The use of video advertising by traditional TV, radio and film channels has become increasingly common over the past decade.
But traditional media channels that do not offer the ability to sell ads are increasingly seeing their budgets squeezed by video advertising.
The Catholic Church has said it wants to ensure that all people are entitled to “the freedom of worship” by ensuring that “people of faith” are given the opportunity to use their faith as a means of “providing for their own spiritual welfare”.
But, despite being an international organisation, the Church has struggled to make the transition to the digital world as it has traditionally depended on its traditional media and broadcasting channels to deliver its message.
Its approach has been to provide the Catholic faithful with an alternative, as well as a medium of communication for those with disabilities.
“The Church of England has always supported the rights of people with disabilities to receive an appropriate range of religious and spiritual instruction and support from those who share their religious beliefs and their spiritual needs,” said the Pontifical Council for Legislative Text, which has published a statement about the video ad campaign.
“The Church has always recognized the special role that religious freedom plays in the exercise of religious freedom, and the need to protect the dignity and rights of the people with intellectual and physical disabilities.”
The statement said that, as part of the “religious freedom” mandate, the Council has instructed its members to “provide all religious and other bodies with a right to use and distribute information that may contribute to the freedom to practise, study, worship and observance of their faith”.
“In line with the Council’s mandate to promote freedom of conscience and religious freedom and as a matter of priority, the bishops are working with all bodies to ensure access to such information, including by the Church,” the statement said.
However, there is disagreement within the Catholic Church over the appropriate level of freedom of information.
In a statement, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said that the “right of every person to the free use of religion must be fully respected and protected”.
The Archbishop said the Church was “working with other religious bodies to work out the best way of supporting those with intellectual disability in accessing information they may need”.
He added: “The Archbishop of Westminster has been very clear in the past that the Church’s approach to providing services for people with a disability is to work with them, not against them.”
However the statement from the bishops did not mention the possibility of the Church “taking the position” that the video campaign should be banned altogether.
It was not clear how the video would be funded.
As part of a campaign called “Religiously, Celebrate, Celebrating” organised by the Archbishop’s Department, the UK bishops have been asking their parishes to use video for their services.
Although the video is free, it is still “not the full range of information that people with faith need”, the statement added.
“We are working closely with other organisations, including the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Equality Trust, to ensure this is possible, as we believe that all of us need access to the full and genuine experience of our faith, and we are committed to that.”
The Church’s new video campaign is the first time the Church will appear on television in a UK advertising campaign.
According to the statement, video advertising is now used by “large numbers of churches and religious institutions in the UK and worldwide”.
In the UK, there are around 200 parishes using the video.
The statement said the aim was to “create a shared narrative” to “engage the faithful with the message of faith”.
It said the “purpose of this campaign is to inform, educate and promote the rights and benefits of the rights afforded to people with an intellectual disability, and to ensure all people have a right of religious or spiritual freedom”.
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