I welcome the opening by the diocese of accounts and pages on Facebook and Twitter. Together with the forthcoming renewal of our diocesan website this represents another step by our diocese in reaching out through means of modern communications. I invite people from all walks of life to follow us and learn about the life and work of the Church in this diocese through these forms of social media. I hope that you will find not just useful information, but inspiration for prayer and peaceful reflection too.
I am conscious that we launch our new accounts during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. It is appropriate that we do so in order to reach out to all – not only those who are involved actively in the daily and weekly life of the Church, but also those who may feel themselves to be somewhat on the periphery, for whatever reason.
Communication is part of our very nature. The Church is particularly called to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and action; to convey God’s love and mercy.
In his message for World Communications Day this year, Pope Francis reminded us that:
“Communication has the power to build bridges, to enable encounter and inclusion, and thus to enrich society. How beautiful it is when people select their words and actions with care, in the effort to avoid misunderstandings, to heal wounded memories and to build peace and harmony. Words can build bridges between individuals and within families, social groups and peoples. This is possible both in the material world and the digital world.”
Communication uses both words and images, listening and seeing. It enables us to receive information and to share it. The digital environment in which we now live challenges us to journey together with each other in new ways. It is a grace and a gift that we should use respectfully. Again, Pope Francis tells us that:
“Access to digital networks entails a responsibility for our neighbour whom we do not see but who is nonetheless real and has a dignity which must be respected. The internet can be used wisely to build a society which is healthy and open to sharing.”
As well as being of practical use, may these new modes of communication help us to grow in the love of God and each other and to celebrate that love in Jesus Christ our Saviour; may they enable us to encounter mercy and to build and to strengthen communities of fraternity as well as bonds of friendship and respect between all.
+LIAM S. MacDAID,
Bishop of Clogher
7 Sept 2016