Dear Editor, David Kelly (Letters IC 7/11/13) questions the need for the Church, as the body of Christ, to learn how to deal with the media and argues (quite correctly) that a bishop’s first duty is to his flock.
It is to be argued, however, that Mr Kelly poses a dilemma for the modern bishop in dismissing the one in favour of the other in our world of modern communications media. How better can a bishop now serve his people than through a confident engagement with the nay-sayers so well presented on our television and radio channels today? How striking are those recent appearances on the airwaves of Archbishop Eamon Martin and Bishop Brendan Leahy when set against the many years of silence endured by the faithful seeking direction over a painful period.
Look, too, at how quickly poor Fr Kevin Reynolds had to learn to deal with the media, and yet how successful he was in vindicating his good name when he made his stand.
I don’t presume to question Mr Kelly’s points on the “many people [who] are now ignorant of the Faith” as this is a painful reality in our much changed (for the better?) modern Ireland. How much of this, however, can be laid at the door of an unchallenged media?
Mr Kelly speaks of “weapons” needed in fighting back against those who would undermine Catholic ethos. I would argue that a sure and confident ability on the part of our bishops to deal with the media is just one of the weapons needed now.