ROME – Five Asian Salesians are participating at the World Congress of the Catholic Press (WCCP) organized by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (PCCS) in Rome, 4-7 October. Three are from India and one each from Thailand and the Philippines.
While three Salesians are country delegates, two are doctoral students from the Salesian University Rome’s Social Communications faculty.
Among the delegates Fr Plathottam is Media Commission Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India New Delhi, while Fr Fidel and Fr Paradon are from the Philippines and Thailand respectively.
The doctoral students at the WCCP are Frs. Anthony Lobo from Mumbai and C.M. Paul from Kolkata.
Some six Bishops and 220 media professionals (some of them priests) from 89 countries are participating.
They will explore issues around how to be effectively present in this digital era, how to report on controversy, whether to give voice to dissent and above all how to rediscover the essential mission of the press to be of service to the Church and to the wider community.
This is the fourth congress that PCCS president Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli has called together in four years of taking office.
“While the first international study was on identity and mission of the social communications faculties of higher learning, the second was on the identity and mission of Catholic radio, and the third congress was a Communications Seminar for worldwide Bishops,” archbishop Celli recalls.
The current congress topics include “Future of the Press: Challenges and Opportunities” and “The Catholic Press: Global Challenges, Expectations and Hopes.”
Taking head on the hot potato issue of controversies and giving voice for dissent in Church media, some participants ask: How is Catholic Press contributing to the Public Forum in what he calls to the “diaconate of culture”?
What are the new opportunities offered to Catholic Press in the internet based new media age? asks the archbishop who has widely travelled discussing and promoting new communications strategies for Catholic Press and the Internet.