Media/Information Office

SPOKESPERSON
Most Rev. Theodore Mascarenhas, SFX
Add : CBCI Centre,1, Ashok Place,
Near Gole Dakkhana
New Delhi - 110 001.
Tel (Office) : 011-23344470, 23362956
, 23344695
Tel (P) 011-23344453
Fax 011-23364615
Mob (0) : (0)9871147838
Mob (P) : (0)88002882467
E-mail (O) : secretarygeneralcbci@gmail.com
E-mail (P) : theobib@gmail.con

Vision
The universal church felt the need of having Public Relations office nearly two decades ago and advised national episcopal conferences to set Public Relations offices. Several church documents speak on the need for a Public Relations office in church organizations.

a) Communio et Progressio (1971) : "Every diocese, all Episcopal Conference or Bishop’s Assemblies and the Holy See itself should each have its own official and permanent spokesman or press officer to issue the news and give clear explanations of the documents of the Church so that people can grasp precisely what is intended.

b) Aetatis Novae (1992) : "Public relations by the Church means active communication with the community through both secular and religious media. Involving readiness to communicate Gospel values and to publicize the ministries and programs of the Church, it requires that the Church do all in its power to ensure that its own true image reflects Christ."

c) Asian Synod - (1998) : "Four actions are proposed for the effective presentation of the message of Christ: (1) Bishop should have active communication and Public Relations office; (2) They should prepare competent Catholics in the field of Social Communications; (3) There should be ecumenical and inter-religious cooperation to guarantee access of religion and religious values to the media and secure their respect for moral values; (4) On the national and diocesan level, bishops should develop a pastoral plan for communications and secure the communications dimension in all pastoral activities."

d) Indian Bishops View: The Bishop of India also felt the need of PR office long ago. However it was only in the year 1992 during their meeting at Bangalore this concern was discussed. Finally, the C.B.C.I. appointed a Public Relations Officer.

Public Relations as Specific to the Church in India
The PR work of the Church in India is much more urgent and specific. Here it is not just projecting the good image of the Church and speaking up at the times of crisis. Though the Church in India is a minority institution, it is influential and could boldly present its views on issues affecting the society. It is time that the church takes a lead in speaking out on violations of human rights by sharing information with the media that is clear, precise and fast.

Functions of the PR office
Though the document on Communio et Progressio (1971) spells out the functions of the PR office some of the specific functions at the CBCI will be the following:

  • Establishing contacts with media and journalists at all levels
  • Establishing contacts with government offices and ministers
  • Monitoring and responding to media reports on Christian issues
  • Organizing press conferences and press releases from time to time
  • Following up court cases filed against or by the church, in various courts
  • Maintaining regular communication within the church by informing bishops and publishing information in church chronicles and newspapers
  • If possible, training diocesan priests, nuns and lay people about the importance of PR work
  • Awareness programmes among Catholic journalists about issues affecting the Church