Pope says media must focus on truth, not profits

Yesterday the Vatican released Pope Benedict's message for this year's World Day of Social Communications, in which he said that the media can and should be used as a tool to foster the dignity of the human person and promote truth and peace.

Catholic News Agency reports that he said that the alternative profit-driven motivation is detrimental to peace and harmful to the individuality of persons.

The World Day of Communications is scheduled for 28 May. The this is: "The Media: A Network for Communication, Communion and Cooperation." The document's release took place on yesterday's Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists.

In the Message, the Holy Father reflected that technological advances in the media "have in certain respects conquered time and space, making communication between people, even when separated by vast distances, both instantaneous and direct".

He said that while this development "presents an enormous potential for service of the common good," that "...daily we are reminded that immediacy of communication does not necessarily translate into the building of cooperation and communion in society."

Stressing that the informing of consciences is "never a neutral task," Benedict called on those working in the media "not to wilt under the weight of so much information nor even to be content with partial or provisional truths."

The Pope warned against the industry becoming "self-serving or solely profit-driven" saying that there can be a tendency in the media that engenders "a kind of monoculture that dims creative genius, deflates the subtlety of complex thought and undervalues the specificity of cultural practices and the particularity of religious belief."

On the flip side, however, he said that it is possible for "today's media to be responsible - to be the protagonist of truth and promoter of the peace that ensues."

In closing his Message, Pope Benedict called to mind the "encouraging words of St. Paul", who said, "'Christ is our peace. In Him we are one.' Let us together break down the dividing walls of hostility and build up the communion of love according to the designs of the Creator made known through His Son!"

Pope Benedict: Media must be responsible, protagonist of truth, not self-serving, profit-driven (Catholic News Agency 24/1/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Text of message

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25 Jan 2006