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Vatican Document ‘Communio et Progressio’ Celebrated

The Pontifical University of Santo Tomas in Manila held a one-day international symposium on “40 Years of ‘Communio et Progressio’” at the UST Graduate School’s Thomas Aquinas Research Center (TARC) on Nov 12, 2011.

Some 100 participants came to celebrate the Pastoral Instruction released by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications on May 23, 1971 to complement the Vatican II Decree “Inter Mirifica.”

Considered the “magna carta” of Church communication, “Communio et Progressio” remains the most comprehensive, professional, and pastoral document on social communication the Church has ever produced, guest speakers told priests, educators, religious and lay students present.

Guest speakers included Divine Word Father Franz-Josef Eilers, who founded and directs the Masters in Theology major in Social/ Pastoral Communication (MAT-SPC) program at USTGS, and Monsignor Pedro Quitorio III, director of CBCP Monitor, and Impact magazine of the Filipino bishops.

Other speakers were MAT-SPC professors, who organized the symposium together with students of the program. The topics included “Communio et Progressio” history and concerns, its contribution to communication theology, consequences on journalism ethics, and application to digital communications.

Concluding the symposium were three bishops from Asia sharing their experiences as chairman of the social communication commission of their respective bishops’ conferences. They were Bishop Chacko Thottumarickal from Indore, India, Bishop Joseph Prathan Sriduransil of Surat Thani, Thailand, and Bishop Bernardino Cortez, auxiliary of Manila archdiocese, Philippines.