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."

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)

Bishops vow to take up media challenge (CathNews 17/2/06)
Pope says media must focus on truth, not profits (CathNews 25/1/06)

Communications media: Common good before profit (Vatican Information Service 17/3/06)
Pope and Patriarch Alexis II exchange messages (Vatican Information Service 17/3/06)
Media to promote what is good and true and denounce what is false, says the Pope (AsiaNews.it 17/3/06)
Pope entrusts to St Joseph young job seekers and unemployed (AsiaNews.it 19/3/06)
Papal preacher says to pray during life's dark moments (Catholic News Service 17/3/06)
Pope urges religious leaders to reconcile conflicts with dialogue (Catholic News Service 16/3/06)
Pope, Russian Orthodox patriarch affirm importance of cooperation (Catholic News Service 17/3/06)
Papal preacher says to pray during life's dark moments (Catholic News Service 17/3/06)
Mutual messages between Pope and Russian Patriarch stress reconciliation, becoming signs of peace, respect to the world (Catholic News Agency 17/3/06)
Pope to hold meeting with Roman Curia to discuss reforms and SSPX schism (Catholic News Agency 17/3/06)
Sandro Magister: "Credo Apostolicam Ecclesiam": Wednesdays in Saint Peter's Square (L'Espresso 19/3/06)
Pope, Russian patriarch agree on need for common witness (Catholic World News 17/3/06)
Lenten sermon series begins at Vatican (Catholic World News 17/3/06)
Media should serve common good, Pope says (Catholic World News 17/3/06)
Pope: Media must honor common good, before profit (Spero News 17/3/06)
Pope Benedict XVI: To the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications (March 17, 2006)
Pope Urges Cooperation Among Christians, Jews, Muslims (Zenit 16/3/06)
Benedict XVI Sees Greek-Catholics as Bridge of Unity (Zenit 16/3/06)
Papal Address to Delegation of American Jewish Committee (Zenit 16/3/06)
Pope, Alexy II Signal Cooperation in Writing (Zenit 17/3/06)
Common Good Before Profit in Media, Says Pope (Zenit 17/3/06)
Pope's Address to Members of Council for Social Communications (Zenit 17/3/06)

20 Mar 2006