Publishers, Creators and Users of Materials for Hispanic Catholics

As I look toward the upcoming conference, “In Our Own Tongues,” and prepare my remarks scheduled for a panel, I’m helped by Mary’s pointing to Fernando Gros‘ blog which points to Ryan Bolger’s blog. The discussion is about the cultural shifts around web practices and how education, authority, ministerial leadership and of course publishing are changing.
My ardent hope is that somehow we will quickly go beyond tinkering with stuff like better translations, better marketing, better graphic design, respect for copyright. How does one find ways of opening up discussion and reflection about the more important strategic issues that are at stake for the vitality of church:
1) The distinction between publisher, creator and user has blurred because of technology and one grassroots catechist can do it all just fine, thank you, in community with other grassroots parishes.
2) Large Catholic publishing houses are coming to an end if they don’t change drastically. How can they change, revitalize themselves, if they do not face the larger questions (about centralization, control of content, role of authority, how the creative spirit is nurtured) that will enable them to provide the leadership and resources that they once did?
3) How can we strengthen our church by making alliances between parishes as creators of content (not just users) and publishers as saavy, learned facilitators? To engender these potentially powerful alliances, what are the specific barriers posed by backward-looking authority, innate belief in centralization, misunderstanding of the purpose of copyright and the unexamined trust in the institutionalized concept of truth?
Hmmmm, too much for 15 minutes???
NOTE: “The framers of the United States Constitution, suspicious of all monopolies to begin with, knew the history of the copyright as a tool of censorship and press control. They wanted to assure that copyright was not used as a means of oppression and censorship in the United States. They therefore expressly provided for the purpose of copyright: to promote the progress of knowledge and learning.” (From above reference)

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