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Inaugural speech of the VI COMLAC

Inaugural speech of the VI COMLAC
Latin America & Caribbean

Grand Chancellor Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa, Rector Magnifico Francisco Blanco, President of SIGNIS worldwide Mrs. Helen Osman. President of Signis Panama, Lic Eunice Meneses. Presidents of the associates of SIGNIS ALC, special guests, present and online participants, students:

Finally and happily we are together.

Latin America and the Caribbean summons us. We are also summoned by the desire to know, to think, to reflect in order to communicate better. And that is what we have come to do in this VI COMLAC. And we do it at a time when Latin America and the world are in full political and social effervescence.

Symbolic and material violence invade the struggles for claims, the words that denounce injustices are silenced, the hegemonic discourse of the big media that contributes to weaken representative democracies is standardized, without neglecting to consider the socio-environmental crisis caused, among other things, by the wild extractivism.

There is something important that is wrong. The planet was sick with a virus that gave us hope that we were going to learn a global lesson for the first time that was going to be better for us. More sensitive, intelligent, merciful beings. Very few learned the lesson. The selfishness of power did not listen, did not see, did not want to interpret this opportunity. Then you have to do your homework again, but this time we can't go wrong again.

And we who are here: what do we have to hope that things can be different, better? Fortunately we have a lot.

We have a spirit that illuminates our faith.

We have a brave Pope who looks at the world and his Church with the lucidity and sensitivity of the good shepherd. A Pope with his feet on the ground looking and listening with his heart.

We have thinkers in the region who study, investigate and produce possible solutions for the outcome.

We have a regional Church committed to the People of God.

We have proactive and creative young people who want and can contribute to an unselfish change.

We have a substratum of wisdom in the native peoples that give us a social experience of possible practices that we do not know how to listen to enough.

We have social organizations that work every day for social transformation, as we intend to do with communication. Commitment evidenced in many communicators and social leaders who lose their lives to defend the truth.

And as Christians and communicators we have the most valuable: the Word, that word that illuminates, guides and reveals the truth of man that the Son of God knew very well.

We are now and always the only ones responsible for the bad things that happen to us and at the same time for finding a loving solution to the problem. But of course…the road is not easy, the reality is complex, difficult, discouraging and it seems at times, that all the tools that we have, those of us who have the privilege of being able to use them, do not do it conveniently well for various reasons.

And that is why we are here: To listen to each other, exchange and learn in a fruitful dialogue.

We have chosen as themes: Communication because that is what we are as a professional identity and action

Interculturality, because the world cannot be understood in any other way than that no one is left out.

Spirituality, because without it we are not complete as people regardless of the culture we are.

These days that begin today have behind a stage and a path with actors who put their work and will so that this meeting shelters us as Christian communicators.

The local Church: sensitive to the proposal of SIGNIS ALC from the beginning to host the Congress, the University of Santa María de Antigua that opens its building and academic doors to us and our new associate of Catholic Communicators of Panama, Signis Panama that articulated the actions to make this possible.

So: Thank you Mons Ulloa, thank you Prof Blanco, thank you Eunice Meneses, president of Signis Panama, Santiago Tovar, its secretary, and the team of young people who put in a vigorous dedication.

And on our side thanks to the executive secretary under the responsibility of Sonia Navas. Finally, thanks to Professor Alejandro Caro, general coordinator of the VI COMLAC, who was able to bring together, together with Dr. Jaime Carril, a prestigious academic tandem that, added to the research work that will be presented, promises us a great meeting that we will undoubtedly enjoy, this time, those of us who We are here with the physical presence that enriches communication so much and that we will share with those who also participate online from other corners of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Thank you all for being here and welcome.

May the spirit of San Romero guide us in the actions of this Congress that I officially consider inaugurated.

Prof: Carlos Ferraro President SIGNIS ALC

Panama July 13, 2022