Bishops To Address Challenges, Opportunities In Digital Age

October 17, 2012 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops willdiscuss getting up to speed with church teaching – literally – when theyconsider a statement on doctrine in the digital age at their November 12-15meeting in Baltimore

CardinalDonald Wuerl of Washington, chairman of the Doctrine Committee of the U.S.Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), will present the statement"Contemporary Challenges and Opportunities for the Exercise of the teachingMinistry of the Diocesan Bishop," to be voted on by the entire assembly ofbishops.

Thestatement cites challenges presented by the "quantum leap" in the speed ofcommunications since the invention of the Internet. It demands that bishops "beable to respond immediately when Church teaching is challenged ormisrepresented." The bishops also face the challenge that amidst many voices inthe digital world "a bishop's voice on the Internet can appear to be justanother in the competition for attention" requiring bishops to explain topeople the nature of their authority.

Thedocument also points to new opportunities, noting that the new digital media "constitutea blade that can cut two ways." They "create new difficulties for bishops inthe exercise of their teaching office" yet "they also offer powerful new toolsfor more effective ministry."

A key benefit of new media is "thatthey offer the bishop the possibility of communicating with people in arelatively unmediated fashion," the document said.

Coverage of the bishops' meeting isopen to credentialed media. Sessions open to media will be Monday, November 12,and Tuesday, November 13. Media conferences will follow open sessions of themeeting. Reporters seeking to cover the meeting can download a credentialapplication form at submit it by November 1 via email to USCCB Media Relations, fax to (202)541-3173, or mail to:

                                                                NovemberMeeting Credentials                                                                    Officeof Media Relations                                                                            32114th St. NE                                                                 Washington,DC 20017-1194


Keywords: Cardinal Donald Wuerl, U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops, USCCB, Committee on Doctrine, new media, Internet, websites, theology

MEDIA CONTACT ONLY:Sr. Mary Ann WalshO: 202-541-3200M: 301-325-7935Email