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Bishop urges Church media workers to go beyond likes and views

By CBCP News

Feeling frustrated and discouraged by low likes, shares or views? A Catholic bishop has warned the church’s media ministry workers against being “obsessed” with what he called as the “followers” system on social media.

Speaking at the 12th Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) on Saturday, Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones of Cebu said that number doesn’t matter “as long as you encourage them to find strength in their faith”.

“In the Catholic online community, this does not matter as long as you encourage them to find strength in their faith. You have served your purpose,” Billones said in his keynote address. “Even if far less but your followers are led to Christ, this is better than a million followers led away from the Lord,” he said.

Nearly 400 participants are attending the two-day summit, which started today at the Sacred Heart School – Ateneo de Cebu in Mandaue City, with a quarter of them joined virtually. The event brought together social communication ministry workers and Catholic media practitioners from different dioceses, congregations, and church organizations.

While the digital media platform can be “bastardized or weaponized”, the bishop said that it also offers a good opportunity for evangelization and transformation. “We admit its limitations and vulnerabilities, but we cannot deny its potentials and its possibilities,” according to him. A Catholic media evangelizer, he added, must also learn “the art of bridge-building”.

“There are souls longing to be reached out, too. There are thirsty minds needing enlightenment and there are hearts yearning for meaningful connections not cat fishing or relating to an avatar. We can make a difference,” he said. CSMS is an initiative of YouthPinoy, a group of young “online missionaries, in collaboration with the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Areopagus Communications, and the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Social Communications (ECSC). This year’s Catholic Social Media Summit is hosted by the Archdiocese of Cebu through its Cebu Archdiocesan Digital Communications Ministry.

Association of Communities of Consecrated Life in Caceres gathered for their annual Advent Recollection and Christmas party at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Parish, Carolina, Naga City. Caceres Archbishop Rolando Tirona presided the eucharistic celebration.


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