2009-10-10 13:22:46

Media Have "Real Power," Say African Bishops

(October 10, 2009) An intervention on the evangelization of the media during the special synod on Africa set off a discussion among the participants on the "real power" of the media. Bishop Fulgence Muteba Mugalu of Kilwa-Kasenga, Democratic Republic of Congo, spoke Wednesday afternoon during the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on the "need to make the evangelization of the media a pastoral priority." However, the bishop noted, the media are "polluted by manipulation, political propaganda, non-edifying entertainment and activism by sects, but also marked by the imperialism of foreign media who propose themselves by imposing themselves." "Ecclesial communication must become a pastoral priority," he said, but noted that "the means of social communications must be truly placed at the service of evangelization and the evangelized themselves." Of the 18 interventions that took place at the end of that session, "a good number" made reference to the role of the media in Africa. Several bishops commented that the media constitute "the real power, more than the political power, as it transmits models of behaviour," which can have a "destructive impact on African culture." The discussion also touched on the need to educate Christian journalists who can give "positive news."

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