Media and the Church: Practice What You Preach

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One of the teachings of the Church, the Sacrosanctum Concilium states that: “Mother Church earnestly desires that all the faithful should be led to that full, conscious, and active participation in liturgical celebrations” (Flannery, 1996) Hence, a mission to see to it that it is passed throughout the generations is a must for them as it is seen to be the most authentic manifestation of one’s faith.

Whatever it is, everything is rooted on the dominance of the influential religion in a Filipino’s life. Perhaps, it may include the innate character of man to search for his own meaning or purpose. This latter premise may be attributed to the reliance of the Filipino on what has been said by the Church, a pondering upon a particular pattern to live his life. Part of this is the picture of him, following what has been required by religion (in this case, it is hearing mass every Sunday), in order for him to attain the promise of that particular religion (in Catholicism, the promise of eternal life). Following certain norms to attain a particular goal would necessarily entail the meaning of one’s existence. It is as if saying that one lives not just to die.

Today, one of the hottest issues in our time is the challenges facing by the priests. Although cases on abuses of the clergy have been far settled in most countries, reports and undeniable facts even challenged the integrity of the whole Christendom. The Roman Catholic Church has been alarmed recently and tried to settle, face and take responsibility on her clerical issues. The road towards healing is still yet far to be achieved but steps towards its fulfillment is being taken in consideration by the Church.

For the most part, such context is presented to us by MEDIA, a powerful means to create or destroy an individual’s life as well as an institution at large. Considering not just the Local Church of Malolos but how media treat and present or even attempt to destroy the Holy Mother, the Church. For this reason, I see the theological relevance of the importance of the Church’s Documents on Social Communications anchored in the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church in the Modern World as one of the basic approaches to at least settle certain issues confronting the Church and all the more re-establish its integrity amidst the conflicts. Furthermore, I am particularly trying to assess the position of media in dealing with the Church in the Philippines that is for a better understanding and appreciation of Catholic Priesthood and the role of the Catholic Church.

It has been striking to be mindful of the words uttered by the bishop during an ordination; to the diaconate: believe what you read, teach what you believe and practice what you teach; to the presbyterate: know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate. Hence, priesthood has always been integral and constructive of both the cleric and the laity. One of the most effective preaching far more than the content uttered in homilies, is the witnessing. Credibility and integrity rests on the accountability and truthfulness given by the priest in his homily. Thus, particular aspects of this medium must be considered. It is in as much as the Church has been employing the aid of technological advancements for the use of effective evangelization of the Catholic faithful.

All parts of the CHURCH are interconnected. The Church as a hierarchical institution is in herself employing a system of its own. However, she cannot work on her own apart from the source that holds her to existence - Jesus Christ. In the same respect, the Church works from the pope to the curia, to the dioceses, to the parishes, to the people; not as separate entities, independent from each other but as ONE, interconnected and dependent under the one source: Jesus, made visible in the One Church.

Thus, it is very important to consider that one part influences all other parts. The Church acts in consideration of the entire institution....
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