened Christianity itself.

But Benedict XVI, on the other hand, wants to reunite reason and freedom with Christianity – and with this, to illuminate the “strange shadow” in which modern man lives, who in addition to losing God has also lost the awareness of good and evil.

But Ruini emphasizes that the pope does this “in a way that is not at all rationalistic.”

The heart of Benedict XVI’s preaching is, in fact, Jesus.

On a very much lighter note (to be welcolmed) comes from Fullness of Faith( in a post entitled Urban Catholic Warriors.

"Well its time we took to the streets, and subverted the secular hegemony. The first step is to be constantly equipped with radical catholic stickers! Wherever you are you can slap a picture of Our Blessed Mother on the wall. Before long every telephone box, and every street corner will be graced by Our Lady, the subliminal effect could be profound on our nation. For those who are more radical still there are always the Padre Pio stickers."

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