By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
São Paulo, Brazil
tArchbishop Raymundo Damasceno leads the Aparecida archdiocese in Brazil, home to the famed Our Lady of Aparecida sanctuary visited by Pope Benedict XVI in May 2007. A former secretary general of the Brazilian bishops’ conference, he is now the President of the Latin American Episcopal Council, or CELAM, which opened its fifth General Conference in Aparecida with the papal visit.
tAll this makes Damasceno a fairly big deal in Latin American Catholicism, even if in person he’s actually fairly short and unassuming.
tDamasceno, 72, spoke today at a seminar on church communications in São Paulo. He ticked off a six-point program for communications which, he said, a Colombian journalist had once offered to CELAM:
1.tOvercome the idea that the means of communications are themselves communication. In other words, building TV networks, radio stations, and web sites is all well and good, but if you don’t have something compelling to say, building new and better ways to say it won’t accomplish much.