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Launch of First Catholic Comment Speakers' Panel - June 2012
PRESS INFORMATION 5 June 2012
New panel of Catholic speakers launched
to assist Church and media
'CATHOLIC COMMENT' speakers available in time for Eucharistic Congress
For the first time, a group of lay Catholics has come together to provide speakers for the media about the Catholic faith, and to promote better public understanding of the Church's mission and teachings.
CATHOLIC COMMENT is being launched today in time for the International Eucharistic Congress being held in Dublin from 10 to 17 June.
Based on the successful 'Catholic Voices' model which began in Britain in the run-up to Pope Benedict's visit in 2010, CATHOLIC COMMENT was established in early 2012 by a group of lay Catholics including Petra Conroy, Catriona Curran, Lorcán Price, Maura Garrihy and independent Senator Rónán Mullen.
"CATHOLIC COMMENT hopes to serve the Church and the media," says coordinator Petra Conroy. "Our speakers will offer authoritative comment on news stories related to the Catholic Church, especially those issues which are often the source of debate or controversy in Irish media. We aim to shed light rather than heat. We will acommunicate our values very clearly while respecting the goodwill, sincerity and intelligence of others."
The CATHOLIC COMMENT speakers were selected from more than 70 applicants from across Ireland. The panel includes a doctor, an expectant mother, a musician, a primary school teacher, an accountant, a barrister, an engineer, a radio presenter, a student and a parish pastoral worker. Details on the speakers are available at www.catholiccomment.ie.
While CATHOLIC COMMENT is an independent organisation, it has already received encouragement from several Church leaders. "A project like this could be a real blessing for the Church," says Bishop Denis Brennan, co?chair of the Episcopal Commission for Communications.
"Though we are not an official body of the Catholic Church, we aim to support the Church's own communications efforts by offering a team of well?informed lay people," says Petra Conroy. "The Eucharistic Congress is a time of heightened interest in Catholicism. We are happy to assist journalists and the organisers of the Congress by providing people of faith who are available to speak in the media at short notice."
The project is being set up as a charity and depends on donations to cover its expenses. Details on the CATHOLIC COMMENT bank account are available at www.catholiccomment.ie and contributions can also be made via the website using Paypal.
To request a speaker, or for further information, please contact: