The CCSM: An untold story of success

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The CCSM: An untold story of success

By Munir Bayouk/ en.abouna.org

The Catholic Center for Studies and Media (CCSM) is the brainchild of Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader. The CCSM, with a handful members of staff, has outshined several media centers worldwide for having crossed all borders, and becoming one of the main reliable centers that conveys a sound image of media based on true judgment as well as news items and articles that disseminate love, equality, common living and loyalty to the homeland.

The CCSM, launched on February 8, 2012, has made landmark and resounding achievements locally, regionally, and internationally. It is a non-profit center with a purpose of enhancing and promoting the intellectual and media movements within the Jordanian society and abroad. It is affiliated with the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem and functions through the Latin Vicariate in Amman.

The CCSM, represented by its director, Most. Rev. Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader, and staff, has always expressed permanent readiness to focus on issues of concern to humanity, commensurate with its slogan, “Media for Humanity through the Culture of Encounter”.

CCSM OBTAINS A FOOTHOLD IN THE CHRISTIAN ARAB MEDIA

Over the past years, the CCSM was able to obtain a foothold in the Arab Christian Media throughout the Jordanian and Arab societies by being open to the fraternal Churches in a lofty ecumenical spirit, as well as by maintaining cordial relations with religious leaders, with those who contribute by writing articles, and with those who initiate seminars and pastoral activities.

The CCSM also urged the attainment of cordiality and friendship between Muslims and Christians, thus it organized and participated in a number of relevant conferences, seminars and workshops. The CCSM also maintained a distinguished role by maintaining that dialogue is not the ultimate destination but rather a transient stage leading to the final destination, namely to the stage of citizenship and equality among the various components of the society.

Over the past years, the issue of Arab presence surfaced worldwide where several seminars and panel discussions were held. Yet, the CCSM always reiterated that the issue is not statistical, as it is not confined to merely the number of the Christians of the Orient, to whoever remained, or to whoever emigrated. The whole issue lies in the Orient’s conflagrations, which lead to total devastation including wars, in-fighting in some Arab countries, the spiking religious extremism, and the desire to exclude others which consequently leads to tarnishing the real image and identity of the Orient, namely religious pluralism and harmony among the followers of religions.

WHAT ARE THE Goals of CCSM?

The CCSM aims at introducing enlightenment in the public opinion, shedding light on the concept of faith, promoting Christian unity in Jordan and worldwide, consolidating the Christian presence in the Middle through the Latin Patriarchate organizations and the churches in general, as well as reinforcing good citizenship based on equality, rights and duties.

The CCSM also strives to strengthen inter-religious dialogue, establish relations with easterners who live the Diaspora, promote religion in the service of peace, and encourage pilgrimage to Jordan being part of the Holy Land.

The CCSM serves as a regional oasis that disseminates love and understanding among the various components of the Jordanian society. The center has two electronic sites one in Arabic (www.abouna.org) and an English-language site (en.abouna.org). Both sites post news items that reflect local and regional affairs touching on religious and political affairs. The Arabic-language site is intended for Arabic-language speaking people in the region and abroad. The English-language site targets all those interested to get acquainted with Middle Eastern Christian affairs worldwide.

The CCSM has also been urging the attainment of cordiality and friendship between Muslims and Christians, thus it held and participated in a number of relevant conferences, seminars and workshops that aim at entrenching peace, solidarity and cooperation.

At the Jordanian level, the CCSM plays an inevitable role as it always takes the initiative to concentrate on various local issues, among which are religious freedom, the moral religious view of several issues, the school curricula and their role in promoting harmony. It also issues statements that elaborate on several key issues, sheds light on whatever is novel such as the Royal benefaction that provide for the restoration of Lord Jesus’ Tomb in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, and how world media outlets contributed to explaining its great significance. The number of CCSM and abouna.org site partners increased which includes cooperation with several Christian media outlets in the Vatican and elsewhere.

The CCSM objectives can be summed up in the following points, namely covering of Church news; enlightening the public opinion with human morality through the media; encouraging priests, laymen, and laywomen to express their opinions through publishing their articles, homilies and points of view; promoting the culture of encounter, dialogue, understanding, and cooperation in Jordan, the Holy Land, the East, and the entire world; consolidating the Christian presence in the East; propagating of Arab Christian heritage; promoting good citizenship, based on equality, rights and duties; promoting interaction between followers of different religions, especially Muslim-Christian dialogue; disseminating the culture of religion at the service of peace, justice and human rights; nurturing the proper use of media and the application of media ethics; promoting religious tourism and pilgrimage to the Holy Land, including Jordan, the country of Jesus’ Baptism, promoting care for the environment which is the common home of humanity; and highlighting the activities of the Christian institutions in the Holy Land by helping them attain good media coverage.

CCSM HOLDS JOINT CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM CELEBRATION OF THE FEAST OF ANNUNCIATION

The CCSM held the Christian-Islamic celebration of the Annunciation under the patronage of senior Jordanian officials for two successive years, namely 2018 and 2019. During the celebrations, CCSM Director Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader said that this gathering is intended to endorse preaching the basic values, foremost of which is love for God and neighbors. He added that that the only allowed extremism is that relevant to love, brotherhood and altruism. He also hoped that the Feast of Annunciation would be marked as a national annual feast for all Jordanians. He also said, “We have gathered today as one family to say that we support the establishment of new and distinguished relations between Muslims and Christians not only in our holy country, but throughout the world.”

CCSM ACTIVE IN VARIOUS REGIONAL, INT’L FORUMS

The CCSM has organized several conferences or taken part in others. Over the past years, the CCSM was able to obtain a foothold in the Christian Arab Media throughout the Jordanian and Arab societies by being open to the fraternal churches in a lofty ecumenical spirit, as well as by being cordial to religious leaders, to those who contribute by writing articles, and to those who initiate seminars and pastoral activities.

The CCSM organized or took part in conference in Jordan and abroad. Among these conferences is the international conference CCSM co-organized and titled, "Media and their role in defending the truth"--held in Amman on June 18-19, 2019.
The highlight of the conference was the launching of "The Media Code of Ethics’’. The conference issued 10-point Media Code of Ethics focusing on proper use of social media networking sites, as well as on serving morality and respect for human dignity on the one hand in addition to ensuring the dignity of religions and religious symbols of the other.

In conclusion, it is important to highlight the address made by Sister Caroline Bader during the ceremony marking the silver jubilee of the pastoral ordination of Fr. Rif’at Bader. She said, "Fr. Rif'at Bader was a hero who acted behind the scenes, during the Corona pandemic. For besides being a spiritual father he was also a media man. He streamed events with faith, optimism and hymns that bring reassurance. He was never absent from this scene as he was the spiritual doctor who instilled tranquility. We thank you, as well as express gratitude and appreciation for your exorbitant efforts in your glittering silver jubilee, hoping that you will always remain an icon of strength and a symbol of tranquility."

Wed, 07/15/2020 - 11:20
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