Lay Witness Magazine

Catholic Diversity

by Sean Innerst The biblical story is not a parochial tale about an obscure corner of the world that has since passed into geopolitical obscurity. It’s an international story with global significance, as we will see in this month’s liturgical Bible study. Sometimes we don’t think about the tremendous step forward for the world when Christ came with His universal message of salvation. We see hints of that universal message in our first reading from the 28th Sunday of the Year with Naaman the Syrian, and Christ offers further clues of His universal message when he cures the Samaritan leper. … Continue reading

Getting Connected

by Leon J. Suprenant, Jr. In a recent edition of his syndicated “On Language” column, William Safire chronicled the development of the word “connect” in our culture. The usual meaning of this verb is to “tie,” “bind,” “fasten,” or “join,” but its secondary meanings and connotations have undergone an interesting transformation in our computer age. We now frequently use “connect” in the sense of to “establish rapport” or “feel a surge of mutual understanding.” People who have “connected” have established a certain commonality or comfort level, or in a romantic sense a certain chemistry. People don’t want to be lonely … Continue reading

In Brief

Holy Father’s Intentions Pope John Paul II has announced the following general and missionary intentions for October and November 2001: October That we may know how to recognize and respect the cultural and spiritual riches of the different ethnic groups and religious minorities present in every country. That at the dawn of the third Christian millennium the missionary impetus of the first Pentecost may be renewed. November That holy and exemplary men and women may be our companions in proclaiming boldly the Gospel of the kingdom of God. That, through the active participation of Christians, the mass media may become … Continue reading

Pontifical Council for Social Communications: Ethics in Communications

I INTRODUCTION 1. Great good and great evil come from the use people make of the media of social communication. Although it typically is said—and we often shall say here—that “media” do this or that, these are not blind forces of nature beyond human control. For even though acts of communicating often do have unintended consequences, nevertheless people choose whether to use the media for good or evil ends, in a good or evil way. These choices, central to the ethical question, are made not only by those who receive communication—viewers, listeners, readers—but especially by those who control the instruments … Continue reading

Techno-Journey of Faith: John Paul II Cultural Center

by Colleen Curry Anderson Visitors to the nation’s capital have a new landmark where they can visit and learn more about faith and culture, and though it’s a great place to explore one’s spirituality, neither “church” nor “museum” describes it fully. The Pope John Paul II Cultural Center is a high-tech wonderland that weaves state-of-the-art exhibits and interactive displays with low-tech, sensory experiences such as placing a hand on bronze castings of others’ hands and turning the pages of a book. It is also home to rotating art exhibits from the Vatican Museums, a Gallery of Mary, an Intercultural Forum, … Continue reading

The Dawn of Global Communication: Can the Church Rise to the Occasion?

by Alan Napleton We live in a media age. Most of us are bombarded from dawn to dusk with an endless stream of information. These messages come at us from a variety of sources, some that we seek, most that we don’t. A recent Madison Avenue survey found that the average adult in this country was subjected to over 500 distinct advertising “impressions” on a typical day. I live in Texas, and during any 10-minute stint on the freeway I can usually spot a billboard that promises to fill just about all my temporal and even spiritual needs. This advertising … Continue reading