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Arch. Foley decries loss of public service time on TV, radio

The President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Archbishop John P. Foley, has called it "a disgrace that the public service time once available to religion both on radio and television in the United States is now, for the most part, no longer available." The archbishop also encouraged the formation of communications committees at the parish level and said he was "a special fan" of weekly Catholic newspapers. "We should always be ready to be evangelizers -- not attempting to force something down people's throats, but taking advantage of any opportunity to give witness, in a non-threatening way, to the truth and love of Christ," he said.

Archbishop Foley, who was editor of the Catholic newspaper in Philadelphia before his appointment to the Vatican, spoke on the closing day of a Jan. 9-12 symposium in Miami sponsored by New Evangelization of America, a grass-roots group formed four years ago in response to the Synod for America.

"Some of our most effective work must be done in two ways: in the preparation of well-trained and spiritually motivated people who will be writers, producers and directors of films and television programs, and in the existence of sound public relations and communications offices in the church which can assist television news to cover religious news and events more intelligently, objectively and extensively," he said.