Asian Church leader, Cardinal Charles Bo, appealed to the Office of Social Communication of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences (FABC and the Offices of Social Communication (OSC) of member conferences to help each other and help the whole church in Asia.
“It is my earnest appeal to the FABC-OSC and all the OSCs of the member conferences to help each other and help the whole church in Asia, the FABC to evolve strategies to support them," he said.
The cardinal was giving the inaugural message on the occasion of the 27th annual Bishops’ Meet on social communication which was held under the theme of “Communication and the Synodal Church” from November 7-9. It was held in the hybrid mode of online and in-person in the compound of Radio Veritas Asia, Manila, Philippines.
“In the true spirit of synodality, of people of God journeying together, to extend a helping hand to those who lag behind in harnessing the potential of communication,” the cardinal said.
The cardinal reminded the importance of teamwork in communication as the heart of walking together on the journey or pilgrimage.
“We know that effective communication, even in the secular sphere, involves teamwork,” he said.
The FABC President said, “If our communication is to lead us ultimately to communion, we have to learn the difficult lessons of togetherness, collaboration, and teamwork.”
The cardinal invited all “to reflect on the fact that failing to communicate with each other in the spirit of Christ and help each other in true Christian charity are counter to the spirit of the synod.”
“Let us make every effort to improve our communication, the quality of content, and the manner of our communication. Let us join hands, sit down together, plan, evaluate and examine the fruitfulness of what we do,” said the cardinal.
Cardinal Bo reminded the pastoral leaders of the Church to be aware of the central role of social communication in the church’s ministry and to bring it into the life and mission of the Church.
He requested, “We look up to the Office of Social Communication to make your distinct contribution to the synodal process underway.”
FABC General Assembly had many important ideas to implement for the churches in Asia.
“We cannot put into practice these good decisions and plans unless we take social communication seriously,” the cardinal continued, “I request you to study the document of our Assembly so that together we can strengthen the mission of the Church in Asia.”
He acknowledged evangelization as the one and most important mission of the church and said, “All other things we do are, in one way or the other, related to communicating Christ and his Good News.”
Many church leaders became more keenly aware of the potential of media during the Global pandemic.
The cardinal lauded, “In the church in Asia, we have many good and praiseworthy communication ministries such as Radio Veritas Asia. We have many examples of episcopal conferences and dioceses, religious congregations and laity showing how to use communication media effectively.”
He encouraged all to share these good examples and at the same time, he admitted that some local and particular bishops’ conferences are way behind.
The 27th Bishops’ Meet of OSC started with the Welcome Address by Bishop Roberto C. Mallari, Chairman of FABC OSC at 10 am on November 7.
The speakers of the Bishops’ Meet 2022 included Dr. Nataša Govekar and Dr. Thierry Bonaventura from the Vatican Offices, Cardinal William Goh of Singapore, Dr. Jessica Joy Candelario of the Philippines, Asian Theologian Dr. Vimal Tirimanna, CSsR, and Executive Secretary of FABC OSC, Dr. George Plathottam, SDB.
The Bishops Meet is an opportunity for all the Chairman Bishops and Secretaries of the Office of Social Communication in the FABC member countries to come together to be animated, to discuss and share about the work of communication ministry at the service of the countries in Asia.
Besides the input sessions, there are reports from various Asian countries.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.