THE CULTURE OF COMMUNICATION AND NEW LANGUAGES

November 4, 2010

VATICAN CITY (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today a preference was held to present the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture, which is due to be held from 10 to 13 November on the theme: “The Culture of Communication and New Languages”.

Participating in today’s press conference were Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, Msgr. Pasquale Iacobone and Richard Rouse, respectively president, head of the “Art and Faith” department, and head of the “Communication and Languages” department of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, who is a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

Msgr. Iacobone explained how the plenary will examine “the use of language and communication to study the current situation and suggest guidelines for action in the evangelising mission of the Church”.

The participants in the plenary will discuss “the new languages, in particular cinema, music, figurative and plastic arts, the internet and multimedia platforms, in order to discover the words, colours, sounds and images capable of presenting Christian life as a valid experience for everyone today.

“In order to favour inter-personal communication there will be no written texts to read or follow but conversations with experts such as Ennio Morricone, Dario Vigano, Robert Barron and the managing director of Microsoft Italia”. Msgr. Iacobone explained.

The plenary will also serve to examine “the characteristics of interactivity and participation, of clarity and simplicity - while avoiding simplification - and to study figurative and narrative languages in order to transmit to our fellows what we have received”.

Bishop Muller then presented the twelfth German-language volume of Joseph Ratzinger’s “Opera Omina”, entitled “Kunder des Wortes und Diener eurer Freude - Theologie und Spiritualitat des Weihesakramentes” (Announcers of the Word and Servants of your Joy. Theology and Spirituality of the Sacrament of Holy Orders).

Bishop Muller, who is overseeing the publication of the complete works of Joseph Ratzinger, explained how the contents of this latest volume cover nearly half a century, beginning with a number of texts which predate by some years the opening of Vatican Council II. “That fundamental event in recent ecclesiastical history is usually associated, depending on the point of view, with the beginning of a transformation in keeping with the spirit of the times, or with a profound crisis in the Church and particularly in the priesthood”, he said.

In section “A” of the book, entitled “Theology of the Sacrament of Holy Orders”, Joseph Ratzinger analyses the causes of this crisis and “illustrates the biblical foundation and coherent historical-dogmatic development of the Sacrament of Holy Orders”. In section “B”, entitled “Servants of your Joy”, readers will find “a collection of meditations on spirituality already published as an individual book with the same title”. Section “C” contains “various homilies delivered on the occasion of consecrations of priests and deacons, first Masses and jubilees”.

“In order to rediscover priestly identity in the relationship with Christ we must be ready to consider ourselves as servants of the Word and witnesses of God in the succession of Christ, and to live in communion with Him. To this end, the priest must have a good theological formation and a permanent reference in academic theology”.

With the writings in this book Joseph Ratzinger “indicates the way out of the crisis into which the Catholic priesthood has fallen as a result of inadequate theological and sociological approaches, and of declarations that tend to arouse in many priests who began their journey with love and zeal, a sense of insecurity and discomfort concerning their role within the Church”. This volume, Bishop Muller concluded, “achieves the desire of its author to dedicate an entire book of his complete works to the theology of the Sacrament of Holy Orders”.

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