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Rome Reports

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Internet used as a tool to bring religion closer

Visitors can also find all the latest news on the preparations leading up to World Youth Day in August of 2011 as well as links to its presence elsewhere on the internet like on youtube and facebook. Though at the moment the page is only available in Spanish, soon it will be featured in eight other languages including Arabic, Chinese and Russian.More and more, Catholic institutions are using the internet to talk about God. To study the challenges and perspectives that come with the internet, the European Bishops Media Commission has organized a symposium on the presence of the Church on the world wide web.Mons. Jean-Michel di Falco LeandriPresident, CEEM“The relationship between the Church and the internet is very important. Instead of ignoring or criticizing negatively, this meeting enriches the dialogue.”The organization considers the internet an essential tool because it’s difficult to get to certain audiences, like young people, without the internet. That’s why the group highlights that there is still much work to be done in order to consolidate the voice of the Church on the web.Mons. Jean-Michel di Falco LeandriPresident, CEEM“I think the internet is shaping our culture and it’s creating a new language, a particular language that’s used by young people. This means that if we want to be present and be heard, we have to dominate it.”Many experts have applauded the move by the European bishops. However, they say that for religious websites to be credible they have to have the same level of quality as sites of larger important organizations.Rev. John WauckProfessor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)“He has to know the doctrine of the Church, the reality of the Church, the life of the Church, the stories that make the Church come a crash to ; the media but also he has to know how speak to the media”.Paul TigheSecretary, Pontifical Council for Social Communications“Priest is a good communicator when he speaks but also he knows to listen and he knows how to encourage other people to speak”.Daniel ArasaProfessor, Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (Rome)“I think it’s important, as it’s been suggested before, for Episcopal conferences, dioceses and the Church’s institutions and organizations in general to form their own people from within the organization. This means sending them to formation centers.”To help priests, the Vatican has supported the “Picture Project,” a study that will help better understand how priests use the web to put forth ways to improve the Church’s presence online. PVB/RS-WP-