BANGKOK, Thailand, Sept. 7, 2012—The first Catholic Social Media Summit (CSMS) recently held in the Philippines is being discussed in depth today by Asian bishops, who are now considering the significant opportunities that online media is creating for the social communications ministry of the Church.
Members of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) are gathered in this city trying to learn how to communicate the Gospel in the digital world during the ongoing five-day conference organized by the 8th Bishops’ Institute for Social Communications (BISCOM 8).
Msgr. Pedro Quitorio, director of the Media Office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), is presenting to Asian Bishops the 1st CSMS organized in Marikina City last July 14 and 15 by his office together with online evangelization-oriented group YouthPinoy, the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth, CBCP Commission on Mission, and San Pedro Calungsod lay-movement “+Big” among others.
The Philippine Church held the record of being the first to organize such a summit, which gathered some 450 delegates from archdioceses, dioceses, schools, parishes, and communities from across the archipelago during its two-day assembly at the Riverbanks Convention Center.
In an earlier interview with YouthPinoy, Quitorio said he would convince the Asian Bishops to replicate the CSMS and to organize an Asian version, similar to the Asian Youth Day.
“We broke the record for organizing the world’s first Catholic Social Media Summit. Who knows, we might even host the first Asian Catholic Social Media Summit,” Quitorio was earlier quoted as saying.
Aside from presenting the 1st CSMS to the BISCOM 8 participants, Quitorio is also discussing social media evangelization in the Philippines.
Other Filipino speakers in the BISCOM 8 conference themed “Social Media: Surfing, Networking, Blogging, Gaming, Addiction… Challenges and Opportunities for Communication Ministry in Asia,” include Prof. Christian Esguerra from the University of Santo Tomas who discussed “Blogging the Holy and Un-holy: An exploratory Discourse,” and Dr. Renato de Guzman, SDB from Don Bosco Technical School-Manila who presented a case study on “Social Media Education and Faith Formation” in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Dr. Angela Ann Zukowski from the University of Dayton in Ohio, United States, gave talks on “Proclamation and Witnessing Online: Emerging Models and Strategies” and “Social Networking, Emerging Models of Online Communities and Implications for Ministry.”
Dr. Franz-Josef Eilers, SVD from the University of Santo Tomas and Asian Research Center for Religion and Social Communications in Bangkok, on the other hand, talked about “Communicating the Gospel in the Digital World: Challenges For New Evangelization,” while Dr. Chainarong Monthienvichiendchai of St. John’s University, Bangkok discussed the “Church and Internet: Church documents and teachings on a ‘New Culture.’”
Dr. Sebastian Perriannan from St. Peter’s Pontifical Institute in Bangalore, India talked about “Social Networking and the Asian Youth: Patterns of Use and Implications for Pastoral Ministry,” while Dr. Angeline Khoo from the Nanyang Technological University of Singapore discussed “Online Gaming: Social Threat or Cure?”
No less than Indore, India Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal, SVD, chairman of the FABC Office on Social Communications, opened the conference and welcomed the participants in a ceremony last September 4.
BISCOM 8 bishop-participants will be organized in a workshop on “Where do we go from here” and issue final statements and recommendation before ending the conference on September 8. (YouthPinoy)