January 25, 2000
volume 11, no. 17
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NEWS & VIEWS     Acknowledgments
Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

Archbishop Foley Presents Papal Message for World Media Day

    VATICAN CITY, JAN 24 (ZENIT).- Archbishop John Foley called on the Church to develop its own media, but also to take advantage of opportunities to use the secular media, in today's presentation of the Pope's Message for World Media Day 2000.

    "The history of communication is like a journey that goes from the proud project of the Tower of Babel, with its burden of confusion and mutual misunderstanding, to Pentecost, with the gift of tongues," stated the U.S.-born president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

    These two poles of the history of communication can only be understood when realizing that "the restoration of communication has its center in Jesus through the action of the Holy Spirit. To proclaim Jesus leads, therefore, to a meeting among persons in faith and charity," Archbishop Foley said. This is precisely the work that must be carried out by Christians in the world of communications.

    In addition, the Archbishop clarified that "at the moment of proclaiming Christ, the Church must vigorously and effectively use its own media, and Catholic communicators must be bold and creative in finding new ways to proclaim" the Gospel. This last reference can be perfectly applied to the new possibilities offered by computer technology and the Internet.

    Resolving a debate which has lasted for decades in some countries, the U.S. Archbishop stressed the fact that the Church must also "take maximum advantage of the opportunities offered to be present as well in the secular media."

    This service of the Church to the mass media is something it cannot renounce, because in this way it gives them a dimension that is often absent from the world of mass media. Archbishop Foley gave as an example the ceremony of the opening of the Holy Door and the Mass on Christmas Eve, which was transmitted to 60 countries by at least 77 national and international television networks with an estimated audience of 2 billion people. "Without a doubt, it was the largest audience that followed a religious event in the history of the world."

    The message for the World Media Day this year, as the Archbishop emphasized, appeals to professionals in this field to make "an examination of conscience" in order to analyze the phenomenon that leads to a "tendency and a lack of respect for the religiosity and moral convictions of people."

    It is important to do away with unfounded prejudices because, "to proclaim Christ in the media at the dawn of the third millennium is not only a substantial part of the evangelizing mission of the Church, but also constitutes a vital enrichment, inspired and full of hope for the very message transmitted by the media." ZE00012406


January 25, 2000
volume 11, no. 17

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