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COMMUNICATIONS-THEME Sep-29-2009 (280 words) xxxi

Theme for 2010 communications day invites priests to use digital media

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For World Communications Day 2010, Pope Benedict XVI has chosen the theme "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: New media at the service of the Word."

As the church celebrates the Year for Priests, the pope also wanted to invite the world's priests to consider ways they could use digital media in their ministry, said a statement from the Pontifical Council for Social Communications. The Vatican announced the theme Sept. 29.

If understood and used wisely, new media technology "can offer priests and all pastoral workers a wealth of information and content that was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and greater communion in ways that were unthinkable in the past," the statement said.

While the church also must be aware of and address problems the new digital culture causes, it said, the church should recognize the enormous potential new instruments of communication have in ministry and evangelization.

Thanks to the new media, those involved in preaching and catechizing can now reach individuals and entire communities on every continent using words, sounds and images, it said.

"If used wisely, and with the help of experts in technology and communications, the new media can become a valid and effective tool for priests and all pastoral workers for evangelization and communion that are true and full of meaning," it said.

In most countries, the Catholic Church celebrates World Communications Day on the Sunday before Pentecost; in 2010 the communications day will be celebrated May 16. A papal message for the occasion usually is released Jan. 24, the feast of St. Francis de Sales, the patron of journalists.

END


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