Contrary beliefs have severely saturated mass media and the Internet that this fact already calls on religious communities to confront this serious challenge, a visiting Dominican official stressed during the Second Dominican Media Summit held last Jan. 19–20 at the Auditorium of San Pio V Building, Quezon City. The event was organized by the Institute of Preaching Office for Social Communication.
Br. Eric Salobir, OP, the General Promoter for Social Communication, reminded the delegates that the Order of Preachers has the charism to proclaim the Gospel and that this can be done in what is now called “new media.” Among the participants were Dominican friars and sisters, and the lay who are affiliated to the Dominican Province of the Philippines.
“Preaching, with the use of new media, enables us to gather those who have faith and to dialogue with non-believers,” Br. Salobir said in his keynote speech.
The General Promoter also explained how truth has been devaluated in the age of information technology, saying that there is “no authority above the Web.” “A new effort of enculturation is needed,” said Br. Salobir.
The enculturation includes adapting to the language of the youth; refraining from having purely intellectual and didactic teachings and considering as well the affectivity, reason, emotions, and even the body of a person; and to listen even to non-believers. “We have to be geek with the geeks,” Br. Salobir said.
There is indeed a difficulty of language when the traditional religious enter the new media. In this aspect, Br. Salobir said that our Church leaders should be sensitive about their multimedia proposals and the mainstream language that they will use. “The argument from authority has no more authority,” the keynote speaker said. “The Internet is now a tool for dialogue.” In the Internet, Church people can meet people, announce the Word of God but in a new and apt way, and “place interiority in the heart of interactivity.”