Date: Friday, May 18, 2007
In his message for "World Communications Day" Bishop Philip Tartaglia, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland's National Communications Commission has urged Scottish Catholics to review their financial priorities and dramatically increase the contribution they make to the Church's media work.
"World Communications Day" will be celebrated in Catholic churches worldwide on Sunday 20 May 2007, including Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes. Archbishop Tartaglia's message will be read at all masses over the weekend of 19/20 May. In a call to greater generosity, the Bishop said;
"If we are to meaningfully interact with the media and have an impact on their agenda it is essential that Scottish Catholics fund the work of our Media Office." He contrasted the costs of " pay-per-view" TV with the amount given to the Church, saying; " in recent years the amount given by Catholic parishioners to fund the Church s communications work, in the form of the special collection taken up on Communications Sunday, amounts to 20 pence per person per year!"
As well as a call to increase financial contributions, Archbishop Tartaglia also urged greater engagement with the media the allows children to become; "discerning and discriminating consumers". In a comment to parents he adds; " they can also lead by example, by ignoring and rejecting material which is coarse and sensational. Learning how to reach for the ˜off switch is a skill all children should be taught! We do well to remember that our homes needn t be filled with images and sounds every hour of every day. Turning off the pre-packaged entertainment allows children to develop their own skills as active communicators rather than passive receivers."
The full text of the Bishops' message is attached below.
Catholic Media Office
5 St. Vincent Place
0141 221 1168