By Charles Igwe
Bishop Emmanuel Adetoyese Badejo, President of the Pan African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS) and the Catholic Bishop of Oyo Diocese, has revealed thirteen growth strategies aimed at fostering sustainable development in the communications apostolate across Africa. Unveiling these strategies during the 50th-anniversary celebration assembly of CEPACS at Lumen Christi Television Network, Lagos, Bishop Badejo emphasized the importance of confronting challenges and enhancing the committee’s performance in communicating the Church’s mission.
The thirteen growth strategies outlined by Bishop Badejo include:
- Redefining CEPACS’s Role: Bishop Badejo proposed redefining CEPACS’s role as a continental committee and establishing clear relationships with regional and national episcopal conferences for the future.
- Reviving Regional Communication Structures: The bishop highlighted the need to revive regional communication structures and rekindle the interest and commitment of bishops from various conferences across Africa.
- Synodal Church Strategies: Taking stock and proposing strategies and policies for promoting a more synodal Church in Africa, aligned with key themes of the Synod on Synodality—Communion, Participation, and Mission.
- Alignment with Synod on Synodality Themes: Aligning CEPACS’s work with key themes of the Synod on Synodality—Communion, Participation, and Mission.
- Disseminating Church Teachings: Disseminating and translating Church teachings on communication into pastoral practice, incorporating the African worldview and values.
- Reconnecting Academic Institutions: Reconnecting academic institutions of communication with CEPACS’s work and providing opportunities and resources for the formation and networking of pastoral agents, including digital missionaries.
- Empowering Resources for Outreach: Empowering available human and material resources of the Church in traditional and digital communication for a synodal outreach to promote the Church universally as the Family of God in Africa.
- Establishing Media Database: Establishing and sustaining a database on the situation of Catholic and secular media in Africa.
- Seminar/Workshops for Bishops: Organizing periodic seminars and workshops on management and pastoral communication for African bishops during Ad Limina visits to the Vatican or quinquennial orientation for young bishops.
- Alliance with Young People: Building a new alliance with young people to evangelize the contemporary digital media space, in line with the Synodal assembly’s call for the formation of “digital missionaries.”
- Managing Alliances and Partnerships: Managing alliances and partnerships that can enhance the communication project of the Church in Africa, collaborating with organizations like APO, ACI Africa, Radio Vatican, Lumen Christi Satellite Television Nigeria, EWTN, etc.
- Ethical Discourse: Championing ethical discourse in traditional, modern, and contemporary communication, especially in new media initiatives like artificial intelligence.
- Redesigning CEPACS’s Strategies: Redesigning the strategies and procedures of attaining CEPACS’s objectives.
Bishop Badejo’s vision for CEPACS emphasizes promoting a synodal Church, incorporating ethical communication practices, and leveraging partnerships and alliances for a more impactful outreach in Africa. The strategies aim to address current challenges and opportunities, ensuring the effective communication of the Church’s mission across the continent.