Toledoan attended international Catholic conferenceWritten by Sarah Ottney | Managing Editor | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Toledo woman was in Vatican City recently as one of only a few Americans invited to attend an international conference on the role of Catholic media in a digital society.
Sally Oberski, director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, participated in the World Congress of the Catholic Press, presented by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (PCSC). Representatives from more than 60 countries attended the conference, which ran through Oct. 7.
“I was very flattered (to be invited) because there are only a few of us from the U.S. who are going to be participating, and I am the only communications director from a diocese,” Oberski said.
Acknowledging changes in the ways people communicate and gather news, church leaders hope to analyze how the digital revolution is changing society and how the church should respond.
“We feel the need to come together at a global level to refl ect on the mission, on the function the Catholic press plays in today’s society and in the church,” Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of PCSC, said in a statement. “The main question is not so much how to use the new technologies; rather, the great challenge the church has to face today is how to establish a dialogue with the culture that is emerging from the new technologies.”
The conference will include panel and group discussions from various media and religious representatives. Topics included the future of the press; the challenge and opportunity of the digital age; and how the church should address controversial issues. At the end of the conference, participants had an audience with the Pope.
“I think what will be most important to me is to understand the complexity of internationally covering the Catholic church — what it takes to be that voice all over the world — and at the same time what we can do in the U.S. to advance new media eff orts like social media,” Oberski said before leaving.