“Are we the voice of the Church?”, Helen Osman, SIGNIS President, at the St. Francis de Sales Days
“Let’s bring the example of St. Francis de Sales to modern-day communication” | Helen Osman, SIGNIS President, at the St. Francis de Sales Days
Lyka Lakindanum at SWC’s International Youth Forum: “train youth prosumers to maximize their platform for bigger purposes”
Nobel Peace Prize winner Dmitry Muratov at the SIGNIS World Congress: “it’s a journalist’s duty to fight hate with facts”
COMECE, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, held a meeting under the topic “Catholic organizations working with the EU Institutions” in Brussels on Feb 15, 2023.
The goal of COMECE is to dialogue with the EU institutions, providing contributions that promote common good and a human-centered approach in EU policies, and has been doing so since 1980 with the contribution and collaboration of the Apostolic Nunciature to the European Union and with the Vatican Secretariat of State.
In this February meeting, the goal was to strengthen the network of Catholic organizations that work alongside different European Institutions, sharing the latest updates, projects, and initiatives that they are currently working on.
SIGNIS Assistant Secretary General, Maria Chiara De Lorenzo, was present at the meeting and shared the most recent activities of SIGNIS worldwide and in Europe. For example, the participation at the Saint Francis de Sales Days in Lourdes, where SIGNIS President Helen Osman gave a speech reflecting on how Catholic communicators are, in a way, the voice of the Church; and the SIGNS World Congress that took place in August 2022 in Korea, an event that featured many interesting discussions about the state of journalism nowadays, how young people are a driving force for Catholic communications and welcomed Russian journalist and Nobel Peace Price winner Dmitryi Muratov, who talked about fake news and how “it’s a journalist’s duty to fight hate with facts”.
Ms. De Lorenzo also shared the activities of the SIGNIS juries in several festivals across Europe, like the ongoing participation of the Ecumenical Jury at the Berlin International Film Festival, and the different projects SIGNIS carries on in Latin America that involve the youth. Her remarks sparked a fruitful debate among the attendees, who wondered how they could collaborate with SIGNIS to include youth from their countries and associations in the activities, and how should we, as Catholic organizations, promote digital education and alphabetization, especially considering the difficulties many people face as they don’t always have stable access to electricity.
The meeting was also a great opportunity to learn more about what different organizations are doing worldwide, such as Caritas Europe, Don Bosco International, Aid to the Church in Need, The European Laudato Si' Alliance, The Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe, and many others. Among the presents was also Pax Christi International, an organization SIGNIS has collaborated with in the past and published a joint article on peacebuilding, and their new secretary general Martha Ines Romero.