The Catholic Bishop of Umuahia and Apostolic Administrator of Ahiara Diocese, Most Rev. Lucius Ugorji has advocated a vibrant National Communication Pastoral Plan to make the Church’s communication apostolate more dynamic in addressing the challenges of immorality and other vices being promoted by modern day information technology.
Bishop Ugorji made the call in his homily at the opening Mass of the second Plenary Meeting of Diocesan/Religious Communication Directors; hosted by Ahiara Diocese’s Board of Social Communication, recently in Ahiara-Mbaise, Imo State. The Mass was celebrated at St. Brigid’s Church, and the meeting was attended by over 70 directors, assistant directors and newspaper editors from most of the Archdioceses, dioceses and Religious Congregations in the country.
According to the Bishop: “In the digital world of our age, the protagonists and sponsors of modern secularist ideologies use the powerful opinion-shaping instrument of the mass media to spread a permissive culture.” He continued: “Pornography, in an almost infinite variety of forms, is available online to adults and children. Media programmes stressing the acceptability of premarital and extramarital sexual relationships, divorce and remarriage, contraceptive devises, abortion, etc bombard people of our times with increasing regularity.”
Bishop Ugorji also noted the negative impact of the clamour by lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender (LGBT) for legal recognition and affirmation by the Church; the socio-economic challenges facing the country, including poverty insecurity, kidnapping, cyber crimes , human trafficking, ethnic and religious strife, stressing: “indeed many of our people are deeply wounded and degraded.”
Urging Catholic communicators and the other media practitioners to rise up to the challenge and be the agents of change to rescue the nation, Bishop Ugorji remarked: “The power of the media to cover vast territories and reach unquantifiable number of people in a matter of seconds has been recognized everywhere”.
He added:“To raise up change agents for the transformation of our society, electronic programmes for the promotion of human dignity, justice and peace and for countering the scourge of materialism, hedonism and consumerism could be designed and disseminated through the media.”
Bishop Ugorji also used the occasion to inform the directors that the diocese of Ahiara is back into the national fold and more vibrant and buoyant, spiritually and pastorally. His words: “Our diocese is elated by the warmth you bring and we confident that you will let the world know that Ahiara is back on its feet once again, booming with faith and religious activities.”
The Bishop further stated: “… this local Church is flourishing again and the faith of the people is booming once more. The joy of the Gospel is vibrating in the hearts of the faithful at every corner of the Diocese. We thank God for the return of peace in this Diocese and pray fervently for its sustainability”.
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