Communications has been central to the spread of Christianity from its inception. Christ traveled throughout Palestine proclaiming God’s love, the coming of God’s Kingdom and the need for conversion. After his resurrection from the dead and his ascension into heaven, the Apostles took this message to the farthest corners of the world preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. The followers of Jesus Christ employed the common communications mediums of their day in order to accomplish this. In fact, Scripture recounts the Apostle Paul speaking in Greek amphitheaters and communications centers of his time.
Using the media tools of the day and employing good communications strategies have always been an integral part of the mission of the Catholic Church. We see in our current Holy Father an excellent example of how this tradition continues. Pope John Paul II, continuing the tradition of Christ and the Apostles, has traveled to almost every continent and has visited more places than any other single Pope in history. He has written extensively on every facet of human life in light of the saving message of Jesus Christ. He has his Masses, rosaries and Angelus addresses and other public functions and communications communicated via radio, internet and television so that people in the most remote areas of the world may also receive the message of Christ. The Holy See has a vast and integrated communications strategy and works closely with international and local media outlets of our day in order to effectively distribute the message of Jesus Christ.
Jesus commissioned His followers with these words: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation” (Mk. 16:15). To support this mission of the Church, the Dioceses of Arlington has established a media relations policy.
MEDIA RELATIONS POLICY
The media relations policy of the Diocese of Arlington is to communicate the message of Jesus Christ to the world through current forms of media and technology. The Diocese is committed to a communications policy of "transparency and openness."
In accordance with and true to the spirit of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Article 7, "transparency and openness" refers to a willingness to share information unless there is a serious reason to maintain confidentiality. Possible infringement upon the rights of an alleged abuser or victim will be given careful consideration. Matters under litigation, unsubstantiated allegations, and requests by victims for anonymity and/or confidentiality will all be given careful consideration as possible exemptions to our pledge of transparency.
MEDIA RELATIONS PHILOSOPHY
To support our policy we adopt a media relations philosophy. The communications philosophy of the Diocese of Arlington is to facilitate media requests and comment on important questions of our day in order to bring the message of Jesus Christ to bear on our times and civilization. In the Diocese of Arlington, all media requests (i.e. interviews, statements, photographs, etc.) are to be directed to the Office of Communications in the Chancery (See Standard Procedures). The integrated communications policy, philosophy and standard procedures are all in place to centralize media requests so that: (1) the bishop is aware of what is being reported on in the press concerning the diocese; (2) to facilitate journalists in covering news items.
All media request must go through the Diocese of Arlington’s Office of Communications (703) 841-2517. The Communications Director will assess the media request, ascertain deadline, and promise to respond to media requests as soon as possible. The Communications Director will then contact the appropriate person(s), e.g. pastor, parochial vicar, diocesan schools, etc., to explain the request and determine the willingness of each person to participate in the media process. Ideally, the Communications Director is a facilitator, he/she is an intermediary to gather information and set up optimal conditions for successful media relationships and coverage. Once the details have been worked out, the Communications Director will put the two parties in contact with one another. Certain media requests will entail having the Communications Director present, although this is not foreseen in the majority of cases.