Luanda (Agenzia Fides) - "“The Church must absolutely be more present on the digital media in a deliberate and informed manner,” said the Nigerian Bishop Badejo, of Oyo, who was facilitating a workshop titled “The Influence of modern media and new ideologies on the family in Africa today”", as part of the 17th Plenary Assembly of SECAM/SCEAM, being held in Luanda (see Fides 20/7/2016).
The Bishop stressed the need to reflect on the fact that “billions of people today turn to the social media for their source of information yet there is too little investment in media programmes for evangelization in Africa.” According to information sent to Fides by the African News Service Canaa, the Bishop of Oyo went on to urge the Bishops of the Church in Africa to “create new apostles, make allies of young people themselves who are natives of the digital world and entrust them with the gospel values.”
Referring in particular to the theme of the Assembly, “The Family in Africa, yesterday, today and tomorrow: in the light of the Gospel”, the Bishop of Oyo highlighted the necessity to educate families to use the media, and especially to inform them of the “benefits and also the dangers of the new media", because “Parents who are not familiar with how the Internet works are more likely to ignore the dangers,” he noted and added, “This is truer in Africa.”
He encouraged the organization of diocesan and parish seminars that target parents and children, seminars which need to be facilitated by experts in the modern media field. He also challenged “Church leaders (bishops, clergy and religious)” to become familiar “with the knowledge of current social, moral and religious issues in order to provide informed answers to people's questions.”
Acknowledging the negative use of modern digital media in some situations, Bishop Badejo , chairman of the Pan African Committee of Bishops for Social Communications (CEPAS), emphasized that the Church must “keep believing that the benefits of the new media far outweigh their demerits even with respect to pastoral possibilities and spiritual engagement.” (SL) (Agenzia Fides 23/07/2016)