DAILY CATHOLIC TUESDAY May 18, 1999 vol. 10, no. 96
NEWS & VIEWS
CHARITY CAN NOT BE REDUCED TO A PHILANTHROPIC ACTIVITY, SAYS POPE; CHURCH CELEBRATES WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY
Vatican City, 17 (NE) Under the theme "Reconciliation in charity," the meeting between Pope John Paul II and 40 thousand Catholic volunteers of diverse associations of charity at a world-wide level took place yesterday at Saint Peter's Square. The event took place one day after concluding the work sessions of the World Charity Congress, held this week in Rome organized by the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum," Vatican council presided by Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes.
The center of the event was the Mass celebrated by the Holy Father. Before this, volunteers of diverse parts of the world gave their testimonies. Sister Nirmala, Mother Teresa's successor at the head of the Missionaries of Charity, also gave her testimony of living charity through the evangelizing service to the poor among the poor.
During the homily, the Holy Father pointed out the efforts of the volunteers of charity of the whole world, of "loving and reaching out towards man, in whose face shines that of the creator." He also reminded those present that charitable activity can not reduced to "a mere material support and assistance, as if it were a mere philanthropic activity," but rather must become a "proclamation and witness of Christ that gives his life" and heals man's heart.
"The Church today celebrates the World Day of Social Communications," reminded yesterday Pope John Paul II after the prayer of the "Regina Coeli" together with thousand of pilgrims gathered at Saint Peter's Square. The Pope gave a cordial greeting to all those that work in the world of mass media, inviting them to make the social communications media to "always constitute a friendly presence next to the men and women of our time, helping them in their search for God, good and truth.
In fact, the Holy Father's message for this occasion carries the title "Mass Media: a Friendly Companion for Those in Search of the Father." As that message recalls, "the theme implies an invitation and a hope: that those responsible for the world of social communications will be ever more committed to help rather than hinder the search for meaning which is at the very heart of human life."
"The topic recognizes the exceptional influence of the media in contemporary culture, and therefore the media's special responsibility to witness to the truth about life, about human dignity, about the true meaning of our freedom and mutual interdependence."
Highlighting how facing the advances of technology "we are in a
time of threats and promises," the Pope's message urges us to
look "with great hope upon the new millennium" and work
intensely so that "the power of the media may not be a
destructive force but rather a creative love, a love that
reflects the love of God 'that is everyone's Father, that is
above all, penetrates everything and is in everyone.'"
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NEWS & VIEWS