By: Joy Odor/Abuja
The Vicar General Administration Archdioceses of Jos, Reverend Professor Cletus Tanimu Gotan has enjoined Catholic Media Practitioners of Nigeria (CAMPAN) to effectively use the new media to offer spiritual food and drink to a world hungry and thirsty for good news.
The Vicar General who is also the AG Provost College of Education, Gindiri disclosed this in a paper presentation titled The New Media and Evangelization in Nigeria: “Challenges and Opportunities” at the 3rd Catholic Media Practitioners of Nigeria (CAMPAN) National Convention at Sacred Heart Pastoral Centre, Jos, on Wednesday, 25th of September, 2019.
Reverend Gotan maintained that the media of social communication can and should be instruments in the church program of evangelization and new evangelization in the contemporary world.
He observed that the none presence of Christian voices and ideas in the media that shape the culture leads to many distortions and errors about the Christian vision of the world and society in matters such as faith, church history and science.
According to him, Christian beliefs are badly defended and oftentimes not heard while major public debates are blocked in a biased way of thinking, void contradiction as they are distorted or closed to alternative viewpoints.
The Vicar General was of the opinion that the Christians are the bearers of the most beautiful message in the world, unfortunately its treasures remain unknown to the general public and the dominating mass media, saying if Christians can bring a spirit of love and joy rooted in Christ to everything on social media, they can provide an incredible compelling example to a searching world.
Reverend Gotan lamented that there is need to sufficiently saturate the internet with evangelistic website and information that can win over unbelievers from the Kingdom of darkness into light, saying Catholics cannot resign themselves to indifference or cynicism simply because social media sites can often be desolate places.
He lamented that the challenges that faced the church call for deeper assessment and appreciation of new approach to evangelization, noting that the challenge is the need to do it and now to do it to win souls of the modern age.
“As Christians, we are not called to just invite people into the church; but also to bring the church to the people. The Catholic Church has always advocates the use of whatever media are available to it in bringing the gospel to the ends of the earth.
“I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.
“Therefore, social media has become the new nervous system of our new culture, in which more and more people are expressing and exploring their identity, picking up and discarding their values and attitude, expressing their feelings and prejudices, befriending and unfriending each other, measuring each other’s status and importance, relevance and appearance.
“If the young and older people are living in this gigantic network, then we, as people of faith need to be in there, interacting with the inhabitants of this world, with the men and women who dwell in the social media” He stressed.
The Vicar General called on all catholic media practitioners to boldly become citizens of the digital world to dialogue with people and to help them encounter Christ.