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Pope says media is for service, not profit


Benedict XVI has called on Catholics involved in social communications to harness the power of media for the good of society, and to denounce that which is morally destructive and merely profit-driven.

Catholic News Agency reports that the address was part of a meeting last Friday in the Vatican with participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

The pope began his address by praising assembly members for their commitment "to the important apostolate of social communications, both as a direct form of evangelisation and as a contribution to the promotion of all that is good and true for every human society."

He referred back to his first Message for World Communications Day - released in January - in which, he discussed "the media as a network which facilitates communication, communion and cooperation."

That message, the Pontiff said, recalled how "the Vatican Council II decree Inter Mirifica, had already recognised the enormous power of the media to inform the minds of individuals and to shape their thinking."

"Forty years later", he said, "we realise, more than ever, the pressing need to harness that power for the benefit of all humanity."

Quoting St Paul, Benedict said that "we are no longer strangers and aliens but citizens with the saints and members of the household of God."

He added that: "This sublime portrayal of a life of communion engages all aspects of our lives as Christians and for you, in a particular way, points to the challenge to encourage the social communications and entertainment industries to be protagonists of truth and promoters of peace."

"Such a commitment", he told the group, "demands principled courage and resolve, on the part of those who own and work within the hugely influential media industry, to ensure that promotion of the common good is never sacrificed to a self-serving quest for profit or an ideological agenda with little public accountability."

Concluding his address, Benedict called on media leaders "to promote what is good and true, especially in regard to the meaning of human and social existence, and to denounce what is false, especially pernicious trends which erode the fabric of a civil society."


SOURCE
Power of media must be harnessed for good of humanity, says Pope, not self-serving profit (Catholic News Agency 17/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Pontifical Council for Social Communications
Go Tell Everyone: A pastoral letter on the Church and the Media (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)

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20 Mar 2006