Late Ilonggo Priest Inspires First Media Forum in Archdiocese

April 30th 2007

M sgr. Jose “Pepe” Buenaflor died a year ago but his legacy continues to inspire young priests and laymen in Iloilo. Msgr. Pepe’s determination to serve the Lord through the tri-media apostolate led to the conception of the first ever media forum spearheaded by the Commission on Social Communications in the Archdiocese of Jaro. Organized by Fr Ryan Francisco Teves, the local diocesan media director who had attended the CFA media seminar series, the media forum in Jaro last March 10 had CFA’s Executive Director, Ms Teresita Hermano (inset photo), as its guest speaker.

Ms. Hermano, speaking on the forum theme “Media Power in the Church: Do We Have It?”, said that the Church is present in the media where it counts, in events where news and advocacy are strong. The Church’s vast networks are more important than computers and transmitters – these are the active church members and media owners and practitioners. Moreover, the Church has extensive experience in values formation and pastoral work and it must remember that it is the quality of the content of the message that is of primary importance; hence, better to have Church power in the media than to have media power in the Church.

Ending her talk, the CFA Executive Director encouraged media practitioners to be guided and inspired by our common mission, as embodied in the WACC Christian principles of Communication. These principles are as follows: Communication creates community; Communication is participatory; Communication is liberating; Communication supports and develops cultures; and Communication is prophetic.

The panel of reactors who presented different points of view regarding issues raised in Ms. Hermano’s speech included Fr. Raymond Ferraris (Society of St. Paul, Iloilo), Fr. Domingo Alimajen (Dean and Principal of St. Vincent Ferrer Seminary), and Mr. Nestor Burgos (Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent and Chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines – Iloilo Chapter). There were many questions from among the audience of 150 parish leaders, educators, media people, and friends of the late Msgr Buenaflor.

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