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Pope urges explotation of media's potential for good

The world's media outlets should use their power to promote peace and understanding and to mobilise aid during natural disasters, as happened following the recent tsunami in Asia, Pope John Paul II said in a message released yesterday.

"Modern technology places at our disposal unprecedented possibilities for good, for spreading the truth of our salvation in Jesus Christ and for fostering harmony and reconciliation," the pope said in the written message for the Church's World Communications Day.

"Yet its misuse can do untold harm, giving rise to misunderstanding, prejudice and even conflict. When others are portrayed in hostile terms, seeds of conflict are sown which can all too easily escalate into violence, war or even genocide."

The Holy Father said the international community's response to the Boxing Day Indian Ocean tsunami disaster "was heartening."

"The speed with which news travels today naturally increases the possibility for timely practical measures designed to offer maximum assistance," he said. "In this way the media can achieve an immense amount of good."

Pope to media: Use technology for good (Associated Press/cnews 24/1/05)

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Pope reminds journalists of social and ethical importance of information (Missionary Service News Agency 24/1/05)
Pope slams mercy killing of newborns (The Age/London Telegraph 25/1/05)
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Soldier's Family Gets Papal Condolences (Zenit 23/1/05)

25 Jan 2005