National Catholic Register

Culture of Life

Online Evangelization

Facts of Life

BY The Editors

September 23-October 6, 2012 Issue | Posted 9/17/12 at 3:00 PM

 

"I believe that all Catholic media, including traditional forms like television and radio, are indispensable to the New Evangelization," wrote NCRegister.com blogger Jennifer Fulwiler recently. "But the new media (which I’m using as a lump term to include blogging, social media and all other types of online networked content) has three specific characteristics that differentiate it from other kinds of media to make it particularly powerful for the Church."

She first addressed the interactive nature of new media, commenting, "A hallmark of online publishing is that readers can respond instantly through a commenting form — and this quick-and-easy feedback changes everything. … In an interactive medium, falsehoods are called out, bad or incomplete ideas collapse under the weight of cross-examination, and anyone honestly seeking the truth will recognize it when he sees it."

Fulwiler shared how her own journey from atheism to the Church was impacted online: "Over and over again, I noticed that it was only the Christians, and Catholics in particular, whose belief system didn’t crack under the pressure of a flood of tough questions."

She also commented on how new media is "open to all."

Third, she focused on its informal nature that brings the faith alive to many: "It’s in the comboxes, the Facebook discussions, the personal blogs that the world encounters living, breathing Christianity. These windows into the lives of believers allow others to see the difference that faith and the sacraments make in our lives."

And she added, "I strongly believe that if we share our faith passionately and authentically — remembering always that the people on the other side of our computer screens are fellow human beings in need of love — then the Internet age will be an age of our culture’s rediscovery of Christianity."