In response to the Holy Father’s call to reflect on the Internet, the human relationship between one another and the communion with God, the Commission maintains its strong belief in the exigency of taking the mission of the Good News to the people and “encountering” the people where they are now, which is in the Internet through various social media platforms.
Hence, it is important that social communications ministries in the Church play a role in assisting in the Church’s mission by opening doors for the people to go out beyond the Net and into a life of true community and abundance which Christ and His Church offer. This can be achieved by creating positive Catholic contents using new media that can attract people’s attention. As emphasised by the President of the Commission, Bishop Cornelius Sim, the Gospel message and the teachings of the Church remain the same but the evangelical mission needs to be rejuvenated in creative ways to appeal to the people of the present.
During the four-day meeting, members of the Commission exchange knowledge and experience in the use of social media and the Net, learning off each other the best ways to “better connect” with the Netizens, which are largely the Millennials and the Gen-Z. In better understanding the current trends and psychology of the Netizens, members of the Commission are more able to play to the strengths of technology and the Net to help people to discover or “rediscover” their faith relationship with God, who is Communion and Love, as a strong alternative to pop culture which dominates the contents on the Net.
The Commission also recognises the ceaseless development of technology and the inevitable immersion of technology and the Internet in a person’s life. As such, it is only beneficial for the members of the Commission to better coordinate in the collaborative efforts in order to, primarily, be more effective and efficient in bringing the same Good News to the people, especially to the young, and also to encourage more participation of the laity in the life of the Church.
Among the collaborative efforts, all members are committed to continue sharing resources on digital materials and publications. Notably, Diocese of Keningau will be sharing its daily reflection podcasts in the Malay Language with other Dioceses and collaborating with Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur to reach more listeners, especially in West Malaysia. Diocese of Malacca-Johore and the Archdiocese of Kuching will embark on introducing live-streaming and webinar in their respective dioceses in an effort for diocesan events to reach more audience.
Lastly, with the assent of the President of the Commission, the Most Reverend Cornelius Sim, it is pertinent that the Commission will be conducting a review of its Constitution, to ensure that the objectives, vision and mission of the Commission remain relevant and focused, and to guide the members of the Commission to a clearer vision of their roles as communicators. The review of the Constitution shall be tabled in the following year’s meeting.
The Commission will next meet in Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia, 15th June 2020 to 18th June 2020.
The Most Reverend Cornelius Sim
Regional Episcopal Commission for Social Communications
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei
22nd June 2018