Bangkok, August 29, 2023
The Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences Office of Social Communication (FABCOSC) has launched a website to coordinate and promote communication of the Synod on Synodality in Asia through a newly developed web portal.
Inaugurating the portal in a virtual meeting, August 29, 2023, Cardinal Nominee and Chairman for Social Communication in FABC, Bishop Sebastian Francis said, “for the local Churches in Asia, spread across this vast continent, the Synod is a privileged moment to continue the threefold dialogue with cultures, religions and the poor.
The Synod Asia website, he said, is an important point of reference for the Church in Asia and all media which are interested in Asia. He invited everyone to share the resources and richness of the Synod “as we walk together as People of God.”
In a recorded video message, FABC President, Cardinal Charles Bo, called the Synod as “a moment of grace.” “It is a call to witness to Jesus and his message in this vast continent of Asia and to the millions of brothers and sisters in whose midst we live”, he said.
A member of the Vatican’s Dicastery of Communication and of the Ordinary Council of the Synod, Cardinal Bo recalled the leadership, and vision of Pope Francis who initiated and is guiding the Synod. We hear many heart-warming stories about the Synod from all over the world, particularly from the parishes, dioceses, and episcopal conferences of Asia.
He thanked the FABC Office of Social Communication for launching a digital platform for gathering and sharing the stories about the Synod with special focus on Asia, and the forthcoming assembly in Rome, so that all people of God can be part of the synodal journey.
The inaugural event was attended by several bishops and secretaries of social communication in episcopal conferences in Asia and leaders and members of the Synod communication team. Pakawat Anthony Kraisomsuk, a member of the Synod Communication team, guided participants through a visual tour of the website and its features.
FABC OSC Executive Secretary and a member of the Vatican’s communication team for the Synod, Fr. George Plathottam sdb, said the website is intended to serve as a point of reference for episcopal conferences and media to access the latest communication on the Synod Assembly in Rome in October and information around the Synod and the Church in Asia even afterwards.
The FABC OSC has launched an initiative to create a network of journalists representing the FABC member conferences for coverage of Synod related news, as well as formation of translation teams in major Asian languages to provide content in the vernacular languages. He said plans are on to offer an online course for formation of pastoral leaders in communication and synodality.
Speaking on the media work during the Rome session in October, he said his three-member team from Asia would work under the direction of the Synod Secretariat by focusing on sharing the latest information on the event with special focus on Asian participants in the Synod. Live interviews and press conferences and press releases and sharing of photos and other visuals from Rome will be offered in order to connect the Synod participants with the whole church in this global event, he said.
Fr Plathottam recalled Pope Francis’ desire to make the synodal process better known in the local churches and the faithful. He recalled the words of Pope Francis to a group of journalists on 26 August, in which he said he looked ahead to the upcoming Synod on Synodality in October, and appealed to journalists to help the Church “rediscover the word together.” “In just over a month, bishops and lay people from all over the world will meet here in Rome for a Synod on synodality: listening together, discerning together, praying together,” the Pope said, noting that the word ‘together’ is very important in a culture of exclusion.
Synod Asia Website & Social Media Links
Contact: [email protected]
Fr. George Plathottam, sdb
Executive Secretary, FABC OSC