By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko
The Pan African Episcopal Committee For Social Communications (CEPACS), has called on African churches to prioritise specialised training for media personnel in the local dioceses to help in spreading the gospel everywhere.
This is contained in a statement, jointly issued on Saturday by the CEPACS President and Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Badejo, and the Communication Coordinator for CEPACS at 50 Organisers, Rev. Fr. Andrew Kaufa.
The call is part of the recommendations made at the 50th anniversary celebration of CEPACS held recently in Lagos.
The statement, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Ibadan, quoted Badejo as saying that the churches should adopt appropriate digital media use as a platform for evangelism, particularly by the younger generation who use online applications most of the time.
He enjoined them to deliberately develop social communications strategies and approaches to encourage the Dioceses to apply them in empowering all ecclesiastical groups.
Badejo underscored the need for the region to advance innovative ways of using social communications and the media in addressing contemporary challenges that the Church faces and building an understanding among the faithful to respond with confidence and humility.
Badejo told the Dicastery for Social Communications, in the Vatican, to continue to collaborate with SECAM and other regional bodies to bring the synergies and spirit of the Synodal church to reality.
“Also, you should identify and facilitate learning spaces for CEPACS across the globe in areas of social communications in the Church,” he said.
He urged SECAM to encourage all the clergy to invest in both human and material resources to effectively create a media field of evangelizers capable of influencing the environment and culture of modern times.
The CEPACS President also called for deeper collaboration with other church international communications bodies across the continent for learning and broad use of social communications in addressing common issues facing the church.
“We should design and incorporate World Communication Day/Week as CEPACS’ annual programme, whose activities will be part of a framework of raising awareness, doing media literacy campaigns, and raising funds for communication activities,” he said.
According to him, stakeholders also resolved to enhance awareness and visibility of CEPACS, its mission, vision and objectives at all levels of the Church.
“Among several other recommendations was to strengthen CEPACS’ operational structures across the continent to facilitate engagement in a collective communications and synodal journey,” he said.
No fewer than 80 participants, including Bishops, Archbishops and Cardinals, participated in the conference to thank God for all CEPACS’ achievements through social communications.
It also conducted an evaluation and stock taking of CEPACS’ works over the past 50 years. (NAN)