SACBC/IMBISA call on Catholic communicators to promote ongoing Synod on Synodality

The communication office of the Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC) in collaboration with the Inter-Regional Meeting of the Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA) held a virtual meeting for Diocesan communicators and Catholic media practitioners in preparation for the second session of the Synod of bishops scheduled to take place in Rome from October 2 to 27.

The June 7 webinar titled ‘Communication and the Synod” towards October 2024 second session of the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, saw the participation of bishops from two of the Episcopal conferences in the IMBISA region as well as the Secretary General of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) and the Director of the Theological-Pastoral Department of the Dicastery for Communication.

In his opening remarks, SECAM Secretary General Fr Rafael Simbine called on Catholic communicators and media practitioners to “walk with the Church.”

 “Synodality is an invitation to you too in communication to be an integral part of this walking together that the Church is experiencing since 2021. Please don’t limit yourself to speaking about what is happening in the Church but allow yourself to be part of this synodal experience,” said Fr Simbine.

Meanwhile, in his keynote address, the SACBC First Vice President and Synod delegate reflected on the Synod journey from October 2021 and gave insights from the SACBC Synod report sent to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.

Archbishop Dabula Anthony Mpako described Synod on Synodality as a clarion call by the Holy Father to “a new model of Church.”

“In reflecting on this clarion call by the Holy Father, I have come to the realization that what is being called for is a radical shift that fundamentally involves moving from one model of church to another,” he said, adding that “Pope Francis has set the entire Catholic Church on the path of rediscovering the nature of the Church that God expects in the third millennium.”

As per recommendations from the first session of the Synod on Synodality to make use of digital platforms to promote the Gospel, the Auxiliary Bishop of Berira Archdiocese in Mozambique gave a presentation on the ‘Mission of Digital Media in the African Catholic Church and Synodality’.

“As the Church navigates technological and social challenges, the integration of digital media continues to be a vital force for the renewal and growth of the Catholic faith on the African continent,” said Bishop António Constantino MCCJ.

Bishop Constantino explained that “the mission of digital media in the African Catholic Church, in harmony with synodality, is a rich opportunity to strengthen communion, broaden participation, and fulfill the mission of evangelization.”

“By using these tools prudently and strategically, the Church can walk together with all its members, responding to the challenges and opportunities of the contemporary world,” he added.

On her part, the Director of the Theological-Pastoral Department of the Dicastery for Communication Nataša Govekar encouraged Catholic communicators to be part of the Synodal journey and to continue promoting the Synod on Synodality in their respective dioceses.

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