Pope says media can choose peace or violence

Pope Benedict XVI's World Communications Day message yesterday included a call for the media to take responsibility for the communication they deliver to the world.

The ABC reports that the Holy Father said the influence of the media around the world can be a force "to favour dialogue" or "to foment violence".

Yesterday was the 39th World Communications Day. This year's theme is: The Communications Media: at the Service of Understanding between Peoples. The text message was first published in January in the name of Pope John Paul II.

Pope Benedict made the statement from the window of the papal apartments overlooking the thousands of faithful standing in St Peter's Square.

The media, he said, is an "extraordinary resource for the promotion of solidarity" among men and cultures. But it can also "feed prejudice and contempt among individuals and peoples".

The Pope stressed the importance of appealing to a sense of personal responsibility because through objective communication, solidarity among peoples is enhanced by respect for "human dignity" and care for the "common good".

"They can contribute to the spreading of peace or the fomenting of violence."

Pope says media can spread peace or foment violence (Agence France-Presse/ABC 8/5/05)
Pope: Responsibility in use of the media to knock down the walls of misunderstanding (AsiaNews.it 7/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Message of the Holy Father John Paul II for the 39th World Communications Day - "The Communications Media: At the Service of Understanding Among Peoples"
World Communication Day Guide (Signis - World Catholic Association for Communiation)

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9 May 2005