06/30/2020, 16.12
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Pope: in an era of divisions, media must build bridges and break down walls

In the message to the Catholic Press Association during the Catholic Media Conference, Francis writes that “Only with that gaze can we effectively work to overcome the diseases of racism, injustice and indifference that disfigure the face of our common family.”

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis sent a message to this year's Catholic Media Conference (30 June-2 July), organised by the Catholic Press Association. The event was held via teleconferencing for the first time, centred on the topic ‘Together While Apart’.

In his message, the pontiff notes that the pandemic is evidence of how essential the media are in keeping people united, but only if they are "capable of building bridges, defending life and breaking down the walls”.

The theme of the conference “expresses the sense of togetherness that emerged, paradoxically, from the experience of social distancing imposed by the pandemic. [. . .] Indeed, the experience of these past months has shown how essential is the mission of the communications media for bringing people together, shortening distances, providing necessary information, and opening minds and hearts to truth.”

What is more, “our communities count on newspapers, radio, TV and social media to share, to communicate, to inform and to unite. E pluribus unum– the ideal of unity amid diversity, reflected in the motto of the United States, must also inspire the service you offer to the common good.”

“We need media capable of building bridges, defending life and breaking down the walls, visible and invisible, that prevent sincere dialogue and truthful communication between individuals and communities. We need media that can help people, especially the young, to distinguish good from evil, to develop sound judgments based on a clear and unbiased presentation of the facts, and to understand the importance of working for justice, social concord and respect for our common home. We need men and women of conviction who protect communication from all that would distort it or bend it to other purposes.”

The Holy Father ends his message calling on the Holy Spirit to help people in media. “Only the gaze of the Spirit allows us not to close our eyes to those who suffer and to seek the true good of all. Only with that gaze can we effectively work to overcome the diseases of racism, injustice and indifference that disfigure the face of our common family.

“Through your dedication and daily work, may you help others to contemplate situations and people with the eyes of the Spirit. Where our world all too readily speaks with adjectives and adverbs, may Christian communicators speak with nouns that acknowledge and advance the quiet claims of truth and promote human dignity. Where the world sees conflicts and divisions, may you look to the suffering and the poor, and give voice to the plea of our brothers and sisters in need of mercy and understanding.”

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