07/06/2010, 00.00
SRI LANKA
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Colombo: Catholics should not be spectators but instead serve humanity through media

by Melani Manel Perera
For Fr Benedict Joseph, “the Church is aware” of how media “influence the world.” In Sri Lanka, we must know and “tell the truth” despite “many obstacles” on our path.
Colombo (AsiaNews) – “Many wonder whether freedom of expression exists in Sri Lanka or not. Often, when the media want to tell the truth, they find many obstacles on their path. As a Catholic priest I think we must tell the truth and not just be simple spectators of what happens,” Fr Benedict Joseph, representative for the Catholic Church of Sri Lanka, told AsiaNews on World Communication Day.

In his statement, Fr Joseph was also responding to a challenge implicit in Benedict XVI’s words on the same occasion. The Holy Father said that our lives are especially influenced by mass media and that we must “assert our ministry [in the media] for the good of the people.” According to Fr Joseph, the members of the Catholic Church “are duty-bound to interpret the media the correct way” and “proclaim the truth loud and clear”.

“As Benedict XVI said, TV, radio, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter are special blessings God gave humanity. We must regard these means positively.”

Sadly, there is another side to the same coin because communication media “can mislead young people and can be dangerous. Parents and teachers must glean the truth out of these modern technologies to guide young people in using them properly.”

Informed by the Pope’s words, “we realise that the Church is aware of what the media are and how they influence the world. Priests have a duty to interpret them correctly, and we, like all those who manage information media, must serve humanity through them.”

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