The 2010 Plenary Assembly turned its attention to that essential aspect of contemporary cultures which is the use of language and communication, in order to study the current situation and propose lines of action for the evangelising mission of the Church.
The Plenary opened in an unexpected place, the Sala della Protomoteca in Campidoglio, a very public setting. Here the Inaugural Session saw a meeting opened up to wider civil society on the theme: " Listening to the languages of the soul in the City ". Participants included Gianfranco Ravasi, the Mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, Patrick De Carolis, Aldo Grasso, Lloyd Baugh and Marta Nin.
The working sessions continued in the Dicastery, beginning with a talk on anthropological issues by Mons. Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Then a look at the diverse languages, in particular cinema, music, figurative and fine arts, internet and multimedia to discern the words, colours, sounds and images that are able to present Christian life as an experience of today valid for all. To facilitate this interpersonal communication, there were no written texts to be followed and studied, but rather conversations with experts such as Ennio Morricone (Music), Dario Viganò (Film), Robert Barron (TV-Multimedia) and Pietro Scott Iovane (Internet).
The Church has a long tradition of using diverse linguistic forms in its communications, both within and to the outside. The Plenary looked at some of these in order to engage more fully the human person today. In particular, the traits of interactivity and participation, of clarity and simplicity and figurative symbolic languages able to narrate in a manner our contemporaries can understand what we have received. As St. Matthew teaches, "You do not light a lamp to hide it under a box; you put it on a lamp-stand where it shines for all who are in the house. So should your light shine for all people, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5, 15-16).
The reflections of the Plenary led to the creation of a department within the Dicastery, and the ideas shared were documented in a monographic number of the review Faith and Cultures (vol. XIX 2001, 1).