The Church Up Close is a professional seminar for journalists. The Pontifical University of the Holy Cross
(Pontificia Università della Santa Croce) in Rome is offering the fourth edition of its intensive one-week Seminar in English, called The Church Up Close: Covering Catholicism in the Age of Francis
. The Seminar, which takes place from Sept. 8-14, 2014, is designed for foreign journalists who cover the Roman Catholic Church.
Combining conferences, interactive workshops, personal encounters and on-site visits, the seminar gives journalists an array of tools to enhance the quality of their coverage of the Roman Catholic Church. There are 46 total journalists coming from different parts of the world to take part in this seminar including Italy, Rome, United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Argentina, Japan, Nigeria, Macau, etc. Some of the journalists come with a background in the Catholic Media, while some of them are from different communication offices of different dioceses and some of them are even from the mainstream medias, such as BBC, NBC, Europe 1, Fox News Channel, etc. And I thank you S+L to give me an opportunity to represent S+ L in Rome. Incidentally, I am the only one who comes from Canada!
On the first day, the topic that kicked off the seminar was ‘What is the Catholic Church?’ presented by Professor Fr. Paul O’ Callaghan. We are always questioning the reform of the Church. Fr. Paul O’ Callaghan leads us to imagine the Church as ‘Person’ and as a dynamic living organism. The Church presents itself and responds according to its circumstances, without, however, changing its fundamental identity. Fr. Paul O’ Callaghan described the fundamental identity as ‘DNA’.
‘DNA’ doesn’t change. However, human acts always changes in different centuries and different situations. The Church is the same! The fundamental teaching of the Church never changes, but for pastoral needs, the Church could be presented differently in different centuries and different situations.
Besides, he reminds us the Church is the ‘Mother’. Would you ask your mother to change her DNA? No! Her DNA doesn’t change, but she will always take care of you through exploring different ways.
The Church is the ‘Mother’ and the ‘Mother’ gives us ‘Life’. I reflected on this concept all day and also reminded myself to have a grateful heart always. Thanks be to God!
“The Church is our mother because she has delivered us in Baptism. Whenever a child is baptised, he becomes a son of Church, from that day, he is in the Church which cares for him as a caring mother, and she makes us grow in faith and shows us, with the power of the Word of God, the way of salvation, defending us from evil.” – Pope Francis, September 3, 2014.
By Rodney (S+L Chinese Programming)
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photos of Rodney in Rome!