“Making it Real: Genuine human encounter in our digital world” is the theme for the 2019-2020 Social Justice Statement, announced by Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) President Archbishop Mark Coleridge.
The statement – set to be launched on 29 September, Social Justice Sunday – will affirm the positive possibilities for encounter and solidarity offered by new digital media, while warning of those elements of our digital world that may be harmful, Archbishop Coleridge confirmed in an online media statement released in July.
The Brisbane Archbishop cited that the statement would consider the great changes of modern communications technology and its effects on human beings.
“Technology has revolutionised the way we communicate, work and learn, do business and socialise,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
“Here in Australia for us as Church, there are so many new opportunities to share the Good News of Christ, to bring communities together and to reach out to people in need.”
For all these advances, however, Archbishop Coleridge noted that there are some serious challenges faced when dealing with modern communications technology.
“The statement will also highlight how the dignity of vulnerable people is harmed by online bullying and exploitation, the common good is compromised where certain groups are excluded from the benefits of technology,” he explained.
“People’s privacy have been undermined when personal data has been appropriated for financial gain.
“The solidarity of entire communities can be placed at risk by campaigns of misinformation and the spread of ‘fake news’,” he added.
Archbishop Coleridge went on to echo the words of Pope Francis, calling all believers to “boldly become citizens of the digital world” and to “ensure it is a place of genuine human encounter”, inviting all to play a role in making this new digital world one where hatred and divisions are rejected and our love of God and neighbour is fostered always.
In Perth, the Social Justice Statement launch event is scheduled for Thursday 26 September and will include a three-person panel discussion made up of Digital Branding Specialist Jamie Brooke, Director and Head of Video at Iceberg Media Pty Ltd Andrea Bernardino, and Catholic Archdiocese of Perth Communications Manager Jamie O’Brien.
To pre-order the 2019 Social Justice Statement, visit: bit.ly/socialjusticeshop.