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Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the president of the Pontifical Council on Social Communications and one of the originators of the Pope’s Twitter feed, was the keynote speaker at the Diocese of Brooklyn’s World Communications Day Conference on May 22. A transcript of his speech is available below, and as a PDF. To see video of the speech and photos from the event, go here.
Bishop DiMarzio, I am very thankful that you are opening my process of canonization. The fun is that I am still alive.
I would like to begin my address this afternoon by acknowledging my appreciation for the award, which has just been conferred on me. I would like to thank Bishop DiMarzio for his hospitality this week, and Monsignor Harrington for his support in making this trip possible.
During these days when I have had the chance to visit Philadelphia I have been very conscious of the legacy of Cardinal John Foley, who was my predecessor as president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and through whose efforts the church owes so much. From a very early stage, he had entreated this shift in media that was being brought into being by the Internet. He was urging the community of the church, of church communicators, to prepare for change.
I was appointed president of the council on the 27th of June 2007. I am struck by the coincidence that two days later, on the 29th of June, the first generation of iPhones was released and affordable smart phones were with us.
At that time, Facebook was three years old. It had just over 40 million subscribers, but it was still running second to MySpace. Twitter was one year old and was averaging 50,000 tweets a day only. YouTube and Flickr were healthy infants, but Pinterest and Instagram would not be along for another three years.
I draw attention to these facts with a view to remind you just how much has changed in the field of communication in the last decade, and perhaps more importantly how much is still changing.
Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, the President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, was in Brooklyn for the World Communications Day media conference on May 22. After receiving the St. Francis DeSales Distinguished Communicator Award, he delivered a keynote address on the intersection of social media, technology and faith.
The speech was followed by breakout sessions in which members of the Catholic and mainstream media discussed issues related to social media. Below is video of his speech, images from the day and excerpts from his speech, which you can read in full here.
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS AND KEYNOTE: PART 1 AND PART 2
Archbishop Celli with Bishop DiMarzio, left, and Monsignor Harrington.
"We don’t want a network of wires, but a network of people," Celli said.
"We are always fishing in the aquarium...The majority of fish are outside the aquarium."
Fr. Matt Malone is the editor in chief of America magazine.
Mary DeTurris Poust, a Catholic blogger and author.
Bill Barry, DeSales board member, asks a question while David Bisono of Too Blessed to Be Stressed tweeted.
Grant Gallicho from Commonweal magazine participated in the panel session.
Tonia Ries, the founder of the Realtime Report, spoke during the panel session.
Deacon Chris Heanue embraced the call to use social media.
The World Communications Day event team.
Excerpts from Archbishop Celli’s remarks (read full transcript):
It’s absolutely necessary that the Church establish a presence in the digital world.
We are always fishing in the aquarium…The majority of fish are outside the aquarium.
The Church is a community of communities. Its use of social media should reflect that.
The high rate of retweeting of the Pope’s tweets means that the Church is reaching an ever-wider community.
People no longer pay attention–if they ever did–simply because a church leader is speaking.
We don’t want a network of wires, but a network of people.
Unless we engage digital media, we will wind up talking to ourselves.