The Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference will host a half-day seminar entitled: ‘Believers in the Digital World: Opportunities for Mission’ to mark World Communications Day 2019.
The seminar will take place in Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth on Wednesday 29 May, ahead of this year’s World Communications Day which will be celebrated on Sunday 2 June on the theme ‘We are members one of another (Eph 4,25). From network community to human communities’.
Senator Joan Freeman will chair the seminar. Senator Freeman has recently published the Children’s Digital Protection Bill 2018 to safeguard children from online exposure to harmful and age inappropriate content by placing responsibility for the distribution of such information on Internet service providers.
Archbishop Eamon Martin, Chair of the Bishops’ Council for Communications, will deliver its opening address. The seminar will also hear contributions by faith representatives and digital experts as well as video input from students of Saint Peter’s College, Dunboyne, on the influence of social media in their lives.
Brenda Drumm of the Catholic Communications Office will focus on faith and evangelisation in the digital space, while Emma Tobin and Oisín Walsh will reflect on the digital media experience of, and environment for, young people.
The seminar will then consider some of the more challenging aspects of the digital world with Detective Sergeant Mary McCormack speaking about the extent of the challenge to society of online abuse and how to respond and Darren Butler of the Bishops’ Pastoral Response to Subsistence Misuse on the role of parishes in addressing internet addiction.
This round table interactive seminar has been informed by Pope Francis’ 2019 message for World Communications Day; by the Holy Father’s final address in February at the Vatican meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’; and, by the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Christus Vivit which was published in March.
In attendance at the seminar will be bishops, priests, religious, diocesan communications officers, seminarians and representatives from the national seminary, students, second and third level chaplains, parish pastoral workers and volunteers, Catholic youth ministers and youth organisations, journalists, representatives of Catholic education, digital media experts and practitioners.
Follow the hashtag #DigitalBelievers to join in the conversation during and after the seminar. See www.catholicbishops.ie and @catholicbishops on Twitter for more.