Pope calls on media to help in peace effort
In a message for World Communications Day this Sunday, Pope John Paul II has decried the "ways of disseminating information, which violate the principles of truth and justice, and injure the reputation of another nation".
He called for the media to be fair and impartial in promoting the spread of mutual understanding among natios.
The Catholic Church in Australia will celebrate the 37th World Communications Day with an emphasis on the Pope's call. Masses around the country will include special prayers and hymns focusing on the role of the communications media in society and the life of the Church.
This year's theme, which ties in with the 40th anniversary of Pope John XXIII's landmark encyclical Peace on Earth, is: "The Communications Media at the Service of Authentic Peace in the Light of 'Pacem in Terris'.
The Pope says that the media now has a vastly increased responsibility because it is now "the modern arena in which ideas are shared and people grow in mutual understanding and solidarity".
"The power of the media to shape human relationships and influence political and social life, both for good and for ill, has enormously increased," he said. "The fundamental moral requirement of all communication is respect for and service of the truth."
Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
Message of the Holy Father for World Communications Day
Young need education on media: Br Kelvin (Catholic Weekly)
Media studies 'can play a major role' (Catholic Weekly)
Signis: The World Catholic Association for Communication
Renewing the Mind of the Media (US Catholic Bishops)
Centre for Media Literacy
23 May 2003