03/05/2012 16:49

New media can help church, Sydney congress told.

Sydney (CN CathNews) - One of the Vatican's most senior media advisers says new media can be utilised to debunk suspicions about the Catholic Church.

Speaking at the Australian Catholic Media Congress in Sydney (30 April – 2 May) on Tuesday, Monsignor Paul Tighe said the church cannot ignore criticism.

"We can use new media to learn about the people we are trying to engage with," Monsignor Tighe said at the second day of the conference.

"Without having to respond formally to their questions - read the blogs, read the people you don't like, read the people who are criticising you.

"Look at to understand where they are coming from.

"Can we in our communication address some of those suspicions?"

Monsignor Tighe said there was often a mutual suspicion between the church and the media.

"We think they're out to get us and they think we're hiding everything," he said.

"So know the people we are speaking with, know how they see us and try and... anticipate the problems and the hurdles."

Monsignor Tighe described social media and new technologies as a gift to humanity.

"They enable the forming of community, they have extraordinary potential for the wellbeing of the church," he said.