In the cauldron of digital potion, a challenge for the Church to get heard in an era of zapping and clicking

Abstract from Bertrand Ouellet’s conference. En français ci-dessous. 

1. – The astonishment at Capharnaum. Here the argument of authority doesn’t apply. The astonishment comes from an authority derived from experience and testimony. The witness’s testimony is stronger than zapping.


 2. – An encounter on the road to Gaza. The power of clicking is the power of choosing, of getting answers whenever we want. No supply before demand, we have to wait for questions, propose faith on request.

 3. – A wide range of charisms. The audience is no longer a “mass” to be addressed as a whole. They are people waiting for answers meeting their expectations. The history of the Church is full of witnesses and communities reflecting the diversity of people and charisms.

 4. – From the pyramid to the Web. The message from a high authority to a great number of people was convenient for big structures. But the Web is made up of links between a great many transmitters and receivers. The Church must now appear as a large network.

 5. – The “chat” of Tradition. Tradition is a position of otherness which confronts the believer’s experience by opening it up to something bigger than itself. It can thus be seen as interactive.

 6. – At the threshold of Mystery. In virtual worlds where anything is possible and where viewers’ implication is paramount, symbolic language is becoming more important. Its liturgical experience is an asset to the Church if it is an experience to be lived rather than a speech to be listened to.