Committee of Laity of UGCC Initiates Establishment of Association of Christian Journalists
The first organizational meeting for establishing the Association of Christian Journalists was held in Lviv on December 16-17 at the monastery of St. Alfons. The event was organized by the Committee of Laity of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in cooperation with RISU and the Information Department of the Ukrainian Catholic University.
The event was attended by more than 20 representatives of various religious mass media: radio, portals and newspapers. The participants stressed the importance and need of establishing the Association of Christian Journalists, the process of which was started at the mentioned meeting.
The goal of the association, which is open to various denominations, is to unify efforts of journalists working in the secular and specialized religious mass media or in the denominational mass media in order to bring the voice of the church to the society as effectively and quickly as possible. In addition, the objectives set by the participants of the meeting for the association include establishing communication between journalists writing on religious themes and journalists and representatives of the churches and religious organizations, which would create a more effective dialogue and improve the quality of religious information in the Ukrainian media.
The organizers chose a somewhat provocative question as the subject of the meeting "Why is the church silent where it should speak up?" During the discussions and lectures read by visiting speakers, the participants tried to consider this subject from various viewpoints thereby stating that there are problems from both sides. Journalists often distort the voice of the church for various reasons and ignore the fact, the church, on the other hand, often "muffles" that voice or is afraid of a dialogue with journalists on certain subjects.
The participants also stressed that there are certain stereotypes regarding the dialogue between the church and journalists, which should be overcome by interested Christian journalists.
"We invited masters of the pen who are believing people and work both in the secular and church structures. The event is special due to its combination of recollections with a seminar on modern methods of bringing the Word of God and the word of the church to the society," noted the head of the Committee on Matters of Laity of UGCC, Yurii Pidlisnyi.
In addition to discussions and miniconferences, the participants of the event had an opportunity to hear recollections by Fr. Kornylii Yaremak of the Order of St. Basil the Great. The priest wished God's blessing for the work in establishing the association and stressed the importance of professional associations of Christians, who "first of all are to love their community and not to forget about the need of a spiritual revival in addition to handling professional matters."