…calls for synodal collaboration from the press
The Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria (CSN), through the Directorate of Social Communications, on Wednesday 7th February, 2024, organised the 4th edition of the annual Media Parley to avail the Church an opportunity to directly interface with reporters and pressmen on the religious beat to interact and chat a course on how to better frame the narratives of the Church in the media space.
Addressing the pressmen on behalf of the Secretary General of the CSN, Fr. Zacharia Samjumi, the Deputy Secretary General and Director of Pastoral Affairs, Fr. Michael Banjo noted that the events is an opportunity for the church to interact and appreciate the Press for their support and collaborative role in the socio-evangelical mission of the Church.
Fr. Banjo informed the journalists about the forthcoming 2024 first plenary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) with the theme: ‘Synod on Synodality: Areas of concern for the Church in Nigeria.’ He carefully explained the concept of Synodality as a call to walk together in communion irrespective of our differences, and called on the journalists to tell stories as they verify them to facilitate walking together as a people and a nation in the spirit of Synodality.
In his welcome remark, the converner and director of social communications, CSN, Rev. Fr. Michael Umoh, noted that considering the myriads of events and happenings that has overwhelmed the Nigerian society recently, a gathering of this nature, became very necessary. He appreciated the pressmen for their work and collaboration with the church and solicited for a sustained and more effective synergy.
In an interactive session with the journalists, Fr. Umoh lamented the level of insecurity, hardship and corruption that is currently being experienced in the country, and appealed to the pressmen to use their tool of trade, to defend the fate of the nation. He emphasised that now is not a good time for journalists to go to party, relax or begin to act indifferent, and called on them to live up to the ethics and demands of their profession, by telling truth to power and echoing the cries of the poor and the marginalized to the world.
Briefing the press about the forthcoming 2024 World Communications Day (WCD) celebration in May this year, the Communication veteran, disclosed that the theme for the year: ‘Artificial Intelligence and wisdom of the heart for fully human communication,’ as chosen by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, should be of utmost concern to them as journalism considering the digital spread of their profession and the ethical concerns of the new evolving AI technology.
In his Goodwill message at the event, the Director, Department of Mission and Dialogue, CSN, Rev. Fr Joseph Nomhwange noted that a session of this nature is important not only because it informs, but because also engages everyone in what the church is doing. He added that the activities of the church is centered on human development, and so one does not necessarily need to be a Catholic to partner with the church in building the society.
Similarly, his counterpart at the Pastoral Agents department of CSN, Rev. Fr. Augustine Okochi, called on the members of the press to collaborate with the Church in telling the world what the church is doing, because the Church still stands as the salt of the earth and light of the world.
Representing all the media bodies present, Mr Oludare Adelaja from the Africa Independent Television (AIT), appreciated the Church for the effort so far, and pledged the continous collaboration of the press in driving the goals and pastoral mission of the Church.
The Chairman of the Parley planning committee, Mr. Emmanuel Eko, appreciated all the journalists for creating time for the interactive session with the church. He appreciated all for the support, and expressed optimism for a better and stronger collaboration going forward.