Religion News Service looks at the phenomenon of bishops taking to the Internet and satellite radio. The theme is that these old guys representing an ancient institution and “passé” morals is using the hottest new technologies to reach hip, young audiences.
Among the efforts they cite are Cardinal Sean O’Malley’s blog, the New York Archdiocese’s Catholic Channel on Sirius, Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali’s YouTube videos and more. They also mention other efforts like posting streaming video of Masses and the like.
These are all good. I want to make that clear. I’m happy they’re doing it. But it only scratches the surface. Melanie and I were talking in the car while we drove to my brother’s house for a birthday party (Isabella turns 1 this week and my nephew Joseph and niece Theresa also have birthdays this month so we did one combined party.)
Anyway, in the car I brought up the idea of some hypothetical ways the Church—by which I mean a diocese—could use the Internet and the cutting-edge technologies available to reach out in all new ways. I think some of the ideas were pretty good: podcasts, email newsletters, streaming media, web sites, blogs, and more.
Of course, none of that sounds interesting by itself. What’s new about streaming media? That’s precisely the point: It’s not the technology that matters most but the content. It’s what you do with the content. The technology is a delivery tool.
The bishop, the face of the diocese