The 13th Professional Seminar on Church Communication Offices with the theme "Relevance and Listening: Communicating the Christian Message in the Plurality of Voices" will be held May 2-4 in Rome.
The varied debates that contribute to public opinion are generating a context of plural voices, which in part enrich the dialogue and in part produce confusion and tensions, because solutions are proposed that rarely leave room for those who think differently.
Adding to the informational confusion is a public agenda in which certain topics often dominate. These topics act like black holes, completely obscuring other issues that are equally fundamental to the person and society. These issues, despite being so often ignored, are areas in which the authoritative voice of the Church urgently needs to be heard, for the sake of the common good.
The Church's communications offices, in their commitment to conveying the beauty of the Christian proposal, have the challenge of broadening the debate.
In times of social change, one's identity is put to the test. In the midst of a crisis, one cannot clearly discern and identify the core values of the institution. Communicators can help those in charge of the institution to highlight the essentials of its doctrine with words that can be understood or, when necessary, stimulating the changes needed to be faithful to its mission (“ecclesia semper reformanda"). These are activities that often generate uncertainty and internal tensions but, as Pope Francis says, "being faithful involves the ability to change."
The role of the communicator is fundamental in listening to different opinions and introducing serenity in the debate. A good communicator will take great care in choosing the language to express the core identity of the institution and call it to mind its mission.
How can internal dialogue be stimulated to increase trust among people who share the same faith? How is it possible to combine unity and plurality in the internal debate of the Church? Is it necessary to listen to criticism from the world? Is it possible for the Church to become relevant in the public debate and take the initiative in proposing solutions?
We refer to the website of the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross for the full program and further information.