Vatican City (AsiaNews) "The Media: A Network for Communication, Communion and Cooperation" is the theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for the XL World Communications Day 2006. "This first theme chosen by our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for a World Communications Day", said Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the department of the Holy See which prepares study materials and liturgical aids on the theme for distribution to bishops' conferences around the world, "underlines his own appreciation of the ability of the communications media not only to make known needed information but also to promote fruitful cooperation."
When it comes to social causes, information and solidarity often go hand in hand in the work of Catholic media; in the past year, with the support of numerous agencies and international organizations, AsiaNews carried out various campaigns: in favour of the victims of the tsunami in South-East Asia, for the freeing of Christian-faith O'Connor held prisoner in a Saudi jail and for the liberation of Chinese bishops and priests, victims of religious persecution.
World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican Council ("Inter Mirifica", 1963), is marked in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (in 2006, May 28).
The announcement of the theme is customarily made on September 29, the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel, who has been designated as the patron of those who work in radio.
The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24), to allow bishops' conferences, diocesan offices and communications organizations sufficient time to prepare audiovisual and other materials for national and local celebrations.