Lord, I never wanted to be separated from You.

The Vatican Meeting of Bloggers

The Vatican has recognized the need to engage a dialogue with the people in the blogosphere through a historic meeting that was held at the Palazzo Papa Pio X in Via della Conciliazione a day after the Beatification of Pope John Paul II (May 2, 2011). Pre-choices were made from over 750 applicants to ensure a diversified presence and subsequently, a random selection of the final 150 bloggers was made. Fr. Louie Coronel. OP is privileged to be chosen as the only Filipino blogger in the meeting. Three other Asians were present: Sri Lankan Father David Ratnarajh, Indonesian Father Alfonsus Widhiwryawan and Indian Father C.M. Paul. Another Dominican priest Fr. Gerard Dunne, OP of the Irish Province was also present.

The mandate came after the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Culture with the theme “Culture of Communication and New Languages” last 13 November 2010. Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Council, asked for the continuity of reflections on the emerging culture of evolving languages, cultural values and changing community relations of the internet generation and how this demands a renewal of the Church’s pastoral activity. His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI is aware of the dicastery’s desire to listen to the men and women of our time in order to promote new opportunities to proclaim the Gospel. A profound cultural transformation is taking place with new languages and new forms of communication as the Church listens to the voices of the globalized world. 

The blogosphere as a stable online community and an ideal collaborator for such reflections would stimulate an effective dialogue inspite of the argument that blogs and the social media may often represent an estrangement in the communion of the Church. Together with the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, a simple, physical meeting of bloggers provided the chance to express the bloggers’ needs, their culture, their hopes, aspirations and fears, in order that the Church may embrace them, walk with them, and continue learning to speak in terms and ways they can best understand. 

In his keynote address, Monsignor Claudio Maria Celli, head of the Vatican's Social Communication's office, revealed the thrust of the meeting: "We're here for a dialogue, a dialogue that from [the Vatican’s] side means the conviction of the concrete, important and unique role of [the bloggers’] presence in the world of communication." He further qualified such dialogue as a "respectful" dialogue which aims to “bring to the heart the committed and passionate adherence to Christ the Lord." 

The meeting provided two panels. The first consisting of five bloggers and moderated by Rocco Palmo presented some key issues. Afterwards, the panel opened the floor to general discussion. The second consisting as well of five panelists with representatives from the Church communications office and moderated by P. Antonio Spadaro, S.J. presented the initiatives "aimed at ensuring an effective engagement by the Church with bloggers."


  1. Hi Fr. Louie! I'm a PhD student in the United States working on some research that explore the Church's use of new media, and I'm specifically interested in the Vatican Bloggers meeting. I was trying to find an email address to contact you directly, but I haven't been able to find it -- might have overlooked where it is! If you have time, I'd like to correspond with you about the meeting and blogging specifically. Thanks for all you do!

    Mary Catherine

  2. Thank you my friend. Sorry to keep you waiting. I was too busy these days. my email is chubiop@hotmail.com


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