Pope encourages Christian media to promote a culture of encounter and hope
In his meeting with journalists from a Belgian Christian weekly, Francis said that “the presence of Christian media specialised in quality information on the life of the Church in the world, capable of contributing to the formation of consciences, is very important.” Christian journalists can “nurture hope in the pandemic situation the world is [now] going through.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis on Friday met with journalists from Tertio, a Belgian Catholic magazine, which gave him an opportunity to express his thoughts about the role of Christian media.
Social communication "is an important mission for the Church,” said the pontiff. For Christian journalists, "seeking a positive vision of people and facts, rejecting prejudices, it is a matter of fostering a culture of encounter through which it is possible to know reality with a confident gaze."
“In the society we live in, information is an integral part of our daily life. When it is high quality, it allows us to better understand the problems and challenges that the world is called to face, and inspires individual, family and social behaviours. Above all, the presence of Christian media specialised in quality information on the life of the Church in the world, capable of contributing to the formation of consciences, is very important."
“The contribution of Christian media is also noteworthy in fostering a new lifestyle in Christian communities, free from any form of preconception and exclusion. In fact, we know that ‘gossip closes the heart to the community, closes off the unity of the Church. The great gossiper is the devil, who always goes about saying bad things about others, because he is the liar who seeks to separate the Church to distance brothers and sisters and not create community’” (Angelus, 6 September 2020).
“Communication is an important mission for the Church. Christians involved in this area are called to implement in a very concrete way the Lord's call to go into the world and proclaim the Gospel (cf. Mk 16:15). Due to their high professional ethics, Christian journalists are required to bear new testimony in the world of communication without hiding the truth or manipulating information.
“In fact, ‘Amid the cacophony of voices and messages that surround us, we need a human story that can speak of ourselves and of the beauty all around us. A narrative that can regard our world and its happenings with a tender gaze. A narrative that can tell us that we are part of a living and interconnected tapestry. A narrative that can reveal the interweaving of the threads which connect us to one another’ (Message of His Holiness Pope Francis for the 54th World Communications Day, January 24, 2020)".
Christian journalists must therefore be “bearers of hope and trust in the future. Because only when the future is accepted as a positive and possible reality, does the present also become livable. These thoughts can also help us, especially today, to nurture hope in the pandemic situation the world is [now] going through.”
Addressing the journalists, the Holy Father said: “You are sowers of this hope for a better tomorrow. In the context of this crisis, it is important that social communication media contribute to ensuring that people do not fall ill from loneliness and can receive a word of comfort.”
Francis concluded by quoting John Paul II, who said: "To you who work in the field of culture and communication, the Church looks with confidence and expectation since, as protagonists of the changes taking place in these sectors in a time of increasing globalization, you are called to interpret the present time and identify ways for communicating the Gospel according to the language and sensibility of the contemporary human person. (Address of John Paul II to the participants in the Conference for those working in communications and culture promoted by the Italian Bishops' Conference, 9 November 2002).