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Saturday, 18 January 2014

Villegas launches new group to focus on social media

From the Website of CBCP

Villegas launches new group to focus on social media

Archbishop Villegas sprinkles holy water on the staff and guests during the blessing of the Areopagus office last January 15.

MANILA, Jan. 17, 2014—Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas’ recent launching of a social media group under the CBCP Media Office signals the Church’s growing desire to reach a wider audience through new media platforms.

No more incense and candles 

“You know, the CBCP building smells like incense and candles, but the media cannot smell like incense and candles. It should smell like society, it must smell like the city…It should be where the action is,” said Archbishop Villegas during a holy mass to celebrate the official inauguration of Areopagus Social Media for Asia at its new office in Intramuros, Manila last January 15.

In a simple ribbon-cutting and blessing ceremony, which was attended by a few guests like former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., Archbishop Villegas explained how the CBCP Media Office, which will supervise the new social media group, has been a “baby” that the CBCP has “nurtured, made grow and formed” and how it is now ready to take on more challenges.

Far from being just a shift to a more “techie” mode, the move, according to Villegas, is grounded on the Gospel.

“The role of the media is not just the beautification of the Church. The role of the media is not just to make a good PR image about the Church. The goal of media is the transformation of society,” he added.

More than PR 

Archbishop Soc, as he is popularly called, also explained how media work should be tied to the mission of lay people in general.

“It is not the mission of lay people to beautify churches. It is the mission rather of lay people to beautify the world. Make sure that Christ is in the world,” he said.
Archbishop Villegas, who assumed office as head of the CBCP last December, was also quick to note Areopagus’ advantage over more mainstream media outfits.
“Although our group is quite small…This small group is a powerhouse not because we have gifted individuals manning the office, this is a powerhouse because Jesus is here,” he said.

Neither professional expertise, intelligence nor being media savvy, according to Villegas, is the group’s “power”, rather it is the divine presence of Jesus that will enable Areopagus to thrive in an industry that sometimes requires compromise of values or even complicity.

“We have Jesus here and we have been assured of His presence. And if Jesus is here what is there to fear?” he said.

Projects under Areopagus Social Media for Asia include the CBCP Online Radio, Impact magazine, Tapat News, Tapatan forum, as well as other online platforms. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]


Cardinal-elect Quevedo to focus on dialogue, peace in Mindanao

Filed under: Headlines,Top Story |
MANILA, Jan. 14, 2014— The country’s new cardinal said he will continue to give focus on promoting interreligious dialogue and peace in Southern Philippines.

Cardinal-elect Orlando Quevedo, the archbishop of Cotabato, is distinguished by his involvement in peace building in Mindanao, a land plagued by decades-long insurgency that killed tens of thousands.

“I prayed that I can contribute to the good of the people here in Mindanao and to the peace and dialogue being undertaken by the people of various faith in Mindanao specially with the Bangsamoro,” Quevedo said over Catholic Church-run Radio Veritas.

Among the bishops, the cardinal-designate is one of the most exposed to the Bangsamoro peace process.

Isabela de Basilan Bishop Martin Jumoad strongly believes that Quevedo can help strengthen the ongoing peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

“His voice can really guide the framers of the agreement, which would be acceptable to Muslims, Lumads and Christians,” Jumoad said.

Quevedo was the president of the Catholic bishops’ leadership when at least two major armed conflicts between the military and MILF occurred – in 2000 and 2003.
The Cotabato archbishop is the eighth cardinal from the Philippines, Asia’s largest predominantly Catholic nation.

However, the problem of corruption has remained so pervasive in a country where Catholicism is a dominant force— another challenge that Quevedo wished to address.
“I prayed that I can also contribute in promoting the formation of righteous political leaders in our country,” he said.

Complete surprise

Quevedo said that the announcement that he had been named as cardinal came a ‘complete surprise’ to him.

According to him, he could not believe the news until Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, the archbishop of Manila, sent him message that he was elevated to the College of Cardinals.
“And I still did not believe it because I was not thinking all about it. God’s gift has always a surprise and makes one humble before God,” he said.

Pope Francis had made the formal announcement of the appointment of 19 new cardinals from different continents last Sunday at the Vatican.

Church of the poor

Quevedo is also praying that he will be able to help the pontiff’s vision for a “humble Church of the poor.”

“I pray that I can contribute a little to that vision of Church of the poor in the Philippines,” he said.

“I thank the Holy Father for recognizing the people in Mindanao specially the places where there are great problems of peace and to recognize also the poor people of the Philippines,” he added.

The consistory to create new cardinals will be held at the Vatican on February 22, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. (CBCPNews)

CBCP Website

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