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Barron: Don`t be silly, use `new media`

MANILA, Jan. 24, 2016 - Bishop Robert Barron, one of the foremost Catholics involved in the New Evangelization, encouraged Filipinos to actively use new communications technologies, usually referred to as the "new media", to bring Christ's Gospel to as many people as possible. 

"It would be ludicrous for Christians not to use this extraordinary new media," said the prelate, whose Word on Fire online ministry and numerous YouTube videos on Catholic topics have attracted almost 80,000 subscribers and hundreds of thousands of views. He compared the effect of the new media to the revolution brought about by the Gutenberg press that allowed the Bible to be mass-produced and read by an unprecedented number of Christians.

He also demonstrated how the information spread through the World Wide Web could help sow the seeds of the New Evangelization. "A letter comes in from a young woman, who said, during the whole controversy with Charlie Sheen a couple of years ago, she found a website about Charlie Sheen, and that led her to [actor] Martin Sheen, Charlie's dad, and that led her to [Bishop] Fulton Sheen, because Martin Sheen took his stage name from Fulton Sheen, whom he admired. So 'Charlie' led to 'Martin', who led to 'Fulton Sheen', and that led her to 'Catholic preaching', which led her to me. She watched the [YouTube] videos, etc. etc., and was now coming back into the Catholic Church. And so my reaction was, 'Lord, if you can use Charlie Sheen to bring people back to the faith, more power to you.'"

His message of spiritual opportunism was specially directed to the younger generation.

Barron said to the youth: "You've got this new media in your blood and in your bones and in your fingers. You grew up with it. You know it intimately, inside out. Just as Paul used the communication technology of his time--which is writing on parchment, and traveling on Roman roads and Roman ships--so you today have to use these new media." 

The bishop admonished them, however, to go deeper in the faith, saying: "Students of mine come to me and say, 'Oh, I really want to get involved in the new media. What should I do?' and I always say, 'Spend a lot of time with the old media first.'” 

“Open up books, so that you have something to say when you use the new media," Barron explained.

The bishop gave the talk at St. Paul's College in Pasig City during a brief visit to Manila before heading to Cebu City for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress. (Mike Mapa)

Added on Saturday, February 6, 2016


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