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The New Evangelization and Social Media

May 28, 2013

I recently led a discussion at my parish on what we can do (young Catholic adults) to help the cause of the new evangelization.  I’d like to share some of the points that I made.

1) As catholic laity we are called to evangelize.  The documents of Vatican II mention evangelization over 150 times, the documents of Vatican I never mention eveangelization in term of the laity

2) We need to be where the people are and speak the language of the people.  This means social media.

I’ve been confronted when expressing the following two arguments.

– People (especially conservative friends) have often told me that if the Catholic Church is the source of Truth than we don’t need to present the message in new ways.

– A second argument that I have often been confronted with is that the internet is “evil” or “bad” in some way, therefor as good Catholics we should not use the internet.

I must argue against this attitude.  These arguments are neither historically or theologically accurate.  The second point is easier to combat than the first so I will tackle it to start.  This is an argument that I’ve heard stated by various self described “traditional Catholics”.  My answer is easy.  Yes, the internet does contain a lot of evil.  Yes people do a lot of immoral things while on the internet.

Until now Catholics have been quick to adopt new technologies for evangelization.   Here are a few examples:

– The first printed bible was a Catholic bible.  It was printed by the inventor of the printing press, a Catholic, Johannes Gutenberg

– The first licences radio station KDKA went on the air in 1920; by the end of the decade Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen was on the air with “The Catholic Hour”

– Television entered people’s homes for the first time shortly after the end of the Second World War.  In 1951 Bishop Fulton Sheen debuts “Life is Worth Living”.

– In the late 1950’s Sheen was again a pioneer with syndicated television shows and “The Fulton Sheen Program”.

– In the late 1960 cable TV debuted to bring television to communities outside broadcast station’s limits.  In the late 1970’s cable specific channels popped up.  In 1981 Mother Angelica started EWTN.  EWTN now has the ability to reach more homes than any other American station.

– The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed radio stations to syndicate entire radio networks.  The very next year EWTN radio debuted as one of the first 24 hour networks.

As you can see Catholic’s have been on the cutting edge of society for a while now, but why are we so slow to adopt the internet as the newest way to evangelize?  I honestly don’t have an answer.

As a group we really need to take a look at what we are doing wrong and work to fix this problem.  It isn’t like catholics don’t have an internet presence, but our presence, lets just say is less than impressive.  If you don’t believe me why don’t you visit the website of your local mega-church?  Visuals are the language of the internet, and protestants seem to be fluent in this language of the future.

What can we do to catch up?

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One Comment
  1. Welcome to the Catholic Blog Directory. I’d like to invite you to participate in Sunday Snippets–A Catholic Carnival. We are a group of Catholic bloggers who gather weekly to share our best posts with each other. This week’s host post is at http://rannthisthat.blogspot.com/2013/06/sunday-snippets-catholic-carnival_29.html

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