May 10 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Catholic media is working to help Church communication

This week’s editorial

“Recent months have seen the media carrying the best and the worst of news for us as Catholics in Scotland.”

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, president of the Communications Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland


An intelligent, involved and caring parish priest once recently asked the SCO about the future of the Catholic press. “I can get everything I need online,” he said genuinely and innocently, not realising that many of the same journalists who labour on Catholic newspapers are also now juggling that workload along with online reporting. One supports the other and, it can be argued, one would not exist credibly without the other.

To get a Catholic story to you, or the Church’s perspective on a wider issue, an independent Catholic newspaper journalist is working very hard to be heard above the constant hubbub of agenda-driven mainstream media.

In addition, while the immediacy of the news, Catholic or otherwise, lends itself well to 24/7 digital media, analysis and comment work better as well-researched articles in print as opposed to the more spontaneous, immediate and, all-too-often, unverifiable online blog.  As the Vatican says in the 2013 Communication Message (page 13): “Where sensationalism can at times prevail, we are called to attentive discernment.”

Over the years, as local newspapers have fallen away or lost interest, community and local Church news often finds a supportive home only in the Catholic press.

Pope Francis has embraced Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s Communication Message, released prior to his retirement, this weekend to highlight that social networks: are portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelisation. While the Pope and Pope Emeritus are referring specifically to a world of online networking, we must not forget that any communication that builds and supports a community—from parish bulletins to school newsletters, from diocesan publications and digital media to your independent national Scottish Catholic Observer on all platforms—has a role to play.

Dedicated Catholic media, be it online or in print, is one place where discernment can begin in a supportive and non-judgemental way. Your SCO newspaper has been serving the Catholic community in Scotland for more than 127 years. You can find it in print in parishes, updated online at , on Facebook at http:// and on twitter at Stay connected to your Faith, and community, in the communication age.


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