Friday, 24 September 2010

Valero on Catholic Voices

CV coordinator Jack Valero has been interviewed by the Rome-based Catholic news service ZENIT.

I don't believe in [the] "anti-Catholicism" of the media. As I said, there is much religious ignorance and much indifference.

On the other hand, the media is interested in dramas and controversies, and not in happy stories: this is how they function. That is why the majority of religious news that appears has a negative context -- sexual or financial scandals, hypocrisy, etc.

In Catholic Voices, we have studied how to do a "re-framing" of news to speak of the subject in positive terms and hence communicate better the message of the Catholic Church, but without evading the question.

Thus, for example, with news about the abuse of minors, one must accept -- as the Pope does -- the culpability of not having dealt with the issue well in the past, but to speak also of the norms that the Church has here for the protection of minors, which are the best of any institution in Great Britain -- something that is recognized also by the government.

[W]hat we have learned in Catholic Voices is that it is the laity that can communicate the Catholic message better in the media. The laity are the ones who live and work together with all the rest, the ones who must pay the mortgage and take care of the sick baby at night. When they say things on television or radio, they connect easily with the public, and have the proper vocabulary to explain things well.

I think that in the future, the Church can make its message reach farther if training courses are established for the laity who have that facility to communicate. It could be said that we must discover in the Church the vocation of communicator.