Church communication in the key of service, not power. Meeting with worlds. Planas to the Postgraduate Course in Communication and Religion.

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The former director of the Vatican Film Library, Monsignor Enric Planas, took part as a lecturer in the postgraduate course on Institutional Communication and Religion in the Digital Age on Friday 15th February. The Catalan, who spent 33 years in the service of the Curia, explained his vision of the different forms of communication in the Church.

For Monsignor Planas, information should never be used in terms of power, but rather as a possibility of service, as an instrument for building humanity. Power should be understood simply as a capacity to work for the good of the individual and society. Unfortunately, says the priest, we observe in both ecclesial contexts and in society the great capacity of power to corrupt. Someone has said that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. In the same vein, John Paul II, quoting St John Bosco, said that those who have power must be able to do good.

In the course of his talk, he spoke of various bodies and people connected with the Holy See’s information, highlighting the figure of the director of the Holy See Press Office, the Jesuit Federico Lombardi, whom he described as a “colossus of communication”, an extraordinary man, simple and very well prepared, who knows how to dialogue and discuss.

For him, Lombardi is “an example of a spokesman who has personality and is not just a façade”. As for the figure of Benedict XVI, he defined him as “a courageous, unusual and humble man who has reflected a lot and broken taboos”. According to Planas, Benedict XVI “has been able to overcome, with complete freedom, a taboo that has lasted for centuries”. In his opinion, John Paul II has other merits, such as the reform and reflection on how to live the pontificate; no one remembers the use of the Noes maiestàtic, nor the gestation chair, nor the tiara.

Finally, Mgr Planas said that the Church should make a serious commitment to the media and “learn to pay” professional bonuses and, above all, avoid apocalyptic visions regarding the media. In this sense, it is important that the bishops believe in those responsible for social communication and dialogue with them.